Claire Harvey

GB Paralympian; Diversity and Inclusion expert

As a Paralympian Claire has performed at elite level, but she is passionate that the journey is about finding your passion, facing challenges and achieving a dream, and her story is therefore equally transferable to any aspiration.

As a young person, Claire describes herself as unremarkable, with an interest in sport but not excelling in the sports offered at school. At 14, she found a sport that she loved in Rugby Union and began to thrive both on and off the pitch.

Claire trained as a forensic psychologist, completing her undergraduate degree at Liverpool John Moores University and her masters degree in Criminology from Cambridge University. She was one of the first females to become a Prison Governor, running a male resettlement unit for life sentence prisoners.

In 2008 she had an accident that left her with an incomplete spinal cord injury, losing feeling and movement in one leg and other neural functions which forced her to revisit both her sporting and career direction. She changed her professional career, becoming Head of Corporate Responsibility for the Financial Regulator, FSA.

In 2009 she was asked to a Paralympic talent ID camp, where she tried sitting volleyball for the first time ever. She was nurtured and was selected to take part in the World Championships in 2010, which was the beginning of her GB career. With over 50 caps for GB, She went on to Captain the ParalympicsGB Sitting Volleyball Team in London 2012, putting her success down to the role models and support she has experienced. In 2015 Claire wanted a new challenge and switched sports to athletics and competed at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in shot and javelin. After qualifying to represent GB athletics at the Rio 2016 Paralympics Claire had to make the heart-breaking call and withdraw from the team due to injury.

Following the experience of London2012, she took her passion of the power of sport to change lives to a new level, leaving the financial sector to take up a role as Assistant Director in the charity Youth Sport Trust. She was awarded ‘Hero of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards for her continued efforts to break down barriers and make sport more inclusive and relevant for all young people.

Claire continues to excel in leadership positions and after a spell working at KPMG, when she successfully spearheaded the company’s progression from 156th to 10th in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index, she became the new chief executive of Diversity Role Models. Following her time as CEO Claire remained on the company board but joined the team at Leadership development experts Edit Development. Claire offers incredible insight in to changing goals and aspirations as well as delivering shared messages and expert knowledge from both sport and the corporate world.


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