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Coaching and Mentoring Community of Practice

St Mary’s University Community of Practice has been founded to promote ethical good practice within the field of personal coaching and mentoring.

The aims of the community of practice reflect those of St Mary’s University whereby we aim to encourage, empower and support members to give and learn in relation to the development of their professional practice.

The community is open to anyone who is interested in developing their practice in coaching and mentoring in any organisation. Content can be accessed through public platforms including the St Mary’s University website and social media platforms.

The community will be served through online delivery including podcasts and webinars. In addition there will be an annual conference on campus at St Mary’s University, the first of which will be undertaken in June 2020 . Online content will be coordinated by Community of Practice moderators.

If you wish to share good practice through contributing please email

Follow us on Twitter: @COPStMU


Charlie BarwisSix years experience in the sport industry, specifically now in Talent Development. Experience includes working at the Welsh Rugby Union and Millfield School as a Performance Analyst, England Golf as a Club Support Officer with a Sport Development focus, and most recently as Talent Club Partnership Manger at British Canoeing.

My philosophy around talent development is holistic; I believe in equipping young people with the skills needed to progress successfully both in and out of a sport.

luke-allen-100x99Luke is a lifestyle coach with a background in coaching and mentoring. He works for TASS and delivers Performance Lifestyle support to the Army Elite Sports Programme, working across Army sports such as boxing, shooting and athletics.

In addition to this he provides the dual-career and lifestyle support the GB Taekwondo Development Programme.

michael ayresMichael Ayres

Michael is a Senior Lecturer at St Mary's University and has worked in a Category 1 Premier League academy for the last 16 years.

He is also a learning consultant working with a professional rugby club in Ireland. Michael is currently completing his doctorate in elite performance.

Tom HowardTom Howard

Tom is a former academy player for 11 years and is now a foundation phase coach at a Category 1 premier league academy. He is also a lecturer at St Mary's University and is also currently completing his Master's in elite performance.

Josh Sheehan

Josh is a Lead Practitioner in Secondary English at St Mark's Catholic School in Hounslow.  Josh has been teaching for six years and is passionate about effective mentoring. 

Amy Weir

Amy is an NQT at St Mark's Catholic School. Amy completed her Secondary English PGCE training at St Mary's University and undertook the majority of her training at the school last year. 

ed-boyleEdmund Boyle (at the time of recording) was the Head of Department for Initial Teacher Training Partnerships at St Mary's University. He has over twenty years teaching experience in schools and has been at St Mary's University for several years. Edmund lead St Mary's University support and training for mentors in schools.

Craig TownsendCraig is a Development Manager for the Rugby Players Association (RPA). His background is in coaching, mentoring and team management with particular expertise in the education and wellbeing sectors. His work for the RPA delivers the Gain Line programme to professional rugby players playing in the English Premiership, working directly with Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester Rugby players. The dual-career and wellbeing support he provides is for academy players through to international athletes. 

huw-jenningsHuw Jennings

Huw Jennings is Fulham Football Club’s Academy Director. He is responsible for managing the Academy programme up to U21 level, which covers all areas from player acquisition and contracts, staff engagement and deployment, through to budget management of the Academy and is the lead person for the Club reporting through to the Premier League.

lee-haggerLee Hagger

Lee Hagger is the Head of Academy Player Care at Fulham Football Club in an overarching role that encompasses the education programme, holistic development/player care, recruitment and helping the coaches maximise the players’ potential.

derek-mayburyDerek spent over twenty years with Leinster Rugby and the IRFU where he most recently held the position of Coach Development Manager; with overall responsibility for leading the design and implementation of the province-wide strategic and operational plans for coach development.

Last November he took up the position of Director of Sport in The King's Hospital School where he is part of school leadership team, with responsibility to lead the direction and implementation of a wide-ranging whole-school sports strategy.

Derek is currently studying for an MA in Educational Leadership in PE and Sport.

fiona-wilson-100x120Fiona Wilson

Fiona has been a teacher and lecturer for over 20 years working in a variety of settings including secondary schools, further education and adult education. A substantial part of Fiona’s teaching career focused on managing alternative educational provisions for young people with emotional and behavioural issues, supporting them with their progression to further education or employment. 

Fiona is currently undertaking a PhD exploring the impact of emotions on learning. Fiona delivers presentations on emotions and well-being both internally within a diverse range of programmes at the University and externally and has been a regular contributor at the annual Mental Wealth Festival. Fiona has been involved over the last four years as a facilitator in the St Mary's University coach development programme with Leinster Rugby Club and is a talented athlete lifestyle adviser (TALS) for a Premiership football academy. Fiona delivers the TALS courses at St Mary's University for other practitioners in Player Care and has created the Coaching and Mentoring Community of Practice to support those working in coaching and mentoring roles in schools and sport. 

luke-allen-100x99Luke Allen

Luke is a lifestyle coach with a background in coaching and mentoring. He works for TASS and delivers Performance Lifestyle support to the Army Elite Sports Programme, working across Army sports such as boxing, shooting and athletics. In addition to this he provides the dual-career and lifestyle support the GB Taekwondo Development Programme.

chris-attoeChris is Head of Research & Development at Maudsley Learning, part of South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and an Occupational Health Psychologist at the Centre for Sustainable Working Life at Birkbeck, University of London.

His background is in NHS mental health services, workforce development and workplace health. His research interests including supporting people to return to the workplace and experiential learning methods, and he is passionate about improving people’s working lives and mental health.