There is a growing belief and understanding that sports players can make a real difference in the workplace

Last night, EP and Sanlam hosted an evening with four fascinating characters from the world of sport and business. PY Gerbeau and Simon Halliday, alongside two younger characters from the world of sports in Caroline Guthrie (from the RPA) and Lewis Hatchett (former professional cricketer) share experiences and opinions. With appreciated support from Indicater and Sporting Wine Club.

Together the four had the audience enthralled and engaged for over one and half hours. Stimulating, adventurous and insightful, these events bring sport and business together.

We have been hosting these events now since the start of the year and the audience has grown time on time. As has the understanding and belief that sports players can make a genuine transition into the professional work environment and play influential roles in a variety of ways.

EP is supporting young professionals being mentored by sporting players as they bring a different mental approach and a different perspective that is often of more value to the mentee than a life or skills coach. Sporting players understand facing adversity. The four from last night all made this case and more:

PY Gerbeau competed in 1988 Winter Olympics in Ice Hockey for France, was the French captain and a budding professional when injury cut his career shot at the age of only 24 and left him alone and in a wheelchair. He fought back and has built a great career CV for company turnarounds including his famed time at the Millennium Dome when he faced both problems with the operation and politicians. He noted that he always preferred to recruit people who had in their careers either time in sport or the military as there is often a spirit and never say die attitude that is important in the business environment.

“He fought back and has built a great career CV for company turnarounds including his famed time at the Millennium Dome.”

Simon Halliday who spoke eloquently about the great Bath Rugby teams in the 1980s which brought together players from backgrounds as diverse as farming, The City, shepherding to teaching – but they came together as a family that would challenge each other but stood together against all.

Lewis Hackett was born with Poland Syndrome a condition which appears in only one in 100,000 births, and leads to problems down one side of the body. For Hatchett it meant he was missing his right pectoral muscle and two ribs, which meant that his chest was visibly sunken on that part of his body. Achieved one of the most gloriously defiant careers in the history of county cricket before he announced his retirement at 26 on medical advice.

“Centrally involved in the “Lift the Weight” programme in Rugby to help those that have suffered from mental illness and anxiety.”

Caroline Guthrie, Senior Personal Development Manager at The Rugby Players’​ Association (RPA), has been centrally involved in the “Lift the Weight” programme in Rugby to help those that have suffered from mental illness and anxiety.

EP now has over 30 sports players wanting to help mentor younger talent. They do bring a positivity that does make a real difference and yes we do need to see this same attitude in the workplace and especially working with younger talent.

If we are honest we all know that the corporate work environment is not that healthy. It does need change and we all want to see talent grow and thrive. Sport can play a real role so let’s make it happen.