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OSS Community

OSS is independent of political parties and any other organisations. It is funded by donations from private individuals, charitable trusts and corporate organisations.

OSS People

Jon Best

OSS Research Editor and Research Advisory Group member

“I am particularly interested in research that helps remove the barriers to sport access for more people and am helping OSS through advice, research and editorial work”

Jon’s credentials:
Jon Best is a former researcher at the Tourism and Recreation Research Unit at the University of Edinburgh and was then in charge of research at SportScotland for 20 years with a year out as head of research at the Hong Kong Sports Development Board.

He commissioned and managed over 100 substantive projects and edited their reports. These included major evaluations of the Active Schools initiative for some five years, and responsibility for an extensive range of research projects relating to the use of sports facilities; the role of sports clubs; and participation by different social groups that included the management of joint projects with Sport England and UK Sport. He implemented, designed, managed and reported on 20 years of national surveys of sports participation.

An independent consultant with Best and Randak since 2009, he engages in qualitative and quantitative research in the fields of sport and other physical activity including disability. He is on the Advisory Editorial Board of Managing sport and leisure: an international journal.

Martin Gilbert

Board Trustee

Graduating from Aberdeen University in 1978 with a MA in Accountancy and LLB in Law, Martin Gilbert became co-founder and Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, the holding company of the fund management group that was established in 1983. Under Martin’s leadership, Aberdeen has become one of the world’s leading independent asset managers through a combination of organic growth and acquisition. Aberdeen Asset Management has become known for its involvement in Scottish sport and Martin was a keen sportsman himself, playing hockey to a high-level whilst also sailing the Atlantic in a Beneteau 45F5 in 1990. The company participates in sponsorships where it can get actively involved and make a difference to an event, individual or team across key sports such as golf, sailing and rugby. Martin is also Deputy Chairman of British Sky Broadcasting Group.

Claire Phillips

Trustee Board Secretary

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.

Barry Rose

Trustee Board

"Sport has, and does, play an important part of my life. I've spent my time being a keen rackets player, badminton and squash, and a very active hill walker and climber. My local climbing wall is now my second home. Sport has always been very beneficial for my business career, and I've felt that there is a strong correlation between successful business people and sports participation. I'm very keen that people should be encouraged to participate in physical activity."

Barry spent much of his career in investment management, and was the head of investment of two insurance companies, and from 1993 to 2001 was the Chief Executive of Scottish Provident UK. Since then he has served on the Boards of a variety of companies as a non executive member, such as Liverpool Victoria, Wolfson Microelectronics and Optos. He presently also serves on the Boards of Aberdeen Smaller Companies Investment Trust, Dimensional Imaging Ltd and is a trustee of Medical Research Scotland.

Henrik H Brandt

Trustee Board & Research Advisory Group

Director of the Danish Institute for Sports Studies (Idan), since 2011 including Play the Game and since 2013 the Danish Institute for non-Formal Education (Videncenter for Folkeoplysning). In his capacity as a director since 2005 Henrik H. Brandt has been responsible for establishing and building an institute which is today an important knowledge and research centre in the field of Danish and international sports politics and non-formal education with a large network among media, researchers and stakeholders in the Danish and international sports sector.

Dr. Remco Hoekman

Trustee Board & Research Advisory Group

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 the early days, gives me an understanding of the challenges and barriers the organization has faced 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 a senior research at 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.

Charlie Raeburn

Founder & Trustee Board Chair

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.

Nick Rowe

Research Lead & Research Advisory Group Member


Nick Rowe MPhil (Edin) BA (Hons)

Nick is currently 'Research Lead' and a member of the Research Advisory Group for the Observatory for Sport in Scotland. He provides consultancy services on sport and public policy and is a Visiting Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett University. His book setting out a new paradigm for sports development, 'Sporting capital: Transforming sports development policy and practice' was published by Routledge in November 2017. His is currently directing research for OSS on, 'Sports participation in Scotland: trends and future prospects'.

Nick was educated at Oxford Polytechnic, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Texas and joined the then Great Britain Sports Council (to become Sport England) research team in 1983 where he remained until June 2012. Whilst at Sport England Nick held the post of Head of Strategy, Research and Planning and Strategic Lead for Research where he was influential in shaping and delivering a world leading national research programme. Nick led the design and delivery of the Active People Survey - the largest sport survey in Europe and was lead author on the Sport England Strategy document ‘The Framework for Sport in England’. He has been influential in international research initiating and for 5 years co-directing the European wide COMPASS project on comparative sport participation statistics. Nick has been the invited speaker at international conferences in China, Australia, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Israel and Spain.

Nick has completed 5 London Marathons and recently completed a 3, 600 bike ride around the cost of Britain. He is the current President of Woodford Golf Club near his home in Essex.

Professor Richard Davison

Chair - Research Advisory Group

Prof. Davison is an internationally-recognised exercise physiologist with over 25 years experience. Specifically he has an international reputation in investigating the factors that influence cycling performance and the physiological responses to cycle ergometry. Other areas of research interest include the use of exercise and physical activity to improve health and quality of life in the general population and clinical groups. He is also an editor of the Journal of Sport Medicine and the Journal of Science and Cycling, former editor of the Journal of Sports Sciences and has published in excess of 50 scientific papers and book chapters and is currently an expert reviewer for the Journal of Sports Sciences, the International Journal of Sports Medicine, European Journal of Sport Sciences, International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise the Welcome Trust and the Medical Research Council. He is a Fellow and former Chair and Honorary Treasurer of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences and currently a professor of Exercise Physiology and President of ECSS 2021 Glasgow in the School of Science and Sport at the University of the West of Scotland.
Richard was also a successful competitive cyclists winning 11 medals (6 gold, 2 sliver, 3 bronze) at Scottish Championships. He is a Level 3 Coach and Coach Educator for British Cycling (18 years) and has coached at Commonwealth and Olympic Games level.

Specialities: Exercise physiology teaching and research, Higher Education management, change management, coach education, elite cycling coaching, Chromosome 18

Fanchea Kelly

Board Trustee

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.

Bob Reid

Trustee Board Member

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.

John Taylor

Research Advisory Group

John Taylor is a graduate of Heriot-Watt University (BA Hons Recreation) (1994) and the University of Edinburgh (MSc Social and Educational Research) (2001). He has over 20 years experience as a researcher and research manager having previously worked as a Research Assistant at the Centre for Leisure Research (CLR) and as a Research and Evaluation Manager at sportscotland. John has been in monitoring and evaluating a range of sports initiatives completing evaluations of the 'Girls on the Move' Programme, the SFA's Football Academy and Community Club Officers Project and has recently undertaken research for Scottish Golf exploring the career pathways of Scottish Professional golfers. John has also supported evaluations of International Development through Sport (IDS) and International Inspirations sport-for-development projects in India and Africa. John has been a Director (Strategy and Governance) on the Board at triathlon scotland and is currently working on his PhD exploring the evaluation of sport for development programmes in Scotland and assessing the efficacy of logic models as an evaluation tool.

David Ferguson

Executive Director

“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.

Iain More

Fundraising Advisor

Founder, Iain More Associates, now More Partnership; Governor, George Watson’s College; former Director of Development, University of Edinburgh and INSEAD. Higher Education: University of St Andrews – History and English; Loughborough College – Diploma in Physical Education; University of Oregon – MSc in Physical Education. Iain was an international swimmer for Scotland and Great Britain. His commitment to OSS is inspired by the creativity and persistence of his friend Charlie Raeburn in setting up OSS and his close to lifelong interest in participating in sport.

David Rider

Trustee Board

Personally and professionally I believe in the value sport can play in life. At Merchiston Castle School, I am working with the City of Edinburgh Council and local sports clubs to create a community partnership allowing the neighborhood to enjoy competitive and recreational sport, giving young and old the opportunity to train, coach and play together. A mantra I am privileged to be working on developing in China on behalf of the School.

David has a broad remit as Strategic Development Director at Merchiston Castle School. His work covers widening participation and income diversification. He serves as Scotland Regional Vice President of the Institute for Development Professionals in Education. David has been in fundraising and income generation throughout his career in financial services and education.’

Richard Yule

Board Trustee

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.

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Cross Sector Collaborations

Through engagement with business, the sport in the community sector and academia, and the creation of Forums for networking and discussion, OSS brings together stakeholders to establish a strong, coherent and informed voice for sport across all facets of the community. Backed by relevant and independent research, from across Scotland and around the world, these stakeholders are in a strong position to shape policy recommendations for the funding, infrastructure and growth of community sport in Scotland.