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Conference Speakers

This Year is our biggest year yet and we have pulled a great line up of speakers together!

Everyone’s Welcome in Climbing – Panel Discussion 

The panel will share their stories of how they got into climbing, overcame adversity and inspired  others to enjoy our amazing sport. Each brings a unique and well informed perspective to how we can ensure everyone feels welcome in climbing – as we strive to become a truly inclusive sport and activity that others will look to for guidance.

Panel Bios

Em Diserens – ABC D&I NED

Em is an equality, diversity and inclusion specialist with a focus on reaching under-represented audiences and accessibility for people with disabilities. Controversially, she isn’t a climber but she is passionate about sport and its many physical and mental health benefits.

Red Szell – Writer, Broadcaster and Blind Adventurer 

Committed to advocating the potential within the disability community.  In 2013 he became the first blind person to climb The Old Man of Hoy, and in 2019 completed the hattrick of ‘Big 3 Scottish sea stacks’ in an extreme blind triathlon-style expedition to Am Buachaille.

Rotimi – Founder Clmbxr 

Clmbxr is a London-based climbing community that’s helped over 200 people try climbing for the first time.

He is an avid athlete who enjoys Calisthenics and has competitively played Tennis and Basketball at a junior national level. Rotimi and the Clmbxr brand have worked with the likes of Adidas, The North Face, and featured in Men’sHealth and RedBulletin.

In his day-to-day job, Rotimi is a UI/UX designer working at a digital consultancy.

Nisbah Hussain – The Muslim Scout fellowship 

The Muslim Scout Fellowship seek to support young Muslim children from across the U.K. have the opportunity to get outdoors, learn skills for life and do what we can to level the playing field to ensure that all children have the same access to opportunities.

Part of my role has seen me undertake an exciting project with Plas y Brenin to provide opportunities for adults within diverse communities to become trained and confident in delivery adventurous activities. This projects seeks to address the inequalities that exist across all sectors especially the outdoors and proactive solutions which allows as many from different communities within the U.K. get outdoors safely and more frequently.

George Lonsdale – Climber, Routesetter and Presenter

Getting people into climbing and adventure sports has been his biggest passion since getting involved in the industry as a teenager, subsequently going on to present to the some of the biggest audiences at Kendal Mountain Festival and presenting at the notorious climbing competition Plywood Masters.


Ellis Whittam – Health and Safety 

Ellis Whittam helps 35,000 UK employers to create great, safe places to work.

Their aim is to help business owners proactively solve problems, ensure regulatory compliance and achieve commercial objectives through exceptionally good Employment Law, HR and Health & Safety support, This session will cover:

  • Balance between risk and reward
  • Risk Assessments
  • Providing safe gym/ workplace.

Speakers Bio

Oli Williams 

Starting his career in the Construction industry, Oliver joined Ellis Whittam in 2013 as a Health & Safety Consultant and has since supported a diverse portfolio of clients, from large 700-employee leisure resorts to his local chemist.

Having moved into a management position in 2017, he now oversees a team of 15 consultants, offering an extra layer of technical expertise, whilst remaining very much hands-on as a consultant and mentor for his own clients. A Chartered Member of IOSH, Oli’s specialisms include behavioural and cultural change and building strategies to support internal competence.


The Insurance Market post COVID – What can we all expect? 

AIM Logo

The last 18 months have been a real struggle for businesses and insurance has been at the forefront of some them struggles, AIM will be discussing this in detail and discussing what they believe we can all expect post COVID.

  • Short history of the BI test case
  • What AIM did to support its Member and how a mutual differs
  • The addition of the market exclusion for COVID on BI and PL
  • What do current restrictions mean for businesses? (to be reviewed just prior to the Conference)
  • The importance of BI and what it does cover
  • Common mistakes when buying cover
  • Future predictions
  • Questions.

Speakers Bio 

Sophia Reed – Mutual Manager

Sophia left private practice as a Partner at law firm, BLM to join AIM in January 2018 as Mutual Manager.

With 24 years’ experience in personal injury litigation, she regularly defended Members’ interests and provided legal advice and risk management.  A regular speaker at our Member events, she has a good understanding of the issues facing Members and the industry as a whole and the importance of defending brand and reputation.

Ralph Doe – Account Executive

Ralph joined AIM in 2017 from a background insuring and supporting some of the UK’s largest charities providing adventurous activities to young people.  With over 15 years’ experience in the insurance sector Ralph is an accredited Insurance and Risk Management professional who supports AIM Members with site visits, technical advice and all aspects of coverage requirements.


NICAS: New beginnings for a million new climbers

As the climbing sector sees unprecedented growth, NICAS is adapting to become the first step of a lifetime of happy climbing experiences for people of all ages. Nick Parkin, Managing Director will be explaining the strides NICAS is making in becoming the entry point for millions of new climbers.

This session will also share a stunning new look, exclusively announce a new NICAS product pipeline and a strategy to attract and retain climbers for climbing walls.

Nick Parkin – NICAS Managing Director 

Nick Parkin has spent the last 20 years delivering sports programmes and growing the business of some of the largest sports facilities in London and surrounding areas. Having trained in a FTSE 100 management programme, he worked across both public and private sector health and fitness facilities which ultimately led him to Westway Sports and Fitness where he gained his first exposure to the world of climbing (and NICAS) and could immediately see the enormous potential for climbing.

After a number of sports consulting appointments, the opportunity to lead NICAS and be able to help shape the future of a new Olympic sport presented itself and since then, despite a global pandemic, he’s been working with the NICAS Board and executive team to start building a learn to climb scheme that anyone of any age can access and begin a journey of a lifetime of happy climbing experiences.