Special Olympics Great Britain (GB) is delighted to announce the appointment of six new members to the organisation’s Board of Trustees with immediate effect.

Paul Richardson (former lawyer turned CEO of a number of private and publicly quoted companies) has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Board, with Andy Young (Chief Financial Officer, City Football Group), Charly Classen (Strategic sports and media Exec and former GM of ESPN), Andy Baker (Smart Technology Consultant and long-time Special Olympics GB volunteer and Chair of the Sheffield Network), Dr Dawn Brace (public sector strategist and Chartered Fellow of the Association for Project Management and Chair of Special Olympics Wales) and Emma Rose (former HR Director for Kerry Foods) joining as new Board members.

Special Olympics Great Britain worked closely with Tony Simpson and the team from Savannah to conduct an extensive search for a new Chair to replace Murton Mann who was due to step down after serving his maximum tenure on the Board. The calibre of candidates was extremely high from a wide range of backgrounds and sectors. Paul was appointed as Chair in December 2019.

Tony Simpson, Partner, Head of Media Practice and Board Practice at Savannah said:

“Paul embodied all qualities of a Chair as well as the humility, credibility and professionalism that will allow the organisation to transform. We were also delighted to support the organisation to identify world-class talent to join its Board.”

Andy Young was also appointed to the Board in December to work alongside the other five new Board Members who joined in 2019. This is part of a plan to strengthen the Board and coincides with the rotation of the board of many trustees who will have come to the end of their maximum terms in 2019 and early 2020.

Special Olympics GB is a non-profit organisation and the largest provider of year-round, sports coaching and athletic competition in summer and winter sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. We currently have more than 120 all ability, inclusive sports clubs covering 28 sports across England, Scotland and Wales providing approximately 27,000 regular hour-long sporting sessions per year, all delivered by a team of more than 3,700 volunteers.

Michelle Carney, CEO of Special Olympics GB said:

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome all our new board members to Special Olympics GB. Each of them brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from a wide variety of backgrounds and relevant organisations. Together, with our existing board members, we look forward to developing a new strategy to take the organisation to the next level.

“High on our list of priorities will be working with the government to try and secure long-term funding along with a proposal for Great Britain to host a Special Olympics World Games in 2031. The infrastructure and talent are already here in the UK, so why not? Intellectual disability is the last hidden disability and more needs to be done across the board to change that. As has been seen countless times, sport can change lives. Special Olympics GB is a catalyst for change and with support could do so much more for people with intellectual disability.”

Paul Richardson

Paul Richardson, Chairman of Special Olympics GB said:

“Many thanks to Michelle Carney, outgoing chair Murton Mann and the board of Trustees for giving me this opportunity. Having been involved in sport and charities for more than 20 years, I strongly believe that Special Olympics GB has huge potential to help change the lives of a lot more people with an intellectual disability. I literally can’t wait to see where we can take this organisation and I look forward to Special Olympics GB no longer being the best-kept secret in sport. I have a proven track record in transforming organisations and I am looking forward to working with Michelle, the board and the amazing network of volunteers across the country and in particular the athletes I’ve heard so much about.”

Andy Young

Andy Young, CFO of City Football Group said:

“I am truly honoured and humbled to have been asked to join the Board of such an inspirational and important organisation like Special Olympics GB. I look forward to supporting the Board and CEO, Michelle Carney, as the organisation continues to develop and thrive.”