Team talk

Meet the team


Tony Dallimore, Education Director

Tony DallimoreTony 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!

Stacey Doherty-Bartley, Head of Awarding Organisation

staceydbStacey joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2004 as a Qualifications Development Manager. After three years, she was promoted to the position of Head of Quality Management, a department she started which has since evolved into the Business Excellence Team. After ten years of service Stacey was promoted to Head of Awarding Organisation; 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 DoutsiouKaterina Doutsiou, Head of Business Excellence 

Katerina joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2006 and started as our Quality Manager, responsible for the development and maintenance of our performance and risk management systems and the implementation of our quality standards. In 2015 she was promoted to the Head of Business Excellence, leading the Business Excellence Team and developing aspects of the organisation towards achieving a culture of excellence.

Her extensive experience implementing the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) standards in a Greek Organisation, the fact she holds the EFQM Assessor 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!

Paul Smith, Risk Manager

paulsmithPaul has been working at 1st4sport Qualifications since 2006 where he joined as a Qualifications Development Officer and then quickly progressed to the position of Qualifications Development Manager. 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. Before working here worked for a national charity designing and running personal development programmes for disaffected young people in Manchester and Rochdale.

Paul was promoted to the role of Incidents and Investigations Manager and he is now responsible for dealing with incidents, complaints and appeals and managing the investigations that are needed for the Awarding Organisation to meet Ofqual requirements.

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!

Joanna Peat, Quality Assurance Officer

jopeatJoanna 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 . 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 recognised centres and the external quality assurance team, and enjoys the good relationships she has built up with people there.

Jo Saunders, Head of Business Development

josaundersJo joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2007 as a Qualification Development Officer and quickly progressed to the role of Qualifications Development Manager. In 2015 she was promoted to Head of Business Development with a shift in focus to maximising business opportunities through continuous development of the qualifications portfolio, products and services.

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!

Sioux Timmins, Business Development Manager (Currently on Maternity Leave)

siouxtimminsSioux 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, Business Development Manager

peteallottPete 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!

Paul Thornton, Business Development ManagerPaul Thornton

Paul joined 1st4sport qualifications in February 2015, having spent a number of years working in education in his home town, Manchester. 

At 1st4sport Qualifications, Paul manages a wide range of qualifications suites, including our Apprenticeship-related qualifications (Leisure Operations and Management, Physical Education and School Sport, Spectator Safety, Functional Skills), our Badminton coaching qualifications, our Volunteer qualifications and our growing suite of social responsibility qualifications.

Paul enjoys his role here, and is enjoying working with national governing bodies and employer groups. Paul is a keen traveller and always snaps up an opportunity to discuss all things sports related with the development partners he works with.

Paul does not have an academic background in sport (but we don’t hold that against him). Instead, Paul completed undergraduate and postgraduate History degree programmes at the University of Manchester, where he one day hopes to return to begin (and successfully end) a PhD.

A keen footballer, Paul has a collection of trophies and medals on the fireplace and his next goal is to work his way through the suite of football coaching qualifications. He also dabbles (with varying success) in a number of other sports, including tennis, badminton, darts and some good old-fashioned running.

Joe Corah, Business Development Manager

Joe has worked at 1st4sport since 2007, starting as a Business Support Representative, and progressing to be a Senior Business Support Representative. He has been ljoecorahucky enough to be offered the opportunity to join the Business Development Team.

The knowledge Joe has developed of the awarding process has seen him quickly settle into his new role and he is now responsible for liaising with a large number of our governing body partners.

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.

Nicola Cartwright, Head of Business Support

nicolacartwrightNicola 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 Business 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.

Clare Watson-Walker, Senior Centre Support Representative

Clare joined 1st4sport Qualifications in 2003 after completing her degree in Business Management with Sport Studies. As a Senior Support Representative her main duties include responsibility for a number of qualifications such as Badminton, Bowls and The Principles for Coaching Sport Suite.

She really enjoys working in the friendly 1st4sport Qualifications team and building up good working relationships with our recognised centres and governing bodies of sport. Her friendly and chatty nature makes her the ideal person to deal have at the end of the phone investigating any queries.

After previously coaching gymnastics before going to university, In 2014 Clare decided she wanted to return to her coaching again and now coach’s gymnastics in the evening at her local Sports Centre. When she’s not coaching as a mum of two young children she spends her time taking them to various sporting activities. She also enjoys going to Zumba and Swimming.

Nicola McCafferty, Senior Business Support RepresentativeNicola McCafferty

Nicola joined 1st4sport Qualifications in November 2013 as Business Support Representative, and progressing to be a Senior Business Support Representative. She works across a range of qualifications including Hockey, Triathlon and Education and Training suite. 

What she enjoys most about her job is helping our recongised centres and respond to their queries, as well as working with the people in her team.

Nicola used to do athletics and play hockey; her focus is now on joining the gym.

Natalie Padgett, Business Support Representative Natalie Padgett

Natalie joined the 1st4sport Business Support Team 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 recognised 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.