CSL in Europe-Day 4: “The Mother of All Sports”
by Maggie Brocklebank, Kenny Brown & Mike Donovan, CSL graduate students
The fourth day of our Europe trip was filled with a ton of activities and site seeing as we began the day gathering for breakfast at our hotel in Nice, France. After breakfast, we all boarded our luxurious bus and made the short trip to Monaco to meet with the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) and the Shooting Federation of Monaco.
We start at the IAAF, the world governing body for track and field which is based in Monaco since 1993. We heard from four members of their leadership team: Olivier Gers, CEO, Chris Turner, Deputy Director-PR, Paul Hardy, Director of Operations and Carina Kostovic, Director of Human Resources.
Gers called athletics, more commonly known as track & field in the U.S. as the “mother of all sports”, since it’s disciplines of running, throwing and jumping are at the core of all athletic competitions. To offer some perspective on the scope of IAAF, Gers stated that he United Nations recognizes 198 countries, while the IAAF is made up of 215 member federations. The organization really focuses on their global presence, or what they called their “circus”, the six to eight events they organize around the world each year.
Each of the speakers addressed their area of expertise and tried to share their vision for the future of the IAAF. They were transparent about the organization’s current state and on and how they will ensure the company’s future success.
Paul Hardy left us with some great advice when pursuing jobs in the sports industry, which is a process we have all started in the weeks leading up to our trip. He told us that we need to control our own destiny, do our research on all of the different organizations and jobs available, get our foot in the door with either internships or by volunteering, and lastly to just work hard. That is how we will see positive results.
Following our meeting with the IAAF and after eating the abundance of delicious pastries they provided, our class made the trek across town to meet and tour the Shooting Federation of Monaco. Upon arrival we met our tour guide, fittingly named Virginia who introduced us to Fabienne Diato-Pasetti, a six time Olympic rifle shooter. We toured the facility which features four different shooting ranges. We were able to see an indoor 25m range, an indoor 50m range, and then a virtual shooting range used for training for the police. After the tour it was very intriguing to hear some of the facts related to Monaco, its police and military, and how few crimes are committed in the country.
After our lectures, we were allowed to explore the area. Several of us started by finding a restaurant where we tried escargot for the first time. We then went to the famous Monte Carlo Casino, which has an entrance fee of ten euro due to the historical significance and beautiful bathrooms. A few students decided to risk some money in the slot machines and on the roulette table, but not all were lucky with their results.
The country is beautiful as it is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. We stood on the hilltops and looked down at the yachts in the harbor and gazed up at the intimidating mountain side. Although, the scenery was something fresh out of a google image search, there was nothing that compared to the amount of sports cars and luxury automobiles, mainly Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentleys, Lotus, and Audis. To say the least, Monaco lived up to the hype.
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