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Meet Active Sussex’s Strategic Workforce Officer

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Nick Chellel

Meet Active Sussex's Strategic Workforce Officer

In a weekly series, Active Sussex introduces its staff and trustees.

Nick Chellel joined Active Sussex in November 2016, shortly after returning from travelling and working for a cluster of primary schools in New Zealand.

Here the father-of-two explains what motivates him to tackle inequalities, his love for travel, and how he spends his free time.

Why do you enjoy working for Active Sussex?

I’m passionate about the work we do and feel that the organisational aims and values match my own, particularly the focus on reducing inequalities and helping people to move more.

I enjoy using the power of sport and physical activity to transform people’s lives and bring communities together – something I have witnessed throughout my life and career.

I also love the variety and breadth of the work we do, which means we work with a wide range of partners and audiences.

Ever since my dream of being a professional footballer died as a teenager, I knew I wanted to work in the sport and physical activity sector to help more people access the benefits that I gained from, and that come with, taking part in sport and physical activity.

I am particularly interested in engaging people who have had more barriers and challenges to participation than others.

I went to university at Sheffield Hallam and started my career in the sector working for a large School Sports Partnership.

During my time in Sheffield, I witnessed first-hand the additional barriers and inequalities in society, which strengthened my belief in the unique power of sport and physical activity to make a positive difference to people’s lives and reduce inequalities. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to exercise and be active, whether that’s a walk, going to the gym, for a run, or a swim, or doing a HIIT workout at home.

Before having children, my partner and I would be socialising, going for food/drinks, and attending music gigs. In my younger years I would probably be clubbing or going to a drum and bass rave…

Now my spare time is spent looking after my two daughters Ada and Rowan, and our Newfoundland/Poodle cross dog Bonnie. It’s baby discos and day trips to farms and soft play rather than raving these days!

My partner Kirstie and I love going for walks with our girls, whether that is along Brighton & Hove seafront or the South Downs, it’s a great way to spend time together and be active as a family.

With my American and Italian heritage, my family loves food and it is certainly a huge part of our lives. We regularly get together as a family and it is usually centred around food.

During the football season you will find me chasing a ball about on a Saturday afternoon – not very well these days and certainly much slower.

I love my sport, particularly football, boxing and MMA, so when I get some time to myself (which isn’t often with two young kids) I will try to watch some live sport or listen to a sport podcast. We love to go camping so every summer we usually go camping at least twice.  

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I love to travel, and I have been travelling around the world twice, but there are still so many places I would like to visit.

It would be amazing to go back to South America to spend more time there and to visit the countries I was unable to the last time I was there, such as Bolivia and Peru.

Another one on my bucket list would be Costa Rica, due to the incredible wildlife you can find there.

I am half American so I would like to take the family over there to do some travelling and reconnect with distant family.

I would love to visit some of the incredible national parks they have, such as Yosemite and Yellowstone. Other places I would like to visit one day would be Africa and India. 

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