Disability & Mental Health Officers

In 2016, the KUGB took a significant step by signing the Mental Health Charter for Sport & Recreation, emphasising the importance of mental health awareness within the KUGB Family.

As the KUGB’s Disability & Mental Health Officer, Sensei Richard Naylor-Jones ,has been a pivotal figure in raising awareness and advocating for mental health and disability. He played a crucial role in the launch of the Mental Health Charter for Sport & Recreation and has spoken in Parliament a number of times about the benefits of Karate for mental health. His efforts have helped the organisation raise thousands of pounds for mental health charities, making a significant difference in the lives of many.

Man practising Karate in a class
Sensei Richard Naylor-Jones (6th Dan)

At our recent AGM, Richard, resigned from his post due to health reasons. We would like to extend our gratitude to Richard for his outstanding service as the Disability & Mental Health Officer for the KUGB.  While we are saddened by his resignation, we deeply appreciate the positive changes he has inspired and would like to thank him for his tireless work for the KUGB.

Building on the progress made since the launch, we are excited to introduce Caroline McGrath and Dylan Gibson as the new Disability and Mental Health Officers.

Caroline and Dylan will collaborate with a team of KUGB Mental Health Ambassadors and Disability Champions to continue raising awareness about the importance of mental health and promoting the inclusivity of Karate training for everyone.

Sensei Caroline McGrath (5th Dan)

Caroline has been a dedicated member of the KUGB and LSM for over 31 years. She served on the KUGB National England Kumite Squad for 23 consecutive years, retiring in December 2022 after a distinguished national and international competitive career. Caroline has been a KUGB Mental Health Ambassador since 2017, soon after the KUGB committed to the Mental Health Charter.

Beyond her KUGB commitments, Caroline works as the Deputy Director of Operations across several hospitals in Yorkshire for the NHS. She also volunteers as the Lead Trustee for Safeguarding on the Board of Trustees at Leeds Mind, a mental health charity. Passionate about health and wellbeing, Caroline is eager to lead the KUGB in advancing our strategy and agenda in this area.

Sensei Dylan Gibson (4th Dan)

Dylan has been a long-standing member of the KUGB and part of the England Kata Squad for over 10 years. With a background in Psychology and a Master’s in Mental Toughness, Dylan has worked in a pastoral role within a Sixth Form. He firmly believes that Karate training can significantly support mental health and wellbeing.

Dylan was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition a year and a half ago, leading to his sight loss. This challenging transition has given him insight into how Karate can be adapted for various disabilities. He is committed to helping KUGB members adapt their training to ensure inclusivity in regular classes.

Dylan looks forward to promoting the areas of Mental Health and Disability within the KUGB, demonstrating that Karate training is inclusive for all.

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