Posts Tagged ‘Millennium Stadium’

Gareth Davies addresses the Club

Gareth Davies addresses the Breakfast Club

We were lucky enough to have been joined by Gareth Davies, Chairman of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) as the speaker for this month’s Breakfast Club. An ex British Lion and Captain of Wales, Gareth has an illustrious sporting background as well as a strong professional and business record, and has previously held the position of Chairman of the Sports Council for Wales and Commissioning Editor for Sports and Events at S4C.

Gareth began his presentation by explaining that one of his first priorities when becoming Chairman of the WRU was to develop ‘greater unity’ within the organisation. In order to achieve this, Gareth is committed to making the Union more open and transparent, and improving communication between all levels, from club to elite.

Gareth believes that as the elite level is very successful, the WRU needs to concentrate on creating a strong grassroots foundation in order to develop players for the future. One of the projects currently underway in this area is the School Club Hub Initiative. The WRU has been working with 43 schools across Wales to establish Rugby Development Officers in each school. The project, which is half funded by the WRU and half by the schools, has been hugely successful, with the number of schools involved set to double in September.

Copy of Cardiff Breakfast Club Gareth Davies Image 3 - compressedGareth also discussed some of the issues surrounding the Millennium Stadium as an asset of the WRU. Now 15 years old, the ongoing maintenance costs are extensive, with the current priority being the need for all the Stadium seats to be replaced over the next few years, an enterprise which will cost the Union £4/5 million. The WRU are also looking to expand the footprint of the Stadium, and Gareth is looking forward to the Stadium hosting 8 matches for the upcoming World Cup as a key opportunity for the Stadium to be exhibited to the world.

Gareth concluded his presentation by highlighting some of the changes to the WRU Board itself. The Union has recently appointed two new non-exec directors and for the first time ever, its first female board member. Gareth also explained that they are looking to bring in more outside expertise and have created a special advisory board of 5 individuals from worldwide businesses who can use their business knowledge to advise the WRU on particular projects.

The next Breakfast Club will be held on 18th June with guest speaker Simon Powell, CEO of Eysys. For further information and booking details, please contact or phone 02920 549597.


One Taiwanese minister’s loo-dicrous idea

A bit of a silly topic for this afternoon’s post – but I just had to share this as it really tickled me.

A Taiwanese minister has called for males to sit down when using the toilet, in order to keep the facilities clean. The mind boggles!

While I can applaud the hygiene reasons behind such a call, can you imagine the absolute mayhem this would cause at football and rugby stadiums around the world at half time? The queue around the Millennium Stadium would encircle the whole of Cardiff, and probably back to the Valleys as well.

Thank goodness it was not a member of our Welsh Government making the suggestion!


Former Peacocks employee Lowri Jones found a new role after training with ReAct and e-academy

As we look forward to a wet weekend (and also a certain game of rugby Down Under!), I was really delighted with two bits of news this week, which demonstrate people’s creativity and inventiveness in times of crisis.

Firstly, in yesterday’s Western Mail it was super to read an example of an ex-Peacocks employee really picking themselves up after the despair they must have felt after the closure of the chain. Young Lowri Jones, from Cardiff, had worked for Peacocks as an assistant merchandiser since 2009. Faced with redundancy, she joined a ReAct sponsored training course provided by our client, e-academy, and has since found employment in the merchandising division at Leekes.

I wish all ex-employees of Peacocks all the very best in their search for new employment. From reading about these examples of positive thinking and action, perhaps many more ex-colleagues will find new appointments.

Secondly, I was thrilled to read of the discussion being held to secure televised American National Hockey League matches at the Millennium Stadium. It’s a perfect venue for such events, and if it goes ahead would coincide with Cardiff’s recognition as European Capital of Sport in 2014. The benefits to the city and to Wales would be numerous. It would open up the region for visitors and ice hockey fans from across Europe and even further afield. Every support should be given to the team leading this super initiative.

Very n-ice: Could this exciting sport be coming to the Millennium Stadium?

Enjoy the weekend – and enjoy the rugby!

As we all recover out composure following Saturday’s brilliant result for our rugby aces it is somewhat sobering to read

Fasten your seatbelts: Effective infrastructure is vital if Wales is to be a true player on the world map.

in today’s South Wales Echo of the Welsh Government’s report, showing that the New York air link could bring in 10,000 business visitors and boost exports by over £40 million.

I understand that the airport was very busy with excited French fans over the weekend. Why can the findings of this latest WG report not be used to further the cause for the investment needed to get this New York – Cardiff service up and running?

Sion Barry’s piece last week highlighted how non-direct subsidy of the airport could be a way around the EU problems identified. I really do think it is the role of the WG, its politicians and its civil servants, to find a way around this problem. Please do not let yet another report on the vital necessity of an international airport to the Cardiff region be allowed to gather dust in some library.

I am convinced that the psychological benefits to Wales, let alone the financial ones, from having a regular service from Cardiff to New York will help put Cardiff and Wales firmly on the world map. Can you imagine the publicity around a President of the United States arriving at Cardiff International Airport? Or the New York Yankees coming to play at the Millennium Stadium?

If Wales is to succeed on the world stage we have to get our transport infrastructure rights, and a successful airport is at the heart of this.

As our rugby heroes of last weekend have shown, we Welsh can beat anyone on the world on a level playing field. Unless we get our infrastructure and the airport right, we will never attract the inward investment which Wales so desperately needs to grow.

As I stated in my blog last week, for a tiny nation, with only 5% of the total population of Great Britain, Wales produces a staggering amount of successful businessmen and women, academics, leaders and sportsmen. Therefore I totally support the comments Professor Laura McAllister, Chair of Sport Wales,  makes in today’s Western Mail. She reminds us all that with only 5% of the population, our sportsmen and women have brought home 25% of Great Britain’s Olympic gold medals – unbelievable!

With today being 200 days to go until the opening ceremony, let’s use the Olympics this year to remind the whole world what a remarkable little nation we are: celebrating our’ past successes, and, of course, hopefully creating new ones!

We must embrace the Olympics and make our visitors and those countries using Wales for their pre-Games training welcome, so that they will return to their homelands as true ambassadors for Wales. With the very first matches of the entire games, the women’s football openers on the 25th of July,  being played our very own Millennium Stadium, the world will be watching us right from the start.

We may not be hosting the 100-metre sprint or the rowing eight finals, but there are huge benefits to be reaped from the ‘Olympic fever’ that grips the globe once every four years.  Wales can only benefit, in both the long and the short term. Will all those bleating about Wales not getting its’ fair share of the Olympic purse start supporting our athletes, administrators, hospitality franchises and all involved, to make the summer of 2012 the best Olympics yet.

Some of Wales’ brightest hopefuls for the 2012 games…

Nicole Cooke,  Cycling – our first gold medal winner at Beijing 2008.

Jade Jones, Taekwondo – who recently appeared on Jonathan Ross’ show.

Aaron Ramsey, who may well be representing Wales in Team GB, modelling the Olympic kit.

Andrew Selby, Boxing – 2011 European Champion, born and bred in Barry!

I have read with great interest in the Western Mail today about the Millennium Stadium’s bid to host an NFL game in Cardiff next year. What a fantastic thought and I support it 100%. I have enjoyed at first hand premier basketball and baseball matches in the U.S. and believe Cardiff would benefit considerably by hosting such an event.

It will help our profile in the U.S. and generate significant income for Cardiff and the region. If it comes I for one will be amongst the first to buy a ticket!

Good luck Gerry Toms and the rest of the pitch team!