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  • Writer's pictureSarah Lewis

Variety is the Spice of Life

I've been privileged to take part in a number of interesting gatherings, conferences, and meetings over the past month, and meet with old and get to know new colleagues too.

Beginning with a visit to the beautiful University City of Oxford and meeting Professor Dame Sarah Springman and see the tremendous work she is leading as Principal of St. Hilda's College was certainly a stimulating kick-off to the month. Together with meeting Ben Avison, conference producer of Host City Events and Conference in Glasgow, it was a productive day. How can you fail to be inspired in such an environment!

Next up was a fantastic interview with Guardian journalist Rich Pelley, as part of Emma Sinclair, MBE Enterprise Alumni Series: What was your first McJob? which will be published officially this week.

During my stay in the UK, along with 50 others, we braved the train strikes to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Ladies Ski Club. I'm an Honorary Member and the Club celebrates its Centenary in 2023 with a host of activities.

Of particular pleasure that evening was to unanimously elect Inge Christophersen as President for the Centenary Year. Inge is a force of nature, she's contributed so much to British Skiing, and wider society. Her Norwegian upbringing, direct approach and lovely sense of humour are irrepressible - enjoy her interview!

Host City Events and Conference 2022 at its' traditional location in Glasgow was a stimulating conference, finally gathering everyone in person for the first time in three years resulting in excellent networking. Discussing the Rise of Womens Sport and Entertainment was very well received, along with Netball Scotland and Strathclyde Sirens chief executive Claire Nelson and US Soccer Foundation associate vice-president for marketing and communications Jennifer Arnold, and expertly moderated by Duncan Mackay, Editor of identifiable by their reporters unique luminous green and pink tie:

On arrival back from Scotland, the month concluded with two online lectures to Universities: The renowned Stockholm School of Economics "Investments and Value Creation in Global Sports" and Shengyang Sport University "The First International Forum on "Ice and Snow Sports and Technology".

This famous image of the Stockholm School of Economics is the same location where the Nobel Prize for Economics is presented annually, and the image opens each of the online lectures. The programme is expertly managed by Martin Carlsson Wall with 70 students come from 16 Universities in 15 countries and five continents and time zones and they contribution to an engaging session with questions and discussions throughout the presentation. There are certainly some excellent graduates for the Sports Movement to involve in their organisations and companies.

For my presentation to the Shengyang Sport University "The First International Forum on "Ice and Snow Sports and Technology" I provided a 30-minute recorded presentation to ensure the technology worked properly, and to avoid presenting at 3:00am on a Saturday morning!

The highlight of the month was undoubtedly attending the International Sports University Federation, FISU, Executive Committee Meeting in Brussels for their busy two-day agenda. Less than two months before the first post-pandemic winter edition of the World University Games 2023 in Lake Placid, USA all Organisers of the future Games reported their progress, before the main focal point being the election of the 2027 summer World University Games in Chungcheong Megacity, Korea. In addition, the Executive Committee appointed me as the FISU Deputy Secretary General and Chief Operating Officer, which has its' headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

left to right: Eric Saintrond, FISU Secretary General; Leonz Eder, Acting FISU President and a proud me!

I will report on more details once these are communicated by FISU, during my pre-onboarding which is already well underway. Two sessions of "Lunch and Learn" which have covered the Lake Placid 2023 World University Games 2023 shortly after the final inspection visit, and the FISU World Championships and World Cups at the end of November.

Stay tuned to learn more about the outstanding work and initiatives of FISU, I'm truly honoured to have the opportunity to be part of the organisation!

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