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East Midlands

The Athlete Mentors available in the East Midlands region.

We are delighted to offer the expertise of these elite and inspirational Athlete Mentors who each bring years of experience that will benefit your pupils.

Andrew (Drew) Sullivan

Drew started playing basketball in 1993 by chance after he was spotted in the park due to his height. His career progressed rapidly; by the age of 15 he was playing professionally and by just 16 he was called up to play for the national team making him the youngest player to have represented England at that time. At this young age Drew made the brave decision to move to America by himself to further his career. Such determination and passion for his sport forced him to be independent and enabled him to play at a higher level - much earlier on in his career than most. Drew is currently still playing for the London Lions and at international level for Great Britain as well as coaching others. Most recently he competed at the London 2012 Olympic as part of the Team GB basketball squad.

Sporting Achievements
  • Olympian
  • Great Britain Captain
Andrew Bridge

Andrew participated in many sports at school. He began playing basketball at 12 after joining a session when football training was cancelled. By 16 he focused all his attention on basketball after discovering he had true talent. Andrew attended university in Leeds where he was offered his first professional contract by Sheffield Sharks. After 3 years Andrew signed for Newcastle Eagles and was a core team member winning 17 Championships in 7-years. He won two further Championships with Sheffield for a total of 19, making him the most successful player in the history of the British Basketball League. Andrew was  part of the England team that won a bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. After 10 seasons with Newcastle, Andrew returned to Sheffield for the 2012 season where he continued playing until in the summer of 2013.

Sporting Achievements
  • Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist
Anthony Clark

Anthony retired from international badminton in 2011, having excelled at the highest level and is now an Ambassador for Badminton England. One of Badminton’s most prolific and respected players gaining over 100 caps for England, winning 7 Commonwealth medals, 2 World Championship medals and representing Great Britain at 2 Olympic Games. It was not a sport Anthony was particularly interested in until his mother entered him into a local tournament at the age of 12. Despite barely knowing the rules or scoring process, Anthony reached the mixed doubles final and was invited to county practice.

His career progressed rapidly and as a result of his dedicated training 6-days a week, Anthony made the England team within 2-years. At 16 he became Junior National Champion and at 23 he won the first, of what was to be a record of nine, successive national senior titles. Despite his success, Anthony’s greatest achievement came aged 14 when he received an award from the Royal Humane Society after saving his mum from drowning. He has been selected as one of 4 coaches in the country to be part of the Elite Coach Programme and is Performance Director for Leicestershire Schools Badminton.

Sporting Achievements
  • Olympian
  • World Championships Silver Medallist
David Hill

David was brought up on the coast, learning to swim at a young age. Despite being born with no left forearm, by the age of 3 he was earning badges and entered his first competition aged 8. His talent was soon spotted and by 12 was offered a scholarship to Kelly College Boarding School. After 3-years there under the wing of Robin Brew, David qualified for the 2004 Paralympic Games and at 15 was the youngest Team GB athlete.

David’s swimming career has spanned over 10 years at the highest level, and he has competed at both European and World Championships, gaining numerous records and international medals. In 2009 he won two bronze medals at the World Championships and another at the European Championships. David has now transitioned into Paralympic Triathlon (ParaTriathlon) where he is excelling, finishing as the top British athlete at the European Championship in the TRI 4 category in June 2013 before being crowned British Champion in 2014. More hard work led to him making it to another Paralympics in Rio two years later, where he finished 10th in the PT4 triathlon. 

Sporting Achievements
  • Paralympian
  • World & Bronze Medallist
  • British Champion
Emma Wiggs

As a child Emma was active in a variety of sports. At the age of 18, her mobility in both lower limbs was impaired after contracting an unknown virus, from which she has never fully recovered. In 2010 Emma attended a ‘Talent Day’ where her skills and fitness were tested in many Paralympic sports by Team GB coaches. Emma was quickly offered the chance to train and compete for GB in 5 different Paralympic sports. She chose Sitting Volleyball, enjoying the team aspect. Emma made her debut in 2010 against Paralympic champions, China. After this she decided to move house and change jobs, to focus on her career as an athlete, dreaming of competing at the 2012 Paralympic Games. Emma’s dedication paid off and within 6-months  was selected as captain for the World Championships, leading the team to a bronze medal. The following years were full of tough training and endless challenges but at London 2012, Emma made her debut. 

Emma has now embarked on a new challenge and in March 2013 was selected for the GB Paracanoe team; competing in the 200m sprint. Months later, her dedication led to her selection for the European Championships. She triumphed, returning with a gold medal and the world's fastest time. In the same year, she was triumphant at the World Championships, taking gold. Having won gold at the World Championships 3-years on the trot, Emma reached the pinnacle of her sport in Rio when she took gold in the KL2 canoe at the 2016 Paralympics.

Sporting Achievements
  • Paralympic Champion
  • Double World Champion
  • World Record Holder
Jade Windley

Athlete profile coming soon

 

 

 

 

Joanne Jackson

Jo was born in North Yorkshire and attended Richmond Secondary School. She loved swimming and wanted to follow in her sister's footsteps to becoming an Olympian. She found school a huge challenge due to her commitment in pool. Training 10-times a week, getting up at 5am was extremely difficult, especially when she had to travel an hour to the pool twice daily.  Jo  showed the dedication required and managed to pass her exams, achieving the results she was hoping for. She specialised in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle enjoying an illustrious career, competing at 3 Olympic Games.

Jo had much success on the international stage, winning silver, bronze and gold medals in major competitions including the Commonwealth Games, World Championships and European Championships. One of her greatest achievements came in 2008 when she won an Olympic bronze medal in Beijing, going on to break two world records in the 400m freestyle. 2009 was among Jo’s strongest seasons, winning more medals than any other British swimmer at a single World Championships, taking silver in the 400m and 800m freestyle, and bronze in the 4×200m freestyle relay. Jo was forced to retire from the sport after the 2012 Olympic Games because of injury but has since gone on to set up her own swimming academy.

Sporting Achievements
  • Olympic Bronze Medallist
  • World Championships Silver & Bronze Medallist
  • World Record Holder
Joe Roebuck

Showing lots of natural talent and a passion for swimming from an early age, Joe rapidly progressed through club levels and went to continue his swimming career at Loughborough University. At 21, Joe made his senior international debut at the long course (50m) European Championships in Hungary, where he competed in the 200m and 400m individual medley and the 200m butterfly. Joe represented Great Britain throughout his career, amassing a total of 21 national medals, as well as being crowned British champion 10-times between 2005 and 2014.

Immensely proud of all his achievements but among the best were his European Championship medals – achieved in 2010 and 2011 – and becoming a double Commonwealth silver medallist in 2010. Joe qualified and competed at 3 World Championships from 2008 to 2011 and still holds the British record for short course 200m butterfly and the Commonwealth record for the 400m individual medley short course. In 2012 Joe was the only British swimmer to qualify for 3 individual events at the London 2012, after winning 2 events at the Olympic trials. Since stopping international competition, Joe has been inducted into the South Yorkshire Sport Hall of Fame.

Sporting Achievements
  • Olympic Semi-Finalist
  • Commonwealth Games Double Silver Medallist
  • British Club Record Holder
Maria Bertelli

Maria started playing volleyball at an after school club aged 14. She quickly progressed to represent the school before joining her local club and reaching county level. Maria’s talent was spotted and she was selected to be part of the England junior team. In 1996, unable to break into the England senior team, Maria made the bold decision to change university, enabling her to train at a high level on a daily basis alongside studying for her PE & Sports Science degree. She graduated 3-years later after having made the England senior national team. She played professionally for 2-years and returned to domestic competition where her team went on to become English National League and Cup champions 5-years in a row.

Thinking she had achieved her volleyball ambitions, she went back to her roots, combining volleyball and football with a consultancy career. After playing in the 2006 FA Cup Final for Charlton FC, she left her job and moved to Sheffield to be part of GB Volleyball programme in preparation for London 2012. The following 7-years were a real journey as she and the team overcame many challenges to compete successfully, finishing 9th and going from 69th to 21st in the world rankings. Maria is the most capped female GB indoor volleyball player, with over 10 international caps.

Sporting Achievements
  • Olympian (Indoor Volleyball)
  • European League Double Bronze Medallist (Indoor Volleyball)
  • Multiple National Champion (Indoor Volleyball)
  • FA Cup Silver Medallist (Football)
Sam Ruddock

Sam was born with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that adversely affects his flexibility, coordination and balance, particularly in his legs. Despite this, he still played sports such as basketball, rugby and American football whilst studying for his degree in International Relations. Sam didn’t consider disability sport until December 2011, when he was spotted by an coach and asked if he had considered sprinting.

He started full-time training in March 2012, ran his first races in April and was classified by the International Paralympic Committee as a T35 in May. By June, he had a World Ranking of 8th and in July was selected to represent Team GB at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the T35 100m/200m. During Spring 2014, Sam made the transition from the start-line to the throwing circle, with his eyes set on making the 2016 Paralympics in the shot put. After finishing fifth at the IPC European Championships in his first major, he went on to secure a sixth place finish at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Sporting Achievements
  • Double Paralympian
  • British Record Holder