HR Hartley

Sport needs help out of starting blocks

Why oh why are we Brits so bad at sport? We flunked at the footie, got
thrashed at the tennis, ruined the rugby, and collapsed in the cricket. Excuses
for failure are trotted out ad infinitum – the ref was mad, wrong type of rain,
severe fatigue. Let’s just get down to brass tacks – we need to pour a lot more
into sport, and we definitely have to pump much more investment into training.

The Government could help more. Did you know that the British Olympic
Association has to raise £4m just to get our athletes to Athens and on to the
starting blocks?

Blue Arrow is trying to help. It is holding fundraising events, at which
you’re emotionally blackmailed to dig deep into your pocket (I was willingly
bankrupted at the last one). But better than that, the company is calling for
more organisations to employ elite athletes and to cut them deals whereby they
get plenty of time off for training and events.

Blue Arrow itself is sweet-talking many employers to do just that for the 20
elite athletes it currently has on its books. It is having some success, but warns
many more athletes will be looking for jobs post-Athens.

"It’s tough for them. They have to work to find the money to train.
Employers have to help them," says a spokesman. He is right. We employers
should stop whinging about the score and help to do more to improve it.

Anyone who wants to support our Olympic team by employing athletes or
donating some cash should call 0845 0755008.

Hartley is an HR director at large

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