The Active Education team comprises of qualified Physical Education teachers with many years of Early Years, Primary and Secondary age experience. The team believe passionately in the difference that physical education can make to the lives of young people and how it can be used to bring about whole school improvement as well as addressing wider issues such as health, behaviour, confidence and self-esteem.
Please click on the photographs below to view full team biographies
Toni Chivers BA (Hons) QTS, MA
The Active Education & Communities ManagerToni has headed up the Active Education team since its inception in 2012. She has an honours degree in Physical Education and is a qualified PE teacher with a specialism in Dance. She also has a Masters degree in Subject Leadership in Education. Following a period of teaching both in Luton and Hertfordshire, Toni joined Luton Borough Council in 2002 as the Active Schools Manager where she provided support to schools in relation to Physical Education and oversaw the two School Sports Partnerships that operated in Luton. In her role as Active Education Manager for Active Luton Toni manages the schools team, the coaches and Dell Farm Outdoor Education Centre. She is also commissioned by the Local authority to provide support and advice to schools with regard to Physical Education and Educational visits. Toni has been involved in the opening of a Primary Phase Free School in Luton where she wrote the Education plan and associated policies required by Ofsted. Toni has a vast range of experience across all phases of education, including the Early years. She is a member of AfPE (the Association for Physical Education) and the OEAP (Outdoor Education Advisors Panel).
Karen Abell BSc (Hons)Sports Science QTS
PE and Sport Development ManagerFollowing a period of teaching in Bedfordshire schools, Karen joined the Luton School Sports Partnership in 2002 as a School Sport Coordinator and subsequently became the Partnership Development Manager. Since 2011 she has managed the Active Education Schools team. Her experience in primary education is wide ranging but she particularly enjoys supporting primary colleagues to develop their confidence to teach Gymnastics. Karen has a first degree in Sport Science and is qualified as a PE teacher
Claire Southam BEd (Hons) QTS
PE and Sport Project ManagerClaire is a specialist PE teacher who has taught across all key stages. In 2002 she worked as a School Sport Co-ordinator in North Bedfordshire. Following this she worked as Advisory Teacher for Physical Education in Milton Keynes before joining the Active Education Schools team in 2012. She has a wide range of knowledge across all areas of physical education with particular interests in Games and Gymnastics, supporting primary staff to increase their skills and knowledge and pupils to develop their leadership skills.
Carol Alker Cert Ed QTS
PE and Sport Project ManagerCarol is a qualified teacher with experience across all Key Stages from Nursery to KS4, teaching in inner city London schools and Luton. She became a School Sports Coordinator in 2008 and part of the Active Education team in 2011. Carol enjoys all sports but has a particular interest in Athletics and Games and enjoys sharing this passion with teachers and pupils alike. She also enjoys training young leaders and running intra school competitions.
Claire Ovenell BEd (Hons) QTS
PE and Sport Project ManagerClaire is a specialist PE teacher who has taught across the primary school phase within Bedfordshire. She has a passion and enjoyment for a variety of sports especially netball, athletics and cricket. Claire became a mentor for trainee teachers and newly qualified teachers in 2005, supporting staff to increase their knowledge and skills across a variety of year groups. Claire has 15 years of teaching and management experience in the primary phase. She was previously an assistant headteacher and gained her NPQH status in 2007. As part of the school improvement team, Claire played a key role in taking the school out of special measures.
Vicki Thompson BSc (Hons) Sports Science
School Games OrganiserVicki first started working in Luton as a Competition Manager in 2009 before commencing her role as School Games Organiser in 2011. Prior to this Vicki held a variety of other roles within sports development including working for the Amateur Swimming Association, London South Bank University and London Sports Partnership. Vicki particularly enjoys the organisation and coordination of large scale events and running competitions in non-traditional sports such as Kurling and Dodgeball.
Communities and Outreach Manager
Catrina has worked within the health and fitness industry as well as educational settings for over 10 years. She has a Diploma of Higher Education in Leisure management and is a level 3 tutor of sport. Catrina originally qualified as a level 3 personal trainer and fitness instructor specialising in pre and postnatal exercise. She then went on to develop her love for coaching athletics and became a level 3 UKA performance and developmental coach.
Catrina has worked for a number of years as a community athletics sports coach for Active Luton delivering athletics and setting up developmental pathways for children and youths from grass route participation, gifted and talented, club links to elite performance athletes who have represented their country in international competitions.
Catrina now co-ordinates the coaching team for Active Education and manages the athletics centre. She is also the Outreach Development Manager for Active Luton and manages the very successful ME TIME women only project.
Coach (Multi Skills)Sarah became a Level 2 trampoline coach at the age of 17. She attended college to train in Sports Therapy and personal training before joining Active Luton in 2006 as a fitness instructor. She moved into coaching 2 years later and is now a Level 2 gymnastics coach and Disability Trampoline coach. Sarah’s current areas of work include sessions for preschool age children, targeted women only classes and developing the trampoline & gymnastics programme at the Inspire: Luton Sport Village facility.
Aaron Colbert BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching
Coach (Multi Skills)Aaron has a degree in Sport Coaching from Sheffield Hallam University and is qualified in a variety of sports including football, swimming and athletics. Through his time at University and through work, Aaron has many years experience in delivering sport and PE to schools at both primary and high school level. Aaron has spent two stints (ranging from 3 months to 10 months) working in the United States where he experienced a different way to teach and further developed his coaching education. What he enjoys most is developing the fundamental skills that children can develop in later life.
Chantelle Walker BA (Hons) Dance & Communications
Coach (Multi Skills)After graduating, Chantelle danced professionally around the county, working on various projects from local community, theatre and film. She joined Active Luton in 2006 working in schools and community centres. She has taken groups from schools and community groups to perform and compete regularly with fantastic results. Dance and Sports Education is something she feels very passionate about & believes everybody can gain from taking part.
Huma Abbasi BA Communications
Coach (Multi Skills/Dance)Originally from Scotland, Huma has been with Active Luton since February 2010. She is a dance specialist and teaches Street Dance, Zumba for Kids, Pop, as well as other genres. Huma is passionate about her job, and has solely organised and choreographed numerous shows, festivals, events in Scotland and Luton to performance level, including a performance for HMIe (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education) International delegates. She has also helped choreograph Community Events, such as a Flashmob, to raise awareness for Mental Health Week for Active Luton. Huma has won an award from AfPE (Association for Physical Education) for 1st place in Europe, with a dance group that brought children from different backgrounds together. She has also received from The Evening Times/Herald a Young Champions award in Glasgow. Huma has a degree in Communications.
Jamel Matthew NVQ Activity leadership
Coach (Multi Skills)Jamel’s passion for sport lies at the heart of his new career in coaching. Jamel was a keen gymnast from a very young age and so learned early on the importance of training and good coaching. Jamel who previously worked in ICT was given the chance through the Prince’s Trust to do a Leadership Activator course. After the course was over he was spotted by Active Luton for his coaching skills and ability and was offered a chance to take on an apprenticeship in Activity leadership. Once his course was completed he was offered a full time coaching role with Active Education.