ESC chief is that ‘voice for sport’

MATT FALLAIZE has plenty on his mind these days with the High Schools education debate bubbling ever hotter by the day.

Winning in 2019: ESC president and Vale deputy Matt Fallaize receives the Specsavers Youth Games trophy with a member of the Vale team last year.
Winning in 2019: ESC president and Vale deputy Matt Fallaize receives the Specsavers Youth Games trophy with a member of the Vale team last year. (26915098)

But for those in sport who have long called for a political ‘voice for sport’, they should know that they have found one in the former GP football correspondent and Guernsey Football Association secretary.

Many might be aggrieved by his stance in that vital area of Education but, hopefully, they might cut him some slack by knowing how hard he is pushing sport’s cause behind the scenes.

Certainly the Sports Commission have found a willing ear in the president of ESC who has previous political ‘wins’ in sport, not least the vital background work he did to settle the L’Ancresse golf course dispute with the Commons Council.

ESC and Fallaize’s ‘Plan for Sport’ is far reaching and will, mark my words, be transformational.

The plan is to be published in a month or so and follows an extensive public consultation exercise which received a great response last year.

This will be a comprehensive plan to guide additional investment in sport over the next few years and we are not talking measly amounts.

It will provide substantial additional investment in sport and ESC are increasingly confident of being able to identify a secure funding source when they take their proposals to the States.

. LA GRANDE MARE has moved fast to fill one of their vacant key positions after the rather odd goings-on at the club’s 2019 annual meeting.

New owner Stephen Lansdown has taken on the club president’s role himself.

In updating members of his decision and what lies in store around the corner for the club and hotel he bought a year ago, he wrote in a newsletter: ‘I am anticipating that there will a lot of news with regard to the future development of the club over the year [and] I have therefore decided to fill the role of president to lead on this.

‘Although we will therefore not have an elected president in office, we will use this year to more clearly define the role with the aim of electing a new president for 2021 at the next AGM.’

Meanwhile, he has overseen his first meeting with the ladies and men’s committees.

‘Their focus and positivity was impressive,’ he told ordinary members.

‘The fact that there was one meeting with both committees involved was refreshing. The culture of the club has to be that whatever sex, race, age or ability, we are members of the same club and want the best for it.

‘We do have an elephant in the room which needs to be addressed in that we have vacancies on the men’s committee. An extraordinary meeting has therefore been called for Monday 3 February for those positions to be filled.’

That the Bristol City owner is taking such a hands-on role so early in his tenure seems to be wholly sensible from this chair, and he clearly loves his golf on the woodland course.

. THE day to day operating of domestic football has seldom been easy and don’t Guernsey Football League Management know it.

The body in charge of doing, in effect, the GFA’s leg-work, is on the search for a new fixtures coordinator after Keith Mansell served notice he will step down at the end of the rain-hit current campaign.

Domestic clubs have been notified of his decision and the search for a replacement has started.

. SEBASTIAN PRIAULX still retains ambitions of an F1 career, as his father Andy revealed at the Sports Commission awards.

They both hope that the newly-announced long-term deal with Multimatic Sports will help the youngster down that road to the very top.

But it is not simply down to ability, as the Jersey-based former F1 driver Derek Warwick spoke about this week.

In an article with the Guardian, Warwick, nowadays vice-president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, echoed Lewis Hamilton’s concern that reaching Formula One is in danger of becoming beyond the reach of talented working-class youngsters.

It has become too expensive, they agree.

‘If we are not careful, we are not going to get the next Lewis Hamilton because he is not going to be able to afford it unless his father or mother is a multimillionaire,’ said Warwick in an article which claimed it costs £270,000-£350,000 to race in British F3, rising to at least £750,000-£1m. to switch to F3 and around £1.5m. to race in F2.

No figure is mentioned for F1 but it will be huge, way above F2.

Hamilton grew up on a council estate in Stevenage and his father funded his career until McLaren took him on as part of their programme when he was 13. His father spent something like £20,000 and remortgaged the house several times to progress his career.

‘But today it’s just got so expensive,’ he said. ‘There are very few, if [any] working-class families on their way up. It’s all wealthy families.’

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