Archive for March, 2014

Hugh Morris, Chief Executive, Glamorgan Cricket

Hugh Morris, Chief Executive, Glamorgan Cricket

This month we were joined by Hugh Morris, Chief Executive of Glamorgan Cricket. Hugh was appointed Chief Executive and Director of Cricket at Glamorgan in January 2014 after 7 years as Managing Director of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Hugh began by reflecting on some of the more challenging times he experienced whilst working for the ECB and the ‘lessons learnt’ during that time, in particular the profound effect on the team of the 2008 attacks at the Taj Mahal Hotel during the England team’s tour of India.

He attributed the great improvement of the England team in 2009 to the fact that captain and coach Andy Flower and Andy Strauss joined the team, as well as to the change in strategy to select players who could be what he calls ‘cultural architects’; role models who personified the positive vision of the team.

Looking to the future, Hugh described his excitement to be returning to Wales and to Glamorgan Cricket, having spent 17 years as a player for the club at the start of his career. Hugh shared with the Breakfast Club his vision for Glamorgan Cricket to ‘make Wales proud’ both on and off the pitch. He believes that there is a ‘fantastic opportunity’ for cricket to ‘put a stake in the ground’ and he has an ambition for cricket to become the national summer sport for Wales.

Outlining his strategy for his new role at Glamorgan Cricket, Hugh identified the need to encourage young people to participate in cricket as a vital element towards nurturing the ‘next generation of Glamorgan stars’ and increasing the popularity of the sport.SWALEC Stadium

Hugh also recognises the importance of bringing more international matches to Wales to help raise the profile of cricket in Wales, and praised the SWALEC stadium as a fantastic facility for these matches. Following on from the success of the Cardiff stadium hosting a test match during the 2009 Ashes tour, Hugh is looking forward to repeating this success when the Ashes is held in the UK in 2015.

The next Breakfast Club will be held on 25th April with guest speaker Steve Hughson, Chief Executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society. For further information and booking details, please contact eira@petersenspr.com or phone 02920 549597. 

Jon Horne, Chief Executive, Cardiff Airport

Jon Horne, Chief Executive, Cardiff Airport

Pleased to read about the increase in usage at our local airport. Well done to Jon Horne and his team!

It proves that once carriers are persuaded to come to Cardiff and offer flights which the public want, passenger numbers will increase. Let us hope that with further support from the Welsh Government, long haul flights could become a reality – a must if we are to be taken seriously as an international destination.

We should applaud the vision and action of Ken Poole, Head of Economic Development at Cardiff Council and the Cardiff Business Council of selling Cardiff to key international investors at the MIPIM Property Conference in Cannes this week.LivingCardiff

Unless we display to the world what makes Cardiff and its region so special, we have limited chance of growing our fragile economy. Many other cities are represented at Cannes and contacts made will be crucial in the continuing draw to attract new inward investment to the area.

I look forward to hearing about this week’s conference in detail in due course, which I am very confident will have been a success. Well done Ken and your team!

I really do agree with the comment in today’s Western Mail, ‘Exercise should be a natural part of life’.  The cost of dealing with the obesity problem in Wales, not first for adults but also for young children, will continue to mount otherwise.

A 10 year strategy involving all the key partners involved, i.e. Welsh Government, local authorities, Health boards, school-sports-day-006Sport Wales, parent’s associations etc, should be produced and achieved with regular monitoring.With 59% of adults in Wales overweight or obese, these figures are shocking. However, when you examine figures showing 28% of children aged four and under have an unhealthy body mass index, and 12.5% termed obese, it becomes ‘truly frightening’.

I know that Sport Wales have a number of excellent programmes involving school children which show an increase in young people participating in sport at least 3 times a week, but it’s not enough.

Every adult in Wales must sign up to the campaign to encourage children to take up exercise. Not necessarily sport, but just to start moving their young bodies further than just from kitchen, to lounge, to car, to school. Encourage them to appreciate the great outdoors, go for a walk, play in the park and breathe fresh air, not just stimulating the body but the mind also with new experiences.  Not all children are competitive so should not be forced to take up such a sport, just encouraged to move their bodies and show that exercise is a ‘natural part of life’.

The costs if we do not act now will be significant to our economy and our nation. Would it not be terrible with all our sporting heritage to become the most obese country in the world?

wales-rugby-teamLet’s wish our Welsh Rugby team all the very best for Sunday, and hope that their success motivates many more young people to take up sport and represent our country at the highest level in years to come.

Mathew Milsom, Managing Director, Wales Millennium Centre

Mathew Milsom, Managing Director, Wales Millennium Centre

For this month’s Breakfast Club we were joined by Mathew Milsom, Managing Director of the Wales Millennium Centre, Wales’ No 1 visitor attraction.

Described by Mathew as a ‘gleaming beacon of inspiration, sitting proudly at the mouth of the bay’, Wales Millenium Centre contributes over £50 million per year to the Welsh economy and employs over 1000 people on site.

The Centre forms part of a ‘creative cluster’ in Cardiff, alongside the BBC, soon to arrive Pinewood Studios and others, showcasing the best of the Welsh Arts.  Mathew feels the iconic facade, for which the centre has become known, defines the organisation; a furnace of creativity, which extends horizons and increases confidence through participation.

Mathew began by explaining that an important aspect of the Centre’s work is the community projects that it operates. The Centre aims to provide children and youngsters in Wales with new opportunities that weren’t available in the past, opportunities to perform, gain life changing experiences and leave a legacy.

The Centre has provided creative opportunities for 200,000 children in total since opening in 2004, alongside staging 3500 shows and putting on 4000 free performances.

Mathew explained that two things have been key to the Centre’s success during this time, firstly, financial sustainability. 57% of the Centre’s income comes from ticket sales, and only 20% from subsidy, a figure lower than other similar arts organisations in the UK. This is helped by the 81% attendance that the Centre achieves across all genres of show, compared to London’s 68%.

Wales Millennium Centre

Wales Millennium Centre

87% of the Centre’s audience currently comes from South Wales, and 73% from the South East of Wales. Less than 1% currently comes from abroad, but Mathew recognises that to increase this figure would be an expensive challenge. To do so, the Centre needs to offer unique performances, and it’s hoping to nurture the creativity behind these through its youth programmes.

Secondly, the success of the centre is down to great people. Mathew feels fortunate that the WMC’s workforce all share a passion for the creative industry and for Wales, as well as understanding and buying in to the values of the Centre.

As 2014 is the Centre’s 10th Anniversary, Mathew ended his presentation by looking towards the future. He summarised his plans in 3 words: Improve, Inspire and Perform. The Centre will put on an enhanced programme of events for the anniversary year, including mass participation projects that will continue to help raise the profile of Cardiff and Wales, and Mathew was keen to involve everyone as he encouraged us all to ‘Come and support us, get involved and expand your horizons.’

The next Breakfast Club will be held on Thursday March 20th, with guest speaker Hugh Morris, Chief Executive of Glamorgan Cricket. For more information or to reserve a place, please contact Eira on eira@petersenspr.com or 02902 549597.