24th June 2019
Laura Baxter takes on National role with Special Olympics Great Britain as new Head of Network Development
Special Olympics Great Britain is delighted to announce that Sport Development Industry expert Laura Baxter has been appointed the new Head of Network Development.
Laura, who will start on 8th July, will lead development from a National level with regions, clubs and accredited programmes. She will also be responsible for workforce development, partnership and relationship building, infrastructure development at a governance and operational level across the country, advocacy and influence at a variety of levels to unlock resource.
With a BSc in Sports Coaching and Development, Laura has been a full time professional in the Sports Development industry for 18 years. Working across a wide range of sporting bodies, Laura has a wealth of hands-on experience in strategic, operational and senior management positions such as Sport Capability Lead, National Project Officer, Development Officer, Community Sport Advisor and Sport Development Consultant through her business.
Laura is no stranger to the Special Olympics movement and has been involved since 2007 in both Great Britain and New Zealand. Most recently, Laura lead the GB team as Head of Delegation at the World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi and was Head of Sport and Competition for the Anniversary Games in Stirling. Laura has also had a variety of roles at a local level with her region Special Olympics Tayside.
“I am extremely excited to join Special Olympics GB at this important time of organisational growth and development,” said Laura. “I am passionate about the movement through my involvement as a volunteer since 2007, so this is a great opportunity to work more in-depth with our accredited programmes across Great Britain to increase capability and capacity.
I can now advocate further to make the movement stronger and more accessible for our amazing athletes.”
Michelle Carney, CEO of Special Olympics Great Britain said: “Laura’s track record speaks for itself. Her passion and commitment to Special Olympics is clear and she did an incredible job as Head of Delegation for the GB team at the recent World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi. She undertook this role for two years on a voluntary basis and significantly transformed systems and processes, as well as leading a diverse team of coaching & support staff. She impressed everyone at Special Olympics with her drive, organisation and commitment and we are delighted she has agreed to join the national team at this exciting time of transformation at Special Olympics Great Britain. Laura has a wealth of experience and expertise in the sporting sector and will be a great asset to the whole Special Olympics family”.
Laura holds several industry qualifications including being an Agile Project Management Practitioner. Her coaching credentials have also seen her coach and mentor within the New Zealand National Women's League and Women's Premier League, Special Olympics New Zealand as well as be a Technical Analyst at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup.