Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Commonwealth Games England chief executive to step down

Ann Hogbin, chief executive of Commonwealth Games England (CGE), will be leaving the organisation at the end of this year after nearly 20 years of highly regarded service.

The move follows the CGE's new strategy for the years leading up to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, which has seen the roles of chief executive, sports director and commercial director being advertised.

"This is of course with some trepidation and regret as, over the last 20 years, I have been pleased to be part of the team leading the England team through a number of different Games, including the successful campaign in Delhi 2010," said Hogbin, who set up a separate office for England within the Commonwealth Games structure in 1994.

"I hope to stay involved with sport and look forward to seeing the team's further success in Glasgow 2014.

"One option I am actively considering is setting up in consultancy.

"In the meantime, until the end of the year, when my final departure takes place, I will continue to work with CGE across the summer to deliver the Commonwealth Youth Games [in the Isle of Man] in September and to ensure a smooth handover to the new CGE team in the Autumn."

Sir Andrew Foster, chairman of CGE said: "I would like to thank Ann for all of her dedicated work at CGE over such a long and ever-changing period of time.

"Most recently, she was part of the team which oversaw our significant success in Delhi 2010 and we look forward to building on this as Glasgow approaches.

"We wish her all the very best for the future."

Hogbin, who was heavily involved in the planning of the England arrangements in Delhi during the challenging circumstances before the Games got underway last October, had a wealth of experience upon which to draw.

Delhi was the 10th Commonwealth Games with which she had been involved since entering the field of sports administration in 1972 when she got a secretarial job at the British Olympic Association.

She has also worked on nine Olympic Games, and was appointed first woman general team manager of Team England in 1994.

Four years later, Hogbin had to overcome what she described as "cultural issues" when the Games were in Kuala Lumpur.

"The ­Organising Committee wasn't used to dealing with women in positions of responsibility," she said.

"But once they did get to know me, we had good relationships."

Hogbin has described her management styles as "open and ­relaxed" – a view corroborated by the man who carried out the role as the CGE's Chef de Mission at the Delhi 2010 Games, Craig Hunter.

"Anybody - whether athlete or official - who has ever crossed paths with Ann will only have fond memories of working with her," Hunter said.

"She has worked tirelessly and with dedication, and always has the best interests of the athletes at the forefront of her mind, whatever event she is involved with.

"It has always been a huge amount of fun working with her."

Glasgow 2014 to engage with local business community.

On Thursday 21 July, Glasgow 2014 - in partnership with Glasgow City Marketing Bureau – will host local businesses at a free business information evening at the Old Fruitmarket.

The event aims to update them on the planning and preparation for the XX Commonwealth Games and the associated opportunities that exist for local businesses.

David Grevemberg, Acting Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014, together with Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, will begin the evening by outlining the importance of the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow in 2014. Further insights from various members of the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee will also be presented.

Representatives from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic & Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the Government Olympic Executive will also be in attendance to enable local companies to engage directly with the different organisations working on the 2012 Olympic Football at Hampden Park and the Torch Relay event which will tour right across the country.

The format will include workshop tables with the organisations mentioned above with support from; Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, EventScotland, Creative Scotland, Business Club Scotland,  VisitBritain, VisitScotland, Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life.

If you or your business would like to attend the evening, please click here for more information and to register your interest.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Michael Jamieson sets sights on Glasgow 2014 'fairytale'

With just over three years until the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games begin, Scottish swimmer Michael Jamieson has spoken about his excitement for a home Commonwealth Games, in a blog for the Glasgow 2014 website.

Fresh from his double-gold medal winning performances at Tollcross in the Scottish National Championships, in the pool where he developed as a swimmer, Michael is excited by the prospect of being back where it all began at Glasgow 2014.

With the World Championships coming up in Shanghai later this month and London 2012 on the horizon, the 22-year-old has plenty to concentrate on. However, with Glasgow 2014 fast approaching, Michael's mind is firmly set on his mission of going for gold at the Commonwealth Games in his home city.

Jamieson said: "Glasgow 2014 could be a bit of a fairytale for me. Home city, home advantage. Tollcross is where I did all my hard work as an age grouper with City of Glasgow, where I developed as a swimmer and where I decided that swimming was the path I wanted to go down."

Michael first tasted global success at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, bringing back a silver medal from his first senior international competition for his efforts in the 200m breaststroke.

"The Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games was my first taste of silverware on the senior international stage and it was an amazing experience. It was great to make that step up and I'm delighted it was with Team Scotland.

"There has already been amazing support and excitement in the lead up to the Games and it's only going to build from here on in."

Glasgow 2014’s Athletes’ Committee appoints new members

The Athletes' Advisory Committee (AAC) for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has appointed three new members as the Committee broadens its expertise. Offering advice over the next three years to the Glasgow 2014 Board and Organising Committee (OC), the AAC will be responsible for providing an athlete perspective for the Games and will play a crucial advisory role in relation to Games planning. The AAC will become a key component in supporting the OC achieve its vision of a truly athlete centred and sport focused Games.

The AAC, which now has eight members, is made up of current Scottish athletes who are aiming to compete at Glasgow 2014 and former Scottish athletes who have a vast experience in competing at Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Chaired by former Scottish international hockey player Rhona Simpson, who competed in three Commonwealth Games (1998, 2002 and 2006) and twice represented Great Britain at the Summer Olympics (1996 and 2000), the AAC appointed:

Susan Egelstaff, the current highest ranked female Badminton athlete in the United Kingdom, Susan has competed for Scotland at three Commonwealth Games (2002, 2006 and 2010) securing a Team Bronze medal in 2002 and an Individual Singles Bronze in 2006.

Neil Stirton, a current Scottish international shooting athlete, Neil has competed at two Commonwealth Games (2006, 2010), securing a silver medal in Melbourne 2006 and going better to secure Gold in Delhi 2010, along with partner Jonathon Hammond. The pair also secured Bronze in Delhi 2010, providing Neil with a full set of medals across two Games.

Frania Gillen-Buchert, a current Scottish international squash athlete, Frania has competed at two Commonwealth Games (2006 and 2010), in both singles and doubles events. Frania is also employed by Judo Scotland, providing a multi-sport perspective to the group.

The AAC will provide a perspective on behalf of all athletes and will make a number of recommendations to the Board and OC over the next three years that will help shape the overall Games experience for all athletes coming to Glasgow in 2014.

Susan Egelstaff, the highest ranked female Badminton athlete in the UK, said: "It's really exciting to be involved in the preparations for Glasgow 2014 and being involved in the Athletes' Advisory Committee will benefit not only myself but all the athletes coming from the Commonwealth for the Games in 2014.

"We will work closely with the Organising Committee and the Board over the next three years to ensure that athletes are represented and we will be consulted on a number of issues that will affect us all in 2014. I can't wait to see all the work coming together to produce a fantastic Games and I can't wait to play in front of my home crowd in Glasgow."

David Grevemberg, acting Chief Executive at Glasgow 2014 said: "The Athletes' Advisory Committee is truly valuable in our preparation for 2014 and the Committee will play a crucial role over the next three years in staying true to our vision of an athlete centred, sport focused Games.

"All the athletes involved offer a vast amount of multi-sport experience and represent a variety of sports and disciplines. All of them are passionate about Glasgow staging a great Games and we're delighted to welcome the new members to the Committee."

Brian MacPherson named Commonwealth Games Canada CEO

Dr. Andrew Pipe, President of Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC), today announced that Brian MacPherson is the organization's new Chief Executive Officer.

"Brian is a proven leader with an abundance of highly relevant experience," stated Dr. Pipe. "An innovator and strategic thinker, he has led several national sport organizations and each one has achieved record-level performances, on and off the field of play."

MacPherson brings to CGC a quarter century in senior leadership positions in Canadian high performance sport. A former Executive Director at the Federation of Canadian Archers as well as Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada, he also served as Chief Executive Officer for the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC). There, he built successful partnerships and sponsorships that increased CPC revenues by a factor of ten. During his tenure, Canadian teams produced best-ever results in both summer and winter Paralympic Games.

"Joining Commonwealth Games Canada feels like a really good fit," said MacPherson, who officially starts his new position on the first of September. "Along with the high performance sport experience, I've also put together a number of sport development programs for various organizations – all of which helped to boost membership numbers and generate higher levels of awareness. I'm really looking forward to producing some outstanding results working with CGC staff in the International Development through Sport area."

Soldier On is one of the sport development programs that MacPherson spearheaded while running the Canadian Paralympic Committee. It has provided hundreds of disabled veterans of the Afghanistan war with meaningful opportunities to get involved in a variety of sports. A number of these former soldiers are now elite athletes and some are even vying for spots at next year's Paralympic Summer Games in London, England.

"It feels great to be a member of the CGC family, building on its recent successes and moving Commonwealth sport to the next level." says MacPherson.

Building the Commonwealth sport brand will be one of the new CEO's top priorities, along with expanding program offerings, assessing the conditions for a potential bid to host an upcoming Commonwealth Games, and enhancing both the number and quality of strategic partnerships.

MacPherson replaces Thomas Jones whose 6-year tenure included two Commonwealth Games (Melbourne 2006 and Delhi 2010), a Commonwealth Youth Games (Pune, India 2008), and a period of significant growth for CGC's innovative International Development through Sport (IDS) program. Jones stepped down in March to pursue career opportunities in his home province of British Columbia.

According to Dr. Pipe, "Through Tom's leadership, we're headed down a very positive path, and Brian is precisely the right individual to accelerate that progress even further."

CGC's Director of Sport, Scott Stevenson, will serve as Interim CEO until MacPherson steps into the full-time role at the beginning of September.

An avid canoeist, MacPherson and his wife, Sandi, have two teenaged boys who share a passion for sport.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Glasgow 2014 chief executive resigned over free tax advice, it is claimed

John Scott  resigned as chief executive of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games because he received free tax advice worth £6,000 ($8,750) from accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), it has been reported.

The Herald in Glasgow claimed that a third party alerted the board of Glasgow 2014 to the "gift" from the company that forced Scott to leave his £179,000 ($286,000) job on Monday (June 27).

The Organising Committee have a strict policy that employees are not allowed to such any gifts or gratuities above the value of £100 ($145).

PwC have refused to confirm or deny it was the firm at the centre of the affair and Glasgow 2014 also declined to elaborate on the claims.

PwC had a two-year contract with Glasgow 2014 that ended in May, a role that included reviewing the Games' budget.

"Glasgow 2014 has received legal advice which is clear," a spokesman for Glasgow 2014 told The Herald.

"We are not in a position to go into the details of what was a personal matter between an ex-employee and the third party concerned.

"The Organising Committee put out a statement on this situation and has nothing further to add to that statement."

Rosa appointed Glasgow 2014 Queen's Baton Relay manager

Glasgow 2014 has announced that Louis Rosa will be their new Queen's Baton Relay manager for the Commonwealth Games.

The Queen's Baton Relay is the curtain raiser to the Games and has been so since Cardiff in 1958, symbolising the gathering of the Commonwealth every four years.

"I am thrilled to join the Glasgow 2014 team and I look forward to the challenge of producing the baton relay," said Rosa, who is an Australian.

"I am sure that it will be an event that Scotland will embrace as its own and be a source of pride for all Scots as the relay travels throughout the Commonwealth and Scotland."

Rosa has been involved in seven major sporting events, including the 2002 and 2010 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and New Delhi, the Beijing 2008 Olympics and the 2006 Turin and 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, as well as the 2006 Asian Games in Doha.

Also a qualified accountant, he brings with him a wealth of event and financial experience accumulated over 15 years.

He has also gained experience from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and other major sporting occasions such as the 2003 Rugby World Cup where he managed the 100 day promotional build-up billed as the "True Colours Tour".

Friday, July 1, 2011

BBC appointed as host rights broadcaster for Glasgow 2014

Glasgow 2014 has appointed the BBC as the domestic broadcast rights holder for the Commonwealth Games, it was announced today.

The deal includes coverage on BBC One and BBC Two television networks, news coverage across the BBC Radio, including Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra, red button interactive and IPTV servies, the BBC Sport website and international promotion of the Games through BBC World News and the BBC World Service.

In addition, it is expected that the BBC's Nations and Regions sport and news teams for television, radio and online will generate considerable additional interest by focusing on the performance of local competitors in those parts of the British Isles which compete at the Games as separate teams.

"I am delighted that the BBC has taken up the domestic rights for the Commonwealth Games and I believe this deal represents a huge vote of confidence in Glasgow 2014 as well as the Commonwealth Games Movement in general," said Lord Robert Smith, the chairman of Glasgow 2014.

"We anticipate some of the world's highest profile athletes will compete at our Games, fresh from their successes at London 2012.

"The added spice will be seeing the stars of Team GB in their own national colours in Glasgow, just two years later.

"The BBC's reach will help us to generate a huge level of excitement and anticipation in the lead up to the biggest event Scotland will ever have hosted."

The deal will be a relief to Glasgow 2014 organisers who two years ago feared the prospect of being left with a £20 million ($32 million) hole in their budget as a result of a recommendation to drop the Commonwealth Games from Britain's protected list of free-to-air televised sporting events.

The recommendation, included in a report produced by former Football Association chief executive David Davies and commissioned by the previous Labour Government, was later overturned by the new Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson.

Sir_Roger_Bannister_wins_Miracle_Mile_Vancouver_1954It continues the BBC's association with the Commonwealth Games which dates back to 1954, when they were staged in Vancouver and featured the famous "Miracle Mile" when both John Landy and Sir Roger Bannister ran the distance in under four minutes, the first time it had been done.

"BBC Scotland will have a special role at the heart of our coverage in giving the Games extensive exposure in Scotland across our dedicated TV, radio and online services – all of which will make the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games a truly momentous occasion in Scotland," said Ken MacQuarrie, the director of BBC Scotland.

Glasgow officials will be hoping the announcement helps shift attention from the controversy that has surrounded the shock resignation earlier this week of chief executive John Scott, who was forced to step down from his £179,000 ($286,000) per year post after what it was claimed was "an error of judgement" when he accepted a gift from a potential supplier that was above the £100 ($160) limit allowed.

"The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will showcase Scotland to the world and this is another key milestone in the delivery of the Games.," said Shona Robinson, the Minister for the Commonwealth Games and Sport.

"While we urge everyone to come to Scotland and be part of this great event, I am pleased that the award of the domestic rights to the BBC means that most people in the UK will be able to enjoy the spectacle of the Games on free to view television in their homes.

"Income from the sale of broadcasting rights is a welcome contribution to the Games Budget alongside the funds provided by the Scottish Government and its funding partners."

Exclusive: Commonwealth Games Federation wants explanation over Scott resignation

Mike Hooper, the chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), has admitted his organisation is "extremely disappointed" with the circumstances that led to the resignation of John Scott (pictured left) as the chief executive of the Glasgow 2014 and joined calls for more light to be shed on the matter.

Scott stepped down from his £179,000 ($286,000) a year job this week after what Glasgow 2014 chairman Lord Robert Smith cryptically described as "an error of judgement he made in accepting, and not declaring, an offer from one of Glasgow 2014's potential suppliers, in breach of the Organising Committee's strict Gifts and Gratuities policy".

The lack of any substantial facts from Glasgow 2014 regarding the sudden and mysterious departure of Scott, who is highly regarded in the organisation, has led to various unconfirmed rumours being spread about the incident and even seen senior Scottish Government officials, including Labour Culture spokeswomen Patricia Ferguson, claim that the public have a right to know the full details of Scott's decision.

Hooper, who is also a member of the Board of the Organising Committee, has said that he fully supports the decision taken by Lord Smith to accept the resignation of Scott but he backs the calls for further disclosure of the facts involved in the issue.

"The CGF is extremely disappointed with what has occurred in Glasgow which has led to the resignation of their chief executive John Scott and supports the position taken by the Chairman of the Organising Committee Lord Smith," Hooper told insidethegames here in the Sri Lankan capital where he is part of the CGF Evaluation Commission inspecting Hambantota's bid for the 2018 Games.

"In doing so however, the CGF also supports the disclosure of the circumstances that led to Mr Scott's resignation."

Scottish politicians demand to know reason for Scott resignation at Glasgow 2014

John Scott's shock resignation as chief executive of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has sparked a political row in Scotland with Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats all joining forces to claim that the SNP Government had handled the "situation very badly" with the affair even being compared to the current crisis that has engulfed FIFA, world football's governing body.

Scott stepped down from his £179,000 ($286,000) per year job yesterday after he admitted breaking rules over accepting gifts and hospitality from a potential supplier.

He called it an "error of judgement" but mystery surrounds the exact circumstances behind the reasons for his resignation.

Labour Culture spokeswomen Patricia Ferguson claimed that the public have a right to know the full details of Scott's decision.

But Glasgow 2014 spokeswoman said it is a private limited company set up by the Government and Glasgow City Council alongside Games partners - the Commonwealth Games Federation and Commonwealth Games Scotland.

It is, she said, not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, which gives taxpayers legal rights to see information from Scottish public authorities.

Ferguson said: "There must be full public disclosure immediately.

"The public have a right to know the reasons behind the resignation of the chief executive in mysterious circumstances.

"The reputation and integrity of the Games are at stake and they cannot afford to be tainted by this.

"The Scottish Government should also make clear if there is substance to media reports about a fall-out between the First Minister [Alex Salmond] and the chief executive."

Tory deputy leader Murdo Fraser said: "The chief executive's resignation at such a crucial time is a serious blow to the 2014 Games, an event we all want to succeed.

"It is clear from the growing confusion that the SNP Government has handled this situation very badly and, by being so secretive, has in fact made it worse.

"The SNP must act now to remove the stench engulfing this affair, or total chaos will ensue."

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: "If we are going to have confidence in the running of these Games and so they don't get caught up in the scandals of Olympics past and FIFA present, the Scottish Government needs to come clean.

"With hundreds of millions of taxpayers' money being spent on these Games, it is essential that we are given a proper explanation."

Scott resigns as chief executive of Glasgow 2014 after "error of judgement"

John Scott today resigned as the chief executive of the Organising Committee for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games with immediate affect following an "error of judgement" involving a supplier.

He stepped down after he admitted breaking rules over accepting gifts and hospitality from a potential supplier.

Lord Smith, chairman of Glasgow 2014, said in a statement: "John Scott has made an important contribution to the planning of what we believe will be an outstanding Games.

"The Board has accepted his resignation today for an error of judgement he made in accepting, and not declaring, an offer from one of Glasgow 2014's potential suppliers, in breach of the Organising Committee's strict gifts and gratuities policy."

Scott had joined Glasgow 2014 in April 2008 from UK Sport, where he had been the·International Director and Director of Drug-Free Sport.

Smith said: "I know he deeply regrets this mistake and this was a job that he loved.

"It is a measure of the man that he has put the values and reputation of the OC ahead of his own at this time.

"John was largely responsible for setting the OC's high standards of governance and he felt he could not continue in his role as chief executive under the circumstances."

David Grevemberg, the chief operating officer, will take charge of the Organising Committee until a permanent appointment is made.

The American joined Glasgow in August 2009 having previously been executive director of sport and international federation relations at the International Paralympic Committee.

Smith said: "Now we must look to the future.

"We have a great team in the Organising Committee and a strong relationship with our Games Partners.

"We are on track and on budget and do not intend to let the pace of our preparations drop."

Scotland's Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison has reacted to the news.

She said: "John Scott has made a valuable contribution as chief executive of the Organising Committee.

"He played a leading role in ensuring the delivery of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow remains on schedule and within budget.

"However, the reputation and integrity of our Games is paramount and to that end I believe Mr Scott has done the right and principled thing in stepping down.

"The standards that apply in a company responsible to the public are of necessity higher than those which prevail in private business and I fully support the decision taken by the Organising Committee."

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