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head and shoulders photograph of Paddy Herlihy

Paddy Herlihy

Featured Ambassador

Paddy Herlihy is an Accentuate Ambassador who mainly works in the field of sport. He was very closely involved in the initial decision to set up Accentuate as a cross-sector approach to delivering changing public attitudes towards disability. At the time, Paddy was the South East Manager for the 2012 Games, a key post which co-ordinated all the public sector activity in the South East that seeks to maximise the positive legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


Whilst he was in the South East 2012 post Paddy was identified by the London Organising Committee for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics (LOCOG) as the national lead on the delivery of a regional legacy from the London 2012 Paralympics. Paddy worked with colleagues in all the regions and home nations to devise and promote projects relating to the Paralympic legacy.


Paddy’s cross-sector work around disability was recognised when he was asked to sit on the Accessible Tourism Stakeholder Forum for the 2012 Games, organised on a national basis by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Accentuate Director Esther Fox, also sits on this forum.  This national think tank is focused on persuading the tourism industry to recognise the importance of customers with a disability, and to provide a service of excellence for this sector of the market, which is worth about £2 billion each year.


Paddy is now the Managing Director of his own company, which is called Smaller World. The company works in a number of areas of international and domestic sport. These include acting as the broker between sporting bodies from all over the world and venues and sporting bodies in the UK, particularly on the subject of Pre Games Training Camps for the 2012 Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Paddy says

“When I went to the Beijing Olympics on behalf of the South East region I found the experience very interesting. However, when I went back for the Paralympics the visit represented 10 of the best days of my life. I decided there and then that I wanted to work in international sport, and to focus on sport for athletes with a disability. Establishing Smaller World has been the fulfilment of that decision.”


“I am delighted to be an Ambassador for Accentuate.  I am pleased that I was involved at the inception of the programme and now I can watch as the original targets are being far surpassed and Accentuate is growing both in it’s achievements and it’s ambitions.  I look forward to watching the next 500 days development and will be helping to promote these success stories.”

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