The Saje Impact team were delighted to attend the Second Annual Conference of Foundation for Leadership through Sport last Friday at Loughborough University London.

The conference gathered elites from the worlds of sport, business and the military, including CEOs, senior directors, and high performance coaches, with input from current and recent top-class sportsmen and women including Rio 2016 Olympic Women’s Hockey Gold Medalist Kate Richardson-Walsh and Eddie Jones, the England Rugby Head Coach. Held at Loughborough University’s new satellite campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, it also presented the opportunity to showcase the Institute for Sport Business.

The conference began with an insight into performance leadership and ‘Planning for Gold - Twice’ by Danny Kerry MBE, the Team GB Women’s Hockey Head Coach. He spoke about the importance of planning and emergence in a complex adaptive environment and how to achieve consistent success. Chris Casper, the Sporting Director of Salford City FC then followed proceedings with a talk about the roads to sustained success. He shed some light on how to influence character traits and why coaches and leaders should develop the character over the player.

For many, the highlight of the day was the panel discussion with Kate Richardson-Walsh and Sarah Hunter, the England Women’s Rugby Captain. Speaking from an athlete’s perspective, they shared their experiences of competing at the highest level in sport, how they cope with the highs and lows and the obstacles they have had to overcome. Following the discussion, the audience were treated to a video montage of the Team GB Women’s Hockey Rio 2016 gold medal winning match and a Q&A with the audience.

Chaired by John Steele, the conference concluded with a talk by Eddie Jones, ‘Picking it up, developing it and making it the most successful in the world’. Eddie gave a great deal of insight into coach development, tactical flexibility, leadership density and reframing success ‘the England way’. A key take-home message that can be applied to the worlds of sport and business is that there are no shortcuts to success and not to assume that people have a limit – keep pushing them!