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.
Ben began his career at the age of 15 and was the kind of student at school who could always be found in the PE office; so when an invite came to try volleyball he was there like a shot. Since that point Ben has never looked back, having found a dynamic, challenging sport that suited him. The announcement in 2005 that London was to be the host city of the Olympics was one of the decisions that changed the landscape of his career that and when the Great Britain Volleyball team was formed. He had already turned professional, aged 17, and become an England international, by the time the Olympics arrived he was Great Britain captain.
These days Ben is back in the UK having been away for seven years playing professionally in Spain, Holland, Belgium and Sweden. Since retiring from playing Ben has begun on the path of becoming a coach, having completed his FIVB International Level II coaching.
- Great Britain Captain
Keith has enjoyed a highly decorated career in fencing, including 6 Commonwealth medals, a European team bronze medal and a British Championship. He continues to represent Great Britain at international level, winning more than 100 caps, and remains the youngest fencer to be selected for the Scottish Senior Team at the age of 15. However Keith’s journey to the top was not an easy one. Coming from a difficult home life and growing up in a disadvantaged area, he had to work hard to achieve his goals – overcoming many adversities, including coping with dyslexia. Keith’s first experience of fencing came at 11, and he quickly went on to compete for Great Britain at cadet and junior level.
As a senior, he joined the World Class programme in 2006, training on a full-time basis with his British teammates in London. Since leaving in 2010, he has put his experience and energy into coaching from grassroots to performance level. As well as his numerous coaching and Athlete Mentor roles, Keith is an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland. In 2015 he won the Young Person’s Coach of the Year at the Edinburgh Sports Awards for the third year running.
- British Fencing Champion
- Commonwealth Games Medallist
- European Championships Team Bronze Medallist
Samantha began wheelchair athletics when she was 16, following a farm accident which left her paralysed from the waist down. She had first seen wheelchair racing during a trip she had whilst she was still in hospital in 2011 and fell in love with the sport immediately after trying it for the first time shortly after. Her career started to progress when she joined the Red Star Athletics Club and it wasn't long before she was classified, meaning she could start competing at a higher level in 2013.
Her greatest achievement so far is a bronze medal in the 2015 World Championships in Doha, but she hopes to achieve further success and medals in the coming years. Her hard work - which includes training twice a day, 6 days a week - was rewarded in 2016 when she qualified for the Paralympics in Rio. Samantha reached the final in 3 separate races and narrowly missing out on a podium finish. Sport has helped Samantha with her confidence since her accident, as well as benefitting her physically, making it far easier for her to transfer out of her day chair.
- World Championships Bronze Medallist
- European Championships Triple Gold Medallist
Sarah has been involved in judo since she was 9 when she went to her first session with some of the boys in her class. As a child, she played a range of sports – from skateboarding and running to swimming and football – but judo was her passion from a young age and she was instantly hooked from the moment she tried it. At 15, Sarah became junior British Champion, and was selected for Team GB to compete at the junior World and European Championships 3 years later.
Her career progression slowed down at this point which led to some challenging times, but her hard work and good attitude paid off in 2004 when she started to win international medals and qualified for the Olympics in Athens. Until proving herself on this stage, Sarah had been written off. She wasn’t funded, meaning she had to work alongside her intensive training and travel schedule. Her greatest achievements were becoming European Champion in 2006 and, eight years later, winning gold in front of a home crowd at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, which would also prove to be her last international competition. She is now an Athlete Mentor and does a lot of public speaking, where she stresses the importance of commitment, perseverance and determination when striving to be the best you can be.
- Triple Olympian
- Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist
- European Champion
Competing in his fourth Commonwealth Games in Manchester in July 2002, Steve Frew made history for Scotland when he won the men’s rings event. Steve was Scotland’s first-ever gymnastics Commonwealth Games gold medallist. This was the highlight of an international career which has spanned 23 years and has seen Steve represent Great Britain at two World Championships and compete for Scotland at five Commonwealth Games. Steve’s journey to Commonwealth gold met with many obstacles along the way. Fitting in at school was not always easy for him as someone who was small for his age. However, thanks to his strength and determination, Steve came to be counted as the only Scottish gymnast on the Great Britain team by the time he turned 14. His progression through the ranks was challenging; it took Steve 23 years to finally fulfil his childhood dream of taking home a Commonwealth gold medal.
- Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist