Baroness Campbell reflects on London 2012 - "Britain at its best"Subscribe
Jessica Whitehorn 26 November 2012
UK Sport’s 12th annual World Class Performance Conference got underway with a glittering celebration of London 2012 this evening (26 Nov), as Baroness Sue Campbell gave her last Conference speech as Chair of UK Sport.
The three day Conference, where coaches, performance directors and other support staff key to Team GB and ParalympicsGB’s success have reunited for the first time since the summer, is an opportunity to reflect on and learn from experiences, and look ahead to the next challenge.
Baroness Campbell began by saying: “Tonight is your night and we’re here to celebrate your success. I would like to begin by congratulating every single one of you for the part you played in the success of our Olympic and Paralympic teams.”
“It wasn’t just a spectacular year for sport, it did something to our country I’ve never seen before; the nation understood what it was to be British.”
Campbell paid tribute to the team at the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, for the “iconic, friendly and accessible” venues they created and perfect “stage management” of a fantastic Games.
Aside from the event itself, Campbell also paid tribute to the people that made it such a wonderful Games; from the British spectators, who Campbell said had sport “in their DNA”, to the volunteers, one in particular that Campbell met during the Games who had delayed brain surgery to become one of the many inspirational “Games Makers”, and finally of course the athletes, who Campbell said could teach “fantastic lessons to our youngsters” through sharing not just their medals, but, most importantly, their journeys to achieving their dreams.
Campbell concluded by advising the Conference delegates to take away five key attributes to have in mind with them over the next two days of the Conference, in their journey through the Conference theme of ‘Calibration’; perseverance, humility, integrity, leadership and hope.
Finally, Campbell advised: ”Throughout our difficult journeys, what keeps you going is friendships and good people; build those relationships and friendships over the next two days, learn to rely on others, ask for help, and those friendships will see you through.
“Thanks to all of you – it’s been a privilege and honour to work alongside you.”
Campbell, recently given a Lifetime Achievement Award at The Sunday Times’ Sportswoman of the Year 2012, will step down from her position as UK Sport Chair, having served the maximum term, in March 2013. In recognition of her contribution to high performance sport since she joined UK Sport as reform Chair in 2003, messages from some of her own good friends in sport were played in tribute to her career to date.
Jeremy Hunt MP said: “Sue is a lightning bolt, a great bundle of energy. No one is safe from Sue, not even the Prime Minister!”
Lord Sebastian Coe said: “Sue is permanently on the road to perfection and, of course, we might never quite get there, but Sue gets there closer than most. She has never lost any of that passion for what she does.”
Dave Brailsford said: “Positive energy and a positive attitude; they are the people who make changes in life, and that’s exactly what she is.”
Katherine Grainger said: “Sue makes sure that people get the opportunities that they wouldn’t have otherwise, and she’s enriched so many people’s lives because of that.”