Garrath Williams: Sports Performance & Programme Manager

After a post graduation gap year travelling and playing rugby for Washington DC RFC in the then East Coast Division of the US Super league, I joined the British Army and was commissioned into the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, and subsequently posted to Germany as an Armoured Infantry Platoon Commander. A keen sportsman, I took full advantage of the sporting opportunities the Army had to offer; and was lucky to travel to New Zealand on a rugby tour, and spend a month in Norway with the Nordic Ski Team as well as playing squash, hockey, cricket and golf to a respectable level. After four years' service, including time in Cyprus, Kosovo and Canada, I grasped the opportunity of a transfer to the Australian Army.

As an officer in the Australian Army I continued to maintain my interest and passion for sport as a player, coach, manager and administrator. It was during my time in and immediately after returning from Afghanistan that I was struck by the many similarities between the performance and team culture in both sport and the military. Alongside a thoroughly rewarding Army career, I was privileged to be involved in some amazing projects that allowed me to prove the links between the people and environments I enjoyed. These included planning and managing sports tours and events as well as creating and project-managing an international fundraising rugby match in the run-up to the 2013 British and Irish Lions Tour of Australia, which raised over £100k for military charities. I also established Endurance Development, a small organisation that provided bespoke team, character and leadership development facilitation to elite sport teams such as the Brisbane Broncos, as well as school and corporate clients.

I spent ten amazing years in Australia, living in New South Wales, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and working in far-flung places like the Solomon Islands and Afghanistan. When I returned, with my family, to the UK I became involved in a variety of projects. These included supporting the delivery of the International Defence Rugby Championships, Australia's UK specific roll-out of the Australian Government’s Sports Diplomacy Policy, and the Invictus Games as both a Team Liaison officer for the 2014 London Games and part of the successful bid team for the 2018 Sydney Invictus Games.

After short contracts as the Performance Manager at Sporting Edge and the Ethical Leadership in Sport Project Manager at the Leadership Trust, I was thrilled to be offered the role of Sports Performance & Programme Manager at Sevenoaks and I hope we can lead change.