The forgotten past (let’s not forget how we got here)

When someone leaves or you take something over it’s all too easy to just dismiss the efforts and hard work of those that came before.

I read an article yesterday about the exciting developments at a sports club we were involved with. They really have turned a corner and I think the future looks bright for them.

We’re no longer involved on a day to day basis with that club (himself is coaching back in the premier league and Europe to support his GB coaching) but that hasn’t changed the affection for those who we had a great few years with.

When himself joined they had gone 1-9 the previous season (the official stats show 3-7 but 2 of the 3 wins were actually when the other team cancelled so don’t really count).

The first year himself was involved they moved to 4-6; scored more points in one game than they had the whole previous season. I went home and away, didn’t see him Sundays and he’d be out Thursday nights and we lost hours to prep and film review. There was sacrifice but it was great – something was being built, change was coming.

There were a number of people who’d been involved with the club for years. They had sacrificed much much more – hours of organising, worrying over finances and plugging funding gaps personally when needed. The club wasn’t run perfectly but there were a lot of committed, passionate individuals

The following season they went 5-5 – it could have been 4-6 but they had to forfeit a game due to lack of players. Again the head coach travelled from Manchester every weekend to coach down south and the faithful raised funds and did all they could.

Unfortunately the lack of players and the lack of subs made it hard and after many years for some and a few for others they decided that they needed to put their families first and stepped away.

Let’s not forget that these people kept an under performing, struggling club going for years. They washed kit, organised travel, refs and ambulances. Recruited players, supported a youth structure and turned up – week in week out whatever the weather.

Yes at the end it was a mess – the club lost players and coaches and despite the regeneration in the last few years and seeds if development it wasn’t enough.

The club has a new name, has joined with another team that were struggling for players/coaches and are rising like a Phoenix – and it’s brilliant.

But there’s a whiff of dismissing what has come before. The article is quite dismissive of the past, there is no recognition or acceptance of the work that went before. It’s upset a few people – the tone, the content the complete failure to even mention the improvements in the previous 2 years and the hard work and dedication of the previous 10 or more.

It’s a shame and has left a bit of a bad taste. The club needed to change, needed to move forward but not at the expense of forgetting the legacy, history and efforts of the past.

It’s easy to look at a situation and only see how bad it is – harder to recognise the work and efforts of others and celebrate that.

We do it at work all the time – you know you’ve done it too.

So I’m moving forward, developing an exciting new plan but also celebrating the hard work of those who came before. Acknowledging their battles and victories and thanking them.

Let’s hope more of us can.

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