Global Sports Communications
Over 400 guests attended the 30th anniversary celebration of Global Sports Communication at the National Sports Centre, Papendal, the Netherlands. Representatives from federations, suppliers, organizers of Track&Field and Road Race events, athletes and retired elite athletes from far and wide joined lifetime friends in a tribute to GSC and its founder Jos Hermens.
Global Sports Communication in numbers is: 1000+ athletes, 73 Olympic medals, 418world championship medals, and 71 world records.
GSC in the words of today’s keynote speakers–Sebastian Coe, Haile Gebrselassie, Gabriela Szabo, Ellen van Langen, Patrick Sang, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Yannis Pitsiladis—is the past, present, and future of athletics.
And the keywords are ethics, values, integrity, passion, devotion, friendship, and innovation.
Tom Egbers (TV presenter Dutch Broadcasting Foundation, NOS) hosted the presentation that ran from Jos Hermen’s beginnings as a one man sports advisor to today’s dynamic GSC team, and far-reaching projects. Geographically, from Europe to Africa and now beyond to India and China. And scientifically, with an exciting new sub2 marathon project.
The entire program was illuminated by words of appreciation for Jos Hermens. Jos doesn’t seek the limelight; he generates light! As shown by a video tribute from members of the GSC team.
Haile Gebrselassie, who enchanted the audience with his hallmark humor and smile, presented Jos with a pure silver statue of Axum “that has stood for 2000 years,” and wishes for at least another 30 years of GSC activity.
Ellen van Langen attributes her success to mental strength; now she applies her energies to organization of events such as the Shanghai D L.
Gabriela Szabo is grateful for the guidance of GSC that accompanied her from win to win. She went on to serve as Rumanian Sports Minister, and today, with a PhD in Sports, she pursues her mission to give back something of what sports gave to her.
These three “ambassadors” were honored by Global Sports Communications with a unique sculpture in the shape of a Mobius strip /a life path / a running track. This trophy will be presented in the future to others like them, with a special relation to the company.
Africa, the center of the world for long distance running, has a special place in the heart of Jos Hermens.
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is co-founder of Local Heroes, an NGO created together with GSC to foster development by using local heroes to speak to their own people. “Jos,” he says, “is a guy that thinks about the world.”
Patrick Sang was a young athlete traveling in Europe He lost his luggage. A disaster. But he met by chance Jos Hermens who was working for Nike and Jos immediately got him a complete set of clothes. As a coach, Sang wants to help young people in his native Kenya to develop their talent fully.
With scientific precision Yannis Pitsiladis outlined the sub2 project, the latest GSC innovation. Every element that can improve a runner’s performance is analyzed and addressed. In a simulation, Pitsiladis brought Haile Gebreselassie’s Berlin record down from 2.3.59 to sub2. An advanced doping detection method is being developed in step with this clean method of enhancing performance.
“I feel like Elizabeth Taylor’s 8th husband,” jokes the new IAAF president, Sebastian Coe, as he wraps up the series of inspiring presentations with a blueprint for the future of athletics. In a clean break with the recent past, he has created a Values Commission, aiming at a future of athletics under the sign of integrity. Good coaching is an art, not only a science, says Coe, who advises young athletes to “Become a student of your sport.”
When injury forced Jos to cut short his promising career, he looked for other ways to express his passion. Gradually he found ways to support athletes, help them use their energies wisely, develop their potential, and avoid mistakes he had made. He saw the potential of the running boom, organized road races, started the Rotterdam marathon, expanded GSC exponentially, and never lost his modesty. “I’m being interviewed, but I am not Global Sports. We have a team I am very proud of. We all live and love athletics.”
From the first minute, as world famous guests and longtime friends walked into the lobby of the Papendal Center, throughout the day and into the night’s festivities, the GSC spirit of generosity and warmth was personified.
A memorable 30th anniversary, and wishes for the proverbial 120 years of long and satisfying life.