Soapbox Kevin Winson: Heartfelt thanks to beleaguered Moorways staff – and farewell to Mark
I EXTEND my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Moorways stadium and sports hall staff for another excellent year of customer service.
Despite deep cuts to staffing, hours and wages, ground staff outshone those at meetings around the country in their dedication and expertise at supporting events all being encouraged by Mark Bradford.
This sentiment is echoed by national officials and teams that enjoy coming to Derby because "although facilities might be dated and worn, they are always assured of excellent service".
Concerns rose over the future standards at Moorways, with staffing changes implemented by the council impacting drastically on staff morale and work loads. Now, with the upgrade of the track, we hope for things to go from strength to strength.
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Unfortunately, this will not under the guidance of Mark who has taken the decision to leave after much heart-searching.
Many are not aware of the impact Mark had on the image of Moorways, his passion leading him to going beyond the norm, learning about the intricacies and peculiarities that make up athletics, passing on knowledge to all Moorways staff.
Many approached Mark for advice and training from across the country, raising the Moorways profile.
Mark's abilities to get the best out of anyone was recognised by having him support at many events around the UK. He was finally given the privilege of training, co-ordinating and supervising at the Olympics.
How things will change in the future waits to be seen at Moorways. The opportunity to become a centre of excellence has been missed through the need to reduce staff. The council should be looking inwards at its decisions not only regarding facilities but also its appreciation of front-line staff.
From a customer viewpoint, it shows the focus is more on money than service. Times are tough but without good customer service, facilities, like any business, generally have a downward trend.
Ignoring grass roots staff because "they are not qualified to comment" in discussions adds to discontent and reduces morale.
Finally, I again pass on my gratitude and thanks to all the staff at Moorways, especially those involved in ensuring the athletics events and training nights operate smoothly.
Their dedication and customer service is appreciated by clubs locally and nationally, while it is not appreciated by those in charge.
Perhaps, if senior managers and councillors took the time to take part in supporting an event at Moorways, such as the British Masters Track and Field Championships, they would hear for themselves what people have to say about their staff and they would be more appreciative of the qualities staff there have.
A big thank-you to Mark Bradford and best wishes in his future career.