Congratulations to the GB team, athletes and staff who today won the gold at the European Championships in Germany. It was a huge achievement as since Christmas we have worked with a very small staff held together by Lee Stutely and Head Coach Paul Shaw and Assistant Coaches Rob Tarr and Darren Mathews (pictured below) who have worked in a voluntary capacity.
This victory is even sweeter because even though we knew the risks we did not compromise our values around the importance of family and so Jim Roberts, perhaps our strongest player, went home after the semi-finals to attend the wedding of his brother. That was hugely important to him and hugely important to us as we will never sacrifice the interests of athletes for results. But the strength in depth of our squad shone through and we saw some of the newer and younger players shine as they took their opportunity to impress. Tactically we were superb and Paul and his assistant coaches deserve every accolade for what they have achieved.
We will go on to greater and better things and my attention now turns back to the funding issue. It would be a tragedy were GB not to be in a position to take its rightful place in the World Championships. As European Champions. The UK must live up to what its preaches and deliver on its commitment to diversity and in recognising a group of athletes and an NGB which is delivering and also meeting a commitment to sound governance, leadership and athlete welfare. I am committed to having a competitive team in Australia and that work has already started.
Meanwhile I want to thank BT, LMAX Exchange, Roma Sports and Get Kids Going for their sponsorship and equipment provision and Hogan Lovell and David Warner of Chimp Management who have given their services pro bono. Also a big thank you to all those who have contributed to our Just Giving Campaign for being part of this story. Without your commitment we would be in an even worse position than we are now. This is a sweet victory and I promise the first of many – the story has a long way to go yet! Now to some celebrations!!