Meet your 2022 Athlete Mentors!

Meet your 2022 Athlete Mentors!

We are delighted to say that once again, thanks to the support of children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust, we will have a cohort of incredible athlete mentors on site at Loughborough University at this year’s School Games National Finals! Our 11-strong team will be guiding and supporting this year’s young athletes through the triumphs and challenges they will experience at SGNF 2022.

Each mentor has been designated one of the ten sports in which they will be responsible for running workshops and providing opportunities for development for the young athletes over the four-day weekend. This athlete mentor support will also include hosting and delivering Athlete Education Programme session in the evenings covering the following topics: Life Alongside Sport, The Power of Being an Athlete and Team You.

Check out the full list below! 

Toby Garbett – Athlete Mentor Lead 

Toby is an Olympian and two-time World Champion rower, having represented Team GB in 5 World Champions and 2 Olympic Games. 

For the second year in a row Toby will be the Athlete Mentor Lead at the School Games National Finals and will help support and guide this year’s young athletes over the course of the event. 

Jenna Downing – Cycling BMX 

Jenna was a former in-line skater, the 2008 LG Action Sports World Champion, ten-time British Champion and X-Games silver medallist all by the age of 21. In addition to Jenna’s successes, she is also recognised as the youngest athlete to turn professional in in-line skating and achieved this accommodation by the age of 12. 

Jenna is back for a second year as the Athlete Mentor for BMX and looks forward to meeting this year’s young athletes. 

Montell Douglas – Athletics 

Originally a sprinter and former UK 100m record-holder, Montell took up bobsleigh in 2016 and became part of the Great Britain women's two-woman bobsleigh team the following year. In 2022, Montell became the first British female to have competedin both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. 

This will be Montell’s first year as a mentor at the School Games National Finals and she is looking forward to witnessing the success of those at the athletics track, and all the other athletes, at this year’s event. 

Jade Windley – Cricket 

Jade Windley is a professional tennis player and reached career high WTA world rankings of 159 in doubles (British number 3) and 279 in singles (British number 5). 

In 2014, Jade was involved in a car accident, which led her to make the difficult decision to take a break from her sporting career. Although this hurdle was a challenging one to overcome in her career, exciting and new opportunities have since arisen for Jade in the form of coaching and mentoring young people, including this year becoming an Athlete Mentor at the School Games National Finals. 

Nicola Minichiello – Cycling Road and Track 

Nicola is a retired British bobsled athlete, who made history by becoming the first British female ever to have won the World Championship title in bobsleighing in the 2009 World Championships. 

For the second year in a row, Nicola is excited to be mentoring track and road cycling and is looking forward to experiencing all the emotions with her young athletes at this year’s event. 

Rachael Mackenzie – Hockey 

Rachael had an incredibly successful career in Thai-boxing, being ranked no. 1 in two boxing weight categories, 50kg and 52kg, in addition to holding the title of silver medallist at the National Championships for boxing. 

Rachael is back for her second year as an Athlete Mentor and is most looking forward to working with her young athletes to build their confidence, communication and teamworking skills. 

Alistair Patrick-Heselton – Modern Pentathlon 

Alistair was a former footballer who went on to compete in the Paralympic Games and was inducted into the 2017 National Football Museum Hall of Fame. 

Following injury, Alistair has dedicated his life to helping young people overcome challenging times and success and is looking forward to mentoring the young athletes competing in Modern Pentathlon this year. 

Jenny Wallwork – Netball 

Jenny is a badminton athlete who has achieved international success in both women’s and mixed doubles events, on top of having won a Commonwealth Games silver medal in 2010. 

Jenny knows more than anyone what it takes to achieve success in sport, and as a Commonwealth Games athlete herself is looking forward to passing along this year’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games legacy to the netball athletes she will be mentoring at the School Games National Finals. 

Liz Johnson – Triathlon 

Liz is a former ParalympicGB swimming gold medal athlete. Liz has overcome the challenges posed by cerebral palsy, and has overcome obstacles to build an incredible sporting career for herself. 

This will be Liz’s first year mentoring at the School Games National Finals and she is looking forward to meeting and mentoring the young athletes at this year’s event. 

Chris Horsman – Wheelchair Basketball 

Chris made his debut in rugby when he was selected to compete as part of the 2007 Wales Rugby World Cup squad. Since retiring several years ago, Chris has dedicated his career to coaching and being involved in the sport he loves. 

This will be Chris’ first year as a mentor at the School Games National Finals and he is excited to get stuck-in helping to coach and support his young athletes at this year’s event. 

Antony Cotterill – Wheelchair Tennis 

Antony began his love for Wheelchair Tennis during rehabilitation after being injured in an accident in 2003. Since the beginning of his playing career in 2004, he has won over 40 singles and doubles titles, including three Super Series doubles titles, and helped Great Britain win two World Team Cup titles. Antony made his Paralympic debut at Rio 2016 and represented ParalympicsGB for a second time at the Tokyo 2020. 

Antony is looking forward to mentoring athletes at this year’s School Games National Finals for the first time as they compete in a sport he knows well after 18 years as a player.