(ATR) Kevin Roberts is being remembered for his humor and grace as a moderator for sports conferences worldwide.

Roberts died suddenly at his home in Kent, England on Dec. 2. Friends say they believe he was struck with some form of cardiac failure. He was 61.

He was the founding editor for SportBusiness in 1995. He left the company to open a consulting practice and then returned in 2019 as group editorial director for the SportBusiness Group.

Roberts moderated conferences organized by SportBusiness, SportAccord, Host Cities, Sportel and others.

International sports consultant Jon Tibbs says he developed a strong friendship with Roberts through decades of worldwide encounters far from their homes in Kent.

“From Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan, China to Lima, Peru Kevin was one of the consummate pros on the conference stage. Even when the presentations became boring, he was able to keep things lively with his grace and humor,” says Tibbs, head of consulting and communications group JTA.

Swiss sports consultant Michel Filliau worked with Roberts through the years on various projects.

“I loved working with him. We could work on projects without speaking thousands of words between us,” says Filliau.

Riccardo Silva and Marco Auletta of SportBusiness owner Silva International expressed condolences on behalf of the London-based company.

“We speak for everyone at SportBusiness Group when we say we are devastated by the sudden loss of Kevin. He was fundamental to the success of the editorial team and his legacy is the dynamism of our subscription products. But more than anything we will miss his wonderful sense of humour, energy and passion for sport.”

Host City 2020 Next Week

A global audience of more than 1,000 major event industry professionals is expected to attend the seventh edition of the Host City conference and exhibition on Dec. 8-9.

The annual international meeting of cities and sports, hosted by EventScotland and Glasgow Life, is virtual this year.

The theme is "The Big Restart: Recovery with a Purpose for the Digital Age” and the opening session will feature keynotes from IOC member and former WADA president Craig Reedie and Paris 2024 CEO Etienne Thobois among others.

Among the latest speakers to join are World Curling president Kate Caithness and Jimena Saldaña, Vice President of the Mexican Olympic Committee.

ATR Editor Ed Hula will moderate the closing session from 15:10-15:45 GMT.

“What’s next for the events sector?” is the question to be explored with Jakob Larsen of World Athletics, Geoff Ellis, CEO, DF Concerts and Bridget McConnell, Chief Executive, Glasgow Life.

In a written interview with Around the Rings, Host City Conference Director Ben Avison revealed last week what it was like to plan around a pandemic and what's in store for the first virtual edition of the event.

Click here to read the interview.

Click here to book your free pass.

Inaugural #worldconnected Series Launched

The Global Esports Federation marks its first anniversary by hosting the inaugural edition of the #worldconnected series (#wcs20).

The #wcs20, which runs from Dec. 17-19, includes GEFcon - the Global Esports Federation Convention - as well as a series of regional esports competitions hosted by GEF member federations across the world.

GEFcon will feature exclusive live webinar sessions and a series of sessions on-demand that are designed for the collective benefit of esports. Visit www.GEFcon.org for full program and registration details.

“It has been an eventful year since we embarked on the mission to establish the credibility, legitimacy, and prestige for esports at the worldwide launch of the Global Esports Federation in Singapore,” said Chris Chan, Global Esports Federation president, in a statement.

“The first #worldconnected series and GEFcon is truly a global platform bringing together our Member Federations and Partners in support of our mission – cultivating collaborations, forging synergies, developing and growing the connections between esports and sport in communities across the world.”

Global Sports Week Paris Adds Founding Partner

Global Sports Week Paris adds a new founding partner with adidas coming on board.

The iconic sports brand joins France's Ministry of Sport, French banking group BPCE and EGG Events in the top-tier category. EDF and Vivendi are associate partners.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), UN Women and World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) are among those who will help to co-create the event as official ‘Proud Supporters.’

The second edition will again be held under the patronage of UNESCO and the high patronage of French President Emmanuel Macron.

The event will run from February 1-5, 2021 and will take place primarily online, with speakers linked live across studio settings in Paris and five future Olympic host cities – Beijing, Tokyo, Milan, Dakar and Los Angeles. Where local health conditions allow, physical events will also be organized with support from France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Global Sports Week will also feature a first-of-its-kind virtual exhibition – the GSWMarketplace – comprising immersive, customizable and interactive booths, accessible for businesses and organizations of all types and sizes.

Written by Gerard Farek

For general comments or questions, click here.


THE TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) is searching for a new home.

The TTOC has been renting the property at 121 Abercromby Street in Port of Spain since the 1990s, but it is now for sale. The TTOC has been in existence since the 1940s, but has never had a place to call their own.

In a brief interview with Newsday, on Wednesday, president of the TTOC Brian Lewis said since becoming president in 2013 it has been his goal to find a place for the local Olympic committee.

The surrounding area has been utilised by TTOC over the years. TTOC celebrates Olympic Day at Lord Harris Square, opposite Olympic House.

Olympic Day is commemorated annually by over 200 national Olympic committees worldwide on June 23.

Every year children get the opportunity to meet TT athletes at the event and also get the chance to participate in various sports.


(ATR) A global audience of more than 1,000 major event industry professionals is expected to attend the seventh edition of the Host City conference and exhibition on Dec. 8-9.

For the first time, the annual international meeting of cities and sports will be virtual this year. It is also free to attend.

The theme is "The Big Restart: Recovery with a Purpose for the Digital Age” and the opening session will feature keynotes from IOC member and former WADA president Craig Reedie and Paris 2024 CEO Etienne Thobois among others.

In a written interview with Around the Rings, Host City Conference Director Ben Avison revealed what it was like to plan around a pandemic and what's in store for the first virtual edition of the event.

ATR: Given the pandemic, I would assume there was a backup plan in place should a face-to-face gathering not work out. How far in advance was that planning set in motion? When was it decided to switch to virtual? What have been the difficulties in switching to virtual? Are there advantages to doing it virtually?

Ben Avison: Event organizers thrive off certainty, and this year there has been precious little of that. All we can do in these circumstances is plan for different scenarios and adapt to change.

Host City has grown every year since its launch in 2014, and by last year’s event the venue we’d been in for many years was packed to the rafters with 350 people and 30 stands. So we started 2020 all set to move to the Scottish Event Campus on 8-9 December for another year of growth, envisaging 500 people and 50 stands.
Bridget McConnell of Glasgow Life (speaking) and Paul Bush of EventScotland (far right) at a previous Host City, (Host City)

When it became apparent that the coronavirus outbreak was becoming a global pandemic, we started to plan for three potential scenarios: a physical event; a virtual event; and a hybrid event. We stayed in very close contact with our primary supporting partners, Event Scotland, who have been extremely helpful in backing us through all these possibilities, along with Glasgow Life and Glasgow Convention Bureau. We kept a conference venue on hold and started trialing virtual and hybrid platforms as far back as mid-March. Meanwhile we continued building up a world-class agenda and speaker line-up that would hold strong regardless of format.

While it looked for a while that a physical gathering in Glasgow might be possible, by September we aligned on the only scenario we could be certain of delivering: a virtual-only event, hosted by Glasgow-based producers Cameron Live, who use a platform called HopIn that enables all the hallmarks of Host City: world class networking alongside a great conference and exhibition space.

Going virtual has opened up a lot of possibilities. The quality of speakers at Host City is always very high, but not having to travel has made it even more accessible. We’ve also made it more accessible for delegates, taking the decision to make Host City 2020 free to attend, while retaining exclusivity for VIPs, speakers and sponsors to network together in a structured way.

With a virtual platform, the conference organizer has infinite space to play with, no longer bound by the number and size of rooms. So you can expect a much higher attendance than usual (1,000+) and streamed content to cater for everyone’s interests – a festival of events!

ATR: Last week you announced six strategic partners, including two new ones in the Global Esports Federation and the Association of International Convention Centres. What do each bring to the table?

BA: Our Strategic Partner program, launched last year, has really contributed to the size and scope of Host City. The Strategic Partners each represent different stakeholder groups – hosts (International Association of Event Hosts and Glasgow Convention Bureau), venues (AIPC and AEG Europe), suppliers (Association of Global Event Suppliers) and rights holders (Global Esports Federation), every one of them helping to spread the word about Host City to their members and networks.

The Strategic Partners also bring expertise and fantastic speakers.

ATR: You've got quite the speaker line-up for this virtual edition. Who are some of the biggest names? How does this line-up compare to previous editions? Has the pandemic actually helped in getting additional speakers who might otherwise not be able to attend?

BA: Every year the quality of speakers at Host City seems to reach even greater heights and 2020 is no exception – it’s better than ever. Everyone speaking brings unique experiences and perspectives from sports, business and cultural events.

Some of the biggest names on the Olympic and sports side include Etienne Thobois, CEO, Paris 2024 Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games; Roxana Mărăcineanu, Minister of Sports, France; Francesco Ricci Bitti, President, Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF); Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, DL, Independent Crossbench Peer, The House of Lords; Sir Craig Reedie GBE, IOC Member, Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, Member, International Olympic Committee and Vice President, Badminton World Federation; Ian Reid, CEO, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games; Brian Lewis, President, Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee; Sabrina Ibanez, Secretary General, FEI; Kate Caithness CBE, President, World Curling, Paul J Foster, COO, Global Esports Federation – and of course our Supporting Partners’ Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland and Bridget McConnell, Chief Executive of Glasgow Life. There are also many leading representatives of the world’s greatest cultural, entertainment and business events.

As for whether the pandemic has helped: being able to join from home has probably played a part, but we are pretty sure that everyone will be raring to meet face to face again. Thankfully this is now looking like a distinct possibility, so watch this space for announcements about Host City 2021 and another “best ever” speaker line-up!

ATR: The theme for this year's event - "The Big Restart: Recovery with a Purpose for the Digital Age." - seems perfect for the times we are living in. What are some of the highlights for the program that will help make the theme a reality?

Trinidad & Tobago NOC president Brian Lewis will speak on the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement. (TTOC)

BA: There have been times this year when it seemed that the 2020 conference theme might have been overly optimistic. Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the events industry. But from where we stand right now, with vaccines and mass testing in sight, the Big Restart is really starting to feel just around the corner. The return of sports, business and cultural events won’t happen overnight – the process of recovery will be gradual, and the conference is all about what shape and form the recovery is going to take and what we need to do to get there in terms of support and strategy.

The conference theme really homes in on the purpose of major events – what kind of values are important to different stakeholders? Diversity and inclusion take pride of place on this year’s agenda. We particularly bring the Black Lives Matter movement to the fore, finding out how it is impacting the events sector.

The environmental impact of major events is also given greater platform than ever at Host City, with the sustainability chiefs of the worlds two biggest events – Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup – talking about how they are kicking the carbon habit.

The pandemic has massively accelerated digitalization, so it will be very interesting to find out how physical and digital events are converging – and what this means for the future, with Gen Zers taking to the stage to let us know what makes them tick.

So it’s all about content, community and connectivity. Everyone is welcome – come and join us!

Homepage photo: Host City

For general comments or questions, click here.

The sacking comes after revelations that the players had made racist comments on social media between 2011 and 2013.
Pablo Matera has been stripped of the Argentina captaincy and suspended, along with teammates Guido Petti and Santiago Socino, for posting racist comments on social media.

The Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) said on Tuesday its board had met urgently after revelations that the players had made racist comments on social media between 2011 and 2013.

The team said that although the posts were old and did "not represent the personal integrity that the three have shown during their current period with the Pumas," action had to be taken.

"The Argentine Rugby Union strongly repudiates the discriminatory and xenophobic comments published by members of the Los Pumas squad on social networks," the UAR said in a statement.

"Although the messages were expressed between 2011 and 2013 ... the Argentine Rugby Union condemns any expression of hatred and we consider it unacceptable that those who express them represent our country."

In his tweets, since deleted, Matera spoke of "running over blacks" with his car and disparaged Bolivians and Paraguayans.

The posts, mostly tweets, reportedly were aimed at Black people and Bolivian and Paraguayan domestic workers.

Matera has closed his Twitter account and expressed regret over the messages on Instagram.

“Today I have to take [responsibility] for what I said nine years ago,” Matera said. “I am very ashamed. Apologies to all those who were offended by the atrocities I wrote. At that moment I did not imagine who I was going to become.

"I’m also sorry to my team and my family for the moment they are going through ... and thanks to the people who love me for their support.”

The UAR said it had requested Pumas staff propose a new captain to the board and have the players stood down pending a "disciplinary process."

A team spokesman said the Pumas had cancelled all planned media activities on Tuesday and referred Reuters to the UAR's statement.

The scandal has thrown the Argentina camp into crisis days before their final Tri-Nations match against Australia in Sydney on Saturday.

Coach Mario Ledesma's side were thrashed 38-0 by the All Blacks on Saturday, a major reversal from their breakthrough 25-15 win over the New Zealanders in their opening match of the Tri-Nations last month.


The global impact of COVID-19 means people are spending more time online. This includes both children and adults.

Adults working remotely are less able to spend time with their children, who are allowed greater unsupervised internet access. As a result, children are:

more exposed to offenders through online gaming, the use of chat groups in apps, phishing attempts via email, unsolicited contact in social media and through less secure online educational applications;
more inclined towards making explicit material to exchange with peers, eventually reaching child sex offenders;
in some cases, becoming lonely and isolated, which offenders try to benefit from, connecting with them to produce explicit material or to arrange a meeting in real life.

While the majority of children can use the internet safely – staying in touch with their peers and studying – it’s important to be aware of the risks they face when going online, such as grooming, sexual coercion and extortion, sexting, bullying or accessing harmful content.

By taking these steps and keeping an eye on what your child is doing online, you can reduce the risks.

What can I do as a carer/teacher?
Engage with pupils online – allow them to speak confidentially to you.
Report any signs of abuse as you would do normally, through the appropriate channels.
Be aware of internet risks as you are also at risk of phishing and scams to collect your data and that of your students.


London, 23 November 2020

SIGA has taken another significant step to promote good governance in Sport by today establishing a Standing Committee on Race, Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion.

This new Standing Committee is set up against a background of increasing incidents relating to racism, gender inequity and other forms of negative discrimination across the global sports industry. 

The new SIGA Standing Committee will build upon the important work of a multi-stakeholder Task Force that SIGA established earlier this year on this same topic, leading to a series of cutting edge recommendations that were publicly announced just two months ago during the first-ever Sport Integrity Week. Such recommendations included a review of the SIGA Universal Standards on Good Governance in Sport to include new evolving good practices in this area, such as unconscious bias training for employees of sports organisations, by way of example of a new gold standard.

This newly formed Standing Committee is Chaired by Brian Lewis, President of the Trinidad and Tobago National Olympic Committee (TTOC) and the Caribbean Association of National Olympic

Committees (CANOC) and member of the SIGA Council, while Ju’Riese Colon, CEO of United States Center for SafeSport, will be the Vice-Chaired. 

Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, Global CEO of SIGA and Chairman & CEO of SIGA AMERICA, stated:

Look around us. Can any of us be insensitive to what’s happening around us and pretend it’s not our business? Of course, not! Sport can do more. Politicians and business leaders can do more. Each one of us can do a lot more to eradicate racism and inequality, in all its forms, from Sport and, through Sport, from our society. And, if we can, we must! 

As we enter into a slow and painful recovery from the global pandemic, there is no better time to remember that, in Sport as in life, regardless of race, gender, place of birth, zip code, religious beliefs or sexual orientation, everyone must be entitled to the same rights and opportunities as others. This is a fundamental human right, and it is our moral imperative to do everything in our power to make sure that respect, tolerance and equality are more than just words. With the SIGA Standing Committee on Race, Gender, Diversity and Inclusion we will muster the leadership and foster the necessary culture change. 

Commenting on his appointment as Chair of the SIGA Standing Committee on Race, Gender, Diversity and Inclusion in Sport, Brain Lewis, who also holds the office of President of the Trinidad and Tobago National Olympic Committee (TTOC) and the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committee (CANOC) and is a member of the SIGA Council, stated:

“The SIGA Standing Committee on Race, Gender, Inclusion and Diversity is historic and significant with an incredible opportunity to be a force and catalyst for positive change within global sport. To be asked to chair the Standing Committee is an awesome honour and responsibility. Coming from a small Caribbean Island it’s a significant statement of inclusion and diversity by SIGA.”

Ju’Riese Colon, CEO of United States Center for SafeSport and newly appointed Vice-Chair of the SIGA Standing Committee on Race, Gender, Diversity and Inclusion in Sport, concluded:

“I am proud to help lead SIGA’s initiatives around race, gender, diversity, and inclusion, as we work toward sport environments inclusive of all athletes. Leveling the playing field and creating systemic culture change begins with promoting athlete safety and well-being. I welcome the opportunity to apply what we have learned here in the U.S. and to work with experts from around the world with the goal of influencing change on a global scale.

The full composition of the SIGA Standing Committee on Race, Gender, Diversity and Inclusion in Sport is a s follows:


Brian Lewis     

President, TTOC & CANOC | Member, SIGA Council           

Deputy Chair

Ju’Reese Colón

CEO, US Centre for SafeSport                                   


Affy Sheikh   

Head of Starlizard Integrity Services, SIGA Member             


Angela Smith 

Chair, Stoke City Supporters Council, Member of GB World

Champion Squash Team & SIGA Mentor


Arun Kang OBE

CEO, Sporting Equals


Densign White MBE

 CEO, IMMAF, SIGA Member    

  Karin Korb Wheelchair Tennis 2-Time Paralympian & 10 -time member of USA World Team & SIGA Champion
  Michelle Chai  COO, Olympic Council of Malaysia & SIGA Mentor    
  Stacey Copeland First British Woman to win the Commonwealth Title for Boxing & SIGA Champion
  Taylor Green 

Member, SIGA Youth Council & SIGA Mentee


- END -


SIGA is the world´s largest coalition in the field of sport´s governance and integrity. Supported by more than 100 international multi-industry supporters, SIGA is an independent and neutral organisation whose mission is to bring about meaningful reforms and enhance the integrity of all sports through a set of universal standards operated by an independent and neutral body. SIGA is the only organisation to bring together sport, governments, academia, international organisations, sponsors, business, rights holders, NGOs and professional services companies, from every region in the world, around a common cause of fostering greater integrity throughout sport. Click on the hyperlinks for the list of SIGA Members and Committed Supporters and SIGA Partners.

For more information on SIGA, including its vision, mission and reform agenda, please refer to the website: www.siga-sport.com. To contact SIGA, please email: comms@siga-sport.com.

Find SIGA on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SIGAlliance, Instagram at sigalliance and LinkedIN at https://www.linkedin.com/company/sigalliance/.