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  • Writer's pictureSarah Lewis

A Milestone in my Life - R.I.P Dad

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

My world changed on 1st April when my beloved Dad passed away peacefully in his sleep at 88 years old. Dad touched the lives of many people with his kind heart, warm personality, and occasional mischievous quip with a twinkle in his eye.

You don’t choose your family, but if I could have chosen my Dad, it would have been mine every time. We had a special bond from my childhood, with sport at the heart of our special relationship. His passing has left a huge void in my heart, yet the wonderful memories that he has left are a gift that I will cherish for ever. Thank you Dad, I will do my best to make you proud,

I had the privilege of giving the final eulogy after my brother Charlie, about his Dad’s life at his funeral on 11th April. During the last two months when I haven't posted a monthly blog, my main focus has been dealing with Dad’s affairs. He appointed me and my stepbrother Andy as executors in his will, which is a formal and complex process.

I know he would expect me to handle them tasks with all my skills, and I'm endeavouring to do just that.

I'm really thankful for the support and

friendship from family and colleagues,

sharing experiences and receiving advice and encouragement. Anecdotes that Dad's local friends and acquaintances have shared about his kindness in helping them with their legal problems have been uplifting.

Before Dad’s passing, which seems and in fact was a lifetime away, I enjoyed visiting The Snow Centre at Hemel Hempstead for their Monday night junior training, meeting @Dominic McGonigal, Chair of Snowsports England who coaches the enthusiastic under 12s. It was my first visit since the Snow Centre transitioned from being a dry ski slope where I raced regularly in the 1980s. If I had been able to train at such a fantastic facility 45 minutes from home, this opportunity would have put me on a par with athletes living in a ski resort #noexcuse

Ankura's celebration of International Women's Day at Fortnum & Mason "Celebrating Achievement ~ Embracing Equity" was another highlight, featuring the intrepid One Ocean Rowing Crew who rowed 3'000 miles across the Atlantic in 40 days, 4 hours, 7 minutes!

The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CiaB) London Branch dinner in Islington London, convened all arbitrators and experts who had contributed to their events over the past 12 months, and provided a fascinating insight into different specialities of arbitration. In spring 2022 I contributed to the CiaB London/UAE branch online webinar: "Looking back on Tokyo and looking forward to Doha: the arbitration of disputes at major sporting events."

I attended the International Sports Convention for two insightful days which kicked off with a productive Women in Sport: Thought Leadership Roundtable. There were plenty of provocative and relevant thoughts shared, even if the table was square!

After meeting David Alexander at the International Sports Convention during the coffee break (rule #1 proactively connect with new people and be curious about what they do), I provided a Blog for Calculus: “Safeguarding in sport is paramount”.

This followed on from my OpEd on Safeguarding Challenges in Sport for The Safeguarding Company, which is an issue high on the agenda of all sports organisations.

Meeting new friends all over the world through Sport is one of the most privileged aspects of my career. I had an engaging exchange with Edem Spio, MSc and Shon Osimbo and had the privilege to record edition #50 of their podcast as part of the Africa Business of Sport Podcast #WomensSportsDev series, designed to get more women into sport and the sports business.

World leading education programme AISTS (International Academy of Sport Science and Technology) organised their course “Managing Sustainability in Sport” and in my capacity as Vice President of the Sustainable Mountain Alliance, along with SMA founder Ingrid Beutler, we delivered the session: “Sustainable management practices for mountain and snow sports”.

For the first time I was able to attend Interalpin in Innsbruck, Austria which is a highly impressive event for the Winter Sports Industry, as part of the Snow Secure delegation. There was great interest around the company's snow storage solution that preserves snow over the summer, thereby reducing energy, providing a truly sustainable solution.

The Spot 2023 organised expertly by ThinkSport: “Innovation in action for sustainable futures”, focused on sustainable business transformation and innovating with purpose to drive progress in sport.

The Sport for Nature Challenge was a highlight with the winners participating in the Sports for Nature workshop which concluded with a tour of the International Olympic Committee IOC world-leading sustainability measures at the #olympichouse.

Another excellent edition of the Italian School of Sport "Women, Leadership & Sport" webinar was a privilege to be part of, for which I delivered a presentation on Sport, Leadership & the challenge of Sustainability.

Alongside participating at these interesting events both contributing and learning, I've been engaging with some exciting Start-Ups to advise and support their pathway and progress, attending the online Global Esports Federation International Relations and Development Commission, and the Riyadh 2023 Global Esports Games Coordination Commission Meeting. Never a dull moment!

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