At the Brabners "State of Play" Sports Update on 17 November 2017, Beth Tweddle gave an interesting insight into her journey and transition from the beginning of her life in gymnastics to her career as director of Switch the Play (an organisation which helps athletes fulfil their potential through and beyond sport).
Beth Tweddle has inspired, and led the way for, many British gymnasts in recent times. When she won her first medal in the European Championships in 2002, she recalls asking her coach what to do next, the reply? "I don't know, we have never done that before".
Throughout her long successful gymnastic career (and shorter successful Dancing on Ice career), Beth Tweddle kept her feet on the ground, ensuring she had an education to fall back and aware that gymnastics, like many sports, was ultimately time limited. She still went on to compete at the highest level until 2012 when she won an Olympic Medal. As her gymnastics career came to a close, she was able to couple her education with her sporting achievements and skills, try out different career paths, before landing in her current role. With her experience she can help others athletes and sports people achieve both in and outside the sporting arena.
Beth Tweddle was the closing speaker at the Brabners - State of Play 2017 Sport Update, following the Opening introductions from Lydia Edgar, Head of the Sports Sector Group at Brabners and Maurice Watkins, Senior Partner at Brabners and one of the best known sports lawyers in the World.
Commercial Partner at Brabners, Matt Brown, gave us the lowdown on the current state of play with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the UK's implementation of them through the Data Protection Bill, a hot topic for everyone right now, including in particular the Sports Sector. Matt picked up on the new teeth that the Data Protection Bill will bring the Information Commissioner's Office and what we should be doing now to prepare, with particular importance placed on the Accountability Principle.
Dispute Resolution Partner, Phil Steele, also of Brabners, set out his Top Ten Tips for handling the media in a crisis (often an issue in the sports sector). He identified the importance of taking the right action and striking the balance between legal and PR considerations. He also discussed if, when and how to say sorry (with video examples to support his views).
Our second guest speaker, Ash Cox, Head of Legal at British Swimming spoke about the Code for Sports Governance and how it has been implemented since October 2016. Emphasis has been placed on Structure, People, Communications, Standards and Conduct, Policies and Procedures. Domestic sports and organisations that are recipients of public funding are currently having the compliance with Code assessed, with any consequences (including the threat of withdrawal of funding) likely to begin from January 2018. No doubt we will be revisiting this issue throughout 2018.
Expect an update at next year’s State of Play from Brabners Sports Team.
Beth Tweddle was speaking at the State of Play event organised by legal firm Brabners, which focussed on the legal and commercial challenges prompted by developments in governance, funding, regulation, reputation and technology on sports organisations.Other speakers included Ash Cox, director of legal at British Swimming who shared his views on the impact of the Code for Sports Governance and Matt Brown from Brabners on new General Data Protection Regulations.