If you have never been to Assisi in Italy then I recommend you put it at the top of the list of places you plan to visit. The two hour drive from Rome takes you through some beautiful countryside before you come across the breath-taking sight of the ancient town of Assisi sitting on a mountainside overlooking the province of Perugia.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to Assisi by the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) to work with the referees and judges who have been selected to officiate at the London Olympics. Brought together from every corner of the world, they experienced five days of intense preparation to ensure the boxing runs smoothly and without incident. Boxing has been the focus of numerous allegations of ‘fixing’ over years and AIBA have gone to considerable lengths in an attempt to eradicate any corruption charges.
Nevertheless, the referees and judges will not be able to escape the fierce spotlight shining upon them during the Games. And that’s what the focus of my work with them was all about – handling the pressure and demonstrating the leadership to assume the responsibility, accountability and composure that will be needed to maintain and, when necessary, restore order.
Their work will go unsung and unnoticed if the boxing competition in London passes without incident. If things go wrong, they will be the highly visible villains whose integrity will be questioned. Ring any bells?