OSS Board

The OSS Board of Trustees is made up of people who believe community sport activity should be available to all ages and abilities across Scotland, and that it is key to the future health of the nation. Chaired by Geoff Aberdein, former Chief of Staff to the First Minister and Global Head of Public Affairs at Aberdeen Standard Investments, the board draws on a wide range of skills and experience across education, research, sport, finance, government, communications and business, in the UK and across Europe. The Board meets five times a year and its role is to agree the organisation's overall strategic direction, in line with its charitable objectives, and to scrutinise management functions delegated to the Chief Executive. The Board also delegates work to sub-committees featuring a wide range of people from across Scotland.

OSS Chairman & Trustee

Geoff Aberdein

Geoff joined the OSS Board in December, 2020, and was swiftly invited to take on the role of Chair from founder Charlie Raeburn, which he was delighted to accept. A politics and economics Masters graduate from the University of Aberdeen, Geoff quickly made his mark in the political arena as the SNP's Head of Press at Westminster. His understanding of politics and ability to communicate effectively brought him into the Scottish Government as a special adviser to the First Minister, and this, in turn, led to him being invited to become the FM's Chief of Staff. He left the government after seven years to become the Head of European Affairs for Aberdeen Asset Management, working closely with the CEO and fellow Aberdonian, Martin Gilbert, before taking on a global role as Head of Public Affairs, Policy & Campaigns as the company merged with Standard Life to form Aberdeen Standard Investments, becoming the UK's largest and second largest European asset management company. Following Martin Gilbert's resignation as CEO and Chair in 2020, Geoff left ASI to create his own strategic communications consultancy.
Strategic Communications Specialist
Company Name Consultant
Dates EmployedJan 2021 – Present
Employment Duration1 mo
Aberdeen Standard Investments
Company NameAberdeen Standard Investments
Total Duration6 yrs 1 mo
Board Trustee

Shelley Kerr

Shelley Kerr is Scotland's leading female football coach/manager. She won 59 international caps as a defender for Scotland, having enjoyed a career as one of Scotland's leading pro footballers. She was mostly amateur and came from a background of sports development, working in her native West Lothian and across a wide range of community sports.
Shelley went on to coach leading football team Arsenal Ladies, based in London, and made headlines in 2014 when she returned to Scotland and took over as coach of the Stirling University football league team, becoming the first women to manage a senior men's club in UK football. At Stirling she also studied for an MSc in Sport Management.
She worked with the SFA as a development coach, coming through the age levels, and took over as Scotland senior women's coach in 2017, going on to lead a first Scotland side to a World Cup Finals (2019) since 1998. This brought a new level of interest in women's football from the Scottish public, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government, as well as the recognition of an MBE.
Shelley brings a deep passion for and knowledge of community sport, believing that participation in all kinds of activity holds the key to supporting communities and the health of the nation.
Board Trustee

Gregor Angus

In a professional capacity, Gregor qualified as a solicitor, and worked for eight years in Edinburgh and Glasgow. He left legal practice to move in to business development roles, and now heads up the team at Amiqus - the market leading compliance platform for Anti-Money Laundering and pre-employment vetting, which services law firms, accountants, financial services and public sector clients throughout the UK. Gregor is a motivated and driven individual, with an ability to quickly build and develop longstanding professional relationships, and bring people together.
Gregor has had a lifelong passion for sport, and has benefitted from involvement in it, in many ways. From a young age, activities included competitive swimming, badminton, tennis, hockey and golf, ultimately gaining a golf scholarship to college in the US for a year. In more recent years, his interests turned to triathlon, and he represented Great Britain at the European Age Group Triathlon Championships in Eilat, Israel in April 2012. From a participation perspective, his focus is now on longer distance triathlon and running, and spending time in the winter snowboarding.
Gregor also founded and is Race Director of two new running events, one of which takes place annually in October (Lochore 10k). He is a Consultant for another sports event management company and was a Director of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling for a number of years.
Gregor is passionate about the wide-ranging benefits of sport and being active to people of all ages, and in helping the OSS to help Scotland move towards a healthier, more active nation through a collaborative approach.
Board Trustee & Secretary

Claire Phillips

Claire walks for miles everyday on and off the golf course!
“Sport has always been an important part of my life and I helped establish OSS because of my belief in sport as a force for good for all. I also wanted to bring partnership expertise to the charity knowing that if we can work with others we will achieve much more; more sport for more people throughout their lives”.
Claire’s credentials:
Claire has spent the bulk of her career working in the public/ private delivery of built infrastructure. She has worked across the UK and internationally.
As a Director and Executive Board Member of Local Partnerships LLP from 2009-2013, a joint venture between HM Treasury and the Local Government Association, she led teams working across programmes of energy efficiency, built and digital infrastructure, and social fund management. Prior to Local Partnerships Claire worked for Partnerships UK, heading up their Scottish business. A Chartered Architect by profession Claire received her Honours Degree and Diploma from the Mackintosh School of Architecture and Glasgow University.
Claire has been involved in various sports all her life, athletics and hockey being her early interests, now she focuses on trying to reduce her golf handicap.
Board trustee

Bob Reid

Bob Reid - Development Director, Wildland

“I am passionate about Scotland and outdoor sports especially mountaineering. I am delighted to bringing my enthusiasm for inclusivity across sport and experience as a planner and developer to OSS work”.

Bob’s credentials:
Bob has a Master of Civic Design Liverpool University and is Royal Town Planning Institute Full Member. He has served on the Countryside Commission Scotland's Advisory Panel on Access. He's Founder member Scottish Wildlife & Countryside. 1990 to 1994 he was President Mountaineering Council of Scotland. 1991 - WINSTON CHURCHILL FELLOW, planning & access arrangements in USA. Member National Trust for Scotland's mgmt committee Mar Lodge Estate Cairngorms to 2006. To 2004 SCOTTISH SOCIETY OF DIRECTORS OF PLANNING. To 2002 Founder member of Scottish National Access Forum [for MCofS & then COSLA/SSDP]. To 2004 Depute Head then Head of Physical Development [Planning] Aberdeen City Council. 2013 - WInner RTPI Award for Planning Excellence - HFM Best Small Consultancy of the year. AUTHOR of numerous articles and papers on a wide variety of subjects including Mountaineering; Access in Scotland; National Parks; and (of course) Town Planning.

Board trustee

Rhona MacLennan

Rhona MacLennan is currently Principal Solutions Architect at The Data Lab innovation centre, where she established and leads the TORCH Business Advisory Service to guide Scottish businesses towards becoming data driven. She helps to connect companies from all sectors with specialist data and data technology suppliers, having enjoyed a career with a host of leading companies across Europe, including BP, Shell, Cisco Systems, Nike, HBOS, CapGemini, Heineken and Edrington.
As well as her sharp insight to how we can be innovative and use data better to inform stakeholders from government to local levels, Rhona brings a wealth of experience from sport, having been an avid participant and fan throughout her life, particularly in hockey, golf and athletics. She continues to coach and play hockey, and loves to get out walking and cycling in the Scottish countryside.
Rhona is delighted to be joining OSS and having the opportunity to apply her expertise from across the data and technology domains to helping others experience some of the same enjoyment and value she has gained from participating in sport.
Founder & Trustee

Charlie Raeburn

My personal concerns are that Scotland should try harder to increase participation in the full spectrum of sports and activities, should strengthen the often fragile Scottish sports infrastructure, and encourage more playfulness in school and community sport. To support these aspirations OSS can help to develop more informed discussions, involving the many stakeholders in sport – about how we can nurture sport for people.

Member of the Executive of the International School Sports Federation
Now retired, Charlie, during his working career was a PE teacher,PE adviser (Lothian Regional Council), Sport and Recreation Manager (West Lothian Council)and held various postions including ; Chair of Local Authorities PE Network, Chair Scottish Schoolsport Federation; and Member of the Scottish Executive PE Review. He is currently is a member of the International Schoolsport Federation Executive (ISF) and the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Sport. He has been a volunteer throughout his adult life in various positions including Swimming Coach ( age group/national performance/masters); Swimming Manager (Convenor) at Warrender BC and Chair of Scottish Schools Swimming Association.

Board Trustee

Fanchea Kelly

Fanchea Kelly - CEO, Blackwood Housing

“I have personally gained enormous value and enjoyment by being active through amateur sport and encourage my family to take part too. Professionally, through Blackwood, we are always looking at innovative ways to help our customers live their life to the full. Many of them have disabilities, and sport has been a great catalyst for engendering social relationships, creating exhilarating experiences, and promoting fun, which inevitably leads to wellbeing. I am very interested in helping raise the value of sport in an inclusive way for everyone”.

Fanchea’s Credentials:

Fanchea is CEO of Blackwood Homes and Care and has held senior roles across Scotland in her 20plus years as a housing professional. Fanchea currently leads a team dedicated to innovation, inspired by customers and their families and friends to find new independent living solutions through combining design, technology, and excellent services. This stretches well beyond the traditional boundaries of providing good landlord and care services and includes the beautiful new Blackwood House – a new standard of highly accessible design – and CleverCogs – co-designed software which keeps customers in control of managing their life. Blackwood’s latest exciting customer event in the National Sports Training Centre in Largs showcased how everyone can try new sports regardless of age, ability, or confidence.

Board Trustee

Richard Yule

Richard Yule - COO, Table Tennis Scotland

“As a young boy, table tennis, was my gateway to the wider world. I learnt much more than how to hit the ball. I was able to mix with people of all ages and backgrounds and learn valuable life lessons that have stayed with me. My interest in OSS is to support the charity to form and grow so that we bring a healthy debate to the sports sector in Scotland about how we can better bring sport to the people and volunteers at the coalface who could really benefit – now more than ever”.

Richard’s credentials:
Graduated B Ed Hons in Physical Education from Strathclyde University and a Diploma in French Language, Sorbonne. Richard has taught and lectured in PE and worked in sports development roles in Glasgow and the Scottish Sports Council. In 2006, received the Emlyn Jones Award for “ exceptional service in the administration of sport”.
Eight times Scottish Table Tennis Men’s Singles Champion and National Club Champion in Scotland, England and France. Richard has travelled the world representing Scotland at World, European and Commonwealth Championships a record 285 times.
Former National Coach in Scotland, Belgium and Ireland, Richard is a passionate advocate of the important contribution made by National Governing Bodies, clubs and the voluntary sector to sport in society. Current board member and former Chairman, 2005-11, of the Games and Sport Division of Sport and Recreation Alliance. Richard had been CEO of the English Table Tennis Association since 1995 and last year Richard moved to Scotland and became COO of Table Tennis Scotland.

Board Trustee & Research Advisory Group member

Dr Remco Hoekman

With my experiences as a senior sport researcher, policy advisor, lecturer in sport policy and sport sociology, and former local sport manager and sport club advisor, I am looking forward to contribute to the development of OSS. Working for the Mulier Institute almost since its inception, gives me an understanding of the challenges and barriers the OSS faces in the process of becoming the leading policy relevant social science sport research institute. Where needed I will share these experiences, other relevant knowledge and good practices from the Netherlands to contribute to a strong sporting future for Scotland.

Dr Remco Hoekman is co-director of the Mulier Institute and affiliated to the Radboud University. Furthermore, Remco is president of the European Association for Sociology of Sport (EASS) and co-editor of the European Journal for Sport and Society. His research interests include sport policies, sport facilities, sport participation and financial aspects of sport. He has an extensive national and international publication list, including both policy-oriented and fundamental research, and is a frequently asked expert, advisor and speaker on the abovementioned topics. Remco is like no other capable of connecting science and practice and is a recognized expert in both fields. Consequently, he holds several advisory positions and is, amongst others, columnist for SportAccom (a journal on sport facilities), and member of the evaluation committee for the election of 'Sport municipality of the year’ and 'Best sport policy initiative’ in the Netherlands. Internationally, he is known as the founder of the expert group on sport facility databases and related research, and as one of the initiators of the ‘Measure’ network, a network with the aim to enhance knowledge on sport participation. In addition, he is an expert member of networks on sport organisations (SORN) and sport policy and politics (POLIS).

Remco breaths sports and is in his leisure time an active sport participant and sport volunteer. He enjoys to play tennis, visit the gym and cycle with his friends. In addition, he contributes as a volunteer to the sport activities of his children and he is the chairman of a tennis club.

Board Trustee & Fundraising Committee Chair

Stuart Armstrong

From a background in sales and marketing, firstly with Unilever UK and then South Africa's leading snack food supplier, Stuart returned to the UK and advertising with Saatchi and Saatchi. He then set up his own successful corporate communications business before the death of his wife led him to become a fundraiser for charity.
Over 25 years he has created and delivered successful campaigns that have raised many millions for the Western General Hospital Breast Cancer Foundation, St Andrews University, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh and St Giles Cathedral amongst others.
As a consultant with More Partnership he worked on fundraising campaigns for Queen Margaret University, the Edinburgh International Festival, the National Libraries of Scotland, Oxford Brookes University, the Royal Society London and several other charities.
Stuart is also the Grants Administrator for a charitable trust, adjudicating on funding applications. This affords him a privileged insight to the good and the bad of how organisations present their case.
Chief Executive

David Ferguson

“Sport is not, to me, about ‘being great’. Sport is simply a route to becoming the person you want to be. It is about more than playing football, rugby, tennis or other ‘traditional’ games. It is about growing confidence, building relationships and learning skills that help us to make the most out of life.
“I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to play lots of sports in my childhood, from football to golf, shinty to rugby, swimming to basketball and tennis; from Paisley to St Andrews, Drumnadrochit and ‘The Glen’ to Galashiels, and a year in the American school system learning a raft of new sports.
“I played none to a high level, but all gave me something that has helped me as a person, and made life more fun.
“My passion is opening up more opportunities for every person in Scotland, from birth to older age, big, small, fit, unfit, in cities and towns or villages and hamlets, to experience sport. Any sport. Walking clubs to gym classes, fishing to yoga, and the fantastic myriad of well-known team and individual sports we have in this wonderful small country of ours. Sport is not an exclusive club, sport is for all. Some doubt that - largely as a result of experiencing 'adverse sporting experiences' - but doubts disappear with positive experiences.
“It is a privilege to lead OSS as we strive to connect with everyone involved in sport in Scotland and help them to grow by providing the academic research and evidence required to persuade people and funders to get involved.”

David’s credentials:
With appearances in Scottish Schools rugby and Scottish Youth football finals, David had a mixed sporting upbringing. He qualified as a journalist and worked for The Berwickshire News and East Lothian Herald, The Southern Reporter, Scottish Rugby Magazine and The Scotsman. Covering sports events across the globe, he has contributed to all Scottish and most UK national newspaper titles as well as to BBC and independent radio and television over the past 30 years.
He launched Ferguson Media in 2014 to help businesses with communications, PR and public affairs, working with a wide variety of clients in the corporate, charity and third sectors.
A sports administrator, fundraiser and coach in various sports, David has held a number of voluntary and non-executive director posts.
David took over from Marie McQuade as OSS Executive Director on 1 January, 2019 and has started building on the strong foundations laid by Marie and the OSS Board.

OSS Advisers

Senior Business Adviser

Martin Gilbert

Martin Gilbert recently retired as Chairman of Aberdeen Standard Investments after building Aberdeen Asset Management PLC into one of the world’s leading independent asset managers through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions. He oversaw its merger with Standard Life plc in 2017, creating the UK’s largest asset management firm, and the second biggest in Europe, and served as co-Chief Executive.
Martin is Chairman of Revolut Limited and also the Senior Independent Director at Glencore plc, and is now chair of Scottish Golf and a European Tour board member.
Martin was named Personality of the Year at the City AM Awards in 2017 and Asset Management CEO of the Year at the Global Investor Awards the following year. He holds honorary degrees from the University of Aberdeen and Heriot-Watt University, and is an Adjunct Professor of Finance at Imperial College Business School.
Martin, who was born in Malaysia, earned an MA in accountancy and a law degree from the University of Aberdeen. After qualifying as a chartered accountant with Deloitte, he joined the investment department of local law firm Brander & Cruikshank, which went on to become Aberdeen Asset Management.
A talented hockey player Martin was a keen supporter of the launch of the Observatory for Sport in Scotland and remains a supportive adviser in striving to help OSS to increase opportunities for all ages and abilities to enjoy the benefits of sport wherever they live in Scotland.
Business Development Group Chair

Keith Oliver

Keith Oliver joined the OSS in early 2020 as a business adviser and in December 2020 became Chair of the new OSS Business Development Group. This was created to help develop the organisation’s links across the business community and bring business experience, skills and expertise to the OSS work to use sport to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing.

A solicitor by profession, but now in retirement, from transactional work, Keith is an advisor to Morton Fraser with a focus on private clients. Outwith his professional work he has considerable governance experience having held senior positions in various organisations, including Chair of the Disciplinary Board of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Keith was awarded an OBE for his services to cricket and is a former Chair of Cricket Scotland and Director of the International Cricket Council. He retains a role in cricket as Chair of the Cricket Development Trust Scotland.

His current roles include being an Advisor to Cornerstone Asset Management and Honorary Legal Advisor to the Royal Scots Regimental Trust.

Keith has a keen interest in education, having been Governor of Fettes College for nine years, and he remains Clerk to the Governors at Fettes. Previously, he was a Board member of the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS).