Vancouver, BC, Canada
Friday 29th July 2016

In September 2015, CONQA Sport, the South African sports event management and consulting group, launched their sports performance symposium.  The event brought together 320 talented, progressive and like minded sports practitioners from around the world, to unearth challenges, identify weaknesses and help teams and coaches to identify areas that would help them in their aim of achieving optimum success. 

Hosting a range of speakers from expected backgrounds such as football (soccer), Olympic sports, NFL, rugby, AFL, cricket and baseball the group also found a worthy platform for leaders from more unconventional industries that may not otherwise find exposure with the sporting community.  Experts from the FBI, Naval Special Warfare Command and even a wildlife ranger took the stage to illustrate ways in which their life’s lessons had a place in enhancing sports performance.

Unfortunately, due to the infancy of my role in the NHL, I had had to cancel my plans to attend but have since spoken to a number of my trusted colleagues who were able to travel to Cape Town.  The feedback regarding the content was extremely positive, with attendees remarking that the variety in material provided a wider perspective on high performance environments than many of the more established players on the circuit have.  This was complimented by the event’s sphere of influence, with delegates from the southern hemisphere being better represented than at other European or North American-based conferences.

In addition, the atmosphere was praised for its friendly vibe and warm welcome, with the organisers showing a keen interest in ensuring that all the guests enjoyed their stay in South Africa.  Several of my friends added a few extra days onto the end of their trip to enjoy the vineyards in Stellenbosch and the safari opportunities a short distance from the capital…nothing like mixing business and pleasure!!

Between October 5th and 7th 2016, the team at CONQA Sport are hosting their second event, with a faculty that promises to be just as eclectic as last year.  In the proposed line-up are my former colleague, Clayton Green from McLaren Racing, alongside friends Lance Walker (Global Performance Director for Michael Johnson’s Performance Centers) and Dr. Jay Mallette (Director of Performance Medicine for Cirque du Soleil).  

Other leaders from the sports world, Finbarr Kirwan, the High Performance Director at the US Olympic Committee and Paddy Upton, the head Coach from the Dehli Daredevils and Sydney Thunder, will be joined by speakers from the wider world of performance, such as Gary Noesner, former Chief Negotiater for the FBI and Dr. Anne Issac, Head of Human Performance from the National Air Traffic Service.  In addition, Grant Lottering, an ultra-endurance cyclist will be talking about the experiences he encountered along the journey from near death to the top of the Alps in less than a year, which promises to be an inspirational talk.

The CONQA team have supplemented the exhibition centre-based presentation with a site visit to Stellenbosch’s renowned Academy of Sport and a visit to De Grendel’s vineyard to broaden the experience.

For more information, click this the link to access the Event Program and I hope to see you in South Africa later at the beginning of October.

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