Research>IAPS>Panel Debate - 'What Elite Sport Has Taught Me'

Panel Debate - 'What Elite Sport Has Taught Me'



11.30 a.m.  -- 1 p.m.   Lecture Theatre 1, Wednesday, 2nd September,  2015 

Cyncoed Campus, Cardiff Metropolitan University     


Non Evans, MBE – Sporting entrepreneur and businesswoman.  An International career with honours spanning 20 yrs. in 5 different sports (Rugby Union, Judo, Olympic Freestyle Wrestling, Weightlifting & Powerlifting)

Non is a  Sports Science graduate of Cardiff Met and a qualified physical education teacher.  She involved in a range of enterprises including her high profile and acclaimed personal training and fitness consultancy.  She is constantly in demand as a TV and radio presenter, commentator and analyst, and motivational public speaking.  Non has been an International Rugby player, Olympic Games commentator, Commonwealth Games competitor and medallist​ (she is in fact the only female to have competed at three different disciplines at the Commonwealth Games).  Non Evans competed with honours at international level for over 20 years at 5 different sports – Rugby Union, Judo, Olympic Freestyle Wrestling, Weightlifting& Powerlifting before sustaining a career-ending injury in March, 2011.  In October of that year, was awarded the MBE by Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, at Windsor Castle.

Richard Harry –  ​responsible for case management services, training and service development. He is also Head of Secretariat of the National Anti-Doping Panel and is Company Secretary of Sport Resolutions. He is a sports lawyer and former Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Players' Association. Richard started his career as a specialist employment and sports lawyer at Hugh James Solicitors in Cardiff before joining Clarke Willmott in Bristol. He left Clarke Willmott to establish the Welsh Rugby Players' Association. More recently, he returned to Clarke Willmott in a consultancy role and has acted as a Consultant to the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Anna Mayes – As a Senior Lecturer she has significantly contributed to the areas of sports coaching at both, undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as the performance modules in netball. During her time with the school of sport she has also provided a range of consultancy services to athletes, coaches and NGBs. Her most notable, a three and half year secondment, to England Netball as the Head Coach of the National Side.

As a former Head Coach and ex-international athlete, Anna provides an authentic insight into the demands of performance sport and dealing with adversity. She offers a theoretical and applied knowledge and understanding within this elite environment that is not only relevant to the student’s experience but other professional domains like business, education and management.

A testament to Anna’s hard work, determination and commitment to coaching and leadership within the UK, was her selection on to UK Sport’s prestigious Elite Coach Programme. This bespoke programme has allowed unparalleled access to world leading expertise, technology and experiences, as well as meeting the needs of the individual coach and sport.​

Richard Parks is an extreme environment athlete who spends his life taking on expeditions that push the boundaries of human performance. His passion is using these projects to add value to our world - through cutting edge scientific research, education or charitable objectives. 

 The former Welsh rugby international, turned extreme athlete made history in 2011 becoming the first ever person to climb the highest mountain on each of the world's 7 continents and stand on all 3 poles (the North Pole, the South Pole and the summit of Everest) within the same calendar year. Completing this world first expedition, named the "737 Challenge" in under 7 months. 

 The 737 Challenge was completed in 6 months, 11 days, 7 hours and 53 minutes and raised over £326,000 in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care, whilst creating an advertising value worth over £3 million to the cancer charity.

 In 2014, Richard then became the fastest Briton in history to ski solo, unassisted and unsupported from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole, taking 9 days off the previous British record and becoming the first Welshman to complete this iconic feat.  He skied 1,150km (715 miles) from the geographical coastline of Antarctica to the South Pole in 29 days, 19 hours and 24 minutes. Richard also set the second fastest time for a solo, unsupported and unassisted journey in history and in over 100 years of polar exploration.

 Both these epic expeditions were broadcast nationally on BBC and Channel 5 respectively, and sold internationally to over 107 countries. Richard has also presented award winning digital advertiser-funded shows for SKY.

 Richard's first and critically acclaimed book 'Beyond the Horizon' was published in the UK in September 2014 and is due to be published in France, Italy and Romania. Beyond the Horizon won the Cross British Sports Book of the Year 2015 Award for best Rugby book. 

 He is a Sport Wales Board Member and an honorary lecturer at the University of South Wales.

 2016 is another exciting year for Richard and his team with his next world first expedition, ambassador to Wales' Year of Adventure, studying for his PHD at the University of South Wales and more compelling television projects in pipeline. 

Nigel Walker – GB Olympian, Wales Rugby Union, National Director at the English Institute of Sport (EIS)

Cardiff born  former Welsh track and field athlete and Wales international rugby union player. He is currently National Director at the English Institute of Sport (EIS).  Nigel represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the 1984 Summer Olympics in the 110 metres hurdles. He holds the fastest non-winning time for the 200 metre hurdles. At Cardiff in 1991, he ran 22.77 seconds into a 0.3 m/s headwind.  As a rugby player, he played on the wing for Cardiff RFC.  Nigel made his Wales debut on 6 March 1993 in the five nations match against Ireland. He went on to win 17 caps for Wales, scoring 12 tries and making his final appearance 21 February 1998 against England.

 Panel Convener:              

Alun Hardman​, Cardiff Metropolitan University