Firms need some Olympic ambition

TEAMWORK Gemma and Mark Spofforth
TEAMWORK Gemma and Mark Spofforth
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THE grit and determination of sport was likened to the world of business at a glitzy event.

Mark Spofforth, the father of Portsmouth swimming star Gemma Spofforth, spoke of the passion needed to be successful in business.

More than 300 chartered accountants and business leaders were at the annual dinner of The Southern Society of Chartered Accountants at Winchester Guildhall.

Mr Spofforth, who is a chartered accountant in Chichester, and also the deputy president of the The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, spoke of his pride in his daughter.

The 24-year-old backstroke world record holder has secured her place in Olympics after almost quitting the sport last year.

‘Many of the skills needed to succeed in sport and in business are similar,’ said Mr Spofforth.

‘You need to have the business idea or talent to start with. Then you need the determination, hard work and the ability to network and work in a team.’

Mr Spofforth also stressed how important it was to have a good support team, both in sport and business.

He said: ‘In sport you need a coach or adviser in whom you can put great trust. In the case of business, having the right advice is essential. ICAEW’s Business Advice Service offers an initial consultation at no charge to SMEs and start-ups, and can advise them on their business needs.’

The evening, sponsored by Barclay Meade, also saw Roger Black MBE, who is from Gosport, delivering an inspiring speech, giving a first-hand account of his experiences including winning the silver medal at the Olympics in 1996.

He spoke of overcoming serious injuries and a rare heart valve condition to go on to become a world champion.

Henry Flint, president of SOSCA President, said: ‘Everyone fully embraced the Olympics theme and it was a great honour to be joined by Roger Black.’