Live from the Leadership Convention

The Sport and Recreation Alliance's 2012 Leadership Convention is now on.

This year’s theme is Innovative Leadership – and speakers include: Craig Hunter, chef de mission of the London 2012 Paralympics, Baroness Sue Cambell, chair of UK Sport, London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Katherine Grainger MBE and Jeff Grout, a man whose experience straddles the business and sporting worlds, and who is rated as one of the best speakers in the UK.

We'll be updating this page with the latest interviews and videos from the event so that if you can't attend, you don't miss out.

Click here to view the talk from day one.

Click here to view the talk from day two.

If you want to join the debate, contact us via Twitter @sportrectweets using the hashtag #Leaders2012

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Wednesday 14 November 2012

Hello and welcome to the Leadership Convention 2012 timeline. Later on today at 16:30 we'll have our chair Andy Reed open the show and we'll get straight into a question time-esque panel with Craig Hunter, Sue Campbell, Owen Gibson and Chris Daniels. So check back then!


At Stratford Manor Hotel, and all the panel members have arrived ready and raring to go.

People are now flooding into the convention hall as the speakers chat amongst themselves.


Andy Reed, chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, opens the conference by announcing some of the wins that the Sport and Recreation Alliance has had for the sport and recreation sector this year including licensing savings of £6 million.


Let the Leadership Convention begin. 140 delegates in hotel outside Stratford Upon Avon. CEOs and Chairs from UK sports orgs. #Leaders2012

Sue Campbell, chair of UK Sport + Youth Sport Trust first to speak. What a summer she must have had. #leaders2012

Mind you, didn't stop her from getting stuck in traffic on the way here. Traffic a great leveller...#leaders2012

Sue talking about how we 'turbocharge' efforts in the next Olympiad. No room for complacency. 'Lots of room to improve'. #leaders2012

Our system will now allow us to achieve every 4 years - no more peaks and troughs necessary. #leaders2012

3 things have established system 1) Governance 2) Clarity of vision which has united sport 3) Investment in individuals inc coaches

Athlete-centred funding at heart of success. Also long-term planning. 8 years or more. No messing around with it. No fiddling with it.

Olympics brilliant time to politically influence. Sue Campbell shows pictures of "her friends", Boris and David Cameron. #leaders2012

London2012 successful because cross-party. Stresses need for politicians to keep steady course and plan for long-term in sport. #leaders2012

Look at this picture that our Patrick took of Sue. This slightly blurred look was achieved by him running across the room, having smeared the lens with Vaseline. Look out for more action shots like this as the Convention goes on.


@craigparachef on next. Tough act to follow Sue, but he's handsome AND interesting. Describing his concerns pre paras. #leaders2012

Best things to happen at Paras - Jason Cundy going nuts when he got dq'd and Pistorius getting beaten - proper competition. #Leaders2012

1) Need far more people involved in disabled sport. NGBs must do better. 2) Facilities must be more accessible. #Leaders2012

3) Need to sustain a changed attitude at clubs to embrace disabled athletes #leaders2012


Another high speed effort by our Patrick, this time swinging from one of the chandeliers.


Women's sport coming to the fore now with panel members fielding questions from the floor.

Debate currently being had over the lack of coverage in the media regarding women's sport.

Sue Campbell says no simple answer - more female presenters, producers etc. now but need to create a culture in the media to cover all sports not just football.


The panel are now talking about what politicians can do to help create a legacy.

From @owen_g 'We need a 10 year cross-party consensus. But we have to work out what that consensus is - that's the hard part' #leaders2012.

Chris Daniels: We need a clear definition of what we mean by "legacy" so that everyone can then get behind it.


And that's the end of the panel discussion! Check back tomorrow for more updates from the Leadership Convention. #Leaders2012

Thursday 15 November 2012


Hello and welcome to day two of the Sport and Recreation Alliance's Leadership Convention. Highlights of today are speeches from Olympic gold medalist Katherine Grainger and Jeff Grout one of the top public speakers in the UK.


Jeff Grout is now in full swing talking about how to give your employees the recogniton they deserve.


Jeff has now moved onto the importance of recruitment. He's stressing the point that without having some form of training in giving interviews you cannot possibly be able to find the right candidate.

"The cost of employing the wrong person for the job equates to a loss in income of twice that person's annual salary".


Jeff paraphrases Sir Clive Woodward: "Very difficult to motivate but very easy to de-motivate".



Jeff is now talking about the big talk and the little talk. The big talk is talking about the objectives and the end goal. Little talk is the please and thank you's. The big talk needs to be kept to a minimum and the little talk needs to be constant to help keep people motivated.

'People need to appraise their own performances with scores out of 10. Good or bad gives no feedback to improve the next time.' #Leaders2012

Quoting Seb Coe: If you don't know why you've failed, how can you improve? If you don't know why you've succeeded it must be an accident.


Delegates are now making their way to their chosen workshops. We'll be reporting from Maurice Watkins led: Starting innovation in your board


Maurice Watkins:

'Have you seen any innovation in the last 12 months or do you just churn out the same old stuff? It's essential to have independent non-executive directors to try and guide you as they see things with fresh eyes and help spark that next leap forward'


Discussions have very much been focussed on the importance on having independent non-executive directors.

Strategies for gaining these independent directors have been explored: do you advertise, target or just by chance?

The greater professionalism of boards has also been thought to be very positive and the way forward.


'The innovative mechanisms that are helping at a national level need to filter down effectively to a local board level' #Leaders2012

'Having board meetings can be very expensive - the internet has helped us meet regularly without that expense' #Leaders2012


And that's lunch! Great workshop there from Maurice Watkins, who I managed to have a quick interview with, so look out for the video later. The next set of workshops is at 1:45 so check back then.


Time for the afternoon session. I'll be updating from Jane Nickerson's sustainable funding workshop.

'There is no silver bullet to gain a sustainable source of funding. We need to tie all the little things together to make a big thing'. #Leaders2012


'Bring your commercial partners together so they can be coordinated. Remember they may be able to offer you expertise  in marketing especially, but it's always for a return'.

Make sure you enter in to deals projecting the fact that you are a business too. Don't give your products away as that's where your value lies.


New commercial ventures will not always go right- but as long as you have more that are right than wrong it is worth that risk #Leaders2012


Earlier we caught up with Olympic gold medalist Katherine Grainger before she gives her keynote speech. Some great insight in to what it takes to be an innovative leader.



Katherine Grainger is now speaking at the Leadership Convention and discussing how her rowing didn't come naturally to her. Her university created a 5th rowing team especially for her!


'At Beijing we were prepared but we just couldn't match the Chinese. It was the most devastating moment of my career. Instant devastation'

After Beijing I sat and felt sorry for myself. Two months on I watched the race for the first time at a school and I  almost broke down. But I had to decide: either move on with the rest of my life or come back for London.


'Volunteers made the Games. So friendly. I'm now disappointed every time I get off the Tube and there's no-one to high 5 me' #Leaders2012

'We could feel the sound at the finish line. It was like it was pushing us forward stroke by stroke' #Leaders2012

Funny, warm, compelling and inspiring. If you ever get the chance, make sure you hear Katherine Grainger's public speaking #Leaders2012

And now Alliance CEO Tim Lamb is closing the show. Great convention all round. Check the Alliance over the next week for speeches and video


Join the debate via Twitter using the hashtag #Leaders2012

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