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Deloitte and the British Paralympic Association

Working alongside ParalympicsGB during Rio 2016 

 

Whilst Deloitte has provided world-class support for the Team Development Programme, the unpredictable and highly-pressured environment of the Paralympic Games also requires an expert to be available to guide the team through any challenges, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Based in the Athlete Village, Charlotte Thompson, who works in Deloitte’s Resilience and Crisis Management team, is currently undertaking that critical role in Rio. Charlotte’s experience at London 2012 in LOCOG’s Readiness Testing & Exercising Team helps provide the BPA with exceptional on-the-job experience.

Pre-Games preparation

In March 2016, I spent six days in Rio with a small British Paralympic Association delegation including Chef de Mission, Penny Briscoe.

Operating within the Rio environment enabled me to identify the issues the 400-strong ParalympicsGB delegation is likely to experience during Games-time. The more I explored the likely risks (including operational, health and safety, performance, reputational, environmental, geopolitical and financial) ParalympicsGB could face, the better prepared I felt to respond efficiently and effectively at Games time.

Even before Rio 2016 had started, I was also conscious to ensure our work was formalised and ‘future-proofed’ in a structured manner, so the BPA have a legacy from our working relationships at future Games.

Whilst incidents can come in many forms, from medical issues and transport failures to athlete classification appeals, the recce has helped me use the 6 month period valuably to plan for all eventualities.

Now, the ultimate goal is to deliver a safe and successful Games experience for all, but most importantly, continue to provide an environment for the athletes allowing them to focus on their performance. The medal table will be the ultimate measure of that.

Deloitte Charlotte Thompson working at Rio Paralympic Games
Deloitte’s Charlotte Thompson (right) is working at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games supporting ParalympicsGB

During the Games

Now the Games are underway, I am working at the heart of the action, within the Athlete Village and I am experiencing the pressure of an ‘away’ Games first-hand. It is great to see the ParalympicsGB Team Leaders and Team Managers excelling in their roles; because of this the athletes are all extremely happy, but exceptionally focused on the task in hand.

My current role until the end of the Games is Reporting Manager for the Senior Leadership Team. This involves managing a breath of issues before they escalate and need the Chef de Mission’s to resolve, as Penny only has limited capacity and she is keen to focus on performance. Nothing has required me to need my ‘grab bag’ just yet but I’m always just 10 minutes away, at all times, if needed.

Charlotte's role has been critical - she is my single source of truth and single source of knowledge for ParalympicsGB during these Games.

Penny Briscoe, Chef de Mission, ParalympicsGB

Another key responsibility is to create a daily report for the ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission. Within that, I account for all the issues and incidents to help form an agenda for the evening meeting with the senior leadership team, helping set the context for operations the next day.  

Whilst incidents can come in many forms, from medical issues and transport failures to athlete classification appeals, the recce has helped me use the 6 month period valuably to plan for all eventualities.

Now, the ultimate goal is to deliver a safe and successful Games experience for all, but most importantly, continue to provide an environment for the athletes allowing them to focus on their performance. The medal table will be the ultimate measure of that.

 

The ParalympicsGB Manager Team arrive at the Village a week before the athletes, to ensure the facilities are ready
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