Starting out at the Sport and Recreation Alliance Part 5
Communications assistant Patrick Coyne, shares his experiences of working for the Sport and Recreation Alliance, the umbrella body for national governing bodies involved in sport and recreation, and gives an insight into what the organisation does.
I hope you enjoyed the Olympics as much as we did in the office. Burwood House started to resemble a ghost town with tumbleweed replacing the bunting, as many staff took time off to enjoy all sorts of events ranging from ping pong to hockey and volleyball to steeplechase.
It’s brilliant that the Olympics have been highlighting the hard work that all our members have been putting in for years – all the blood sweat and tears have finally been worth it and Team GB have been more successful than at any point in the past century.
However, from doing the daily news summary (sign up – it’s free!) and having to really trawl through all the media outlets to ensure we get the best stories, it becomes clear that there is work still to be done for sport in the UK – especially with regards to the Olympic legacy, something Tim Lamb has been speaking to BBC about recently.
I’ve also been reading the literature review our research and evidence officer, Syann Cox, has produced, showing the social, cultural and physical benefits of sport which will be published sometime in September.
It’s only when you see it printed in black and white (or in our case trendy infographics) that you appreciate just how good sport can be in so many ways, and I’m glad to see that Lord Moynihan called on the government to ensure that these Games do provide a real legacy.
On a non-Olympic note, we also had our AGM at St. James’s Palace where I was lucky enough to speak to our president, HRH the Earl of Wessex.
This was my first face-to-face experience with royalty and we had been prepped on how to address the Prince, “In the first instance you will refer to His Royal Highness and on other occasions with the address of Sir”.
Of course when Prince Edward said hello to me, I instantly forgot and – like a yokel – grinned an “alright?”. Smooth, real smooth. I was then asked by my boss to go and stand guard at the fire exit for the rest of the afternoon.
At the AGM we also presented our Sport and Recreation Alliance's Community Sports Club of the Year awards, and you can find out who they are and what they have done to deserve the awards in these brief video interviews here.
For this I had to use the skills I learnt attending the PRCA foundation course, where they gave us tips on how to write a press release. Press releases are basically a way of showcasing a story that you want in the press to a journalist, in the hope that they pick it up and include it in their paper/website/newsletter.
There is a basic structure to press releases which is either: problem – solution – benefit or victim – villain – hero, with your product or company always being the good guys. When I first started writing them, like a newbie, I was trying to sell my point rather than actually write something interesting!
If you include some facts or trends, a relevant photo or graphic and actually have an important human element to a story people are much more likely to firstly read the press release and secondly, to follow up on it. People don’t talk in binary, so I had to stop writing in it!
The AGM has been a real highlight for me so far, especially as one of the winners was a personal hero of mine and a hero, I imagine, of most other football fans, Sir Bobby Charlton (106 international appearances: 49 goals…..from midfield!).
Sir Bobby gave a heartfelt speech of his pride at being awarded the Arthur Bell Trophy and of his life in sport. During the speech he imparted a wonderful bit of advice, “Football is just like anything in real life, if you don’t shoot, you don’t score”.
If you enjoyed this blog, read Patrick’s previous blogs here.
For more Sport and Recreation Alliance blogs visit the blogs section.
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