For Martyn Baker sport has been a major factor in his life. Immediately after his accident it was the ‘can do’ attitude of his family and friends that ensured no door would be closed to Mr B! It was this positive approach that got him into sit-skiing, a sport that he revels in to this day.
An engineer by profession, his self-confidence was exceptional and even as a young man he was managing some large construction projects around the UK. He was founder and Senior Partner of a management consultancy, specialising in the construction industry, where he worked until 2014.
He first became involved in Sportability in 1994 and in 1997 was invited to become a Trustee. Then 12 years ago he took on the Chair, a role he has retained ever since. A sabbatical in 2014 became a new lifestyle, and he now mixes managing an investment portfolio with more sport and more participation in, not only the management, but the activities of the Charity.
His most recent ‘adventures’ include attending the first ever Sportability microlight flying session at Sywell Airfield and immediately signing up for a course of lessons, where he is completing his private pilot’s licence. Martyn also runs the wheelchair tennis sessions for our members at the Gosling Sports Park, Welwyn Garden City.
Martyn says “Sportability is not about creating elite sportsmen and women, but simply about trying a different events and activities and, if you find one that works for you, then literally the sky’s the limit!”
“Certain charities just fire your imagination and capture your heart.” Pippa Isbell has been a trustee of Sportability for over 10 years. A late convert to sports of any sort (she was known as ‘the hockey-dodger’ at school) Pippa now enjoys Pilates and cycling.
In 2013 she cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise funds for Sportability. Although fit enough to keep going for 1002 miles, her pace was so slow, her fellow cyclists nicknamed her bike ‘Rocket’. She has also cycled Coast to Coast for Sportability.
“I’m not entirely the madwoman this makes me sound “ says Pippa, “I’m just grateful for the fitness to do it and my strategy is to sign up for a bonkers charity challenge every couple of years, then tell everyone I’m doing it, so I can’t back out.”
When not on her bike she is a business consultant with many years of experience, which she now shares through coaching, training and strategic consultancy.
Colin Campbell, who was appointed a trustee of Sportability early in 2014, is a retired media lawyer. He now runs a small garden design business and acts as a trustee of another charity, Street Child Africa.
Colin is a keen and active sportsman playing hockey, tennis and golf. He enjoys watching most sports, cycling, walking, the arts (generally), garden designing, reading – especially thrillers- cooking, and the company of his friends and family.
Colin says, “As a keen and still active sportsman I was thrilled to get involved with and help Sportability continue its wonderful work. Providing enjoyment and inspiration for people with paralysis by enabling them to participate in sport and challenging pursuits is truly worthwhile”.
Ian Taylorson, a solicitor specialising in corporate law, was appointed as a trustee in 2010. Ian, currently with Keystone Law, is also Chairman of the Trustees of a major Pension Fund.
He has known Sportability’s founder and CEO, David Heard, for more than 30 years, but it was only when his mother participated in the Charity’s activity programme that he saw at first hand the benefits He was was delighted to subsequently be invited to become a trustee.
Ian has always had a keen interest in sport , in particular golf , cricket and tennis, which he still plays with varying degree of success. Outside of work and sport, any spare time is taken up with travelling and reading, cooking and an interest in wine.
“I am continually amazed by the dedication and commitment of the participants in the Sportability programmes. Being at an event and seeing it first hand is a moving experience, and I am proud to be part of a dedicated and focussed team that helps everyone participate, have fun and reach levels of activity that initially they never thought achievable”
Kevin Lewis is an accountant by profession and avid hand-cyclist for ‘relaxation’. He discovered Sportability in 2001, and although a much smaller operation then, he sampled just about everything on offer. Struck by what Sportability was achieving, but also the lack of general information available for wheelchair users, he launched a dedicated website, www. wherecanido.com which identified opportunities and support groups for not simply sport, but everything from legal aid to langlaufing.
In 2003 he joined the Board of Trustees as our Honorary Treasurer and his wide-ranging experience and expertise are highly valued.