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American football coach plans to forge a very Special team

Chief officer intends to make his new charges a ?better? outfit
Published - 27/09/2019 By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle

Tony Athersmith is as much a man for emergencies as he is for driving on quarterbacks as a Hall of Fame former coach of the Great Britain Lions American football national team.

Now he has landed the post of chief officer of the Special Constabulary at Staffordshire Police.

The 45-year-old brings a huge amount of experience to the Specials from his career working in a variety of roles across the public and private sector including the NHS, DHL, Arriva Transport Solutions and as a general manager for West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Mr Athersmith, who currently works for DHL as senior transition manager, is on secondment within NHS Services where he leads the implementation and development agenda for all hospital logistics services including transport, couriers and patient transport service.

Mentoring has been his forte – whether by day deploying a fleet of 999 crews to get patients to appointments on time or at night to work on strategies to enable American footballers, teams and coaches to succeed both across the UK and the world.

He began in the sport at the age of 11 with Stoke Spitfires team and by 19 had quit playing to coach. He led Birmingham to two national titles and won the British American Football Coaches Association coach of the year award in 2009.

Three years later he was appointed offensive co-ordinator for Great Britain's first official student American football team and was head coach to Europe’s ‘Air Raid’ passing camps.

His list of achievements in the game made him a stone certainty as a Hall of Fame inductee in 2015.

He says of his policing appointment: “I am delighted to have been selected as chief officer and I’m looking forward to both the challenges and the opportunities that this role will bring.

“Policing has always been a big passion of mine and I’m keen to get started and begin working on a number of opportunities including enabling the Specials to grow and develop as individuals, wider recruitment, working with all stakeholders and the communities we serve and establishing how we make the team even better.”

Staffordshire Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: “The Special Constabulary and the work it brings has never been so important to policing and all of their work is valued by both colleagues from the force and local communities.

“I am delighted over Tony’s arrival and I’m sure he will bring a vast amount of experience and energy to the role and continue to build and develop the great work of the Special Constabulary.”

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