Tony Dallimore, Education Director
Tony joined sports coach UK in 1994, following a stint at the Royal Yachting Association as their Windsurfing Manager, where he developed their coach education programmes, workforce and resources. At sports coach UK he led a number of teams in supporting governing bodies of sport. Tony joined Coachwise in 1999 on secondment from sports coach UK, to set up 1st4sport Qualifications.
Tony’s Coachwise highlight was gaining QCA recognition for 1st4sport Qualifications as an awarding body in 2000, which put them on the map and started the period of growth which now sees 1st4sport Qualifications fulfilling a unique role within in the sector, operating in awarding partnerships with 25+ governing bodies.
As a former round the world yachtsman and active cycle commuter and mountain biker, Tony enjoys completing endurance events at home and as far afield as the Canadian Rockies. He was also the instigator of the Coachwise bike to work scheme!
Qualification Development Managers
James Robinson, Head of Qualifications Development
Working in sport has always been James’ ambition, and this was realised when he joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2006 as the Head of Qualifications Development. He ensures that the team are equipped to develop qualifications that meet the needs of the sports industry, through anticipating and reacting to the ever-changing world of sport education.
Throughout his time at 1st4sport Qualifications James has developed and gained accreditation for many qualifications. His personal favourites being the Diploma in Coaching Tennis (as a keen tennis player himself), new provision in the area of PE and School Sport and handling the challenge of taking on the awarding function for British Gymnastics, who formerly awarded their own qualifications.
James has a degree in Health Studies and Leisure Management and has been a lifeguard, fitness instructor, GP referral advisor, nutrition and weight management expert and personal trainer.
As James progressed to more senior leisure management positions, he became an assessor for learners in the workplace working towards NVQs and apprenticeships. Delivering and assessing sports qualifications to learners was something James found particularly rewarding, and ultimately led to him joining 1st4sport Qualifications.
As a keen sportsman he has excelled in tennis reaching County, Regional and National level. His interest in the sport led to him becoming a tennis leader and Level 1 tennis coaching assistant.
A passionate Evertonian he has also played football to a high standard representing Scunthorpe United Boys as a youth. He tells us the pinnacle of his footballing career was winning the Scunthorpe United Skills trophy in 1986 for the most consecutive keepy uppies – justifying all those hours in the garden with nothing but a football!
Becoming a parent in 2002 meant that competitive sport has taken more of a back seat for James. However, being one to look for new challenges, he’s recently taken up the sport of triathlon – becoming a member of a local triathlon club with his eldest daughter – he’s already competed in two events to date with more planned.
Although James places importance on keeping himself fit, his passion for sport appears to be rubbing off on his two daughters. Watch out Serena and Venus!
Paul Smith, Senior Qualifications Development Manager/Incidents and Investigations Manager
Paul has been working at 1st4sport Qualifications since 2006 where he joined as a Qualifications Development Officer. Before working here worked for a national charity designing and running personal development programmes for disaffected young people in Manchester and Rochdale.
His new role combines the roles of Senior Qualifications Development Manager and Incidents Investigations Manager. He is responsible for dealing with complaints and appeals and managing the investigations that are needed for the Awarding Organisation to meet Ofqual requirements.
He enjoys working with a diverse range of sports to develop their coaching qualifications including: Orienteering, Archery, and Water-Skiing/Wakeboarding. He is particularly proud of the qualifications he helped to develop for the Outdoors Sector and ‘Using Sport to Tackle Youth Crime’ both are areas in which he has previous experience.
At present he is a Level 3 Coach in Kayaking and Level 2 Coach in Open Canoeing as well as being a qualified climbing instructor, ski-boat driver and lifeguard. He previously held instructing qualifications in Archery, Orienteering, Powerboating and Jet Skiing. Paul also used to play slow-pitch Softball in Division 1 of the Manchester Softball League, go climbing and was even known to Heli-board in the Canadian Rockies!
At the moment fatherhood has limited his involvement with sport, apart from chasing after his four young children and playing Wii Sports!
Sioux Timmins, Qualifications Development Manager
Sioux joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2008 as a Qualifications Development Manager and is responsible for a range of coaching qualifications including rowing, hockey, lacrosse, table tennis and triathlon, in addition to the Leisure Operations and Management NVQ Suite and the Education and Training Suite. Being an active gymnastics coach, Sioux thrives on being part of a team that supports the development of sports coaches in the UK.
Sioux started her coaching career helping out as an assistant gymnastics coach at 12 years old and was hooked, and has been involved in coaching ever since. Her particular interest is in coaching pre-school, disability, and educational gymnastics. Currently she’s a Level 3 gymnastics coach in pre-school and general gymnastics, and a British Gymnastics Coach Education Tutor, Assessor and Internal Verifier.
She studied at Crewe and Alsager Faculty of Manchester Metropolitan University and holds a HND in Sports Science, and a BA (Hon) in Business Management with Sports Studies. After graduating and with several years experience in Sports Development under her belt, she then completed a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education while lecturing part-time at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Having worked as a High Flying Trapeze Instructor for several summers as part of the Camp America programme, she still occasionally gets her adrenalin fix when she finds trapeze rigs (check out Regents Park in the summer!). She has also previously worked as a fitness instructor, lifeguard and swim teacher, so the call of the gym is never too far away.
Pete Allott, Qualifications Development Manager
Pete joined us in 2004 as a temporary administrator on football coaching qualifications. Over the years he has worked his way up through the ranks to first be a Qualifications Development Manager whose responsibilities include developing coach education for sports including Basketball, Judo and Wrestling.
He enjoys working in sport and giving back to the learners and partners he works with. Pete’s favourite thing about working for 1st4sport Qualifications is being able to make a difference in someone’s life with the qualifications he is responsible for developing. He’s a former Level 2 football coach and has a degree in Sports Exercise Science (BSC) Hons from Leeds Metropolitan University.
A keen triathlete, he was awarded the prize for 1st novice at the Brigg Sprint Triathlon in 2010. His next goal is to make the step up to Olympic distance and then hopefully progress onto the Ironman competition. Keep an eye out on the 2028/32 Olympics where he hopes to have his son trained up and ready to represent Team GB carrying on the success of the Brownlee brothers!
Jay Roper, Qualifications Development Manager
Jay is a recent addition to the 1st4sport Qualifications team, joining the team as a Qualification Development Manager in July 2012. He is fiercely passionate about contributing to something that can benefit people who wish to develop and engage with sport. The qualification he has helped to develop which contributes greatly to the excellence of the sporting industry is a big source of excitement for him.
Having completed a BSc degree in Physical Education and Youth Sport Jay is currently finalising his MSc degree in Leading and Managing Sport Development at Sheffield Hallam University, and hopes to complete tutor/assessor and external verifier qualifications in the near future.
A keen sportsman from a young age he has played football at academy, district and county and in recent years at semi-professional levels. He is a Level 2 football coach and is looking to complete his Level 3 qualification. His past experience includes coaching and playing football in America.
Currently he’s an active coach with the Sheffield Hallam University Men’s football Club, and volunteers with Sheffield United as a talent identification officer (scout). In addition to football qualifications, he holds more than ten sports specific qualifications including ski instructing, boccia umpiring, teaching swimming and gymnastics, coaching volleyball and cricket.
A keen volunteer he managed the volunteer programme for the 2011 Sainsbury’s UK School Games on behalf of the Youth Sport Trust and Sheffield City Council. More recently he managed a team of volleyball volunteers at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Jo Saunders, Qualifications Development Manager
Jo joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2007 as a Qualification Development Officer and quickly progressed to her current role of Qualifications Development Manager. She works with many sports, including netball, rugby league, judo, basketball and rounders, as well as being responsible for the sporting excellence and medical suites of qualifications.
Jo finds her job very rewarding and has enjoyed the challenge of working with some of the smaller governing bodies over the years to develop their coach education provision from inception to UKCC endorsement. Jo also enjoys building relationships with the various coach education teams and working together to ensure coach education remains current, engaging and effective. In her other areas of qualification development and provision, Jo has relished the challenge of learning about unfamiliar subjects and the opportunity to develop her knowledge further.
Away from 1st4sport, Jo is a keen netballer. Her love of the sport started at the age of nine, and she has played more or less continuously since then, with the ‘pinnacle’ of her career when she played at county level at school. Jo now plays 2–3 times a week for two clubs. One is Shipley Netball Club, where she captains her side in the West Yorkshire League, as well as being a committee member and maintaining the club website. The other is the Old Grovians Netball Club – a team of ex-pupils/players from her secondary school that she helped to set up in 2007, though she has now taken a playing-only role while the ‘younger ones’ take on the responsibility.
As a mother of two, Jo can also often be found at the local swimming pool, encouraging her daughters’ love of the water; at the local park, doing endless loops chasing them on trikes/bikes/scooters/roller skates; at a soft-play centre, climbing around (obviously to keep an eye on the children, not for her own enjoyment); or, occasionally, collapsed on the sofa, having a well-earned rest!
Centre Support Team
Nicola Cartwright, Head of Centre Support
Nicola joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2000 after completing a degree in Sport and Exercise Science. After starting out in the FA qualifications team, Nicola moved on to become Head of Centre Support.
Her 1st4sport Qualifications highlights have included working with the people she has met and the interaction she has with her clients, building up good relationships and delivering a service that has a positive impact. She enjoys the good team spirit within 1st4sport Qualifications and the fact her role is so varied with new challenges often being sent her way.
A keen footballer from an early age, Nicola plays for Kirklees Ladies in the West Riding Premier League and has played in the company football team. A dedicated sports volunteer, Nicola carries out the role of secretary to her club. She also enjoys running and has been known to play an occasional game of tennis.
Joe Corah, Senior Centre Support Representative
Joe joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2007 and is our Senior Centre Support Representative. In his role he primarily works on our football coaching qualifications and enjoys working in an area where he has an active interest, and in-depth knowledge about the qualifications we offer.
He particularly finds it rewarding helping 1st4sport recognised centres and learners on a day-to-day basis deliver/achieve coaching qualifications that benefit the wider football community. Joe was a promising young footballer who played for Blackburn Rovers Football Club until a career ending knee injury curtailed his career at the age of 16.
At present he is a Level 2 qualified football coach with experience of coaching in England and the USA before joining 1st4sport Qualifications.
Emma Brier, Centre Support Representative
Emma joined 1st4sport Qualifications earlier this year, having previously worked for Coachwise for 13 years in the Mail Order department as a Senior Customer Care Administrator, before switching to Coachwise Learning to fulfil the role of Senior Administrator. She holds responsibility for a number of qualifications including those in employment awareness, basketball, netball, principles of coaching, rowing and rounders to name a few. Emma enjoys working with the 1st4sport Qualifications team as well as a wide range of people such as tutors, recognised centres and external verifiers.
She enjoys all sports and is a regular gym goer. Another proud parent of the 1st4sport Qualifications team, sport is central to Emma’s family life. Her enthusiasm for all things sport rubs off on her children, whose main interests include football and swimming.
Rachel Clark, Centre Support Representative
Rachel joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2005 and is a member of our Centre Support team. The qualifications that fall under her jurisdiction are mostly coaching-related, and she is responsible for gymnastics, rugby union, tennis, and strength and conditioning to name but a few. She enjoys being part of a very close team and working with a range of sports to deliver high quality administration and customer support, to both sporting bodies and the learners who attend our courses.
Another sporting enthusiast on the team, Rachel is a keen horse rider, owning three horses. She’s a regular on the competition circuit, taking part in a range of local shows and events in the West Yorkshire area. Like most of the parents in the 1st4sport Qualifications team, her enthusiasm for sport rubs off on her two boys. Keep an eye out for a future Liam Tancock in swimming and Jack Wilshere in football!
Natalie Padgett, Centre Support Representative
Natalie is a new addition to the 1st4sport Qualifications Centre Support Team joining in September 2013. She holds responsibility for a number of qualifications including rugby union and cricket. She enjoys the customer service aspect of her job in particular helping centres solve any problems they may be having. Another sporting enthusiast on the team Natalie used to play Rugby Union for Hipperholme Girls and now enjoys training at the gym.
Quality Management Team
Stacey Doherty-Bartley, Head of Quality Management
Stacey joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2004 as a Qualifications Development Manager. After three years, she was promoted to the position she now occupies as the Head of Quality Management, a department she started and has developed significantly since. She enjoys the variation that comes with the role and relishes the dynamic environment and challenging work it brings. She finds it particularly rewarding to see the development of the people she works with, as well as when large development projects she’s responsible for come to fruition and really benefit the organisation and its centres. Stacey holds a number of sport-related qualifications, including an MSc in Sport Science (Psychology). Her previous work experience in sport is extensive, having been a lecturer in Sport and Sports Science at Wakefield College, and a Sport Psychologist for Bradford Bulls rugby league club, England Hockey and a British acro gymnast. A bit of a sport nut, Stacey’s past achievements include placing third at the British Taekwondo Championships and British Karate Association Championships. What’s more, she played for the North of England rugby union team and is a former rugby league fullback for Wakefield Townville Panthers, who went on to represent Great Britain in the 2003 World Series in New Zealand! Her biggest achievement, however, is her little girl, who now takes up all her time. She has to make do with cycling to work to try to fit some exercise into her life!
Katerina Doutsiou, Quality Manager
Katerina joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2006 and is our Quality Manager, responsible for the development and maintenance of our performance and risk management systems and the implementation of our quality standards.
Her extensive experience implementing the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) standards in a Greek Organisation, the fact she holds the EFQM Assessor Training qualification, and has been certified on the International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) Quality Management Systems (QMS) Lead Auditor training course comes in very handy when doing her job!
Having always loved travelling and continuous personal development she combined both by taking up the challenge to come to England to do her MSc in Total Quality and Performance Management (Bradford University School of Management) and after that to explore the business standards/working environment.
Katerina is also responsible for the business process management and the conducting of the self-assessment and particularly enjoys exploring new ways of continuously improving business performance with the aim of exceeding stakeholder expectations. She finds it rewarding to receive positive feedback from our stakeholders confirming the high quality of our services and expressing their satisfaction for our qualifications.
As well as being a keen cycler to work she is an enthusiastic sportswoman and has turned her hand to many sports including Gymnastics, Athletics and volleyball. She’s also known to enjoy dance classes, skiing in the Alps and swimming in the Greek seas!
Joanna Peat, Quality Assurance Officer
Joanna joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2001 as a Centre Support Representative having transferred from being a Membership Administrator within the FA Coaches Association department.
She was promoted to Senior Centre Support Representative and since 2009 has worked as the Quality Assurance Officer within the Quality Management Team. Joanna’s favourite thing about working for 1st4sport Qualifications is the friendly team of people she gets to work with.
She finds she gets the most satisfaction from helping our centres, and enjoys the good relationships she has built up with people there.
Robert Ma'aye, Marketing Planner
Rob joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2007 and is tasked with all things marketing related. He has a BSc (Hons) in Management (specialising in Marketing) from the University of Manchester.
Being a lover of all things sports related he’s passionate about the development of sport in the UK. The most rewarding aspect of his job is being able to promote products and services that play a part in ensuring success in so many different sports, whether it be at grass-roots or elite level.
It’s fair to say Rob’s playing career peaked at an early age where he played football, rugby union and cricket to a high standard. He also achieved a blue belt in Taekwondo before he decided breaking blocks of wood with his bare hands wasn’t for him!
Nowadays he’s more of an armchair sports fan and regularly cheers on his beloved Arsenal Football Club, as well as all teams/athletes English or British. However, he can regularly be seen on a Monday night diving around in the role of Coachwise’s five a side goalkeeper. He’s also the manager of the company’s annual fantasy football league!