Placing Talent at the Forefront


Bringing Sport and Hospitality together – placing talent back in the forefront

Last night, we were delighted to host an event at New Zealand House with a number of major former sporting stars from the worlds of rugby, cycling and football. The players were from all parts of the world – New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, and England and all talked of the challenges that they have faced in adapting to life after sport.

This is not a new issue and we are conscious that many have tried before to create change in this area but I do believe there is an opportunity in time. There are some real challenges that every company and individual faces but we believe that there are some real solutions available if we are able to grasp them.

Talent is talent. We can not waste it, it is too valuable but we need to think differently.

So as next steps, the objectives are:

  • To create a framework that links former players with corporates to work on and support on the development of talent, culture and teams. We have had many conversations in recent times with senior directors arguing that there is a lack of emerging talent. Our counter is that often corporate cultures are too focused on compliance, processes and there is a general fear of failure that is hindering growth.
  • People lie at the heart of all business and we want to get back to some old-fashioned values that place people, teams and culture at the heart and we believe sporting players are able to really develop this in a way that many training courses can not.

Sports players can inspire and engage and they also understand what it takes to be brave and successful plus understand the importance of teams and working towards a common goal. The margin of error that many of them face in their careers are very small and they need to be able to psychologically handle pressure, success and failure to a far higher level than many in work.

It is an interesting debate and in fear of sounding historic, we will argue that the great businesses of the 80s and 90s were far more focused on their people and their development than the companies of today. There was greater care. Our research has indicated a relative decline in investment on leadership development of 32% and we want to reverse this plus bring the two world’s together to develop talent.

  • Former sporting players can also help develop nutritional, mental health and well being programmes/ structures within companies. This is an issue developing generally and there are stats coming noting that 1:5 suffer from anxiety or depression at work due to stress and pressure. What can be done to ease this?

Again we will argue that culture, care, and understanding can ease this burden.

  • Finally, we are working to develop a framework that helps support former players adjust to the next stage in their careers and contribute positively to companies, society or a community.  Our simplistic view is that everyone is complaining about the lack of talent after Brexit but what are we doing to nurture the talent available within former players.

Talent is talent and we simply need to maximise the potential. We therefore are working to create a team of experienced professionals to act as mentors and advisers for those that want the help. This will help players create and expand on the essential networks/connections they need outside of sport to assist them in the next stage in their lives and in their own reinvention. It is said that we all need to reinvent ourselves three times during our careers and often we all need help.

Our view is that we can create genuine change if we work openly, and collectively. Therefore, we have already started to pull together  a leadership group that helps guide the above and that brings together sport, business and charity.

Talent is talent. We can not waste it, it is too valuable but we need to think differently and be develop new strategies to maximise this asset.

If you would like to discuss, please feel free to talk to us on this subject and contact

Thank you to our wonderful supporters who helped make the evening.


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