Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Exclusive: Management shake-up at Commonwealth Games England as adverts for top posts go out

Commonwealth Games England (CGE) has placed adverts in the national press seeking applicants for the posts of chief executive, sports director and commercial director, all of whom will be expected to oversee a crucial period for which the organisation has already drawn up a strategy programme.

"We will be generating a step change on the back of these appointments," CGE chairman Sir Andrew Foster told insidethegames.

"We are looking at a different sort of approach."

The impending changes to the management structure, Foster maintaims, are part of a general movement to make the CGE - which re-branded itself last year with the "WeAreEngland" logo – more attractive to sponsors.

"We already have a wealth of expertise on our board with people such as our President, Dame Kelly Holmes, Lawrence Dallaglio, David Robinson, who is CEO of Speedo, and Arsenal's marketing director  Angus Kinnear," Foster said.

"It is all a case of making it look to sponsors like a very supportable proposition."

It is also part of the CGE plan to move their head office from Crystal Palace to a more central location, while looking to save costs by sharing a property.

"Crystal Palace is a bit out of the way," Foster said, "and we want to be much more in view. We want to be alongside other major sporting organisations at the centre of things."

In the wake of the Delhi Games last year, where potentially disastrous event turned out to be a very successful one as far as English athletes were concerned - with more medals won at a Commonwealths abroad than ever before - the CGE has put in place a wide-ranging strategy document looking at key areas for change and improvement in the years of rich opportunity leading to the Glasgow 2014 Games.

Glasgow 2014 scores top marks from Commonwealth Games Associations

Commonwealth Games Associations from Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales claimed they were hugely impressed with preparations for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games following a visit to the Scottish city this week to inspect the facilities for the event.

The Commonwealth Games Associations (CGA), who are responsible for ensuring the best possible representation from their country at the Games as well as the well-being of their athletes during competition, met key members of the Organising Committee during their three-day visit to Glasgow and attended a number of briefing sessions.

They also had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the city as they went to see the Games Village and the various venue sites across Glasgow that will host the 11 days of sporting competition in three years' time.

Scott Stevenson, Canada's acting chief executive, said: "There is a clear consistency throughout the Organising Committee in the vision and approach towards 2014.

"The enthusiasm from everyone over the three days was exceptional and there is real blend of experience and creativity behind everything Glasgow 2014 is doing."

Don Parker, England's sports director said: "Glasgow is a fantastic city and really is on track to deliver a truly memorable Games.

"The city can only benefit from hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2014; there is a compact feel about the location of the venues that we saw, relative to the Games Village – a crucial factor in allowing the Commonwealth's best athletes to compete at the highest level."

Jake Wilkins, New Zealand's team services drector said: "I was hugely impressed with Glasgow 2014's desire and commitment to re-define what it means to deliver a truly athlete centred Games and there is a real opportunity for this aim to be realised in 2014.

"These visits are crucial, it allows us to meet the team behind Glasgow 2014 and also gives us an insight of what to expect during the Games."

Jon Doig, Scotland's chief executive, said: "The ability for all CGA's to input directly into planning will have a direct outcome in ensuring a great Games for the athletes, the city and Scotland.

Chris Jenkins, Wales' chief executive, added: "There was a real openness from everyone we met at Glasgow 2014 and I was impressed by how far down the line Glasgow is already and in particular the venues already being developed like the Velodrome."

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