8 01 2013

Clough Taylor LogoOver the years I have committed to allocating 20% of my working hours to the design, development and running of charity events. At the end of last year, I launched a new social enterprise, People’s Events, with the idea that my 20% commitment will go further by chairing this new organisation than by acting as an individual.

People’s Events’ first event will mark the lives of two great men at one of the East Midlands’ most iconic venues and in support of some very worthy causes. I’d like to use my first blog of 2013 to share a little about the Clough Taylor People’s Run with you.

As its title suggests, the Clough Taylor People’s Run pays tribute to two remarkable men, Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. The successes of Clough and Taylor are now writ large in the pages of legend and although they are no longer with us, they are both remembered with affection by fans of all football clubs, not just the ones they managed.

Taking place on Sunday 10th March at the famous Donington Park motor racing circuit, the event will feature a 10km for over 13s and a 1km fun run for under 13s. Running is not compulsory; walkers are just as welcome. The important thing is to mark two great lives by supporting some great charities.

There are four official charities (although you can support whatever charity you want once you have entered). These are:

  • ·         CP Sport who help people with cerebral palsy fulfil their potential through sport
  • ·         Hope Against Cancer who fund vital cancer research programmes in the East Midlands
  • ·         Muscular Dystrophy Campaign who are dedicated to beating muscle wasting conditions and improving the lives of those affected by them
  • ·         Nottingham Hospitals Charity towards Pulmonary Fibrosis Research who are dedicated to researching and ultimately defeating Pulmonary Fibrosis

The Clough Taylor People’s Run is open to all and entering couldn’t be easier. Simply visit the event website, click on Event Entry and follow the instructions. There is even a downloadable entry form for those who prefer entering by post.

The entry fee of £20.00 (£10.00 for the 1km fun run) includes a T-shirt which you select your choice of colour for – Forest Red, Rams White or Neutral Blue. The challenge is for fans of the two clubs Brian Clough and Peter Taylor enjoyed their greatest successes with (Derby County and Nottingham Forest) to make their colour the predominant colour on the day! All finishers will also receive a commemorative medal.

Why not join us on 10th March and run (or walk) for Brian, for Peter, for Forest, for the Rams or simply for yourself but most importantly – for charity.

Don’t forget to spread the word!

The Clough Taylor People’s Run is endorsed by the families of both Brian Clough and Peter Taylor and supported by Derby County and Nottingham Forest football clubs. The event is sponsored by Donington Park, Quiet Storm, BCS Agency and (of course) Cowan Global. Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available, contact me for details. Follow the Clough Taylor People’s Run on Twitter and on Facebook.

© Jim Cowan, Cowan Global Limited, January 2013

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Twitter @cowanglobal



28 12 2012

new-years-resolutionsEvery year is the same; depending on which survey you read somewhere over 70%, 80% or even 95% of all New Year’s Eve resolutions are doomed to fail. Where will yours stack up in that statistical pile? 

Here are a few tips to ensure this year your resolution becomes reality.

Here at Cowan Global we spend our time helping businesses and third sector organisations become successful by helping them be better at strategy. This means not only better at delivering strategy but in establishing challenging but achievable targets to pursue in the first place.

And every year, where so many organisations fall short of their potential (and even fail), most of the population follow. Every year people set targets (aka New Year’s Resolutions) they have absolutely no chance of delivering.

Key to your being successful in whatever you resolve to do in 2013 is to be smarter when you set your target now. By smarter, I mean SMARTER because it is an acronym you can test your resolution against:

S stands for specific. If you aren’t specific about what you want to achieve how can you honestly know when you have succeeded? “I want to lose weight,” simply won’t cut the mustard; “I want to lose half a stone” will. It is specific so that you know what it is you are setting out to achieve.

M stands for measurable. You need to be able to measure progress or you risk losing motivation. “I want to get fitter,” is a laudable aim but is hard to measure. “I want to be fit enough to run 10km without stopping” puts a measure on it and you can tick off 1, 2, 3, 4 and more kms as landmarks along the way to help keep you motivated.

A stands for agreed. If you are involving other people, they must all agree or you will fail. Beyond that people have a penchant for setting resolutions they think others will be impressed by instead of setting targets for themselves. Put another way, your resolution must be something that, deep inside, you agree you can and will pursue, you must agree your resolution with yourself! Half-hearted = half-arsed = doomed to fail.

R stands for realistic. You will know people (you might be one of them) who have big, often alcohol driven dreams every December 31st who wake on 1st January to realise there is no way on God’s earth they will achieve their resolution and it bites the dust before it sees its first sunset. Unrealistic can mean plain crazy (eg I’m going to swim the Atlantic using butterfly) or ill-conceived such as committing to hit the gym for two hours every day when you know that work and family commitments will make one hour every other day far more realistic.

T stands for time-phased. In short; give yourself a deadline and, if it is a large undertaking give yourself some time-phased check points along the way. So, if you are going to run to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro for charity it might be wise to have some progressive targets along the way as you prepare.

E stands for exciting. Does achieving your resolution excite you? If yes, great; if no, bin it and get another because if you aren’t excited by it now the further we get into 2013 the less you will be motivated to achieve it and that will lead to only one thing – failure.

R stands for recorded. Not just a record for yourself but a public record to which you agree to be accountable. This might be as simple as telling your friends you are going to raise over £1000 for your favourite charity or it might be sharing your progress towards fitness, weight loss, giving up smoking or whatever else on a public blog. By recording what your resolution is you make yourself accountable for failure.

There are other acronyms you can employ. If you are aiming to improve at something you already do try CRAMP. Your resolution will need to be Challenging but Realistic, Agreed and Measurable not forgetting Performance orientated. Of course, if you forget to make it Measurable it becomes something else altogether!

Whether SMARTER, CRAMP or February wash out, thank you for reading the Cowan Global Blog during 2012, I’m looking forward to writing more in 2013 and hope you will join me then.

Have a great time on New Year’s Eve; see you the other side!

Clough Taylor LogoIf you are looking for a great charity run (or walk) to make your resolution target, why not consider the Clough Taylor People’s Run on 10th March? Organised by social enterprise People’s Events (of whom I am Chairman) and supported by Cowan Global, the event is a 10km run (or walk) around the historic Donington Park motor racing circuit in memory of two great men, Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, and in support of some fantastic causes. Every participant gets a free T-shirt and every finisher a commemorative medal. For more details click here.

© Jim Cowan, Cowan Global Limited, December 2012

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Twitter @cowanglobal



16 10 2012

I am extremely proud to be working with the Royal British Legion on the first ever Run 2 Remember event and thought I would share a recent press release.

Military Wives Choir to open the Legion’s Run2Remember

The Military Wives Choir will be the special guests at a family fun run near Royal Wootton Bassett to support our brave Armed Forces community, and The Royal British Legion is urging people to sign up and join in.

Run2Remember takes place at 11am on Saturday 10th November in Lydiard Park just outside of Royal Wootton Bassett, and the Military Wives Choir will be performing their new single ‘Together we’re stronger’ to kick off the event.

The run is open to all ages and abilities and includes an 11km run and a smaller 1.1km run for those wanting to do a shorter circuit.

Some of those preparing to run include teams of current Service personnel, veterans, their friends and families, local schools and organisations, and other supporters of the Legion’s vital work.

Leading the runners will be Legion beneficiary and Former Private in the 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment Aron Shelton, who had his left leg amputated after the vehicle he was travelling in hit a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

Aron, was supported through his Disability Living Allowance tribunal by the Legion and successfully won his claim.

“The Legion has helped me – now I’m helping the Legion in return. I’m so proud to be starting the Run2Remember at Lydiard Park this year.”

The Legion’s Director of National Events and Fundraising Russell Thompson OBE said: “We’re inviting people to take part in Run2Remember to honour our Service community for their immense contribution and sacrifice.

“Whether you’re running to remember a lost loved one or as a show of support to those currently serving in Afghanistan – you’ll be standing shoulder to shoulder with all who serve.”

Run2Remember will take place the day after the Afghanistan Heroes Field of Remembrance opens at Lydiard Park.

The Field of Remembrance is located in the Walled Garden, where approximately 35,000 Remembrance crosses, each with a personal message to those who have fallen during the Afghanistan conflict, will be planted.

For further information, and to take part in Run2Remember, visit the webpage www.run2remember.org.uk


29 09 2012

Living in a free society we sometimes take things for granted.

The right to share and debate opinions, when and where we holiday, what we do with our leisure time, what we read online, where we work….the list is endless.

Every now and then an opportunity comes along to say thank you to those who gave so much, and continue to give, so we can all enjoy those freedoms we take for granted. The Poppy Run has been just such an opportunity for me and, I hope, for you.

The Poppy Run, now in its second year, is a national series of 5km fun runs aimed at raising funds for and awareness of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. As part of my annual commitment to support charity I fill the role of National Director for The Poppy Run.

The concept is simple, volunteer local organisers put on a Poppy Run for their community supported centrally in taking entries, ordering resources, managing health and safety and all of those necessarily elements which can add an unwanted administrative burden on the volunteer. Some Poppy Runs attract 50 participants, others over 200 or more and in the future…..who knows.

People who want to take part in a Poppy Run can enter online or by post. Talent isn’t an issue, The Poppy Run is not a race; there are no prizes, just medals for all finishers whether they run, jog, walk or even crawl the 5km route. If you want to take part but don’t fancy the 5km, you can get involved by volunteering to marshal at one of the events.

All Poppy Runs start at the same time, 11.00 a.m. on Sunday 28th October (the last Sunday in October annually), timed to coincide with the official launch of the annual Poppy Appeal.

This year, in only its second year, there are ten Poppy Runs taking place around the country so there is a good chance there is one near you. We are aiming to have more and more Poppy Runs every year at more and more places around the country.

If you are interested in finding out more about organising your own local Poppy Run in 2013, please drop me an email to jim@poppy-run.com. If you would like to volunteer to marshal at one of this year’s Poppy Runs contact the office at office@poppy-run.com. And if you would like to Run To Give For Those Who Gave™ visit www.poppy-run.com and enter today. And if you really don’t want to leave the comfort of your sofa, you can still support The Poppy Run by ordering your Poppy Run T-shirt from the Poppy Run Facebook shop.

Think about those freedoms we all take for granted; how will you say “thank-you” to those who gave so you can continue to enjoy those freedoms today, tomorrow and long into the future?

Web: www.poppy-run.com

Email: office@poppy-run.com


Twitter: @poppyrun

© Jim Cowan, Cowan Global Limited, September 2012

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Twitter @cowanglobal



11 07 2012

Walking from London to Lincoln

 Martin Hunt (pictured left) is the kind of person you probably pass and occasionally meet every day. He works hard at his job (he is a personal trainer), he loves his family and likes to try to do the right thing by others.

I first met Martin over 20 years ago when we were both athletes and about two years ago we reconnected through Facebook.

In the intervening years Martin has had a family and built a business. Nothing unusual there.

What marks Martin out as different, as a very special human being, is the efforts he goes to for charity. He recently announced that he will be walking from London to Lincoln to raise funds for two causes particularly close to his heart and I offered him some space here on the Cowan Global blog to let you know what he is doing and why he is doing it.

A modest man, he sent me the following email:

Hi Jim,

Here is a few words about my walk at the end of this month.

I am walking from London to Lincoln on the 27th July to raise money for my 7 year old twin nephews Nicky & Daniel, Nicky has a deletion of Chromosome 7, whilst Daniel suffers from Williams syndrome. This walk also follows up my walk from London to Birmingham in under 48 hours back in March 2012 for Autism, as I have an Autistic son (Myles, 4 years) I have many more walks planned in the near future. There is a lot of ignorance on society and I think we ‘able bodied’ people take many things for granted of just how lucky we are, so to me it’s easy for me to get walking.

I am open to any ideas of support from people and I am trying to get people to possibly split any donations between the 2 charities.

The links are:

http://www.justgiving.com/oraclefitness4unique (Unique is a Rare Chromosome Disorder Support Group)

http://www.justgiving.com/oraclefitness4williams (The Williams Syndrome Foundation)

In the picture of the twins: Daniel is on the left and Nicky is on the right.


Web: www.oraclefitness.co.uk

Blog: http://www.oraclefitness.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter: @oraclefitness

Many small steps become Big Leaps!

Please consider supporting Martin on his walk by pledging a few pounds (or a few pence) via the Just Giving links above. If you can circulate news of his effort among your networks, even better.

Good luck Martin.

© Jim Cowan, Cowan Global Limited, July 2012

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Twitter @cowanglobal



1 04 2012

Cerebral Palsy Sport have places available for The Great North Swim, the UK’s largest outdoor swimming event. It is a one mile swim in beautiful Lake  Windermere, Cumbria on Saturday 23th & Sunday 24th June 2012.

The event provides the opportunity to experience the thrill of open-water swimming in a safe environment and knowing you are raising vital funds for children with cerebral palsy at the same time.

CP Sport is a national charity that is dedicated to providing opportunities for those with cerebral palsy to fulfil their potential through sport, and was the starting-point for a number of GB competitors who will be taking part in this year’s Paralympics.

To register your interest for this popular event, please get in touch by calling Marianne on 0115 925 2620 or emailing at mknight@cpsport.org.

To find out more about CP Sport and how you can support them please visit www.cpsport.org.


15 11 2011

For once, a Cowan Global Blog which is not about strategy!

Nottingham based events company Sapphire Events are holding their annual Winter Wonderland Charity Ball on 25th November and it promises to be a fantastic event. In support of the Alzheimer’s Society and Marie Curie Cancer Care, it promises to be a fantastic night.

Due to a prior commitment, I can’t make it but thoroughly recommend the Winter Wonderland Charity Ball as it will be a fantastic night out and supports two great causes.

(Click on the pictures to expand them or to print them out)

While Cowan Global are not involved in organising the Winter Wonderland Charity Ball we have no hesitation in recommending this and all events staged by Sapphire Events.

If you do make it, have a great time!

Jim Cowan, Cowan Global Limited, November 2011

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Twitter @cowanglobal