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Olympic training facilities inspire 02 conference

02 conference EIS Sheffield
A team from leading mobile phone and broadband provider 02 were going for gold with a unique event at the home of Olympic and world champions.  
The group of 115 staff from 02’s national online division hosted its quarterly conference in the Indoor Athletics Arena at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EIS Sheffield).

Delegates listened to a motivational speech by Sydney rowing gold medallist, Ben Hunt-Davis, on the same track where Olympians including Jessica Ennis-Hill have been preparing for the Rio Games.  

The conference was designed around EIS Sheffield’s pole vault, high jump long jump and triple jump areas, all set at the current Olympic record designed to motivate and inspire the 02 employees.  

The world-class EIS Sheffield is the home training base for more than 30 Rio-bound Olympic TeamGB and ParalympicsGB athletes including the world’s first female boxing champion, Nicola Adams, and table tennis star, Will Bayley, who won silver at London 2012.  

02’s daytime conference was followed by an evening dinner at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre’s Skyline Suite, which brought a taste of Rio to Sheffield with a barbeque and a steel drum band.  

Ponds Forge International Sports Centre is one of the country’s best aquatics facilities with one of the deepest diving pits in Europe. The Olympic-sized competition pool is the focal point of the venue, which is home to TeamGB swimmers Max Litchfield and Ellie Faulkner and TeamGB diver Freddie Woodward.  

Ponds Forge and EIS Sheffield are both operated by SIV.  

Dominic Stokes, Head of SIV Events - the events arm of SIV – and Ponds Forge, said: “Hosted just a few weeks before the start of the Rio Games at the home training bases for many TeamGB and ParalympicsGB athletes, the 02 event had a real Olympic theme.  

“Both Ponds Forge and EIS Sheffield provided a unique backdrop for the 02 conference which was designed to motivate and inspire the delegates to learn and achieve.  

“Sporting environments are becoming increasingly popular for event organisers looking for something a bit different to a standard meeting room and the 02 conference was a big success.”  

Kathryn Bell, who organised the event for 02, said: “We choose a theme for our conferences which ties into to the business message we are delivering on the day. For this conference, we chose the Olympics due to the upcoming Rio Games  

“It was fantastic to use a venue with an Indoor Athletics Arena and even better to be able to hold our conference on the track. The other activities in place around the arena, such as the pole jump, high jump, long jump and hurdles, provided the perfect surroundings.  

“From the initial contact right through to aftercare, the SIV Events team has been marvellous to work with. The service through the day and the evening was excellent, staff were all so very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The menu and the quality of food was great too.  

“All 115 attendees left with nothing but praise for attending a fabulous event. EIS Sheffield has amazing facilities and I feel privileged that we were able to hold our conference at this world-class venue.  

“We were made to feel so welcome and particularly for me, having organised the event from start to finish, I have nothing but praise for how it was managed - the bar was definitely raised for our next quarterly event.”

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