Our young FLS leaders were prominent in Rio.

Georgie Twigg was a member of the Womens Hockey team that won gold. There were terrific signs of leadership and team spirit in the group of players and coaches.

Tom Mitchell was captain of the Rugby Sevens team. They had a terrific tournament, but the final, against Fiji, was perhaps a game too far.

The Olympics demonstrated again the value of planning, and having the right people in key positions. Funding helped a lot of course, but the success of the swimming team, after a pretty dismal London Olympics, demonstrated that it is not all abut money. After a successful Beijing Olympics, swimming was on a high. Over the next 4 years, however, they never once met the targets set by UKSport. Indeed, 6 months before the Games in London, Baroness Sue Campbell (then Chairman of UKSport) told me that they were in for a terrible shock, predicting a poor Games for the swimmers. This is indeed what happened. Having subsequently been warned of reduced funding unless changes were made, a new Performance Director, Chris Spice, came in, the system was changed, and they went to Rio with confidence, ending up doing better than in Beijing, eight years earlier.


Key factors it seems to me-

-Have the right people in the right place

-Develop leaders throughout the system

-Address what is needed for top class performance and leave no stone unturned in doing what is necessary.

-Learn from mistakes


Some of this is addressed in Matthew Syed’s latest book, a must for sporting leaders- ‘Black Box Thinking’.


Bob Reeves


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