As some of you may know, following the departure of Joanne Brown after over 3 years devoted service as Central’s CTO, we have recently found her replacement. Phil Mestecky started in this role on 18th April so we caught up with him to ask a few questions and find out a bit more about him and what he’s hoping to do in the role.
Mobile: 07703 766465
Central AC: First of all, welcome to Central. We think it’s a great club and we hope you will find your time with us rewarding and enjoyable.
PM: Thanks very much. I’m excited to be part of one of the biggest and best athletics clubs in Scotland. Central has a great reputation for producing not only high performing individual athletes, but also successful teams across all age groups and, in the short time I’ve been involved, I can see this is the result of huge commitment from coaches and team managers and also, of course from athletes and their parents.
Central AC: Tell us something about yourself.
PM: I’m 47, and worked in publishing for over 25 years before leaving the corporate world behind earlier this year. I have always loved sport whether watching or participating in it and am now keen to explore the opportunity for a career in sports administration. I live in Crieff with my wife, Liz, and my border collie, Tess, and have two grown up sons.
Central AC: What’s your background in athletics?
PM: I’ve been a runner for nearly 20 years, starting off with road races and cross-country down in Oxfordshire before moving to Scotland and developing a love of hill running and ultra-distance challenges. Since we moved up, I have been closely involved with Strathearn Harriers and have helped grow the club from just 17 members in 2003 to over 150 today. I am a qualified Coach in Running Fitness, Athletics Coach and Event Group coach for Endurance.
Central AC: What are your first impressions of Central?
PM: I’m really impressed. The enthusiasm and energy of everyone I’ve met is great. There’s so much going on with all the different competitions, training opportunities, coaching groups etc that it makes my head spin a little! But it all seems to be well organised and functioning efficiently. That said, everyone has lots of ideas of how we can improve things and lots of suggestions about how I can best use my time!
Central AC: So then, what do you see as your priorities for the CTO?
PM: That’s a tough question! As I said, everyone I’ve met so far has lots of great ideas for how we can make the club even better. What experience has taught me though is that if I try to do everything, I’ll not manage to do anything well. So, I will need to try to focus on a few key areas and work hard to make them successful. The three that I think I should prioritise are:
- Supporting the coaches. Without the coaches, there would be no Central AC. We have a great coaching team and some well-established coaching structures in place. However, we have over 50 coaches and coaching assistants, we have multiple venues where training takes place and we have an extremely valuable link with Active Stirling which helps to manage the pipeline of new young recruits to the club. The CTO has a key role to play in supporting the whole coaching team with communication, coordination, recruitment and development.
- Volunteers. Central is very lucky to already have an amazing army of volunteers that, each year, help the club function in any number of ways: coaching, team management, admin, organising the 10K, officials (timekeepers, results, starters, measurers), marketing & communications, fundraising etc etc. But we always need more…The CTO has a key role to try to encourage a wider pool of people who are willing to give up their time and energy to support the club. And we also need some of those that are already involved to develop their skills further and take them to the next level. For most people, life is increasingly busy but getting involved can be a lot of fun and extremely rewarding! In other words: “Your Club Needs You!”
- One Club. Central is a large and complex organisation with many moving parts and sub-groups. We are one club, however, so ensuring that everyone in the club feels, informed, valued and included is an important but tough challenge. With a job title like “Club Together Officer”, this is clearly an area that will need my ongoing focus.
Central AC: How will you know if you have been successful?
PM: Another tough question. I would be delighted if, over the next couple of years, the club has sufficient volunteers, coaches and other resources to, not just maintain the current programme of athletics activities, but to grow and further develop them across the club. That said, this can only happen with the support and engagement of everyone associated with the club so thanks in advance for your help!
Central AC: Thanks for your time, Phil, and best of luck.
PM: Thanks, I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone at the club and, hopefully, making a useful contribution.