Derbyshire Institute of Sport

Derbyshire Institute of Sport launches programme to instil ‘Olympic know-how’ in local businesses

An organisation which has created more than 20 world-class athletes, including 10 Olympians and Paralympians who competed in Tokyo this year, has launched a new scheme aimed at improving leadership within local businesses.

Derbyshire Institute of Sport is offering to give firms in our area the same performance psychology tools and techniques they use in the elite sports environment to build resilience, motivation and a mindset for success.

Managing Director Chloe Maudsley explained: “Our Business Champions club is a unique 12-month programme designed by our performance psychologist, Dr Phil Clarke, to give you the tools to be the best version of yourself and through that accelerate your business growth. It offers something different from traditional business coaching.”

The second cohort of Business Champions starts in October and only six places are available. This time it is all online, except for a final, face-to-face event in September 2022, making to easier for busy professionals to join sessions from anywhere without time-consuming travel.

Dr Clarke, who has trained elite athletes and FTSE 250 companies, said: “The sessions and tasks in this year-long programme will help you learn how to thrive in high-pressure situations and adjust to rapidly-changing situations in the business environment.”

Craig Harbron, of Bennett Engineering Design Solutions, completed the first Business Champions programme. He said: “It has enhanced my ability to understand new approaches to situations and new ways of thinking. Having these methods and understanding has led to increased motivation, focus points and with the one-to-one support I’ve been able to overcome current challenges.”

Another graduate of the first programme, business owner Sarah Gatford, said: “Working with DIS Business Champions has been a great decision.

“Having been knocked sideways by the pandemic business-wise, being part of this programme and having access to the incredibly knowledgeable and insightful Dr Phil Clarke has supported me in turning things around.

“I’ve had the opportunity to talk things through individually, attend webinars and generally feel that I’m back on my feet with some exciting new challenges ahead.”

During the year, Business Champions will have six educational webinars, 11 group reflection webinars and six one-to-one coached sessions online with Dr Clarke where they can work through specific challenges that they face at work or work on improvements to their reactions, communication and behaviours in different circumstances. There will also be five peer tasks during the year that champions will work on remotely in pairs.

You can read more about the programme at and request a digital brochure from Chloe Maudsley by emailing or ringing 07974 231564.

Derbyshire Institute of Sport supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Development, HomeTagged in , , , , , , , , , ,

Derbyshire Institute of Sport helps to produce nine athletes for Tokyo Olympics

A total of nine athletes, who have previously been supported by Derbyshire Institute of Sport, have now booked their places to Tokyo this summer.

Jess Turner sealed her place at the Olympics after winning Gold at the Muller British Championships in the 400m hurdles. She had previously achieved the Olympic qualifying time more than once this year, so when she won at the weekend with a stadium record time of 54.83 she automatically qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

Jess said: “My dream since I was a little girl has come true!”

Para-badminton champion Jack Shephard will make history as one of the first two badminton athletes to ever represent Team GB in the Paralympics.

DIS performance consultant and former national badminton coach Andy Wood explained: “Para-badminton is being included for the first time at Tokyo 2020 and it has always been Jack’s aim to represent his country and win Gold. I am delighted for him that he has this opportunity.”

Andy has led national badminton teams through five Olympic cycles.

Chesterfield’s Liam Pitchford will compete at his third Olympics at the age of just 27. He competed in the table tennis team events at both the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In 2016, he helped Team GB to reach the quarter-finals where they were defeated by the Chinese team who ultimately took Gold. Liam also competed in the singles in Rio, reaching the last 32.

Six other former DIS athletes had previously been announced as Olympians. They are swimmers Jacob Whittle, Molly Renshaw, Sarah Vasey and Abbie Wood and marathon runners Jessica Piasecki and Ben Connor.

DIS managing director Chloe Maudsley said: “The good news just keeps coming for athletes who worked with us. Our aim when we set up DIS after the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was to increase the number of Derbyshire-based world-class athletes. We hit our initial target of creating and supporting 20 world-class athletes by 2020 and that success has now been crowned by the nine athletes going to Tokyo this summer. We can’t wait to cheer them on.

“I’d also like to thank the businesses who sponsor DIS and its athletes through our Thrive Programme. Their support makes it possible for us to help talented athletes become world champions.”

To find out more, ring Chloe on 07974 231564 or email her at

DIS supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Leisure, Summer, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

Derbyshire Institute of Sport continues support of mental health in the workplace

A Derbyshire Institute of Sport project to put health and wellbeing at the heart of its support for the business community has proved a winner, with more than 100 people joining a mental health webinar about the importance of switching off from work and de-stressing.

The webinar, by DIS sports psychology lead Dr Phil Clarke, was the latest in a series of monthly, 30-minute ‘lunch and learn’ webinars available exclusively to businesses who sponsor the Community Interest Company.

Managing director Chloe Maudsley explained: “During the first lockdown of 2020, we wanted to explore how we could use the skills, knowledge and experience of our team to help the businesses whose support makes our work possible.

“When we were founded in 2012, our original goal was to increase the number of Derbyshire-based, world-class athletes. Our target of developing 20 such champions by 2020 was achieved in February last year, just before lockdown. We knew there was great potential to use the skills of our psychology, nutrition and strength and fitness coaches to work with businesses too.

“As the pandemic continued it was clear that the uncertainty, anxiety and anguish caused by the pandemic and life in lockdown was wreaking havoc on the mental health of many people. We knew we had to help.”

The result was the Thrive sponsorship programme, which has health and wellbeing benefits at the heart of its offer. There are three different Thrive Sponsorship packages so there’s something to suit businesses of all sizes. As well as the webinars, other benefits include nutrition consultations, online exercise classes, monthly wellbeing check-ins and online physiotherapy screenings.

Since March 2020, the DIS team members have also shared their knowledge publicly through blog posts on its website and videos on YouTube.

Chloe said: “Looking after your mental health, and supporting others to look after theirs, is more important than ever. Our mental and physical health are closely connected. A 2014 report by Public Health England, called Everybody Active, Every Day, found that people who are inactive have three times the rate of moderate to severe depression of active people.”

Mark Jones, MD of IT and telecoms company Wytech Limited, who are a DIS sponsor, said: “Helping our employees to be healthy and happy is the right thing to do, but I also believe that investing in workplace wellbeing improves business performance. Helping our employees to lead healthy, active lives gives them the assurance that they are valued and part of a team working together for a common goal. It can be fun too. Happy and healthy staff equals a happy and healthy business.”

You can learn more about Thrive, and download a brochure, at

Five top tips for looking after your mental health, by Dr Phil Clarke, at

DIS supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in Business, Featured, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , ,

New home and new era for Derbyshire Institute of Sport

A new era has begun for Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS). It has a new home at the iconic Derby Arena and has expanded its operations to work with athletes and team players across the country.

DIS was founded in 2012 and since then it has been based at the University of Derby’s Kedleston Rd campus.

Managing Director Chloe Maudsley said: “We have had eight wonderful years working onsite with the university. They were a major, founding partner – alongside the city and county councils – when we began work as Derbyshire’s legacy project following the 2012 Olympics. We are so grateful to the university and founding partners for their support and unfailing belief in our mission.”

The original DIS goal was to increase the number of Derbyshire-based, world-class athletes. Its target of developing 20 such champions by 2020 was achieved in February 2020. These champions included marathon runners Jessica Piasecki and Ben Connor who have BOTH been confirmed in Team GB for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. DIS also worked with hurdlers Alex Knibbs and Jess Turner; para badminton world number one Jack Shephard; heptathlete Niamh Emerson, who is world junior champion and is now being coached by Toni Minichello and Jessica Ennis-Hill, and five times world champion para cyclist Katie Toft.

When the pandemic arrived, DIS recognised there was a need to provide support for talented sportspeople who could no longer get to gyms or train with their local teams. During the lockdowns it has worked with athletes online, offering strength and conditioning classes, nutrition, psychology and lifestyle support and virtual physiotherapy screenings.

DIS, which became a community interest company in 2017, is continuing to work with elite individual athletes and is also now working with team sports players and amateur athletes who want to be a champion at any level.

Chloe said: “We are coming out of the third lockdown on a high with our move to Derby Arena, which has great facilities and enables an expansion to our work to develop, inspire and support people who want to be the best they can be at the sports they love.”

DIS is following all Government guidance and working closely with the Arena to offer its athletes full membership of the Arena gym and face-to-face support from its world-class coaches in a Covid-secure way.

Chloe added: “For those who live further afield, we will continue to offer a package of 100% online support. This gives us the chance to help team sports players and individual athletes based anywhere in the world. Whether people choose a face-to-face or a virtual programme, they are all delivered by our multi-disciplinary team of experts who have supported Olympians, Paralympians and world champions.”

Rachel North, Strategic Director for Communities and Place, said: “We are delighted that Derbyshire Institute of Sport has chosen the excellent facilities of Derby Arena for its new base. It is fantastic to see how we have achieved the vision of 20 elite athletes by 2020 and look forward to seeing the Arena play its part in building more world champions of the future. Now that our leisure centres can start re-opening again, we look forward to welcoming our athletes in person.”

DIS supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in Business, Development, Featured, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

Derbyshire Institute of Sport offers Chesterfield companies the chance to Inject Olympic know-how into their business

Imagine the difference it would make to your business if you could recruit a team of high performance experts to boost happiness, wellness, productivity and resilience.

That’s what Derbyshire Institute of Sport is offering as part of its new Thrive programme – an EXTRA package of benefits launched in Chesterfield this month for current and new business sponsors.

DIS is a Community Interest Company on a mission to develop, inspire and support champions. Since 2012 it has helped many talented young athletes to become world-class. It receives no Government funding and relies on business sponsors to keep the cost of its support services as low as possible for athletes who already face high costs and sacrifices to pursue their dreams.

Managing director Chloe Maudsley, said: “We have been looking closely in recent weeks into how we can better support our community and help protect and improve people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. We’ve now put together Thrive, a package that gives all our sponsors access to our team of experts and coaches.

“They have supported elite athletes and professional sports stars to become world class and now they can lend their support to our business sponsors to help them boost workplace wellness.”

Key benefits include:
• Access to an online, weekly group exercise session.
• Access to a monthly ‘lunch and learn’ online health and wellbeing workshop.
• Online physiotherapy screenings and nutrition consultations.
• Discounts on team development days.

Chloe added: “These new benefits are on top of the existing promotional benefits of being a DIS supporter.”

UK Government guidelines say that adults should aim for 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Yet, an estimated 11 million people in England (that’s 24.6% of adults) are doing LESS than an average 30 minutes activity a week. A study in the Lancet found that spending eight hours a day sat at a desk increases the chance of early death from diseases such as cancer and heart disease by 60%.

Regular, moderate exercise reduces that risk. It also boosts mood levels and, along with healthy eating and lifestyle choices, it can help you enjoy improved sleep and reduced anxiety levels.

Head of Athlete Development at DIS, Laura Wake, who is a former Commonwealth Games athlete, said: “If your staff members are working in various locations, some from home, it’s easy to feel disconnected and isolated. Coming together online for an exercise session can build relationships and improve everyone’s mood, as well as their health, leading to a more optimistic view of life.

“If you have people coming back from furlough, some team activity online can help them feel part of the team again.”

During the first UK lockdown, a Sport England survey found that an average of 63% of respondents said exercise and physical activity had been an effective way of helping them manage their mental health, as well as benefiting their general health. One of the current DIS sponsors is Ilkeston-based logistics firm Lobina Transport.

Managing Director Luigi Lobina said: “Being a sponsor has given us some great stories to tell online and we’ve had some energising and exciting team-building experiences in the office thanks to DIS athletes and coaches.”

Derbyshire Institute of Sport supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , ,

Keep up to date

Dont miss out on all the latest news, updates & special offers.

Signup to our newsletter