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Heather Duff

Edinburgh Leisure

Name: Heather Duff
Country: UK
Role: Community Inclusion Officer
Organisation: Edinburgh Leisure

As Community Inclusion Officer for Edinburgh Leisure I am responsible for addressing inequality amongst underrepresented groups to increase participation in physical activity across the city. In the wake of the 2012 Paralympics there were minimal opportunities for children and young people with a disability to participate in sport at a grass root level in Edinburgh. In light of this, I established, led and developed two projects; High Flyers & Jump In which aimed to address this. High Flyers offers a variety of sports and Jump In provides swimming lessons. Since their launch in 2012 both projects have welcomed an average of 200 children participating in various clubs on a regular basis. Now children with a disability living in Edinburgh have the opportunity to participate in boccia, tennis, athletics, gymnastics, bowls, swimming and wheelchair multisports. Following these achievements I was nominated and selected to carry the Queen’s Baton as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games Celebrations.

I am an effective communicator which allows me to build good working relationships. As a leader I have found this essential in allowing me to identify individuals’ strengths and areas for development. I believe my strength lies in leading by example and creating a supportive environment where colleagues know their role and feel valued.

I approach life with the following values:

  • Equality - Inclusive. Everyone is equal.
  • Accountability - Accepting responsibility with an understanding of impact.
  • Teamwork - Defined roles with a united approach to a clear goal.
  • Passion - Enthusiastic approach to achieve targets with pride.

I passionately believe sport is a vehicle for change. Through my experience in a professional and voluntary capacity I have witnessed people increase confidence, develop life skills and improve their overall health through sport and physical activity. I feel honoured to have been involved in helping people make that change!