Our Team

The Royal Foundation believes firmly that successful programmes can only come from project managers, advisory boards and key staff who have been immersed and experienced in that specific industry for a number of years.

Project Team

Gary Laybourne – Project Manager for Coach Core – A coach from the age of seventeen, Gary has worked in the coaching and sporting charity sector for nearly 20 years from volunteer coach to senior head coach and now in more recent years, as a coach project manager. Part of the Coach Core team from day one in 2012, he is passionate about its expansion and success and on a wider scale, strives to ensure better coaching quality and accessibility for all. Gary is also a current Great Britain age group European and National gold medallist triathlete plus assists partners with coaching whenever possible!

Guy Disney – Royal Foundation project assistant -A former Army captain, Guy sustained life-changing injuries in 2009 while serving in Afghanistan. After rehabilitating, Guy threw his efforts into supporting The Royal Foundation military based projects before switching his attention to young people and the Coach Core project. His passion and enthusiasm for developing the young people is there for all to see and he also puts his knowledge as a top-level amateur horse racing jockey (eh?) to good use, liaising with NGB’s and like-minded organisations.

Advisory Board

Coach Core is very fortunate to have a fantastic advisory board comprising of the following members:

  • Ed Wray – Chair of the advisory board – Hugely passionate about ‘sport for change’. With extensive knowledge and links in business and sport, Ed has been integral in the expansion of the project.
  • John Amaechi – A legendary figure within British sport, John was a former NBA professional for many years before continuing his career and expanding his reputation as a respected psychologist.
  • Steve Mitchell – Formerly of Skills Active, Steve is an educational advisor to many sporting organisations. His advice has been critical to navigating Coach Core through a number of educational changes and utilising his extensive industry contacts to help the expansion.
  • Ajit Nedungadi – With his extensive knowledge in business and technology, Ajit has helped guide Coach Core through the expansion phases and continues to be very vocal about sport for change as whole.
  • Owen Slot – A highly respected sports journalist, Owen joined The Times in 2002 before becoming its Chief Sports Writer in 2014. He has won a number of industry awards and authored successful sports biographies too.
  • Heather Frankham – Former school teacher turned fitness instructor and now a leading, respected entrepreneur and investor in education and technology


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Coach Core is totally committed to fun, progressive and learner centred coaching regardless of which sport might be delivered. Ever since we started on our journey in 2012, Create Development have worked with us to provide modules and resources that are practical and engaging that allow our apprentices to truly learn and embed this knowledge for the long term. By educating and inspiring our teams in this way, the Coach Core ethos is then felt in communities around the UK as we strive to create life-long relationships with sport and physical activity. To learn more about Create Development, visit www.createdevelopment.co.uk