Another year over.
I was planning to write a recap of the highs and lows of sport in 2015 but I looked back through the blogs I’ve written over the course of the year and realised they’re already there.
From football – which dominated most of world sport’s off-field headlines especially since the arrests in May – through to athletics, cycling, cricket, rugby, gender equality in sport, anti-racism and the need for a world sport anti-corruption body, it seems I’ve had a say on almost everything. I’m an opinionated bugger if nothing else. 🙂
My work with some terrific people in the football, cycling, cricket and rugby world has meant I’ve not only had a personally enriching year, but it’s also given SKINS an opportunity to stand out in the crowd of companies operating in the sports industry. I hope all that we’ve done and stand for, and will continue to do next year and beyond, shows that as a company we are living by our brand values of believing in, and upholding, the true spirit of competition.
As I’ve said before, this activity is good for the SKINS brand but it’s also good. Period.
I’m immensely proud of it and the team at SKINS and our agency BBD Perfect Storm for all their work in living up to our brand values. You can expect even more on the issues that matter to all of us at SKINS next year.
I’m also really privileged to have met, and worked with, some terrific people.
So in tribute to them, I want to end 2015 by giving some accolades to some truly good people who have ‘fought the good fight’ in sport not just this year, but for many years.
Think of them as the inaugural SKINS Watercooler Awards – no ceremony, certainly no pomp – but huge admiration, congratulations and thank you to all.
- AFL – Adam Goodes
- Rugby – David Pocock
- Cycling – Paul Kimmage
- Football – Andrew Jennings, Jens Weinreich
- Athletics – Vitaly & Yuliya Stepanov
- Football – Bonita Mersiades (who talks here about whistleblowing as the fifth pillar of democracy)
- Play the Game in Aarhus, Denmark, for their contribution to, and championing of, good governance in sporting organisations.
- Sharan Burrow, CEO of the International Trade Union Confederation for her global leadership on kafala
- Damian Collins MP, Member for Folkestone and Hythe in the House of Commons for his global leadership on anti-corruption in sport generally but particularly football.
And the Platinum Watercooler Award for the greatest contribution to world sport in 2015?
This feisty veteran investigative journalist has been on the trail of FIFA, Sepp Blatter and friends for the best part of 15 years. Before that, his revelations led to a mini-revolution in the IOC arising from the Salt Lake City scandal.
Like all people who tell the uncomfortable truth, Andrew has been called every name under the sun. He has been subjected to ridicule, he has been called a “discredited moron” on public television, he has had nothing to gain and everything to lose from his constant digging into the murky, loathsome world of FIFA and football. But he has never wavered, has never given up – and he has been proven 100% right.
Andrew very generously agreed to front our campaign film, The Hypocrisy World Cup that we launched to pressure FIFA sponsors and it worked.
Andrew is nothing short of an inspiration and an example to those who love the truth and those who love sport.
Thank you to all the SKINS Watercooler Award winners for 2015. Keep up the good work.
Thanks to those who are reading this also. Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016.
Let’s hope, together, we make some giant strides in the new year in sports governance, anti-corruption and the many issues sport faces. For the sake of our kids, our society and in the interests of the true spirit of competition.