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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I’ve been a bit quiet but activity is booming!

I’m not one to share much of my personal life but I just have to to say a very big thank you to all of you who have been so kind in sending me texts, emails, cards and phone messages of condolence on the death of my mum. Your thoughts really meant a great deal and reminded me again of how special the rugby family is. My team has been brilliant as usual and activity continues to be frantic! We have now put the UK Sport investment bid to bed and we await decisions on funding which we will know on 9 December and which I will share with you as soon as I can. This week Kirsty and I have been working flat out on our Sport England bid. The deadline for submitting this is 14 November so we will...
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Looking Forward to Rio and Much More

I was watching the weather forecast on Thursday night and the presenter announced that summer was officially over. My wife looked at me waiting for a reaction because I am one of those people who really struggles with the winter – I just hate those dark mornings and the days closing in from mid afternoon, and I long for the bright blue Cornish skies of spring and summer. But at the moment I am so excited about all that we have going on in the sport that I have not got time to think about the impending gloom of winter! Take this weekend, we had Paul Arnold, Luke White and Stuart McLindon delivering wheelchair rugby sessions in the West Car Park at Twickenham for the London double header mat...
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Another Wonderful Games

These were a marvellous Olympics in a marvellous city’, said IOC boss Thomas Bach, and I agree with him! Hosting the games is a monumental undertaking and against all the other political, economic and social challenges that Brazil faces, Rio and all involved in the organisation and delivery of the games can be proud of what they achieved. I have often been disappointed for the people of Brazil when I have read and heard so many criticisms of the things that others have thought should be better or different. I know from my time travelling in the Navy that the Brazilian people are a fun people, generous, giving and humble – they will have wanted everyone to have had a great time and I am s...
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