Council 2020

Chair

Craig Poxon

Chair

Craig started skydiving in 1997 and has almost 5000 jumps. He holds Tandem, Accelerated Freefall and Category System instructor ratings. He was on the 400-way World Record in 2006.

During his 14 years as a Director of British Skydiving, he chaired the Development Committee from 2009 and was Vice-Chair of Council from 2012 before being elected Chair in 2020. He has been a delegate to the Royal Aero Club since 2014 and the International Skydiving Commission since 2017.

Craig works in IT for the world’s leading media and marketing consultancy. He lives in Wiltshire with his partner and two young children.

Vice Chair

Adrian Bond

Vice Chair

Adrian has over 17 years in the sport, with 14 years having been spent on Council contributing to the overall strategy and governance of the organisation. Having a commercial background in developing and growing several successful SME businesses, has enabled him to bring these skills and expertise to the benefit of our Association.

During this period nine years have been spent as Chair of Communications and Vice Chair of Development, where he has been responsible for a number of projects and initiatives but also supporting others from tender, contract negotiation, through to project management. Some of which have provided considerable savings to the organisation as well as contractual protection.

Adrian has also been responsible for growing Skydive the Expo for the last 10 years which is now the largest skydiving consumer event in the world.

Treasurer

Tash Higman

Treasurer

Tash started skydiving in 1997 to celebrate qualifying as a Chartered Certified Accountant. Since then she co-set belly big-way world records, learned to freefly and competed in Canopy Formation and Formation Skydiving. She holds International judge ratings issued on behalf of the FAI in Canopy Formation, Formation Skydiving and Speed Skydiving.

Tash has been on the board since 2016, initially serving on the Competitions Committee including as the Judges’ Coordinator. In 2019 she moved to the Development and Communication Committees broadening her understanding of the organisation. She was elected as Treasurer in 2020.

Outside the sport Tash is a freelance management consultant, translator and finance professional.

Council Member

Paul Applegate

Council Member

Apples has been involved with the sport for some 45 years as a fun jumper, instructor, discipline representative, national and international competitor and medallist.

He has made over 1000 jumps as an Accelerated Free Fall Instructor. He has been a member of Council since 1997 and was Chair of the Riggers’ Subcommittee for over 20 years.

Elected as a Life Member in 1980 as a member of the exceptional British Canopy Formation Team of that period – which was awarded the Prince of Wales Cup by the Royal Aero Club – Apples has become an oracle of sagacity to the next generation of skydivers.

Council Member

Mary Barratt

Council Member

Mary began skydiving in 2006 and now has over 1,250 skydives. She is a Canopy Formation (CF) coach and organiser, and competes nationally and internationally. Mary was part of the European CF record set in 2018 and co-authored the new CF coaching manual (2019). She is also a Parachute Rigger, specialising in equipment for CF and BASE jumping.

Mary holds a Doctorate in Philosophy, with a specialist interest in the body, risk, edgework and sustainable social change. As a Senior Lecturer with a highly successful UK university, she brings considerable expertise in matters of inclusion, retention and equal opportunities to her role with British Skydiving’s Council.

Council Member and Chair of Membership Development Committee (MDC)

Mark Bayada

Council Member and Chair of Membership Development Committee (MDC)

Mark started skydiving 28 years ago, initially as a member of the Red Devils parachute display team, in his early skydiving career mark competed in FS 4-way, FS 8-way and Canopy Piloting winning a gold medal in the 4-way intermediate category at the 1992 British Nationals that were held at Weston-on-the-Green.

Mark then concentrated on gaining his instructor ratings and becoming a category system, AFF and tandem instructor before eventually working up to the rating of advanced instructor. A full and varied career has seen Mark hold the position of Chief Instructor at Bad Lippspringe, Cypress and Netheravon, he is now a rigger and pilot at APA Netheravon.

A Council member since 2017, Mark is the Chair of the Member Development Committee (MDC) and currently chairs the Canopy Working Group that created the CH and CP system. As an instructor examiner for the past 17 years, he assists at British Skydiving instructor courses and is involved with many inquires and working groups.

In his spare time, Mark likes to keep active by taking part in many outdoor pursuits including climbing, bowls, hiking and walking Hector the black Labrador.

Council Member

Jack Davies

Council Member

Jack is a Java developer by week and Skydiver by weekends. He has been skydiving for 7 years and has over 1300 jumps in his logbook.

Predominately taking part in, and coaching, Formation Skydiving (FS) and has competed nationally and internationally in 4-way and 8-way FS over the past few years. That said, Jack believes there is more British Skydiving could do to engage with the members who aren’t interested in competitions which we will be looking at on the new Membership Development Committee.

When not skydiving, you’ll find Jack hiking in the Lake District or enjoying Manchester’s ale scene!

Council Member (Independent)

Rob Hartley

Council Member (Independent)

Rob is a Project Manager within Sport England’s Children & Young People team. His role includes managing multiple national programmes which support young people, and working closely with the Department for Education and other key partners. Prior to this, he was an Investment Manager in the same organisation and managed programmes including the £1.2m Flood Relief programme awarding emergency grants to community clubs and organisations.

Before joining Sport England, Rob was Head of Events and Competitions at the British Judo Association, delivering various Olympic and Paralympic ranking events across the UK and generating revenue for the organisation through the domestic competition pathway.

Knowledgeable in sport policy, Rob wrote his Master’s degree dissertation on the UK Government’s Sporting Future strategy.

He is an avid sports fan, playing rugby, lacrosse and badminton and volunteers within major events.

Council Member & Chair of Élite Performance Committee (EPC)

Sam Lee

Council Member & Chair of Élite Performance Committee (EPC)

Sam started skydiving in 2007 and has been an active formation skydiving competitor for most of that time including competing up to a World Cup level, but he’s also dabbled in tandem camera, 4-way camera, bigway and load organising. Sam has also been a very active FS coach over the years doing over 100 coaching jumps and 40 FS1 4-way qualifying jumps (mostly successful!).

Sam joined Council and the Competitions Committee in 2019, and is now Chair of the new Elite Performance Committee for 2020.

Sam is an Engineering Project Manager and lives in Cambridgeshire with his wife Fiona, who is also a skydiver, and they are expecting their first child this year.

Council Member

Kate Lindsley

Council Member

Kate began skydiving in 2009 and has over 2000 skydives. She is a part-time Tandem Instructor, Camera Flyer and FS Coach and worked within the UK and Abroad.

Kate has competed internationally in FS for several years and also competed in British Nationals in FF and CF.

Kate’s day job is as a Physiotherapist and she brings expertise in understanding evidence-based research, safeguarding and policies and procedures relating to health and safety from her health background.

Council Member

Simon Soper

Council Member

Simon’s jumping career started 3500 ft above Skydive St Andrews on the 2nd Nov 2008. As a student with Scottish met, it took him 18 months to qualify, but only a few weeks to get a packing certificate.

A couple of years later, Simon immersed himself into the skydiving life by moving down to Skydive Headcorn packing parachutes for a living and jumping whenever the opportunity arose, eventually earning his Riggers and CSI ratings.

A Tandem Instructor for the past 2 years, Simon completed almost 800 canopy formation jumps before building up 8 hours in freefall wingsuiting. Simon now has over 2000 jumps still has the same love for the sport as when he started.

Council Member (Independent)

Sue Stanhope

Council Member (Independent)

Sue is an experienced Director with a demonstrated history of working in the public sector. Skilled in Performance Improvement, Coaching, Culture Change, Executive Coaching, and HR Policies.

A strong professional with a CIPD and Diploma in Management Studies focused on Human Resources and Management Studies from De Montfort University.

Co-opted to Council as Safety & Training Committee Chair

Jeff Montgomery

Co-opted to Council as Safety & Training Committee Chair

Jeff started skydiving in 1997 and currently has just short of 3000 jumps. He holds Instructor Examiner (IE) Advanced Instructor (AI), Accelerated Free Fall Instructor (AFFI) ratings and joined British Skydiving as a member of staff in October 2013 and was appointed as the Safety & Technical Officer replacing John Hitchen after 30 years of service to British Skydiving.

Jeff is a 22-year Forces Veteran, where he first discovered the thrill of skydiving. He served with several Skydiving Display Teams travelling all over the UK and abroad for several years and gained his Instructor Qualifications during this time. He then spent 10 years delivering Skydiving Adventurous Training Courses at several Joint Services Adventurous Training Centres such as Netheravon, Northern Ireland & Cyprus.

In 2016 he was appointed as Chairman of The Safety & Training Committee. Jeff works closely with Tony Butler (COO) and advises Council on matters of Safety in the Sport.

He lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two children and two cats.

Vice Presidents

Vice President

Christopher Allen

Vice President

Chris completed his first jump in 1978. He is a Former member of the Parachute Regiment, Pathfinder Platoon and Team Leader of the Red Devils. He held Instructor/Examiner ratings in all disciplines. He was National Champion in 4- and 8-way FS and represented the UK at World level. His team’s 1990 speed 8 national record of 7.62 seconds remains unbeaten.

Chris Joined Council in 1993, was Chair of Competitions Committee between1994- 1998 and Council Chairman between 1999 – 2006. He became a Vice President in 2006. During his time on Council Chris created the FS intermediate category and coaching road shows. He was joint author of the canopy handling and canopy piloting manuals. Chris established an underpinned strategic annual action plan for the Association and codified British Skydiving’s disciplinary procedures.

Chris currently works as a Barrister and lives happily in Wales with his lovely wife Lis.

Vice President

Martin Soulsby

Vice President

Martin was first elected to Council in 2008, becoming Communications Chair 2009. He then became Chair of Council in 2011 and served in the role for 9 years, stepping down in 2020.

Martin did his first jump in 1982 and has completed over 5,000 jumps, mainly formation skydiving. With a focus on competing in 8-way, so far winning 17 National Championships and representing Team GB at 9 world Meets and acting as Head of Delegation at another 2.

Outside the sport, Martin is a Director of an Executive Search Consultancy specialising in professional services.

Vice President

John Smyth MVO

Vice President

A military parachutist with UK Reserve Airborne Forces, John made his first sport parachute jump at Thruxton, Hampshire, in 1973. Continuing parachuting with UK Reserve Airborne Forces, he earned USA, French and Danish Wings as well as UK APJI Wings, and trained in High Altitude Low Opening (HALO). John then joined the Metropolitan Police sport parachuting team, and he also competed with the Mustgetbeers and Philishave Teams, with whom he was National Champion.

Serving on British Skydiving Council for over 25 years, including as Competitions Chair and later Chair of Council, he was then elected as a Vice President, and represented British Skydiving on the Council of the Royal Aero Club.

John is now our UK Delegate to the International Skydiving Commission and has served as FAI Controller and Jury Member at various World Meets. When not carrying out such international duties, John is highly experienced as Head of our UK Delegation.

Vice President

John Lines

Vice President

John was first elected to Council in 1985, becoming Treasurer in 1987 until 1990 when he became Chair of Council and served in the role for 2 years

His first jump was a static line descent, at the old Midland Parachute Centre DZ at Bickmarsh, near Stratford on Avon. A windy day (not over limits of course) John was dragged along a ploughed field after landing, not put of by his first experience John went on to become the CCI MPC.

In his Skydiving Career he has completed almost 3000 jumps and just under 30 hours in freefall. John enjoys Relative Work and CRW with a keen interest in instructing having held Advanced and Tandem Instructor ratings for many years.

Vice President

John Hitchen

Vice President

John undertook his first jump in 1956 as an airborne soldier in the Parachute Regiment. His first sport jump was in 1973.

John served as a Council member before becoming NCSO from 1983 until 2013. STC Chair until 2016 and is currently Vice-Chair of STC. An Instructor since 1975 he achieved advanced, examiner, tandem, AFF and rigger ratings. With Tony Butler, John was paramount in establishing the training courses for AFF and Tandem Instructors.

A National/FAI Judge for 25 years, John has judged at 7 WPC’s/Cups and been a Chief Judge at 2. Served as the IPC Delegate/Alternate Delegate for 34 years and a member of the IPC Style and Accuracy Committee for 30 years; 16 as Chair or Vice-Chair. He also served as FAI Controller at 10 World Meets and Jury President/Member at 6.

Advisers

Medical Adviser

Dr John Carter

Medical Adviser
Aviation Adviser

Tony Knight

Aviation Adviser
Safeguarding Adviser

Sara Orton

Safeguarding Adviser
Governance Adviser

Amanda Bennett

Governance Adviser
  • UK Delegate to the International Skydiving Commission (ISC) of  Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the World Air Sports Federation: John Smyth MVO
  • UK Alternate Delegate to IPC: Craig Poxon
  • Delegate to the Royal Aero Club (UK National Air Sports Control): Martin Soulsby
  • Alternate Delegate to the Royal Aero Club: Craig Poxon
  • GASCo Rep:  Kieran Brady
  • Safeguarding Adviser:  Sara Orton
  • Archivists: Graham Spicer & Andrew Hilton