Former Barry Town doctor's daughter joins British Wheelchair Basketball board
A FORMER Barry woman has been appointed to the board of British Wheelchair Basketball.
Michelle Leavesley, whose father Dr Richard Stott was the club doctor for Barry Town Football Club for several years, is one of the first appointments to the board from outside the sport in its 38-year history.
Former St Helen’s Junior School pupil Michelle took up her role, as an Executive Committee Member, in time to support the team with marketing communication during the Paralympic Games.
Michelle, 40, said: "It was a great honour to be asked to join the board of British Wheelchair Basketball at such an exciting, and in some respects step-changing time for the sport.
"We have already seen the power of the Olympics on the nation, and I am sure that the British Wheelchair Basketball squads helped reignite the public’s passion for all things sport for a second time this summer."
Her father inspired her to work in the sports industry, and she said he would be’ extremely proud’ of her new role.
Richard Stott was the Barry Town club doctor when they won the Welsh Premier Cup in 1999, and when they were the first League of Wales team to win a European Championship League tie, against Azerbaijani side Shamkir.
He died in 2004, and many club supporters joined friends and family for his funeral, with the then Barry Town squad acting as coffin bearers.
"As a newcomer to basketball I have much to learn about the sport,” said Michelle.
“But I am sure that I will share a common understanding with my boardroom colleagues of the tremendous potential it has to change people's lives.
"I grew up with a love of sport, thanks to my dad, and I’m proud to be working in such a wonderful and inspiring industry."
Michelle, who is now based in Birmingham, founded the sports PR and communications agency Citydesk Sport and also lectures at Birmingham University on the MSc Marketing Communications course.
Charlie Bethel, CEO of British Wheelchair Basketball (BWB), said: "As a National Governing Body with a strong track record in both engagement and performance sport, we have enjoyed considerable growth over the past few years.
"We are now of a size where we need to grow our board and broaden our horizons to new opportunities following the Paralympic Games.
"We have appointed Michelle Leavesley to bolster our marketing expertise and mentor our communication and press team. We are very hopeful that with Michelle's expertise we can capitalise on new approaches to engagement and communication."