Who are our Trustees?



We are supported by a team of 9 Trustees, of whom four are representatives of ABC Member walls, one is directly appointed by the ABC, and four are Independent Trustees who are recruited for specific areas of expertise and skills. Click on each tab to see a short summary about each, and their photo. We've also included our Executive Officer Martin Chester in this table, although he holds no voting rights.

July 2018: one vacancy exists for an Independent Trustee. A job brief and application process will be published shortly.
Andrew Link (Independent Trustee, Acting Chair) Andrew is a forward thinking and strategic senior executive with hands on experience running both companies and major projects in the private and public sector.

As Director of Project Management at RISE, a management consultant specialising in the built environment, Andrew oversees teams working across a broad range of sectors including Head Quarters for some of the most well-known companies in the world in addition to world renowned heritage buildings.

Prior to this Andrew was Chief Operating Officer of the Construction Industry Council which represents the broad interests of the 34 professional institutions in the built environment and was a board member of leading industry groups such as the HM Government’s BIM Task Group, the Green Construction Board and the Considerate Constructor Scheme.

Andrew also has significant experience in the sports sector and worked for the Organizing Committees of both the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the 2012 London Games and was a Operations Director of GB Taekwondo when the sport won its first Olympic medal in 2008 and received its first major commercial sponsorship and initial funding commitments from Sport England.
Elected: 2017
Due for re-election: 2020
Andrew Link
David Stainthorpe (ABC Trustee, Treasurer) David represents NIBAS centres Durham Climbing Centre and Eden Rock. A retired headteacher with experience of developing an educational trust, until recently David was the major shareholder of Northern Bouldering which established Eden Rock. An active and respected climber and Development Coach in the North East, he is the NIBAS Competent Person at Durham Climbing Centre and is a great scheme ambassador.
Elected: 2017
Due for re-election: 2020
David Stainthorpe
Ben Levey (ABC Trustee) Ben is Head of Operations at The Castle, a NICAS Awarding Centre. He is currently responsible for developing their Youth Programme. In addition, he is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and is an active qualified climbing coach.
Elected: 2016
Due for re-election: 2019
Ben Levey
Carys Rowlands (Independent Trustee) Carys has climbed since she was 2 years old. A barrister by profession, and as senior conduct manager for the CIMA, she brings first-class legal skills. She has a background in coaching and teaching sport and manages two London DJs.
Elected: 2016
Due for re-election: 2019
(Awaiting photo)

Dean Straw (ABC Trustee) Dean is an Assistant Centre Manager at Mile End Climbing Wall (a NICAS and NIBAS Primary Centre) and has delivered the NICAS scheme since it started in 2008. He has been involved in Youth Work and education within the voluntary sector for over 30 years. He brings valuable insight into his experience of both NICAS and NIBAS scheme delivery and future direction. He has a good handle on the issues and opportunities including Child Protection and GDPR, and keeps us grounded in representing the views and practicalities of scheme delivery.
Elected: 2017
Due for re-election: 2020

Jeremy Tapping (ABC Trustee) Jez is Head of Climbing at The Westway, a NICAS and NIBAS Primary Centre. As well as his wealth of day to day experience, he has a number of degrees in Sport Management, Development and Coaching. He is also the Regional Climbing Manager for Everyone Active.
Elected: 2016
Due for re-election: 2019

Jez Tapping
Lee Browning (ABC-Appointed Trustee) Lee started and is managing director of The Boardroom Climbing, a primary centre for NICAS and NIBAS just outside Chester.

Alongside the real-life experience of owning and running a climbing facility, he has academic qualifications to support this, including postgraduate qualification in management, chartered management institute and a sports degree. He is a climbing development coach having delivered climbing sessions for years including NICAS and NIBAS, amongst other outdoor industry qualifications. He sits on the board for the Association of British Climbing Walls as well.

Alongside climbing Lee has also raced kayaks up to an international level and in his spare time does consultancy for other climbing facilities.
Appointed: 2018
Jon Chittenden (Independent Trustee) A previous climbing wall owner, MD/Governance business experience, Marketing manager with a talent for data gathering and a keen climber. He was previously the MD of TAJJ Climbing, driving the launch and growth of Boulder Central and the Portway Wall. Having sold this business he is now the Online Marketing Coordinator for the BMC. His expertise in this role comes from driving marketing strategies and developing CRM platforms for Entertainment Magpie Ltd.
Elected: 2017
Due for re-election: 2020

Jon Chittenden
Martin Chester (Executive Officer) Martin was appointed as the ABCTT's Executive Officer in 2013 on a part-time basis. He juggles this alongside his work for Mountain Training UK at Plas y Brenin, Sport England and ski guiding. See more about Martin on his website.
Martin Chester




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