Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Dame Mary Glen Haig OBE


  1.  There can be no question that the British have a unique capacity to organise and present major international happenings whether such be arranged by way of service to a government agency/through a Council of Europe department/a national governing body of sport/a corporate body et al.

  There is evidence in plenty—early Council of Europe sports focused meetings (1970s); "Sport in Education and Recreation" (1966); which came immediately before the Soccer World Cup with England winning—arranged by the then CCPR with governmental grant and run within budget; and major Grand Prix events where essential collaboration with eg City of Manchester; City of Birmingham; City of Glasgow and many another, coupled with commercial sponsorship, has provided firm foundation. Study of the reports and post-event published findings of such events is proof enough.

  2.  Arrangements for:

  (i)  Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games (Note: I am a member of the Council for England.)

  In my view the undertaking is being responsibly assessed and progressed—facilities/accommodation/athletes village/officials/dignitaries/volunteer force.

  With regard to the latter it should be noted that the British Sports Trust (the charitable arm of the Central Council of Physical Recreation) is already training Sports Leaders in the North-West as part of the volunteer programme for the Games.

  (ii)  2003 World Indoor Athletics Championships

  One is bound to point out the nearness of the date. Bearing in mind the stresses and strains permeating British Athletics during the 90s all progress will call for tight monitoring.

  (iii)  2005 World Athletics Championships

  The Culture, Media, and Sport Committee may care to consider defining the template upon which to gage the action plan within which all parties will work.

  (iv)  Impact of the 1999 Cricket and Rugby World Cups

  No "educated" comment from me but there is clear evidence that the population at large is ever well served by the opportunity to see talented competitors striving to win! That way interest is whetted and participation tends to burgeon. The governing bodies concerned should be in a good position to comment.

  (v)  2006 FIFA World Cup Bid

  I refrain from comment: there is experience in this particular field which outstrips my own.

  (vi)  Prospects for a British Olympic Bid

  The outstanding success of Sydney, where a whole nation contributed, including thousands of volunteers doing an impeccable job, plus the space available to allow for all facilities to be in close juxtaposition would be a very hard act to follow for any British City (relatively we have so little land-space). If such a comparison can be set aside, the Olympic Games in Britain after a lapse of over 50 years presents an exciting concept and will demand detailed and precise planning, and co-ordination.

  (vii)  Government and other public support for bids and for staging events

  Because of possible plethora of demand—not necessarily competitive, for a major international conference can have vital world impact on the sporting canvas—Government (or, indeed, any other supportive agency or conglomerate) may well need to declare precise criteria to determine which events could qualify for consideration.

  3.  Forward Budgeting and Budgetary Control

  Not an option, and not a compulsory heading naturally to delight the minds of sports people! Perhaps the exciting developments of recent years—Lottery monies/growing desire/appreciation of sport as a unique component of national development and stamp of success/and opportunity for initial participation by whomsoever with on-following coaching, selection, training, competition at ever higher level, have tended to take the mind off Expenditure v Income. This has to be part of al initial planning and should be constant.

  4.  Sponsorship—an ever expanding area (also demanding careful planning and monitoring) when considering major forthcoming proposals.

  5.  Perhaps the above equates to "Generalisation" but these underlying issues cannot be dismissed as "someone else's job"—they offer the springboard to analyse and debate. Financial accountability was perhaps not a primary consideration in past days when across the board amateurism reigned—(administrative, publicity, officials, coaches, athletes and "all") gave freely of their time and expertise. Today professionalism has taken over and all aspects of all events must be so handled.

  6.  I welcomed the guidance notes for those writing to submit evidence and have no objection to my comments being made public by the Committee.

November 2000

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