Last Sunday I spent the afternoon watching world class squash. It’s not something I’m able to claim that often – in fact, at all before now. And if the company I work for hadn’t sponsored the event, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been there at all – or even known about it.
The UKFast Manchester Squash Open took place last week and entertained players from the world stage – which not only makes for fantastic spectator sport but gives local talent the chance to stretch themselves against competition that they might not normally get to play.
The knock on effect of an event like this for a community is enormous. We all join in a collective groan when thinking about the near misses our national sporting elite achieve. Too often we look to the country’s infrastructure for someone to blame. However, I think the area that is most neglected is the space between school sport and professional sport where people with niche talents are allowed to thrive and reach for the world stage.
Lawrence Jones sponsored the tournament because of a commitment to the community he and his company works and lives within. His support allowed local talent to play out of its skin and inspire others to work towards the same excellence.
Our government may not have the same attitude to sport as that of Australia or the US but that doesn’t mean businesses can’t do their part for our country’s sports, because, in many cases, if businesses don’t offer support, it simply may not happen.