Wednesday, September 22, 2010

British Curling chooses academic as new chairman

Those who follow the elite end of the sport of curling, and those interested in who will be heading up the programme that will take British curling teams to the next Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi, will be interested to learn that Mike Gillespie has been chosen as British Curling's new chairman. Mike is Head of the School of Science at the University of Derby, and is an Assistant Dean within the Faculty of Education, Health and Sciences. There he has responsibilty for International Development, Employer Engagement and Income Generation. He joined the University of Derby in March 2010.

I cannot think of anyone better to chair British Curling at this time. For one thing, he has served on the Board of Directors for the past four years, so provides continuity into the next Olympic cycle. He's an academic, and knowing how difficult university politics can be, I am persuaded that he can take curling, and sport, politics in his stride! I wish him every success.

Whether of course he will seek to address British Curling's major problem remains to be seen. What problem? I refer to the lack of transparency of the organisation, the absence of minutes, the unavailability of accounts, and the general veil of secrecy under which this most important of curling's organisations lurks.

The closing date for applications for the other director positions on the British Curling Board is September 24, see here. I am hearing though that there are changes in the offing in the way the Board is constituted. The Royal Caledonian Curling Club is to have a representative seat on the Board, apparently. And closer ties with sportscotland have been suggested too. I can see sense in both of these suggestions, if they are true, but we will probably all need to wait until things are made public, before commenting.

Mike's photo is from a University of Derby news release, here. You can find more about his academic work and other interests here.