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Meet the Team

Ria Burrage-Male
Chief Executive Officer

Prior to joining Hockey Wales, Ria was Director of Education & Inclusion for Cardiff City Foundation. Her passion towards using the power of sport to change lives has seen Ria go from playing hockey to coaching. Ria spent 4 years working as a PE Teacher and 8 years working within the third sector. Roles that have aided in her determination to encourage more people into playing, enjoying and ultimately benefiting from sport. A former international goal keeper for Wales, Ria brings with her not only playing experience but a passion for hockey and a desire for Hockey Wales to become a successful high performing organisation.

On retiring from elite sport, Ria became a board of director before joining the team in 2017 as Head of Development and progressing to Chief Executive in December 2019. Alongside her passion for hockey, she enjoys cycling, running and spending time with her family, and the new love in her life, her son.

Gareth Kear
Director of Commercial
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Gareth is responsible for all sponsorship, funding, and membership income strategy and generation. He has a long history of involvement in both sport and business in Wales and has enjoyed commercial success with several international corporate companies. More recently he was CEO for Wales Rugby League, securing six figure additional grant funding and sponsorship during the three years of his tenure.

He makes no secret of his love for sport and Wales. As a senior coach he has coached club and international Rugby Union teams. He has a particular passion for promoting women’s and disability sport and started the first ever women’s pathway at Wales Rugby League in 2019.

 

He is a proud grandfather of three and both his sons are rugby players - his oldest is a professional Rugby League player and captain of the national team.

Kevin Johnson
Director of Performance
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Kevin has moved into the role of Director of Performance and will now be responsible for our Performance and Pathway programmes and staff as well as our team of Coach Developers. Outside of this role, Kevin is the Senior Women’s programme Head Coach, which is how he began his relationship with Hockey Wales in March 2016.

Hockey is clearly a passion which drives Kevin, he would definitely refer to himself as a Hockey badger, and he has enjoyed a long lasting relationship with the sport as a player and as a coach whilst also previously enjoying time in his career as a teacher. At home, Kevin has a hugely supportive wife and together they love the time they spend as a family with their two young boys.

In the role of Director of Performance, Kevin is particularly looking forward to helping shape and support the future of the Performance programmes with both the staff and the players and to continue the rebuilding of the player Pathway to ensure it is a fun and purposeful environment that is player centred in its ethos and helps develop the next generation of Wales senior players and some that will hopefully go on to represent Great Britain.

Gareth Evans
Director of Relationships
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No stranger to the Welsh sporting family, Gareth has been working in the sport sector in some capacity for the last fifteen years.

He started out in Newport City Council’s Sports Development Team before moving onto the Welsh Rugby Union where he worked in numerous roles within the Dragons region across the community game and the representative age groups.

He joins Hockey Wales having spent the last five years at Welsh Triathlon. As Head of Development, he worked with his team to grow the sport and introduce new competition structures for the membership.

He also attracted new global events to Wales and worked with external stakeholders to create a televised series of events, working closely with British Triathlon and Major Events Wales on major event delivery.

When not working in sport, Gareth can either be found volunteering in sport, taxiing his children to sport, or enjoying live music somewhere.

Chris Brewer
Finance Officer
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Chris is responsible for finances and insurance renewals and he remains involved on a voluntary basis with the development of Welsh technical officials. Chris is the longest serving member of staff of Hockey Wales, having joined the organisation in July 2000. He has been a member of Newport HC (now Gwent) since 1974.

Most Saturdays he can be found on a pitch in Wales and the West having taken up umpiring over 25 years ago. He is actively involved as a Technical Official with EHF and FIH having received numerous appointments throughout Europe, with the highlights being the EHF Indoor Club Cup (POL), EHL Final 12 (M) & 8 (W) and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

When not involved with hockey, Chris spends time fund raising with Abergavenny & District Round Table for which organisation he is a past Chairman (twice), Past President (seven times) and Life Member. He has also served as Area 4 President for two terms.

Amanda Roberts
Events Manager
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Amanda (a.k.a. Bobs) is a retired International Hockey Player and it is through playing that she has so much passion in her role. Amanda is one of Hockey Wales longest serving staff members, having been with Hockey Wales since 2012.

Her role as Events Manager will include delivering world class events and competitions for clubs and members across Wales from grassroots to elite, quality assure all events and competitions and raise the profile of events through the whole event experience, both on and off the pitch.

Outside of work, you will find her spending time and getting creative with her daughter, touring with their caravan, cycling or walking and spending time with family and friends.

Jane Price
Business Support Manager
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Jane's duties include first point of contact for general enquiries (phone & email), payment of invoices, bookings at Sport Wales National Centre and other facilities, registration of members via Sport80 (HW affiliation system) for clubs and individuals (including Masters & Exiles), general administrative support for CEO including HR / Staff related issues, minutes & paperwork for General Meeting, Board Meetings and Competitions TAG.

She joined Hockey Wales in 2012 but has been involved with hockey since leaving school, playing for Porthcawl & then Pontypridd Hockey Club, including representing Wales in EHF Indoor club competitions, secretary of Porthcawl, Pontypridd, Glamorgan & South Wales as well as a member of South Wales Women’s Hockey Association competitions group.

Jane is currently a member and Technical Official of WHUA, treasurer of South Wales Youth Hockey Association and Trustee and Treasurer of Friends of Welsh Hockey.

Married to Steve, Jane can usually be found pitch side at Pencoed on a Saturday afternoon!

Alice Gregory
Projects Manager
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Alice started playing hockey at her local hockey club, Llanfair Ladies, when she was 7 and she went on to join the Hockey Young Ambassador Programme as a Silver when she was 12. During her 9 years as a Young Ambassador, Alice became a Platinum YA, a member of the Steering Group, a WHUA Technical Official and she was the first Youth Representative on the Hockey Wales Board as well as having represented Wales at the EHF Youth Leadership Festival in 2019.

Due to being a full-time student, Alice currently works part time for Hockey Wales leading on kit and DBS’, as well as working in the Engagement working group, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group as the Welsh Language Diversity Champion and supporting staff and the members where needed.

In her spare time Alice competes in athletics and enjoys spending time with her friends and family.

Walid Abdo
Coach Developer

Former Wales Under 21 Women and current Cardiff Met National League Head Coach, Walid Abdo, has been appointed as one of the new Hockey Wales Coach Developers. Walid joins the Hockey Wales Staff with an extensive coaching and playing career. As well as having been himself a Senior Welsh International, he brings with him over 20 years of experience from coaching in the National League with Cardiff Met and Welsh National Age Group Squads. 

Walid, who is originally from Cardiff, is excited to be stepping into the role and continue the progress made in this area. He has been involved in a number of league and European campaigns and looks forward to sharing his experiences and knowledge.  Walid currently works at Y Pant School as a PE Teacher and is the Head of Pupil Support which largely deals with Child Protection and Wellbeing issues. 

Katharine Craig
Digital Content Assistant
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Katharine is responsible for the digital side of Hockey Wales, from our website to our social media. 

 

Although her background is mainly in digital marketing; website design and influencer marketing have become her top priority, making sure our rising athletes are seen for the talent they are. 

 

In her spare time Kath enjoys walking in the Brecon countryside and Wales incredible coastal path. 

Ella Jackson
Pathway & Compliance Manager
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Ella is responsible for maintaining the compliance and governance needs across the Hockey Wales performance and pathway landscape. She also leads on our Player Pathway as we continue to transform the experience of our young talented players on their journey to represent Wales.

 

No stranger to the sport or the Pathway, as a goalkeeper Ella herself progressed through the Pathway and is now a member of the Hockey Wales senior women's squad, representing Wales at the 2022 Commonwealth Games at recent EuroHockey Qualifiers in Durham.

 

With a Masters in Sport Business and Leadership, she also brings experience of being Assistant Head of Hockey at Stowe School and more recently a Sport Development Officer at Cardiff Metropolitan University to the role.

Chloe Jordan
Schools and Community Manager
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Chloe’s role involves liaising with schools and local authorities to promote hockey in primary and secondary schools across Wales through the Hooked on Hoci programme, festivals, and many more exciting initiatives.

 

She will also be responsible for developing the Hockey Wales Young Ambassador programme, an initiative that is close to Chloe’s heart as she herself went through the programme.

 

Chloe recently graduated from Ulster University with a degree in Sport Studies, with a special focus on sport development and management.

 

An avid volunteer, Chloe sits on the Youth Sport Trust youth board and is vice-chair of the European Hockey Federation (EHF) Youth Panel. These opportunities have allowed her to undertake internships with EHF, Think Pacific based in Fiji, and Hockey Wales in the past.

Sam Barrett
Community Development Manager
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Sam is responsible for developing our clubs across Wales, engaging with hockey volunteers and members to ensure our sport is sustainable for the future, and implementing strategies to ultimately grow the game at club level. 

 

After graduating with a BA in Business and Entrepreneurship in 2016, Sam has had a relatively short (but varied) career to date. He started out with a move to London to work for several early-stage start-up companies before enjoying spells in professional and semi-professional sports coaching, both in the UK and the US.

 

Most recently, Sam was working for an enterprise charity helping young people aged 11-21 grow their own businesses.

 

Born and based in England, Sam comes from a sports mad family. Having tried and played most sports as a kid, he first picked up a hockey stick at age 10 and entered the coaching pathway for both hockey and football at age 16.

 

After taking far too long to recover from the first few training sessions back after lockdown, he is taking a break from playing hockey for the most part and can now be found coaching his local Men’s first team.

Stephanie Bullen
Business Administrator

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