Golden girl Kelly aims to give firms sporting chance

Kelly Holmes
Kelly Holmes

Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes will be the guest speaker at a conference designed to encourage businesses to capitalise on the opportunities stemming from global sporting events.

She will be joined at Sheffield United FC on January 19 by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Regional Director Mark Robson, Yorkshire Gold Business Club (YGBC) Manager Lauren Pigg as well as Andrew Bacchus, Jon Tibbs, Chris Wall and Simon Bedford all from the UKTI team.

Delegates will also hear from Sheffield event management company Sportworks about how they have won work on a global sporting event.

Sportworks won the contract to provide event management services for the ISSF World Cup, part of the London Prepares series of events which is being used as the official sports testing programme in the build-up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Tom Wenham of Sportworks said: “Our strength as a business lies in our ability to tailor our services to meet the needs of our clients and partners. We don’t walk in with the attitude ‘We’re Sportworks, this is how it should be done!’ That wouldn’t work and it isn’t our style or philosophy. You need to be flexible and take on board the different nuances of competing in sport or country, and that is exactly what we do.”

Presentations will also help companies interested in developing business specifically in Russia and Brazil. UKTI will discuss the sporting opportunities available and advise companies on partnering, joint ventures and how to have a local presence.

Mr Wenham added: “We’re travelling to Brazil in February with UKTI to get a feel for what it’s all about. We’ve also signed up for the Passport To Export programme to establish contacts with potential Brazilian business partners, undertake a communications review, develop our international strategy and benefit from the direct support of an expert trade advisor.

“It’s far from being a case of turning our back on the UK, but there are a number of opportunities overseas going forward and we need to be in the best possible shape to take advantage of them. It promises to be an exciting period ahead.”

The event, entitled The Biggest Sporting Events of our Time, is being staged at Sheffield United FC on January 19 and has been organised by UKTI and YGBC.

Lauren Pigg, Manager for the Yorkshire Gold Business Club, said: “Hosting this event in Sheffield is a great opportunity for local businesses to find out more about the wide range of contracts available.

“The information provided at the conference will help businesses benefit from global sporting events just as Sportworks have successfully done.”

The event is free but registration is required. To register, visit the Yorkshire Gold Business Club website at For further information contact Claire McMahon, PR and Yorkshire Gold Business Club Coordinator on 07545 401 573.