With the FIFA Football World Cup less than a month away, the fever is fast catching up. And as we approach the excitement of the tournament, it is time perhaps to explore the power of sport and the lessons that can be taken from the pitch to the office.
We all know the health benefits of participation in sport but how often have we actually thought about the benefits it can bring to the workplace? Business leaders understandably see sport as a great extra-curricular activity because it encourages good health and mental wellbeing. However, until recently it has, for the most part, remained just that – an activity that workers undertake in their own time, away from the office.
There has been however a real step change in corporation culture and attitudes towards sport and exercise. Global technology giant Google, for example, has incorporated treadmill desks into its campuses so that workers can exercise while they go about their day-to-day business. And lunchtime and after work yoga sessions or running clubs are becoming much more common place in businesses up and down the country.
The holy grail, though, is team sports -- incorporating all the health benefits of individual sports, but by their very nature they also help staff to bond and build team spirit.
We’ve all been involved in the stereotypical awkward team building days, working with your colleagues to try and build a bridge with a plank of wood and piece of string, whilst blindfolded and with your hands tied behind your back. These activities can seldom compare to the sense of achievement that can be gained from pulling together and ‘busting a gut’ alongside your colleagues to win a game of football.
Being on any sports team means that you have to learn to depend on your teammates and trust them to do their job on the pitch to the best of their ability, while encouraging certain members of the team to step up into leadership roles for the benefit of the team.
Industry football tournaments, not only provide all of these ingredients for a team building and bonding experience but they also allow the opportunity to connect and engage with industry colleagues.
The Brand and Agency 5-a-side World Cups, taking place at PlayFootball in London on June 15 and July 6 respectively, are part of a series of industry tournaments with the aim of enabling businesses to come together and compete against and network with like-minded companies during a day-long festival of football.
The tournaments will take the format of World Cup competitions and businesses including Puma, Sky Sports and Paddy Power Betfair have already signed up to take part.
Any team entering either of the tournaments before May 18 will be eligible for an early bird rate of £350 + VAT with 5% of all entry fees going to a charity selected by the winning team.
Duncan Scott is business director at Site Space, organiser of the Brand & Agency 5-a-side World Cups.