The Day The Music Died...
With a lot of things in life, there is a point where we have to let go and appreciate the fact that we had this ride at all.
I know many tears will be shed today, as we announce the permanent closure of our business and the appointment of an insolvency practitioner.
Tough Runner UK & Run Afan Forest, had a very different business model and sadly, it could not find a way to maintain its identity.
With fewer events across the country than ever. Being different and on a mission to truly reinvent an experience for the customer is increasingly rare in this business.
- Remember that time we gave people beer on the finish line instead of water?
- Remember the naysayers who said you could not create a fun and experience-based events business?
I’m glad to say we proved many people wrong over the years and earned lasting loyalty.
Triathlon brings together people with varying experiences, skills and opinions to form the dynamic community that we all enjoy. Run Afan Forest welcomes direct, respectful, honest and robust dialogue, however many of the public allegations and criticisms made recently by Welsh triathlon and British Triathlon, are inaccurate, unfounded, inflammatory, damaging and of a bullying nature. They have impacted on the mental health and morale of our hard-working, dedicated staff and volunteers, and they have provided unnecessary distraction from the good and important work being done.
We recently reported allegations of bullying, misogyny, abuse & governance failings. We are deeply concerned about the lack of attention given to the issues we raised. It is disheartening to see that bullying, misogyny, and abuse appear to be tolerated within British Triathlon & Welsh Triathlon.
These issues should never be acceptable or brushed aside, as they undermine the principles of equality and fairness that are vital in any organization.
This distressing incident has highlighted the prevalent issue of misogyny that still persists within our society. We firmly believe that such behaviour is completely unacceptable in any form and requires immediate attention.
Amy Jenner, Head of Development at Welsh Triathlon, has made a recent statement that can only be described as a direct attempt to undermine our business. We strongly believe that she has her own agenda against us and is intentionally working against our best interest.
Since the insolvency of Tough Runner UK. We have encountered numerous difficulties along the way. However, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the many organizations that have stood by us during these trying times. Our partners have shown unwavering support, and we are immensely thankful for their continued collaboration. Regrettably, it appears that BTF/WT & Welsh Athletics do not share the same perspective as the aforementioned organizations.
I must express my deep concern regarding the current state of governance within our sport. Over the past 27 years, I have dedicated my time and effort to this great sport, and never before have I witnessed such a disheartening display of failings.
The lack of responsiveness from the new Welsh triathlon CEO, Catherine Roberts, is particularly alarming, her behaviour raises serious questions about their ability to lead effectively and address the pressing issues at hand.
Over the past few months, I acknowledge that I have not met expectations in several areas, and I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or issues that may have arisen as a result.
Furthermore, recent events have had a significant impact on my health and overall well-being. Given the circumstances, I believe it is now the right time for me to step away from my current responsibilities. My primary focus needs to be directed towards spending quality time with someone dear to me and my two kids, whom I have unintentionally neglected in the past.
Today, I received a heart-wrenching phone call. A little old lady, who lost her beloved husband eight years ago, reached out to share her story. She found solace and a renewed sense of life by participating in our races. Today, she uttered the words, “the day the music died.” It’s indeed a sombre and bewildering day. However, I want to take a moment to assure each one of you that the music never dies…