We’re very proud of the fun and positive development that children experience on the A-Star programme. To maintain high standards (of programme content as well as fun!) and to keep up-to-date with the latest news and research in sport and coaching, our programme development strategies are enhanced by the involvement of expert advisors.
Our advisors have experience in the national governing bodies of sports, as PE specialists and teachers, as child psychologists and authorities in child behaviour management, as well as business, partnership and sports management professionals who support us in making valuable links in the journey to fulfil our vision.
Professor Judy Hutchings, OBE
Professor Judy Hutchings worked for many years as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, particularly with children with significant behavioural difficulties. Since her retirement from the NHS in 2010 she retains an honorary NHS contract. She is Director of the Centre for Evidence Based Early Intervention (CEBEI) research team at Bangor University. She undertakes research with referred children and their families and early preventive work with parents, children and teachers. She has held grants totalling over £1.5 million, has published extensively and, since 2006, has worked with the Welsh Assembly Government providing training and consultation to services across Wales.
She has provided evidence on effective early intervention to government departments in England and Wales and been an expert witness to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in their determination on conduct disorder. She has lectured and taught internationally including in Finland, Denmark, Ireland, Australia, Poland and Portugal.
Dr Jill Adam
Dr Jill Adam is Executive Director of Level Partnerships. Her business focus is brokering and supporting partnerships across sport, the arts, education, health, housing, diverse communities and business, at home and abroad. Previously, Jill led Initial Teacher Training at Leeds Metropolitan University, was Head of the School of Education and Professional Development and Associate Dean of the Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education. She started her career as a secondary school teacher (11–18), initially specialising in Physical Education and Sports Science before diversifying into Special Educational Needs, with a particular interest and focus on behaviour management. She then moved into the higher education sector, initially lecturing in Sport and Physical Education before taking on her management roles. Jill completed her Doctoral studies at the University of Leeds in 2006. Her research focused upon conceptions of expertise in the teaching profession.
Greg Coburn, a coaching specialist, has celebrated positions as a former Rangers goalkeeping coach, a member of the Scottish national volleyball squad, the manager of the West Scotland team for the School Games in 2009 and Team Lanarkshire boys’ volleyball team at the International Children’s Games (ICG) in 2011. The ICG is recognised by the International Olympics Committee and believed to be the largest gathering of young people taking part in sport. Currently a PE teacher at Carluke High School and working with a top university on his coaching passion, Greg continues to pursue his interest in positively engaging children in sport and opening up opportunities for a lifetime of engagement, especially through his commitment to coach education.
Helen Keeling is the founder of Support through Sport UK, a charity with the belief that sport has the power to improve lives. On top of a career as a statistician and analyst with the MoD, Helen has followed her passion for sport by first developing a strong presence as a freelance sports writer and then launching Support through Sport UK in June 2012. Now with 600+ registered sports clubs and a team of 11+ volunteers, the charity is going from strength to strength, building a network of patrons, partners and supporters who share the same vision and passion for the positive role sport can play in everyday life.
Support through Sport UK is a valuable platform for families to find out about sport for all, especially for children graduating from the A-Star Sports programme and considering clubs that can offer well-matched opportunities to take part and play. As partners with a shared vision, A-Star Sports and Support through Sport UK can open up opportunities for young children and engage them in finding a sporting path that will support them throughout their lives. Learn more about Support through Sport UK.
UK Dodgeball Association
The UKDBA was founded in 2005 and is the national governing body for the sport. It is responsible for the development, delivery and promotion of the sport of Dodgeball throughout the UK. As one of the country’s fastest growing sports, it is played in schools, in the community and in organised leagues nationwide. As a simple, accessible and dynamic team sport, Dodgeball has something for everyone at all ages.
A-Star Sports is affiliated to the UKDBA and committed to increasing participation in Dodgeball as one of ten core sports. The A-Star Sports programme has been reviewed by the UKDBA and will continue to be updated in line with the development of the game.
The football industry has played a huge part in Lucy’s life, having grown up and now working professionally within it. With experience of both Premier League and Championship environments, Lucy specialises in sports marketing / facilities management and business development within specialist educational settings from grass roots through to the professional field. Particularly supportive of coach education and development in both the voluntary and private sectors, Lucy values the influential role that sport can play in the lives of children to build confidence as well as skills for life.