O2 goes From Zero to Hero
Chairing the Convention: A Great Sport
Sport in the Toughest Environment
DAILY Issue 2 05|04|2011
FEDERATIONS CALL FOR GREATER COOPERATION Today at the Convention Enjoy a hearty breakfast this morning as preparation for a hectic day ahead as the SportAccord Convention steps up a gear. Today features a packed agenda – including Law Accord and the City Forum – and culminates in the opening ceremony this evening. Highlights of the day include: ■ Law Accord, in which legal issues critical to the sports movement will be discussed. 0900 – 1200 Park Plaza County Hall. ■ City Forum offers a wide-ranging discussion on issues relevant to cities hosting or keen to host sporting events. 1300 – 1700 Debating Chamber of London’s County Hall. ■ ARISF General Assembly. 0900 – 1200 Westminster Ballroom 2. ■ IWGA Annual General Meeting. 1300 – 1800 Westminster Ballroom 2. At 1730 there is an exhibition showcase cocktail in the exhibition area before delegates begin boarding ferries to take them down the River Thames to the SportAccord Convention opening ceremony. The opening ceremony, at the O2 Arena begins at 2000. Departures begin at 1800.
International sports federations should stand up for their independence, delegates at SportAccord Convention heard yesterday. Addressing the Association of Summer Olympic Federations’ (ASOIF) 35th General Assembly, Executive Director Andrew Ryan said there had been “many more cases of threats to the autonomy of member federations” over the past year. Governments were increasingly inclined to try to intervene and recent attempts to do so had occurred in countries including India, Israel and the Netherlands Antilles. These had included attempts to limit the number of terms that individual members of federations could serve and to bar anyone with criminal records from serving on such bodies, he said. These attempted interventions or suggestions were frequently well-intentioned, but federations had to ensure that they were not simply imposed on them, said Ryan. There was a danger, he warned, that
government suggestions on minor matters could progress to interventions on much more serious issues. Clarifying the roles and responsibilities between organisations had also led ASOIF to set up a working group to resolve some confusion over its duties and those of the SportAccord association. As a result, a document had been drawn up setting out ASOIF’s core role and responsibilities to its members. There was a call from the floor of the General Assembly for better co-ordination between the two organisations. ASOIF and SportAccord co-operated, but there were occasions when there had been duplication of effort, one delegate said. For example, two conferences on betting were held just three weeks apart – one by SportAccord and another between ASOIF and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). However, discussions had been held between ASOIF and the IOC and he was
confident such situations would not happen again. Among other issues touched upon at yesterday’s General Assembly was the lack of interest in trying to establish a top-level ‘dot sport’ internet domain name for sports-related bodies. “Quite a lot of federations said they didn’t want it and it’s gone back to SportAccord to see if they want to go ahead with this,” said Ryan. ■
NEWCOMERS TOAST SPORTACCORD CONVENTION Cheers. A group of first-time delegates to the SportAccord Convention raised a glass yesterday evening to a busy and rewarding week ahead. The Firstcomers Cockail reception was a hit at last year’s event and it was decided to repeat it this year. It was held at the Park Plaza County Hall.
DAILY NEWS INFOSTRADA SPORTS' FACT OF THE DAY The last time Real Madrid won the Champions League, they defeated FC Barcelona in the semifinals and won the final on British soil. Follow us at http://www.twitter.com/infostradalive
FOLLOW EVENTS ON TWITTER
Delegates at the SportAccord Convention, and anyone else around the world interested in sports decision-making will be able to follow events this week on Twitter. Our Twitter feed can be accessed by going to Twitter.com/saconvention When tweeting use the official event hash tag #SACon
THE SPORTACCORD DAILY TEAM The SportAccord Daily is produced on behalf of the organisers by Trident Communications. Editor : Mike Martin Production Editor : Rick Haden Journalists : Alan Dron, Brendan Gallagher, Tom Billinghurst. Photographer : Liam Ritson Printed by : Manson Group If you have a story to tell at the SportAccord Convention then the SportAccord Daily wants to hear from you. The newspaper will be published every day this week and circulated at the event. It’s your event newspaper, so let us know what your organisation is doing. The daily team is located in the Media Centre on the 15th floor of the hotel. Drop in or call Mike Martin on 07585 136676. The Convention Daily is printed on recycled paper.
CONVENTION DAY ONE – AND IT’S THE BUSINESS Two delegates met outside the hotel and it was a full five minutes before they went through the door as they started an animated on-the-spot discussion. There was no question about it: the SportAccord Convention week got off to a flying start as delegates got down to business yesterday. In every space of the hotel the networking got underway big time, with informal chats and diary dates agreed for the serious discussions. If yesterday was anything to judge by, it’s going to be one busy and productive week. ■
NANJING BURNING THE OLYMPIC FLAME The Olympic spirit is alive and well in Nanjing where the second Youth Olympic Games will be held in 2014, according to the city’s Vice Mayor Zhipeng Lu speaking at the SportAccord Convention yesterday. “We have started a programme to encourage the youth of our city to embrace the Olympic spirit,” he said. “We plan a range of activities to encourage education and enthusiasm among our young people. “So far we have received a very enthusiastic response from our young people.” Having been awarded the Games (the first was in
Singapore in 2010) a year ago, the organising committee has created a foundation plan for the event and is now working on strategic plan that will deliver it. Lu said that the sporting infrastructure needed to host the games was already in existence although there will be refurbishment of facilities. In terms of wider infrastructure, huge programmes on the airport, rail and other public transport systems are already underway. “Some projects may be speeded up because of the Youth Olympic Games,” he said. The city will play host to 3,600 athletes, which Lu
ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR 2012, SAYS COE An upbeat report on London’s preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympics came from Chairman of the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) Lord Coe and its Director of Sport Debbie Jevans. They reeled off a long list of landmarks and achievements, noting the high percentage of venues that had already been completed or were close to completion. However, although the venues and facilities were vital, LOCOG was placing great importance on its Athletes’ Committee, which was ensuring that ‘human details’ were in place to make the Games experience as smooth as possible for visiting competitors. This committee studied competition schedules, worried over training facilities, even got involved in food-tasting and testing the beds that would be used in the Olympic Village, said Coe. It was well-known that major sporting events were wonderful opportunities for increasing numbers not only of young competitors but young spectators. Ticketing strategies were looking particularly at attracting youngsters through pricing schemes such as ‘pay your age’ and giving tickets to London schools, he said. It was important not only to have full venues but to have people in those venues “who look as though they want to be there”. LOCOG was working hard “to make sure that we get those tickets into
the hands of people who will cherish them”. Recruitment of 70,000 volunteers, or ‘Games Makers’, was in full swing, with an initial 200,000-plus applicants now reduced to 100,000. Throughout this week, said Jevans, LOCOG would be having 1-on-1 meetings with the various sports represented in London at the SportAccord Convention to go through details of arrangements for their individual sport at the Olympics. More than 3,800 hotel rooms in London had been allocated to the International Federations, she added and, although the prices for these were higher than initial indications they remained good value and well below the hotels’ ‘rack rates’. ■
said was not a particular challenge as the city had already looked after 10,000 for the Chinese National Games. “If I can give you a brief description of Nanjing 2014, it will have a strong Nanjing cultural element, with elements of other Chinese cultures. Those coming will enjoy outstanding athletics and a very colourful and diverse cultural experience.” The Nanjing delegation has scheduled more than 20 meetings at the SportAccord Convention, with the IOC, federations and companies. ■
PLANS FOR SPORTACCORD WORLD ARTISTIC GAMES DEVELOP The concept of the inaugural SportAccord World Artistic Games is to present the artistic sides of sport. The event is to take place in late 2012. The sports programme will focus on the variety of competitive artistic performances and stage the agility of the athletes, rhythm and aesthetic movements. Participating sports will include various forms of Dancing and Gymnastics, Synchronised Swimming and Diving, Artistic Cycling, Artistic Roller Skating and Indoor Musical Aeronautics. The event will be accompanied by a rich and enchanting gala programme and spectator engaging side-activities. Like other SportAccord multi-sports
games, the World Artistic Games will be a top level sporting event featuring the best athletes in their sports. Around 800 athletes will be invited to participate and compete for medals. SportAccord met with the Presidents and Secretary Generals of the participating international federations (IFs) here in London yesterday to discuss the concept and drive the project forward. The event will most likely take place in three venues, including a swimming complex. Currently, the participating IFs are striving to coordinate a period of six days sometime between September and November 2012 to stage the Event. ■
SPORT – THE GREAT SUSTAINABILITY ENABLER The potential for sports to act as an enabler for sustainability is limitless, according to Ingrid Beutler, Manager, SportsAccord Social Responsibility Department. “W\hy not include a photovoltaic installation on any new stadiums built?” she said. “Why not have a company that produces solar panels train up the locals to install and maintain as part of their Corporate Social Rresponsibility campaign? “Why not have all the International Federations that take part in the event have a campaign to collect sports manufacturers and athletes equipment to donate to the local teams similar to the IOC’s Giving is Winning campaign?” The issue of sustainability sits within the wider remit of the Social Responsibility Department which looks at a range of issues, from gender equality and tackling criminality in sport to helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. “Since June, 2010, when my Department was established, it’s been a rollercoaster ride,” said Beutler. “We’ve kept the Department small (just one employee) in order to determine the priority areas where we can be of greatest service to our members in this ever expanding area of ‘social responsibility’”. Beutler’s unit has mapped members social responsibility programmes and initiatives, and an online map will be launched soon. “It is fascinating what the sports movement is doing beyond that which we see on the front page of the sports news every day,” she said. “Our members are
investing millions in infrastructure and programmes for communities and individuals who have traditionally been overlooked by the sports world.” She added that her unit will help to share the best practices of members. “We want to support and promote the efforts of our members so that they can learn from one another about how to maximise their impact in addressing social issues.” Beutler said that while sustainability was often
described in the context of the environment, but she prefers to it to have a broader meaning “The Vancouver 2010 Sustainability Report shows how the Vancouver Olympic Games reached beyond the environmental pillar to deliver many other positive legacies, locally and globally, and they have set a new sustainability blueprint for future large-scale sporting events,” she said. “We have London now setting that bar even higher, not only with their Sustainability Programme but also with International Inspiration, London 2012's international sports legacy programme that aims to use sport as a positive force to enrich the lives of over 12 million young people.” A number of the federations now have Environmental Commissions established, policies in place and support provided to local organising committees to ensure that events are organised in a way that minimises their negative impact on the environment, he added. A showcase of best practice among federations on the sustainability front can be found in the Sports Responsibility Zone of the Exhibition Hall. “We have a long way to go to ensure all of our 104 members have sustainability as an integral part of the management of their sports’ events, but the framework is being worked on and we look forward to supporting our members in identifying and understanding the effects that their activities have on the environment, on society and on the economy.” ■
O2 GOES FROM ZERO TO HERO London’s O2, where the SportAccord Convention will be formally opened tonight, was seen by many as a white elephant following its time as the Millennium Dome. Bereft of a new role, it was finally rescued by Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment presenter AEG, which transformed it into one of the world’s top concert venues. Located close to the Canary Wharf complex visible from the upper floors of the convention hotel, the O2 is scheduled to host gymnastics and basketball for the next year’s London Olympics. According to AEG, the O2 is now pumping £405 million a year into the economy of London and attracting 7.2 million visitors annually – more than the number of tourists going to countries like Australia or India. The company intends to open a 450-room hotel at the site and has further plans for its development. “The Dome’s original problems started on the opening night, New Year’s Eve 1999,” recalls Alex Hill, Senior Executive Director for London-based AEG Europe. “The invited media were kept waiting for hours and never forgot or forgave. But in many respects the Dome was a massive success: the development brought the London Underground to Greenwich, helping the whole area to flourish. In all, the total economic benefit over the past ten years has been put at more than double the original investment.” Now sharing the O2 site in a loop of
the River Thames are the award-winning Greenwich Millennium Village housing development, the Ravensbourne College digital media university, more than 50 shops, restaurants and clubs, exhibition centres and a business district. The O2 success story began four years ago with a £350 million investment by AEG when the company put in a successful bid to regenerate the Dome and its site. “We were looking to expand outside the USA and London was seen as a key location – a destination city and an entertainment hub,” says Hill. “With our expertise in live music and sport – our franchises include the Los Angeles Kings ice hockey and LA Galaxy soccer teams we knew there was a gap in the market in London.” Hill credits a state-of-the-art venue, great customer service, the ability to attract the best talent in the world and a committed partner in mobile telecoms operator O2 for the turnround. “Now we average over 300 event nights a year,” he says. “They range from international sporting events such as the ATP tennis finals to global music acts such as Bon Jovi, from top musicals like Les Miserables to family favourites such as Disney on Ice. The O2 also attracts visitors 364 days a year through its 25 bars and restaurants, 11-screen cinema, nightclub, exhibition space, and an arts festival in partnership with Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute. It’s the No 1 entertainment venue in
DUBAI’S DRIVE FOR SPORT EXCELLENCE Appearing on the exhibition floor here is an organisation that reflects the ambitions of its dynamic home nation. Created in 2005, the mission of the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) is to unify the country’s organisations and activities to build a unique sporting community in the Emirate. “Last year’s SportAccord Convention was held in Dubai and was instrumental in bringing professionals and business minds from the region together with the global sporting community,” says DSC secretary-general Dr Ahmed Al Sharif. “It helped to raise the profile of various sports within the Emirate and also showcased Dubai as a favoured sporting destination.” The DSC agenda includes the promotion of sport for women and all young people, community engagement, and encouragement of participation and achievement through a system of awards. “We see sport as a way of delivering a message of peace and promoting a healthy lifestyle,” says Al Sharif. “So we strive to play an active role in developing domestic and international events and taking part
in global fora like SportAccord.” The DSC Women’s Sports Committee was formed five years ago. “With its aim of encouraging participation by the women of the United Arab Emirates in sport, it has a very important place in our plans.” ■
the world, winning Pollstar’s arena-ofthe-year award for four consecutive years.” Development continues at the site. “There are approvals for a four-star hotel, a cable car link across the river to the ExCeL convention centre, and London’s first cruise liner terminal,” says Hill. “One of the keys to the success of The
O2 was our ability to build up strong relationships with private and public bodies,” he concludes. “The support of local authority Greenwich Council was particularly helpful. The project also opened the door to expansion in other territories. The O2 was our first venture outside North America, now we operate over 115 venues in four continents.” ■
“MY VISION FOR SPORT IN LONDON” - MAYOR The SportAccord Convention is the opening shot in a campaign to raise London’s sports profile even higher, according to London Mayor Boris Johnson who will open the SportAccord Convention today. “I have no doubt that London will deliver a tremendous SportAccord Convention and one which will give all the International Olympic Bodies and Sports Federations a chance to really see what London has in store for next year, in 2012 (The Olympic Games),” he said. “London is delighted to be the host of SportAccord Convention. This is such an important meeting of International Sports Federations, members of the International Olympic Committee, global sponsors, National Olympic committees, bidding and host cities, event organising committees and sports related businesses and international sports media.” Mayor Johnson said that his long-term vision for London was of a city capable of welcoming even more major events, both sporting and cultural. “The completion of Olympic Park will increase these opportunities and allow London to host many Olympic and Paralympic sports for the first time,” he said. “This will continue well beyond 2012 as we seek to combine elite performance sport with wider participation events, and to encourage new generations to get active. I am dedicated to making the most of this sporting legacy for London and the rest of the UK as well as capitalising on the growth of sports tourism for the future.” The SportAccord Convention can act as a springboard towards fulfilling the long term vision, said the Mayor. “It is an event which is all about the global sports business industry joining together, developing relationships, learning more and moving forward as a global industry. “For London, SportAccord presents a unique opportunity to build relationships with decision-makers and position London as a long-term partner of the global sports movement.” Mayor Johnson said that the capital is moving into a unique period in the runup to the Olympic Games. “As one of the world’s most famous
and historic cities and most popular destination for tourists, London’s profile on the global stage is always incredibly high,” he said. “However, now it is about to be raised to stratospheric levels as we enter one of the most unique periods in its long, illustrious history.” He added: “This month sees the fantastic spectacle and pageantry of our first Royal Wedding for many years. Then just a year later London and the UK cracks open the champagne once again to mark our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and celebrate her 60 years on the throne. And of course the following month sees the greatest show on earth open in London with the lighting of the Olympic Flame. By the time of the Games, London will already be alive in the imagination of the world. “This, combined with the fact that we are using some truly iconic London landmarks such as Horse Guards Parade and Greenwich Park to host competitions, will give audiences something extra special, and help to showcase the Olympic movement and the sports of its federations like never before.” Mayor Johnson said that his interest in developing sport further was not confined to London. “In Singapore, when we were elected host city, we also made a commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic movements that we would harness the magic of the Games to inspire young people to take up sport,” he said. “This commitment is not just for London – where my sport legacy plan is already delivering results - and the UK, but for the whole world. The International Inspiration programme is bringing opportunities to children all over the world that would not have been possible without the London Games.” London 2012 will offer a platform for further development of sport in the capital through the legacy programme, he said. “After the Games, we will have fantastic state-of-the-art sporting facilities, from the Stadium itself to the Velodrome and the Aquatics Centre. The Olympic Park Legacy Company is already busy planning a future for those venues which will combine a
promise of community use with major national and international sporting competitions long after the Olympic and Paralympic Flames are extinguished. “I want the London Games to be the best ever, and cannot wait to see the world’s elite athletes competing at the highest level. It’s vital that this translates into inspiration for generations of sporting stars to come. I hope millions of youngsters around the globe who tune in to see their heroes climbing up the medals table will get involved, take up sports and aim to be among the very best.” Mayor Johnson concluded by saying that London is the real winner as host of the Olympic Games.
“The 2012 Games have provided the catalyst for the single biggest regeneration project in the capital for a generation or more. I also hope the top-class facilities being built in Stratford will lead to London becoming a worldwide hub for enterprise and innovation, making full use of the fantastic new international media centre to show entrepreneurs that London is the best city in the world to base their emerging technology firms,” he said. “We have an ambitious but realistic plan which will add to the rich diversity of east London and provide benefits for local people and businesses for years to come.” ■
SPORTACCORD CONVENTION CHAIRMAN – A GREAT SPORT
As Chairman of the SportAccord Convention, Lord Digby Jones is perfectly cut out for the job. As a great advocate for British business, he understands the commercial value of sport to the country. Above all, he loves sport. Even though it got him expelled from school. His favourite sporting memory was leading his hockey team to victory during his school days. And that is where the trouble began. “My favourite sporting memory was winning the Inter-house Hockey Cup at Bromsgrove School when I captained a weaker side to a surprise victory (1-0) over the so-called best house in the School. “It was memorable also because I celebrated the victory by, as Head Boy, streaking around the House Green.....and was expelled from school for my trouble!” It was a set-back that did nothing to hold back the ambitious Digby Jones. He went on to a career as a lawyer, head of the UK’s Confederation of British Industry and then politics where he served as Minister of State for UK Trade and Investment. Famed for his forthright views, Lord Digby Jones has been outspoken on everything from working practices and pensions to the need for socially-inclusive wealth creation. Today he works in a wide range of industry and sport-related roles, including Corporate Ambassador for Jaguar Cars and as a non-executive Director at Leicester Tigers Rugby, the current English Premiership Champions. Little wonder then, that he was involved at an early stage with bringing the SportAccord Convention to London.
“I was involved in arranging funding for the bid by London to host SportAccord when I was Minister of State for Trade & Investment in the UK Government and was asked to stay involved at senior level when I left Government,” he said. “I welcome the World to London for the SportAccord Convention. We know how to put on a show and one of the world's favourite venues will roll out the red carpet for delegates from simply everywhere. “Sport matters; the business of sport matters; and people matter more, and that's what the London SportAccord Convention is all about...linking the people of the World to each other through Sport. “Sport, at every level and in every form, is one of the best (if not THE best) methods of bringing societies and peoples together. Sport breaks down the barriers of ignorance that nurture prejudice.” As a tireless advocate for British business, Lord Digby Jones is well aware of the commercial importance of sport in the country. “The UK sports sector, from training to ticket facilitation, from consulting engineering for Olympic Arenae to manufacturing competitive dynamic athletic garments, from hosting major World events to advising on security arrangements, is globally competitive and a big overseas UK success story for business, in both earning profits for UK and also in enhancing Brand Britain.” Lord Digby Jones has spent a lifetime watching the extraordinary evolution of different sports. “I never imagined, when I was playing rugby at School forty years ago, that there would be a professional game with a hugely successful World Cup,” he said. “I never expected to see the dreadful abuse of ref-
erees and disrespect for authority and cheating in the modern game of football that is the norm today. “I did expect to see the World's favourite game keep up with the times and put technology to good use. Nor, when I hitchhiked over to Zandvoort in the Netherlands in 1975 to watch a rookie called James Hunt in an amateur-entered Hesketh, that today Formula One would be the enormous money and marketing machine that it has become....and the Brits have still produced more World Motor Racing Champions than any other country, by a mile!” ■
AMONG HIS MOST MEMORABLE SPORTING MOMENTS, LORD DIGBY JONES LISTED: ■ Watching Leicester Tigers retain the European Heineken Cup in 2002. “It was the more memorable because a dear friend of my wife and me, Brenda, came with me to watch it and died from breast cancer just a few weeks later.” ■ England winning the Rugby World Cup in 2003 against Australia in Australia. “Just magical!” ■ Aston Villa winning the European Cup in 1982. ■ England winning the Olympic Hockey Gold Medal in 1988 in Seoul.
THE FOUR KEYS TO CITY BIDS Brand development and communications specialist Abold has identified four key criteria for cities who bid for major sports events, according to its boss Andreas Abold. They are brilliant execution of technical requirements, political support, emotional impact and positive perception. “We have defined four main criteria for a successful bid,” said Abold. “Every organisation must be convinced that the applicant can fulfil the technical requirements such as the master planning or construction of a stadium. “Also, every bid needs backing from the political arena.” He added that his firm, an exhibitor at the SportAccord Convention, has the capability to generate perception of a given event. On emotional impact, he said: “Facts convince, moods fluctuate. It is very important to establish a mood that creates closeness and warmth. “Cultural and social uniqueness are important criteria which we take into account in order to win over the relevant target group for our client’s messages.” Abold has 24 years experience of bidding for mega sporting events, including FIFA World Cups and Olympic Games. The trend for events to move into new regions of the world poses no challenges to his firm, said Abold. “If you look at our bidding history, you can see that our
business is not based on traditional centres,” he said. “For the FIFA World Cup in 2010, we even established a local company there under the very specific rules and regulations of the South African Government.
“Business without challenges does not exist. To learn from different cultures and gain more experience in social, political and economic conditions is very demanding and very exciting.” ■
DELIVERING AN EDUCATION IN SPORT AISTS (International Academy of Sports Science and Technology) is a first-time exhibitor at the SportAccord Convention and is seeking to expand its World-wide network of contacts in the sporting world. “We want to connect with new partners and reconnect with existing ones,” said Dr Claude Stricker, Executive Director of the Academy that was founded in 2000 by the International Olympic Committee and a group of academic institutions. “It is the first time that AISTS has had a stand and we look forward to opportunities for exchange and networking.” AISTS acts as an interface between the academic world and the IOC and international sports federations, offering a range of qualifications, including a Master of Advanced Studies in Sports Administration and Technology (AISTS MSA), and an Executive MBA in Sports Administration & Technology. “We launched the AISTS Executive MBA in Sports Administration and Technology, a part time programme, in November last year and have received the first registrations for the programme,” said Stricker. “The first module was on Leadership and Decision Making with Jean Todt as keynote speaker and lecturers from AISTS, HEC Lausanne and IMD.” ■
WHY SPORT MATTERS IN THE SLUMS OF NAIROBI John Siner is the owner of “Why Sport Matters”, a media company which focuses on the unique impact sport has on society and culture around the world. Along with video testimonials during the sessions and on SportAccord TV, each day here in the convention Daily Siner gives a personal account from some of his global travels. More information is found on his website www.whysportmatters.com. We met Vincent Ochieng at the Kipkeino High Performance Training Centre in the area of Eldoret in western Kenya, the home of numerous legendary Kenyan runners. Vincent is one of the top triathletes in the country, and was spending the week training at the camp. This is remarkable when you consider that he has spent his entire life growing up in poverty. But this is only the beginning of Vincent’s inspiring story. Vincent is from the massive slum of Kibera in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi, and is one of the largest informal urban settlements in the world. Most residents lack access to basic services like electricity and running water. Kibera is a mix of different peoples, with limited access to good education and employment. Racial tensions can run high, and young people are faced by a lifestyle of gangs, drugs and crime. Thanks to his sporting success, Vincent understands that he is a role model and realised that he can be an agent for change. In 2008, Vincent created the Kibera Sport Development Programme to empower youth through sports and to encourage sportsmanship as a way of life. Each day his organisation runs training sessions for kids that are complemented with education on social issues like HIV/Aids, drug abuse and positive health initiatives. Vincent serves as Director of the Foundation, and he invited us to come visit him in Kibera for a training session and show us the importance of the foun-
dation to this area. On this day about 50 kids were working with coaches in a simple dirt field just outside the walls of the settlement. Many of the kids didn’t even have shoes to wear. “We want to change lives, and our foundation provides a way for the youth of this area to spend time in an encouraging way,” he says. “It provides them with something to do and a way out of a life of drugs and crime. At the same time, sport is an important unifying factor. In Kibera we have big problems with segregation and violence amongst the different tribes. Sport is a great way to unite the community as we are open to all kids and we get together and work as one team.” Vincent aims to develop world-class athletes in order to bring more opportunities for his hometown. It made us realise that sport truly matters in Kibera. Check out www.kiberaguru.org for more info. ■
SPORT MATTERS – TO MELBOURNE When it comes to sport, there is nowhere in Australia more passionate than Melbourne, according to Brendan McClements, Chief Executive of the Victorian Major Events Company. An exhibitor at the SportAccord Convention, the firm is here to reinforce that message. “Sport really does matter to Melbourne - more so than any other Australian city,” said McClements. “We’ve been fortunate enough to successfully deliver many significant international sporting events in recent years and it’s no secret that we look forward to hosting many more.” The firm has been a regular presence at the SportAccord Convention since it began in Madrid in 2003. “Melbourne takes the business of hosting sport events very seriously and SportAccord is the single most important annual event that allows us to spend time with those people who help shape the industry,” he said. ■
“KNOW THE RIGHTS OWNERS’ OBJECTIVES” Ask not what the rights owner can do for your city by awarding it a major sports event; but what you can do for the rights owner. That’s the message from Lars Lundov, Chief Executive, Sport Event Denmark who was reflecting on one of the key themes of the SportAccord Convention – how do cities win major events? “This is a multi-faceted question and for competitive reasons I cannot unveil our complete campaign strategies,” he said. “However, our experience is that it is crucial to understand in-depth the rights owners’/decision-makers’ wishes and event objectives. “Also, it is not only a matter of what the event can do for the applicant/candidate, but also what the applicant/candidate can do for the event/rights owner.” Sport Event Denmark, a Gold Sponsor and an exhibitor at the convention, is the national event support organisation, established by the Danish
Government and the country’s NOC. Its main objective is attracting and hosting major international sports events and congresses. “With expertise and know-how we offer Danish hosts advisory and agency services as well as financial support. We also assist the hosts and their partners in delivering successful international sporting events.” Lundov said that the organisation’s high profile at the convention is aimed at marketing events it has already gained as well as maintaining and extending its international network of contacts. “We intend to brand Denmark to the inner circle of the global sports business as an active and attractive sports events destination.” He said that the organisation has enjoyed a successful few years, with the hosting of several events. They included the IOC Session & Olympic Congress 2009, the FILA World Wrestling Championships 2009, the WTF World
Taekwondo Championships 2009, the UCI World Track Cycling Championships 2010 and most recently the WCF World Women’s Curling Championship 2011. Ahead is a string of major events to be held in Denmark, including the UEFA Under-21 European Championship 2011, the UCI Road World Championships 2011, the CEV Men’s European Volleyball Championship 2013, the FEI European Jumping & Dressage Championships 2013, the EHF Men’s Handball European Championship 2014, the FITA World Archery Championship 2015 and the IHF Women’s Handball World Championship 2015. “We, Sport Event Denmark, are hosting each and every one of these events in close cooperation with the Danish sport federation and host city concerned, which is what we call the “Event Triangle” and the outcome ‘Sports Event Made in Denmark’”. ■
MODULAR EVENT FACILITIES “COME OF AGE” London 2012 has become a showcase for flexible, demountable sporting facilities, according to Daniel Cordey, Chief Executive, Market for Nussli the sporting structures specialist. The firm, with 80% of its business in the sports event sector, is exhibiting at the SportAccord Convention its range of temporary, modular and permanent structures. “We had the opportunity to participate to the successful FIFA Soccer World Cup Bids in Russia and Qatar, with sustainable stadia infrastructure concepts based on our modular stadia solution,” said Cordey. “Our concept design work for relocatable large arena have become instrumental for bidding cities. There is a much better awareness and readiness to integrate such innovative ideas for one-off events now than five or ten years ago. London 2012 played an important role to show the sports world that large scale demountable solutions are doable.” The firm offers turnkey solutions on structures, from the conceptual stage, through planning, through to final implementation. Headquartered in Switzerland, Nussli has offices in Europe, the USA, and the Middle East. Cordey said that 2010 had been an exceptional year, with engagements at the Winter Olympic Games, the Soccer World Cup, the World Equestrian Games and the Commenwealth Games. “So in 2010 the increase (in business) was huge,” he said. “This year things are calmer. In average we expect an annual increase of the business potential of 5-10%.” ■
DAILY NEWS 7 QUESTIONS OF SPORT: WITH BERNARD LAPASSET, IRB CHAIRMAN. The world’s sporting leaders are gathered together at the SportAccord Convention to address the big issues. But what is it about sport itself that sets their pulses racing? We find out. ■ What is your favourite sport? Of course, it is rugby.
Université Club. My energy for the game grew from there.
■ Why? From my early memories when I played and now when I watch rugby, it is the most fun I have. It is one of the best sports of the century. It’s great for its discipline and respect for the other players and the officials and because of its demand for courage.
■ What is your greatest sporting moment? It was when Nelson Mandela in his Springbok jersey and hat was presented with the World Cup in South Africa. That was a fantastic memory for me because it brought people together through a global sports event. The legacy that the 1995 South Africa World Cup left behind is why rugby is such a great sport. It was a great event, especially under the circumstances, for the freedom of the game, for the freedom of the rugby community.
■ What is your earliest sporting memory? I remember, in my playing days, winning the French Junior Championship at Paris
SHORT WALKS FROM THE HOTEL - HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT A ten-minute walk south across Westminster Bridge from the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel will bring you to the historic Houses of Parliament. Also known as Westminster Palace, it is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom – the House of Lords and the House of Commons. It is acknowledged as the focal-point of British politics. The House of Commons, or simply “the Commons”, comprises 650 democratically-elected Members of Parliament (MP’s), who represent the interests and concerns of the British electorate.
The House of Lords, or “the Lords”, primary purpose is that of scrutinising Legislation proposed by the Commons through debate. Westminster Palace’s special place in Britain’s rich cultural tapestry, while preserving a profound pertinence throughout the ever-evolving modernisation of society, is rooted in its historical and artistic raison d’être. William Turner’s Romantic landscape canvasses, Charles Barry’s Gothic-style architecture, and the uprooting devastation of the Blitz have indelibly etched the unique persona of the Houses of Parliament into the consciousness of the world’s citizens past, present and future. ■
■ Who is your sporting hero? My sporting hero is Jonah Lomu. He is the most important player in the history of rugby. He was the first superstar of rugby; he was so exciting for the crowd. It was not just the rugby community that took an interest in him, everyone knew about him and wanted to watch him play. ■ Why does sport matter? For me sport is a school of freedom. It is important for teaching respect towards
others and a way of learning a discipline that is so important for life. ■ What is your greatest hope for sport? Well, there are a lot of challenges in the world today. And sport has to be a part of all the different issues facing us in the world today. Issues like economic development, the environment, poverty, peace. Sport has the ability, like Nelson Mandela showed, to be a “rainbow community”. This is the colour of sport in the future. ■
ANNUAL ANTI-DOPING SPEND APPROACHES $50M The annual total expenditure by international federations on anti-doping programmes is probably not far short of $50 million, president Denis Oswald told the 35th general assembly of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) here yesterday. “The 27 federations who contributed to our newly released survey of anti-doping costs indicated that they spent a total of $21.7 million in 2009,” he said. “But one high-spending federation didn’t respond, and we estimate that its share would have taken the total above $23 million. And that figure could probably be doubled if the cost of legal activities was added.” Oswald, who also serves on the executive board of the International Olympic Committee, said that while the average cost per sample analysis was $825, there was a wide variation among the prices of laboratories. “We need to study the reasons for the differences, and then negotiate with the labs
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with a view to pushing down costs.” The association president said that variations in testing quality were a concern too. “The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) recently ran a test in which samples with the same origin were sent to two different labs,” he said. “One came up with a single positive result while the other reported seven. This is very worrying. To minimise the possibility of cheats getting away with it, we want all athletes to be dealt with by high-performing labs.” He pointed to the small percentage of positive results in general testing – just 0.95 per cent of the more than 173,000 tests paid for by federations yielded an adverse analytical finding (AAF), for an average cost of more than $86,000 each. “We suspect that the true incidence is higher,” Oswald said. “So we need to push for greater efficiency by being more intelligent and doing more targeted testing.” WADA director-general David
Howman thanked ASOIF for its continued support in the fight against doping, describing it as “the greatest scourge faced by sport,” and described the survey and report as a timely reminder of the costs of the battle. Howman described a number of possi-
ble cost-saving initiatives, saying that some could be implemented quickly. They included the development of model antidoping programmes tailored to the financial resources of individual federations, and collective deals with the courier companies contracted to carry samples. ■
ASOIF ASSENT FOR NEXT STRIDE TOWARDS ATHLETE DATABASE
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The membership of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations yesterday gave the green light for a $0.5 million investment in the next stage of development of the proposed ASOIF Athlete Information System (AAIS). AAIS is seen as a common shared data platform to provide the federations with a permanent biography system for elite athletes competing in major events. It would ensure that each federation had full control of information on the identity of its own competitors and act as a trusted central database for broadcasters, event organisers, press agencies and Websites. Presenting AAIS to the assembly, outgoing council member Bob Elphinston said: “One of my biggest frustrations in the run-up to the Sydney Games was how hard it was to put together athlete biographies,” said the former secretary-general of the Australian Olympic Committee. “They came from various different sources – which one could you rely on?” He listed some of the other drawbacks of current arrangements for maintaining this information about athletes. “We would like to see the cost to the federa-
tions come down. There needs to better control of the data, which ultimately belongs to the federations. And the various different IT platforms currently in use make it different to access the information.” The ASOIF working group set up to address the issue is proposing a standard template for use by all federations, to be integrated into a standard IT platform to create a permanent athlete information system. A qualified commercial partner would be engaged to build and operate the system. “There would be multiple benefits,” Elphinston said. “They include consistent information for use by the media and local organising committees, leading to more media exposure. The information itself would be more valuable, and would improve the quality of federation Websites and social media. And the information could be sold to broadcasters and event organisers to create an income stream for the federations.” Following yesterday’s approval, ASOIF will work over the rest of the year to identify a suitable IT technology and develop the business case. ■
Published on Feb 20, 2013