An Introduction to our Volunteer Department teams!

Today we would like to introduce everybody to some of the members of our new Volunteer Department!

A few weeks ago we announced the appointment of some of the volunteer roles, however today we would like to take this a step further by providing everybody with a little background knowledge of the successful candidates! Some departmental roles are still available, click here to view these.

Our new departmental management structure ethos is designed to be open, transparent, collaborative, democratic and not hierarchical in nature. We encourage everyone, whether it be athletes, referees or coaches to please engage with the new departments (who are volunteers too and giving up a lot of personal time) so we can all push in the same direction, supporting each other to get the best out of our wonderful Martial Art and Sport with the aim of providing opportunities for all!


We are pleased to introduce to you all the following members of the team so far:

Poomsae Referee Department

Gerry Reilly has been appointed Chair

To this role Gerry will bring over 30 years of experience in Taekwondo, as a student, competitor, coach, referee and tournament organiser, as well as experience as a senior executive in the IT industry where he is currently Chief Technology Officer of Health Data Research UK.

Gerry said, “my vision for the new role is to help build a team that can collaborate across British Taekwondo to make the UK a great place to be a Poomsae Referee and to ensure we can run successful events for all our clubs and athletes. I want to base this on open and transparent communications, trust and humility. My early focus will be on developing the strategy as a team that encompasses an understanding of our referees and tournament organisers, to create a framework for excellent referee training and advancement opportunities.”

Glen Culbert has been appointed Referee Director

Glen has 37 years of Taekwondo experience, as a student, european level competitor, coach, tournament organiser and 15 years as an international Poomsae referee, judging at the highest levels throughout the world.

Glen said, “I am honoured with this appointment and I am looking forward to working with the referee committee and my referee colleagues, together we can help develop the Poomsae referee department into a World leading model”. 

Carolina Barros has been appointed Education & Progression Manager

Sian Reilly has been appointed Marketing Manager

Sian had this to say, “I am honoured to be appointed Marketing Manager for the British Taekwondo Poomsae Referees Department. Through the role, I will be promoting effective communication with all British Taekwondo Poomsae Referees, communicating the exciting initiatives implemented by the department. In addition, through our marketing channels, I will be celebrating the work of our British Taekwondo Poomsae Referees; and providing updates from the department. Keep up to date with us on Instagram @bt_poomsae_referees and Facebook @britishtaekwondopoomsaereferees”


Poomsae Performance Department

Gemma Biescas has been appointed Chair

Gemma brings to the role as Chair a wealth of knowledge and experience within all areas of Poomsae, Para-Poomsae and Freestyle gained from over 36 years within Taekwondo. Gemma has been a GB Sparring World Level athlete, and a GB European Poomsae Athlete and as the former Head Poomsae Coach for Great Britain, for more than a decade she has worked with athletes and coaches from grassroots development right through to producing World Championship winning medal success. Gemma holds a BSc Honours Degree in Biological Life Science and is a former school science teacher and U.S. Naval Fitness Manager. She is a current Non-Executive Director for British Taekwondo and has involvement in many committees and working groups within Taekwondo and other sports. She is a 7th Dan Kukkiwon Black Belt, and the highest ranked female in the U.K. Gemma will ensure that the team stay on course to deliver continued success for Great Britain.

Gemma said “I am looking forward to my new role as Chair of the Poomsae Performance Department within the new British Taekwondo structure and to working with the other committee members. Our aims are to create opportunities and pathways, increase involvement and collaboratively continue the success and inspiration of the program. It is a new era and an exciting time to be a member of British Taekwondo’ .

Della O’Horo has been appointed Operations Manager

Della has an extensive operational background within her professional career which she brings to the position as Operations Manager. Over the last two years Della has played an important role as an official chaperone to the national team at World and European Poomsae Championships. A 6th Dan Black Belt with over 30 years of experience of Taekwondo, she is also a qualified national referee and a current member of the National Poomsae Squad. Della is also married and lives in South Yorkshire with her two dogs.

Della commented, “it is a privilege to have been selected to fulfil the role of Operations Manager, I am passionate about poomsae and wish to play my part in encouraging grass-root development and supporting the elite teams to perform and bring home medals and team trophies at major events”.

Chan Sau has been appointed Head Coach

Chan has been involved in Poomsae for the last 15 years as an Athlete, Referee, Regional Talent Development Coach and National High Performance Coach balancing that with the responsibilities of being a father of three as well as a senior business professional working on landmark residential projects in London. As an athlete he represented Great Britain at six World Championships, won Gold at three consecutive Commonwealth Championships and is nine times British Poomsae Champion. As part of the British Taekwondo Poomsae coaching team he brought that experience to help our elite athletes achieve Great Britain’s best ever results at the European Poomsae Championships last year in Turkey.

Chan said, “I am very proud and honoured to have been appointed Poomsae Head Coach. In the role I hope to continue the momentum built up over the last four years and inspire the country to greater levels of success, working closely with our committees to provide our coaches and our athletes from around the whole of the UK more opportunity to get involved in poomsae through better access to education and development programmes as well as improve the pathway from grassroots through to elite”.

Gillian Fitzpatrick has been appointed Squad Logistics Manager

Gillian is a school teacher with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and Early Professional Development. She has worked for over 20 years in childrens’ education with extensive administrative and logistic experience. Gillian lives in Sheffield with her family, and is an active poomsae competitor and referee. Gillian holds safeguarding roles in several different sports including being a Welfare and Safeguarding lead at her Taekwondo club.

Gillian commented, “I am delighted to have been chosen for this role. As an avid supporter of the poomsae squads progression I look forward to being part of this exciting new department where my commitment will be to help facilitate the accessibility and development of the poomsae to all and to help the squad to greater achievements over the next 4 years”.


Sport Referee Department

Tom Stammer has been appointed Chair

Tom has many years’ experience at Board level in both industry and in Taekwondo, which combined with his knowledge as a World Taekwondo Class 1 International Referee makes him a good fit for the Chair role and the future activities of this new department.

Tom commented, ”I am honoured to serve in this new role. I can assure our BT Referees, of all Classes, that you will be at the heart of the development of a new and exciting BT Sport Referee Family. I would also like to encourage anyone else who wishes to be part of this Department to apply for the 3 remaining roles of Referee Director, Education and Marketing Managers by the end of July. For those who don’t apply, or are unsuccessful, please be assured that you will still be part of the greater Referee Team. You will be crucial in influencing how we develop, improve and grow, based on collaboration, openness and transparency.”

Rick Simpson has been appointed Operations Manager

Rick is again an International Referee with great experience of working in the International and National Taekwondo worlds. His skills, gained through many years working in a business environment, and enthusiasm in driving the operational functions of this new department will be invaluable in the coming period.

Rick said, I am delighted with this appointment and am really looking forward to helping to make the BT Referee Department a World Leading model. Lots of work to do! –  which we can’t do alone, so looking forward to all Referees working together to our common goals”.

Jodie Sinden has been appointed Referee Director

I’ve been involved in taekwondo for 20 years now and a referee for 10. Since becoming an International Referee in 2017 I’ve refereed at several Grand Prix, European and World Championships and am currently in the top 50 referees for selection for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Jodie had this to say, “I’m really excited to be a part of the new BT Kyorugi Referee Department, and honoured to be the new Referee Director. I hope to drive change and always strive for excellence for our referees and the wider sport taekwondo community. I’m looking forward to working with the team to raise standards, develop our referees, and make our program among the best in the world!” 


We would like to say a huge thank you to all those that took part in this process, and congratulations to everybody who has been selected. We look forward to working with everyone for the betterment of all Taekwondo practitioners and supporters!