Board

Charles Reed - Chair 

Charles Reed

Charles has been involved in sport for disabled people since 2005 when as a Director at Nationwide Building Society he was responsible for a £1million seven year sponsorship of EFDS events. After leaving Nationwide in 2008 Charles maintained his involvement as a volunteer and was invited to join the EFDS Board in December 2010. Charles brings a wealth of commercial and corporate experience to the Board. He was appointed Vice Chair in May 2011 and elected Chair by the Federation's membership in September of that year. 

Besides his role with EFDS, Charles is a main Board member at Sport England and a Trustee of the London Marathon Charitable Trust. He also Chairs an advisory Board for sports career academy students at Cirencester Sixth Form College. Charles was previously on the Boards of the Active Gloucestershire CSP and the Institute of Customer Service.

 

Rashmi BeckerRashmi Becker

With 18 years’ experience as a marketing and communications professional, Rashmi has worked in London, Brussels and Dubai and in a range of areas including healthcare, education, the UK government and European Union. Rashmi has advised senior executives and ministers and helped organisations such as the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the European Parliament and Commission and one of the world’s largest medical research charities to develop and implement strategies that engage people to make informed decisions and bring about positive change.

Most recently as an Executive Director for a leading UK learning disability and autism charity, Rashmi helped develop relationships with stakeholders such as policymakers, disability groups, carers and the media to improve understanding of the needs and aspirations of disabled people in order to enable them to achieve their potential. She is currently the Golden Jubilee Strategic Advisor for the national learning disability charity MacIntyre, leading on a diverse programme to mark their 50th anniversary.

Rashmi has an MPhil in Education from the University of Cambridge where she wrote her thesis on autism education and has an older brother who has autism. Rashmi is passionate about sport and enjoys running, cycling, swimming, yoga, trekking, (completing the Everest Base Camp ascent as a fundraiser in 2012) ice skating and dance (participating in the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony as a dancing nurse). 

 

Rob Belbin Rob Belbin

Rob has worked as a PE teacher and outdoor instructor for 20 years. Based in Dorchester in Dorset, he specialises teaching disabled children aged from two to nineteen.

Rob coordinates athletics, table cricket and boccia for school aged children across South West England which has lead too many successes and increased opportunities in his region.

Specialising in inclusive sport education Rob advises many schools and organisations on practical solutions in addition to delivering professional development training. Rob is passionate about sport and believes every person, if they choose, should have access to sport and leisure irrespective of their ability.  


Ken BlackKen Black

Ken has worked as a practitioner in the area of inclusive physical activity and sport for disabled people for over 35 years. This has included ten years working in special education, and stints with a disability sport organisation (UK Sports Association for People with Learning Disability), as disability sports development officer for Leeds City Council sports development team, the Inclusive Sport Officer with the Youth Sport Trust, three years as Sports Consultant with the Disability Sport Unit at the Australian Sports Commission and two years running a research and development centre on disability sport at Loughborough University.

Among other roles, he was part of the coaching staff of the England Cerebral Palsy and Great Britain Paralympic swim teams from 1982-1992.

Ken now works independently as an advisor and consultant. Recent work has included the ongoing development of the TOP Sportsability online resource for the Youth Sport Trust. He has also delivered inclusive physical activity & sport projects in overseas development settings with current projects in Bangladesh,Ethiopia, Malaysia and Peru.

Ken is also a founding director of The Inclusion Club, a website aimed at practitioners working in inclusive physical activity & sport. He also works part-time as a lecturer and adviser on inclusive sport at the University of Worcester.

Ken has been a Member of the Board of Trustees since March 2011.

 

Phil Friend speaking in 2014

Dr Philip Friend OBE FRSA

 Phil Friend, himself a wheelchair user, is acknowledged as the UK's foremost consultant on disability matters. A powerful and highly popular communicator, his company – Phil & Friends - provides consultancy to many of the country's best-known companies.

He has also worked on disability and diversity projects in Estonia, Romania, Poland, Germany, Canada and the USA. He was awarded an OBE in 2001 for services to equal opportunities and disabled people and made a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in February 2007. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science (Hon DSc) in 2009 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to equality and diversity from University of Hertfordshire.

He is the co-author of “Why are you pretending to be normal?” a self-help book designed to help disabled people manage rather than cope with their disability.

He is a former Chair of Royal Association for Disability and Rights (RADAR) and Disability Rights (UK). He is a Vice President of the Level Playing Field Association, an Associate of the Business Disability Forum, a Trustee of RICA and a Commissioner on the Extra Costs Commission.

At the forthcoming EFDS AGM in July, subject to ratification, Phil will be co-opted on to the Board.


Lee MasonLee Mason

Lee Mason is the Chief Executive of the County Sport Partnership Network- the body which represents and supports the nationwide network of County Sports Partnerships. The role builds on Lee’s time as Director of the County Sports Partnership in Bucks & Milton Keynes, which he led since the Partnerships’ inception in 2000, overseeing its success and growth into a highly regarded multi-agency Partnership and working closely with Stoke Mandeville Stadium and WheelPower to develop sport for disabled people in the local area.

Lee has enjoyed a career in sports development with previous roles in Local Authorities and Governing Bodies, always with a passion to make a difference in sport especially for disabled people, and is now working to enhance the contribution CSPs make to across the country.

Lee is an active cricketer, being an MCC member and level 3 coach and enjoys a range of other sports alongside a busy family life. 

As an independent Trustee for EFDS, Lee believes the organisation has a key role to play in leading the development of sport for disabled people in England.


Tracey McCillenTracey McCillen

Tracey has been involved in disability sport since 1992. She read law at Birkbeck College, University of London and is a barrister.

As well as being Chief Executive of the UK Sports Association for People with Learning Disability (UKSA), the organisation responsible for intellectual disability classification and enabling talented high performance athletes to excel in national and international sport, she is the former Chair and current Trustee of the lead strategic disability equality in sport London agency Interactive.

Tracey is a former Secretary General of both Inas (world) and Inas (Europe), the international sports federation for athletes with intellectual disability, its current Nominations Committee Chair and a member of the Inas Governance Review Group, as well as a respected member on the British Paralympic Association’s classification expert panel.

Prior to working in sport, Tracey held positions in the commercial sector including advertising, property and media. A passionate advocate for disability equality and rights, her other interests include swimming, Gaelic football, hurling, politics and Egyptology.


Steve TownSteve Town

Steve’s career spans over many years. He is now the Managing Director of his own company,  having formerly been interim Head of Sport for Birmingham City Council, Regional Director  for Sport England West Midlands and Head of strategy for East Midlands. He spent 25 years in local government with responsibility for services including sport and his last role was Corporate Director with responsibility for all community services.

In his spare time he has been a former High School Governor and Chair of Finance, Panel Member for Queens Awards for Voluntary Service, secretary and chair of a number of local community organisations, Board Member of GB Wheelchair Basketball and for CIMSPA(WM)

Steve has studied for three degrees including  an MBA in sport from Loughborough.

In sport, he took part in swimming and water polo at National League and University level, was coach, referee and club official in a range of sports and the GB women’s water polo team coach. During this time he has taught and coached disabled children in a swimming club setting, set up Bradford Disability Sport and was  the national lead for Sport England on equalities.


Janet Williams
Janet Williams

Janet was invited to join the EFDS Board in September 2011 and sits on the Finance and Audit Committee for the Federation. Janet brings a wealth of experience in finance and systems having previously worked in this area for Chrysalis plc for 8 years. In more recent years Janet has worked in project management roles in the sports sector for differing governing bodies and sporting organisations both at a national and international level. Janet is a Board Director of the Rugby Care Medical Trust, a jointly owned initiative set up by Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union to support the medical care of rugby players from the age of 16 to the end of their professional career.

 

Fran WilliamsonFran Williamson photo

Fran is a former Paralympic swimmer who represented Great Britain for over ten years as one of the leading disability swimmers in the country. She began her career competing at EFDS sport events in athletics and swimming, progressing to represent Great Britain.

During her career as an international swimmer, she won six Paralympic medals, competing at Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008. Fran also won five world championship titles, recently beginning her coaching qualifications in order to pass on the benefits of her experience to others.

Also an athlete mentor with the Youth Sport Trust, Fran has worked with national sports governing bodies and several charities including United Response, for whom she is a Vice President. She also holds a first class degree in social policy and a masters degree in disability politics.