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East Midlands Trains going for RailSport glory

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East Midlands Trains has signed up for the RailSport Games this summer. As well as bringing many of this year’s competitors to the event, the company will be competing for gold across a number of sports.

The operator, which is based in Derby, is supporting the annual sporting competition as it moves from its former home in Blackpool to the East Midlands.

East Midlands Trains (EMT) will field a team of 30 for July’s multi-sport competition. Those taking part come from various areas of the business. Front line station staff will compete alongside colleagues in recruitment and HR, depot technicians and head office employees.


‘It’s like a company sports day,’ says Tania Basile, a senior talent business partner at EMT, who was confident of her team’s ability to come away with the spoils. Tania will be part of the company’s rounders team, but she’s also a handy tennis player and, at one time, managed a women’s football team – something she thinks will help against the toughest opposition.

Paige Hooton, an internal communications coordinator, will be taking part in RailSport for the first time this year. She only joined EMT eight months ago, her first role in rail, having previously worked in retail. Like Tania, she’s confident the team has medal-winning potential.

‘It’s probably just about having a good time with work colleagues,’ said Chris Buckley, talent manager, giving a more diplomatic rating of their chances.

Chris’ colleague Dave Meredith, a resource strategy manager, operations, will be competing in the 100-mile British Cycling-registered sportive event, which will take place on the second day of competition. Dave spends his working day overseeing train crew requirements for major projects. He’s been with EMT for 20 years and is currently heavily involved in the remodelling of Derby station.

Dave hopes to complete the course, which will cross through Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, in five hours and post a personal best time.

The team will be cheered on by Matt Price, EMT’s head of learning and development. Matt spent 15 years as a physical training instructor with the RAF and will be helping prepare the team before it goes head-to-head with the rest of the industry.

EMT staff will become a familiar sight at this year’s event. For competitors arriving by rail, the friendly staff at Loughborough station will be on hand to help teams as they make their way to the venue.

Loughborough is one of 90 stations managed by EMT, which operates more than 470 regional and intercity services a day. The company won an industry award for its performance last year when 92 per cent of services arrived within 10 minutes of their scheduled time.

Says Kirsty Derry, EMT’s HR director, ‘We’re very excited to be taking part in this year’s RailSport Games.

‘It’s a great team building opportunity for our staff, bringing people together from diverse backgrounds to compete as ‘one team’.

‘We’re really looking forward to getting out on the field; let’s hope we have what it takes to make it through to the finals.’


RailSport will be held between the 8-9 July. Supporting bodies for the competition this year include Network Rail, HS2 and Public Health England, which will be promoting its ‘One You’ campaign, an initiative which offers advice and tools to help people live healthier lives; it covers issues like smoking, alcohol, eating, physical activity, sleep and stress.

Loughborough University’s 440-acre campus will host the Games. The event will bring together the university’s strong sporting pedigree with its equally respected, if not so well publicised, rail industry links.

Loughborough University was recently named as the best sporting university in the world. The QS higher education league table put Loughborough in joint first place with the University of Sydney.

Loughborough is renowned for its teaching and its world class facilities. The university has one of the centres that makes up the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine. It is also a popular base for Olympians and other world-class sportsmen and women.

In the past couple of years, the university has also been at the forefront of innovation in the rail sector. Researchers in the university’s Control Systems Group have developed a new fail-safe switch design called Repoint – a past winner of one of Rail Media’s Most Interesting Awards.

Visit the RailSport website to find out more about the event