We are extremely lucky to have the support of a number of world-class athletes, each of who have agreed to give their time and energy to the Sutton Coldfield Community Games.
David Moorcroft OBE is best known for his world record-breaking and medal-winning exploits on the track in the 1970s and 80s, then for his athletics punditry on BBC TV. In 20 years as an international athlete, he won two Commonwealth Golds, competed in three Olympic Games, and set British and European records.
In 1997, he was appointed chief executive of UK Athletics. During his ten years in office, he took UKA from bankruptcy to it being the most commercially successful athletics governing body in the world. Under his leadership, David increased the investment in grass roots athletics to well over £3m a year with an additional £80m of public funding in outdoor and indoor facilities the biggest public investment of its kind in any sport in the UK.
He also oversaw the creation of programmes and a performance environment for talented athletes that has produced medals at recent World and European Championships. He was awarded an MBE in 1983 and an OBE in 1998 for his services to British sport.
David is now a consultant at sports consultancy pointfourone. It should go without saying that to have David's support is tremendous and we welcome his wisdom and passion.
Jonathan Broom-Edwards is a T44 high jumper and Paralympic and World silver medalist. After achieving podium success in the Rio 2016 Olympics, Jonathan is now preparing for Tokyo 2020.
Since birth, Jonathan has had a condition called Talipes Equinovarus, a deformity of his left foot. He also has issues with his right foot, an unstable right knee, and muscular imbalance throughout his body.
It was only after the London Olympics that he realised his impairment made him eligible for Paralympic competitions.
In his first major international competition, the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, Jonathan set a new personal best of 2.08m, to finish second. At the IPC Athletics European Championships in 2014, a lifetime best jump of 2.15m saw him temporarily hold the world record.
Jonathan will once again be playing an active role in this year's Sutton Games and we are very grateful for his commitment and enthusiasm.
Former Bishop Vesey student Hamish is a Mens Artistic Gymnast and member of the British Gymnastics Senior Olympic Squad. As his name would suggest, Hamish has Scottish provenance and competed at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games for Scotland, bringing home a Bronze medal. He is now working towards Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
Hamish has competed internationally many times and has won numerous Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at a national, European and international level including a Team GB Gold medal in the 2015 Youth Olympic Festival.
Hamish, now 19, started gymnastics aged five. At six he was county champion and by seven he was already training 25 hours a week. Aged eight he was selected to the national squad and at 10 had his first international call up. Hamish competes on all six pieces of apparatus but is particularly renowned for his artistry and precision on floor and high bar.
In 2018, Hamish was awarded a scholarship at the University of Illinois in America and inclusion in the world class 'Fighting Illini' sports coaching programme.
Jane Sixsmith MBE is a four-time Olympian and a member of the squad who won bronze at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
During her international career, Jane scored over 100 goals and won 165 caps for England and 158 for Great Britain. She is the only British female hockey player to have appeared at four Olympic Games.
Since retiring from professional hockey, Jane has continued to play an active role in championing sports here in Sutton Coldfield and we are thrilled to have her on board as a Games Ambassador.
Sutton Coldfield-based Darren Harris is a blind athlete who has competed at two Paralympic Games in two different sports!
As a footballer, he played 125 times for England, becoming the most decorated player in British history, winning one world and seven European medals; and competed as part of Team GB at the 2012 Paralympics in London.
As a judo player, he won a European silver and bronze medal in the under-66kd class; as well as competing at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.
Darren, who is now a patron of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, was diagnosed with eye cancer shortly after his first birthday, at a time when little was known about the condition. His left eye was removed, and while his right eye was treated with radiotherapy his sight unfortunately deteriorated to the point where he became registered blind.
Darren says that sport offered him a release from the anger and frustration he experienced as a teenager. He is now a performance coach and speaker, and can often be seen around Sutton Coldfield running with his friends in the Boldmere Bullets.
Laura Whittle is a GB International 5000m athlete who recently represented Team GB in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. She also ran in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where she finished 6th. In 2007 she won the 5000m in the European Under 23 Championships.
Laura has been a member of Royal Sutton Coldfield AC since she was 11 years old and has always enjoyed representing the club at the National and Midland Road Relays. She is now based in Loughborough where she trains and also works at Loughborough University in the Performance Sport department.
Laura is very excited to become a Games Ambassador and is looking forward to playing an active role in this year's Sutton Games.
Sutton Coldfield's very own Kevin Brown is an internationally acclaimed athlete with a long list of achievements on his sporting CV. He’s the four time World Discuss Champion and has represented Royal Sutton Athletic Club and Great Britain at no less than seven World Masters, three European Championships, two Commonwealth Games and at the Sydney Olympics in 2000!
Visitors to the 2018 Sutton Games will have witnessed Kevin pull a Porsche Cayenne so will not be surprised to learn he also hold two world records for pulling a vehicle over 100m – one of which was an eight tonne truck!
When’s he not training for his record attempts, Kevin spends his time working with community groups and schools, encouraging people of all ages to lead an active life. Kevin has quickly become a passionate supporter of the Sutton Games and will be awarding medals, encouraging participation and demonstrating his skills throughout this year’s event.
Chelsey Dixon is a Team GBR athlete from Lichfield who competes for the British Paracanoe Team in the KL3 events. Chelsey was identified by the British Canoeing talent identification process in 2017 and earned a place on the Podium Potential Programme. In 2018, she competed in her first World Championships and came 9th in the closely fought K1 KL3 200m race.
In 2012, aged just 13, Chelsey was diagnosed with cancer - a rare high-grade metastatic sarcoma. With sizeable tumours on her thigh, brain and lungs, she was initially given a terminal diagnosis. Thankfully, Chelsey is made of stern stuff. After an extended period in Birmingham Children’s Hospital, multiple major operations, 12 months of chemotherapy, six months of radio therapy, and a long period of convalescence, she is now clear of her cancer.
Chelsey’s illness and treatment affected her mobility. Prior to her illness, she’d led a very active life but on recovery, she faced the prospect of having to learn to walk again and overcome the physical side effects of her treatment and operations.
She discovered para-sports and was introduced to para-canoeing, going on to be selected for the British Team. She is currently taking a year out of university to focus on preparing to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.