Nick joined Virtus in January 2013 as the organisation’s first Executive Director and is responsible for operational and strategic management.
He previously held a national role in sport for athletes with an intellectual disability in England and has also served on the Executive Committee of Virtus Europe.
Nick is based in United Kingdom.
Debbie van Biesen
Virtus Academy Manager
Debbie joins as the Virtus Academy Manager – a new initiative to develop a global hub of research, training, and education to be launched in 2021.
After seven years of full-time postdoctoral research at KU Leuven (Belgium), Debbie will divide her time across both organisations, leveraging on international and evidenced-based knowledge of elite athletes with intellectual disability and autism. She has published more than 25 peer-reviewed scientific articles in top journals in herfield.
Debbie’s research specialised in the domains of ‘Adapted Physical Activity’ and ‘Disability Sport’, with the focus of her research on the role of cognition on sports performance among elite Paralympic athletes with intellectual disabilities.
During her PhD, she contributed to the development of evidence-based classification systems for elite athletes with intellectual disability (ID), that led to their re-inclusion in the Paralympic Games. Afterward, she was appointed as the coordinator of the “International Research and Development Centre for Classification of Athletes with Intellectual Impairments”, which was officially recognised by the International Paralympic Committee. In that position, she coordinated a collaborative network of national and international research groups and representatives of sports organisations, to perform cutting-edge research with an impact on society.
Debbie has broad expertise as a researcher, beyond evidence-based classification. She was involved in numerous projects related to coaching para-athletes, psychosocial aspects of disabilities, health-enhancing physical activity, and performance optimisation.
Debbie is based in Belgium.
Mousumi joined Virtus in April 2020 as an intern assisting with social media, newsletter, and website updates.
She first supported Virtus during her Masters degree in 2018 – attending the European Summer Games in Paris and has since attended numerous events including the 2019 Global Games. Mousumi is also the Head of Physical Education and Sports at GEMS Cambridge, Sharjah.
Mousumi is based in UAE.
Advisor Marketing and Communications
Nithi joined Virtus in May 2020 in a consultancy role and is the Virtus brand champion. She leads the delivery of consistent and on-brand communications, strategic marketing campaigns for Virtus events, and provides advisory guidance to Virtus event LOCs.
She brings fifteen years’ experience in engagement, communications, marketing strategy, branding, and management within private, public, and not-for-profit sectors from Australia, NZ, USA, Malaysia and UK.
As a generalist in marketing, communications, stakeholder engagement and public relations strategy and advice, Nithi enjoys working with diverse organisations that are willing to try new things never done before and to contribute to organisational innovation.
Nithi is based in Australia.