It is with many mixed emotions that I share the news that Kirsty Clarke is to leave GBWR for a new role as Director of Sport at Stonewall. Kirsty has been our National Development Director for almost 6 years and has been at the heart of the transformation of the sport in this country. Over that period she has built and led a strong development team which has opened up opportunities for wheelchair rugby to be available to many more people in areas which previously had no history and often no knowledge, of the game. Year on year she has presided over a growth in the number of clubs and of individuals playing the game and this was recognised by Sport England who increased our funding to meet the new demand. This in turn has been a real boost for our domestic competition, and with 3 leagues now playing in the Super Series, our competition is the envy of most nations. She has worked intelligently to ensure the long term sustainability of the sport by focusing on the development of a professional workforce, first with the accredited coaching courses and most recently with the initiatives designed to better support our officials and classifiers. Kirsty’s experience has also been invaluable in our dealings with Sport England, the organisation I recruited her from back in 2012. Her knowledge and insight as we put together two successful Sport England investment proposals was invaluable. She has been a highly effective member of the senior management team and I know that I shall miss her as a colleague who I have learned much from. With all that said I am delighted that her talent and ambition has been recognised by Stonewall. She leaves for an exciting senior post which has just been created and I am sure she will make a huge success of it. I know you will all want to join me in saying thank you and good luck! We don’t quite say goodbye to her yet and have a couple of months to find her successor which I will be advertising in the next few days but both Kirsty and I wanted you to know the news ahead of any public statement.

David Pond