CEO Blog: Overwhelming Support

With everyone’s thoughts turning to Christmas I just wanted to say a very big thank you for the wave of support we are seeing from many individuals and organisations who are aghast at the UK Sport decision to cease our funding from 31 March 2017. It is not just our friends in the wider sports sector that are raising their hands and supporting us, but as the general public and the media get to hear and understand the implications of this decision they too are crying ‘foul’. Today our lawyers informed UK Sport of our intention to represent our case for the decision to be over-turned. In addition, we are looking at ways in which we can get our team to Germany in June so that we can defend...
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Confidence in Our Sport

You will have woken this morning to our sport very much in the media. First the great news that our Sport England investment plan has been fully funded which is an incredible result and recognises the outstanding development work that has been achieved over the last 4 years. Kirsty, her team and the many volunteers who have helped deliver our programmes, as well as all of you who have made your clubs a welcoming place for new participants can share in the success of our bid which will help us further grow the game. The £2.4M is the full amount we asked for and is a significant increase in our funding from the last cycle – one of the only sports to have achieved this. We also bid for £300...
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Reasons to Celebrate

With the recent shocking news that UK Sport will not fund our GB programme for Tokyo you may think my title a bit strange but although I will come back to that decision in a minute I do not want it to define how we think about ourselves or our sport at the moment, nor cloud an otherwise bright picture of where we are. The decision does not change the reality that we are a sport that continues to be on the ‘up’ and continues to deliver amazing opportunities for all who are involved in our game. Just look at last weekend when history was made with @BrightonBuccs playing an all-female line... what an incredible achievement particularly at a ti...
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On Balance Most People Do Good

Some of you will know that for many years I chaired the independent safeguarding commission in the South West. The commission was made up of a team of professionals from the police, probation, children’s and adults’ services, health and probation. In addition to reviewing abuse cases and putting in place measures to manage the risk around offenders returning to the community, we had an important role to provide a safe place where victims of abuse could come forward to be heard and supported. This week we have all witnessed a storm of allegations of abuse in football. My experience tells me that we have probably seen nothing yet and that there will be uncomfortable revelations coming from...
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Prague and Stoke Mandeville Weekend of Action!

There is some really great rugby to look forward to this weekend. For the Talent Squad it starts today with their first game in the Prague Tournament against Les Mousqetaires, which is pretty much the French team. GB has been drawn in Group B which also includes Avengers, which is comprised of some of our own GB national team, Maniacs, a sort of barbarians team, and the Germany Development squad. Group A has the European Giants, another barbarian make up, Germany, the national team, Danish Dynamite, the Danish national team, Switzerland, the national team, and the Flying Dutchmen, also a national team. So you can see this is a pretty tough tournament for us but just the sort of competition a...
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Creating Opportunities

By the time you get to read this I will have pressed the Send button and our Sport England investment bid will be on the desks of those who will decide if we can help deliver the Sport England objectives we heard about in the summer. It has been a huge effort to get this plan presented in such a short timescale and Kirsty in particular merits special mention for all the work she has put into this. My thanks also to Lorraine who added the section on Talent and also to the Trustees who have played an important part in challenging me on elements of the plan. This has helped to strengthen it as well as test our capacity to deliver what we have set out. I am confident that the final resu...
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