01642 342287

Meet the Team & Board

Robin Bedford

Strategic Lead for Adult Wellbeing

Email – r.a.bedford@tees.ac.uk

Mobile – 07385 086725

Mark Dobinson

Project Officer - Talent Plan

Email – m.dobinson@tees.ac.uk

Mobile – 07385 086729

Mark is working across 3 areas of Tees Valley highlighted as key focus areas following in depth research and evaluation. These areas are Billingham, South and East; Redhall, Darlington; Loftus, East Cleveland.  Each area has its own different challenges that these projects aim to address and overcome and therefore each project is very different to the others.

Outside of work Mark continues his sporting interest in cricket.

Mal Fitzgerald

Executive Director

Email – m.fitzgerald@tees.ac.uk 

Mobile – 07385 086734

Mal’s role is to provide leadership for Tees Valley Sport and his ambition is that local people and organisations understand the value and impact that active living, sport and physical activity can have on improving the quality of life for everyone across the Tees Valley. 

Tackling inactivity is complex and there are no simple solutions, but Mal believes that everyone can contribute to tackling inactivity: everyone has a role.  With over 25 years of cross sector, senior leadership experience, he brings a passion for innovation and creativity to tackle health inequality and inactivity.

Outside of work Mal takes part in a range of activities to keep him physically and mentally healthy, from Olympic weightlifting to yoga.

Tracy Raynor

Active Education Officer

Email – t.raynor@tees.ac.uk

Mobile – 07385 086732

Prior to working at Tees Valley Sport, Tracy was a primary school teacher for 12 years. She spent 4 years as PE coordinator across a school and has always had a passion for school sport and coaching teams. Tracy is responsible for overseeing the PE Primary Premium, offering support and advice to schools and partners on all aspects of the Sports Premium. This includes our work supporting the Tees Valley Active Schools programme and other Tees Valley projects including the Young Champions programme. She also works alongside other members of our team to develop other national projects including School Games and Young Leaders training. Outside of work Tracy enjoys spending time with her family, running and exercising at the gym.

Sarah Williams-King

Director

Sarah Williams-King has been working in education for over 20 years. She currently works within Macmillan Academy in Middlesbrough as a Physical Education teacher and has a whole school role as Community Partnership Director.  This role involves the development of a community programme for facility use beyond the school day for sport and outdoor learning as well as establishing community activities and events.

Sarah recently joined the Board of Directors of Tees Valley Sport as she is passionate about providing inclusive opportunities for all young people to participate in sport and physical activity. Having grown up in the Tees Valley area she is committed to promoting the benefits of sport and physical activity to all those who live in the area.

Leon Jones

Director

Leon Jones is Managing Director at Tees Active and has 20 years’ experience in strategic roles within the private, public and third sector in leisure, culture and tourism across the Tees Valley.

Leon’s focus is on inspiring healthy lifestyles and thus increasing participation in physical activity across the region.  He is innovative, creative and works collaboratively to increase and strengthen business to reinvest and improve services and opportunities for people to access sport and other physical activities.

You can reach him at uk.linkedin.com/in/LeonRJones

Georgie Rutherford

Director

Georgie Rutherford is a World Champion triathlete and open water swimmer who was born and raised in Darlington.

Alongside being a passionate athlete, Georgie fell in love with the ‘behind the scenes’ aspect of sport event management and development at the age of 15 when she volunteered with Nova International to help deliver the Great North Run and went on to volunteer as  a team member at the 2000 Manchester Commonwealth Games. This led to a sports degree from the University of Bath and then a career in the industry. Georgie loves helping others achieve their goals and has worked for the Commonwealth Games Federation for the 2004 Games in Australia and 2014 Games in Glasgow and was a part of the triathlon delivery team for the London 2012 Olympic Games.  

Georgie has also worked for British Triathlon as the Northern Development Manager. This role enabled the creation of the annual Corus Kids of Steel triathlon which allowed hundreds of children to access triathlon in the Tees Valley area along with numerous other development projects to make sport & fitness accessible to all.

In 2015 Georgie left her full time job in London to focus on being a full time triathlete, competing on the Global Ironman circuit where she went on to win & podium in a range of events around the world. Now retired from professional competing Georgie has set up her own coaching & events business ‘The Long Run Collective’ with her sister Susie (also a retired GB runner) and is excited to be back based in the area she grew up; sharing everything she has learnt & supporting others.

Neil Russell

Director

Tanya Gray

Director

Dr Tanya Gray of TCG Advisory has over 20 years of experience developing initiatives focused on sports participation, voluntary sector capacity building and economic regeneration.

Tanya was the North East’s DCMS Coordinator for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, working to maximise the benefits of the Games to the regional economy.  This involved extensive engagement with over 400 local, regional and national stakeholders often representing culturally diverse, economically distinct and politically sensitive communities and individuals.

After setting up her own local consultancy business, Tanya is currently committed to supporting locally based sports clubs and voluntary associations, particularly those in economically deprived areas who face multiple social and community challenges. She works with these groups providing practical advice and assistance to help them move to a more professional and sustainable basis. Such support includes strategic planning, business plan development, fund raising, bid writing and project evaluation.

Duane Newton

Director

Claire Tennyson

Director

Claire Tennyson has over 15 years experience of working in School Sport. Claire currently manages the Redcar & Eston School Sport Partnership which aims to increase the opportunities for young people aged 5-16 years in PE, Physical Activity and School Sport. Claire is currently seconded two days per week from this role into the role of Regional Development Manager for the Youth Sport Trust. The Youth Sport Trust is a national charity that aspires to change young people’s lives through play and sport. Claire has been a Director of the Tees Valley Sport board for 4 years and joined because she believes in the power of sport and wants to make a real difference to the residents of Tees Valley.

Geoff Brown

Chairperson

Geoff Brown is a chartered engineer of over 30 years standing with extensive experience as an executive and non-executive director in the civil infrastructure sector throughout the UK and internationally.

A former global managing director of an international transportation consultancy business, he currently holds a number of non-executive director roles including positions on the board of the Port of Tyne, Mersey Gateway Crossings Board and serves on the board of Tees Valley Sport as Senior Independent Director/Vice Chair.

A passionate advocate of the benefits that participation in sport can bring to an individual’s wellbeing and life skills, he also has a keen interest in the mutual benefits that sport and business can derive from shared learning across their respective sectors.

Gemma Nelson

Insight and Impact Officer

Email: g.nelson@tees.ac.uk

Mobile: 07385 086730

As Insight and Impact Officer Gemma assists with gathering insight for a variety of programmes and areas of work. Main area of work includes assisting local community groups gather the relevant insight to help with the evolution and  sustainability of their projects.

She is currently undertaking a postdoctoral degree at Teesside University.

When not at work Gemma likes to visit historical sites with her young son.

Louise Morris

People and Places Officer (Hartlepool)

Email –   l.morris@tees.ac.uk

Mobile – 07385 086728

Working Hours: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

Lou’s role is to identify, engage and develop relationships with clubs, community groups, non-traditional sport organisations / clubs and education partners to better understand and address the needs of people across the Tees Valley; particularly marginalised and disadvantaged communities to increase and strengthen physical activity opportunities to help them become more active.

She has over 20 years of experience of working in Sport and Leisure provision in the Tees Valley.

When not at work Lou likes to be out on her bike.

Victoria Auton

People and Places Officer (Hartlepool)

Email – v.auton@tees.ac.uk

Mobile – 07385 086727

Working Days: Monday and Tuesday 

Victoria’s role is to identify, engage and develop relationships with clubs, community groups, non-traditional sport organisations / clubs and education partners to better understand and address the needs of people across the Tees Valley; particularly marginalised and disadvantaged communities to increase and strengthen physical activity opportunities to help them become more active.

With 14 years’ experience of working within the sport and physical activity sector, Victoria is passionate about championing the benefits sport and physical activity can bring to people’s lives.

Outside of work, Victoria enjoys yoga, walking and family activities to keep herself and her children active.

Nigel Hornsby

CYP Development Officer & School Games Officer

Email: n.hornsby@tees.ac.uk

Mobile: 07385 086731

As the Children & Young People Development Officer Nigel leads on School Games provision and support of the SGO network across Tees Valley. In addition to this Nigel’s role focusses on physical activity and engagement of secondary school children, mental health, leadership and inclusion linking all aspects between school and community.

Nigel is a Sports Science graduate of Teesside University and spends a lot of his time these days training and competing in triathlons, with a focus on completing an Ironman distance event in 2022.

Catherine Woods

Business Support Officer

Email: c.woods@tees.ac.uk

Mobile – 07385 086726

Working Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday morning and Friday

As Business Support Officer Catherine’s role includes a range of responsibilities such as website maintenance, finance support, active lives schools liaison, safeguarding and workshop co-ordination. 

Catherine spends a lot of her time outside work playing the piano.

Paul Kreczak

Strategic Lead for Children & Young People’s Wellbeing

Email – p.kreczak@tees.ac.uk

Mobile – 07385 086733

Responsible for building key strategic partnerships aimed at developing the sport and physical activity infrastructure in the Tees Valley. Lead on Children and Young People work and Sport England funded programmes as well as club and community support during the pandemic.

Over 15 years of experience working in NGBs, Higher Education, elite sport and the Active Partnership.

Keen outdoor activity enthusiast outside of work and coach of a local grassroots football team.

A-Z Meet The Team

Robin Bedford

Strategic Lead for Adult Wellbeing

Mark Dobinson

Project Officer - Talent Plan

Mal Fitzgerald

Executive Director

Tracy Raynor

Active Education Officer

Sarah Williams-King

Director

Leon Jones

Director

Georgie Rutherford

Director

Neil Russell

Director

Tanya Gray

Director

Duane Newton

Director

Claire Tennyson

Director

Geoff Brown

Chairperson

Gemma Nelson

Insight and Impact Officer

Louise Morris

People and Places Officer (Hartlepool)

Victoria Auton

People and Places Officer (Hartlepool)

Nigel Hornsby

CYP Development Officer & School Games Officer

Catherine Woods

Business Support Officer

Paul Kreczak

Strategic Lead for Children & Young People’s Wellbeing