Page content

International rugby star - and University of Ulster graduate - Tommy Bowe last night gave an insight into how business people could learn from sport and get the most from their teams at a rugby inspired event at the University of Ulster.

The Ireland winger joined a panelofhigh profilespeakers from the world of sport and business,including hisboss Ulster coach Mark Anscombe, for the 'Score A Try For Your Organisation' event at the Belfast campus which focused on thestrategies they deploy to maximise performance.

Mark Anscombe said: “As a coach I expect complete discipline from my players. They must work hard as a team and they must show motivation and resilience as individuals. If something isn’t working then it is my role as coach to analyse why and then work with the players both collectively and individually to make them stronger and more competitive.

“These lessons are definitely something that managers in business should think about when they are building their teams within their particular organisations. I’d say constant coaching rather than managing is a given.”

Organised by business consultancy thinkTASC, the rugby forum discussed how ‘Hard Work, Team Work and Motivation’ are crucial for ‘Maximising Performance’ of individuals and teams.

People attending the event at the Belfast campus, now in its second year, heard how high performance sporting practices can be used within the business arena.

Ulster and Ireland rugby player, Tommy Bowe, said: “You can’t be complacent about your place in a team at this level in the sport. You have to show discipline and you make sacrifices to be the best you can. If something isn’t right then you spend the time getting it right.

“There is nowhere to hide. Your game is dissected all the time so that you can keep on top of the competition.

“You also need to be versatile as a player. You need to be able to step up to the mark in terms of what is expected on a national level and as an international player. Setbacks do happen. It’s how you deal with them that counts.

“I believe that the skills I’ve mastered in high performance rugby will be paramount in how I deal with future endeavors.”

thinkTASC Director Paul Mackinnon added: “Tonight’s rugby forum has provided a brilliant opportunity for local business and sports people to find out how they can get on top of their game and learn strategies to drive them to success in the future and it’s been a fantastic opportunity for us to share our insights and knowledge with them.”

Mr Mackinnon also delivered a short presentation about thinkTASC’s business consultancy services. Guests also had the opportunity of meeting Mark Anscombe and Tommy Bowe following the presentations.

Speakers also included, Ken Belshaw, Grafton Recruitment Co-Founder and Director, IRUPA Director; Tom Frawley CBE, Northern Ireland Ombudsman, VP of the International Ombudsman Institute; Bryn Cunningham, Member of Ulster's 1999 European Cup team, Director of Corner Flag Sports Management and Paul Mackinnon, thinkTASC Director (formerly High Performance Player Development Manager for New Zealand Rugby).

Dr Nigel Dobson, Head of Sports Services at the University of Ulster added: “We are delighted to welcome thinkTASC back to the University. The Forum gives local business people an opportunity to hear from world class athletes and coaches what makes a team successful and use some of these strategies themselves.”

ThinkTASC’s partners – the University of Ulster, Mary Peters Trust, Toyota, Shelbourne Motors and HPA Architecture - are supporting the event.

For further information about thinkTASC and the Rugby Forum visit