Our Ambassadors work with us in a voluntary capacity, acting as advocates for the Charity and the Sport in the UK . They broker introductions to key networks, provide pro bono services, or support the Charity in an advisory capacity in their own areas of expertise.
Trishna Bharadia was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2008 and has become an avid campaigner for raising awareness about the condition, at a local, regional, national and international level. She was thrown into the national spotlight when she danced onto our television screens via the BBC1 show “The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief” in 2015. She has become a positive role model not only for people affected by MS but also for people affected by other chronic conditions and both visible and hidden disabilities.
Diagnosed at the age of 28, after experiencing a variety of symptoms, Trishna still manages to work full-time as a translator for a business information company. Her work to raise awareness about MS and disability is done in her spare time and has had far-reaching consequences for both the MS- and non-MS communities. She has been recognised by a number of high-profile organisations, including the Women of the Year Foundation, MS Society UK and Sue Ryder.
As someone living with MS herself and who has a huge passion for dance, Trishna understands first-hand the importance of inclusivity and “dance for all.” She regularly attends Zumba classes, where the emphasis is on everyone being able to join in. Following her time on “The People’s Strictly,” she was particularly keen to highlight to people that being able to dance wasn’t contingent on being able to stand upright. She says, “there are many people with MS who are in wheelchairs and who have said to me that they couldn’t do what I did on Strictly because they’re in a wheelchair. Para Dance UK helps to dispel these myths surrounding the ability to dance. Dance can be for everyone!”
Chrissie has officially retired from a career in international health policy. For over 30 years, she worked with international companies, institutions, governments and the 3rd sector. She originally specialised in international law before focussing on healthcare law and policy. She now just dabbles occasionally. Dancing has always been her passion, which may have contributed to spine disease. She’s needed a wheelchair (off and on…) for 8 years, but dances whenever and however she can. She has taken up boxing in the last few years, which can be done sitting or standing, and is great for spine strength & mobility. Her boxing gloves are the same colour as her ballet shoes. Dancing is not just a passion, it’s an obsession. #EveryoneCanDance.
My life is about languages and dancing. I studied French and English at the universities of Graz and Klagenfurt where I was awarded with a Master’s degree in these two languages. While studying, I was also competing in Ballroom and Latin American Dances and became Austrian Champion in my class. During this period of my life, I came to know my late husband, Dennis Udell. Dennis, of course, was a former World Champion in Ballroom and a world famous coach and adjudicator. We were happily married for 18 years till Dennis died from Parkinson’s Disease. I was fortunate enough to learn from and be trained by one of the best dancers and teachers in the world and hence, got high qualifications in Ballroom, Latin and Freestyle. Dennis trained me to be a fellow in Ballroom as well as in Latin and I also got a Licentiate in Freestyle. I have been coaching dancing and judging for the last 20 years and I am now an examiner for the NATD, which I love immensely. As Dennis suffered from Parkinson’s, I came into contact with the Parkinson’s Disease Organisation and came to know about movement disorders, children and adults alike. I gave Tango lessons to people suffering from nervous diseases, hence learned to know all about different illnesses. I found this very rewarding and want to keep it up. I also organised big dancing events to raise money for charity, especially for Parkinson’s Disease as Dennis suffered from it. I hope that this background will help me to contribute ideas and help to Para Dance UK. I have always enjoyed judging wheelchair competitions and I am sure I will also enjoy coaching in this area. My profession, however, is I am a foreign languages teacher at Merchant Taylor’s School, which I just love. I also teach dancing there as enrichment and I am responsible for horse riding in games.
I have been dancing since the age of 2, started dancing socially and then onto competitions of an International standard. 2010 – 2012 was the top ranked position in Wales! In 2011 won the UK Closed Championships, 2012 won the Welsh Amateur National Ballroom and Latin Championships. Selected to dance at the World and European Championships, getting a Bronze medal in the World Championships, 2015 Celebrity Just Dance Winner.
I am happy to be a Patron for this great organisation and look forward to working with Para Dance UK and creating a bright future.
A former top class amateur and a professional competitor is well known in the dance world and over the last 30 years has organised many dance festivals, dance holidays and recently presented the United Kingdom Formation Championships at the famous Tower Ballroom Blackpool.
For many years, he has adjudicated the International Championships at the Albert Hall and has great teaching experience from Beginner through to World Champion. He is also known for his ability to teach in a friendly, relaxed and practical style suitable for all. He has been recognised by the world of dance receiving the Carl Alan Award and British Dance Federation Award for ‘Outstanding Services to Dance’.
Philip is pleased to be supporting Para Dance UK and hope the organisation grows from strength to strength.
Dr Richard Weiler
Consultant Physician in Sport, Exercise & Musculoskeletal Medicine
MBChB FFSEM (UK) MSc SEM MRCGP PGCME FHEA
Dr Weiler treats musculoskeletal conditions and sports injuries at any age and level of activity. His focus is on helping patients return to function and reach their goals. He works with athletes of all abilities, from Team GB athletes at the London 2012 Paralympics to Premier League footballers. He has wide experience in the non-operative management of sports injuries, rehabilitating athletes across a wide range of sports as well as non-athletes with musculoskeletal conditions, such as back pain and joint pain. An enthusiastic off-road runner and multi-sport participant, Richard has experienced numerous sports injuries over the years, which helps him appreciate the frustrations and needs of his patients. He is undertaking a PhD in disability sports injuries at VU Amsterdam.
Recent and current appointments
Club Doctor, West Ham United Football Club
Lead Medical Officer, England and Team GB Disability Football, The Football Association
Honorary Consultant, University College London Hospitals
Lecturer and Module leader, UCL Institute of Orthopaedics, The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital
Lecturer and External Tutor, UCL Institute of Sport, Exercise & Health
Board Member, The Institute of Sports Medicine
Fellows Board, Map of Medicine
Macmillan Cancer Physical Activity Expert Advisory Group
Patron, Wheelchair Dance Sport Association
Fellow Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine
Member British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine
Member American College of Sports Medicine
Fellow Higher Education Academy