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Sports Law students impress at inaugural negotiation competition

1 June 2016

The Cardiff Sports Law Negotiation Team - Fidel Otafirre, Adam Munn, Roma Raja Rai and Calvin Cheng.
The Cardiff Sports Law Negotiation Team - Fidel Otafirre, Adam Munn, Roma Raja Rai and Calvin Cheng.

A team of Cardiff Law students took part in the UK’s first Sports Law Negotiation Competition last month hosted by Leeds firm, Shulmans LLP.

Available to 16 universities across the UK, the competition took place on 16 April at the University of Law, Leeds.

Sports Law is an exciting and evolving concept and brings together practitioners from a variety of disciplines including solicitors, sports agents, representatives from sporting bodies and sports officials. Consequently, the first Sports Law Negotiation Competition aimed to promote Sports Law to students and to encourage engagement with the Sports Law industry.

Cardiff’s team comprised of two final year students, Adam Munn and Roma Raja Rai who are both studying Sports Law. Adam and Roma were assisted in their practices by fellow final year students, Fidel Otafirre and Calvin Cheng who also attended the event as observers together with team coach, Sports Law PhD student Matthew Parry.

The students were given one side of two separate problems and had to prepare to represent their client in the negotiation. They had 50 minutes to demonstrate their skills in representing that client, often having to overcome emotional issues as well as pragmatic concerns. After the negotiation, each team had ten minutes to prepare a reflection that required them to analyse their performance and identify how they could have improved.

Adam and Roma both received positive feedback from the judges and after the inevitable nerves that afflict every team’s first negotiation, they thoroughly enjoyed their second negotiation, establishing a welterweight boxing match, despite being faced with a deluge of information and complications. Due to technical issues, two of the teams that had signed up to participate were unable to attend so the organisers asked Fidel and Calvin if they would like to take part. They too performed with incredible serenity and discipline and were complimented by one of the judges who said that “with 30 minutes preparation…I felt like I was watching an actual negotiation rather than an artificial one.”

All negotiations took place in front of a judging panel of 24 industry experts, including representatives from Shulmans, St. Philips Chambers, ASDA, The Sports Consultancy, Synergy Sports Management, Sport Works, Disability Sport Yorkshire, West Riding FA and Mike Riley, the renowned international FIFA referee.

The event was won by the University of Leicester however all four members of the Cardiff team were delighted to take part in the experience and said that they had learned a great deal.

Team coach, Matthew Parry said, “The commitment of all four of the squad was remarkable, especially as they balanced pending exams. Their skills came on in leaps and bounds during the time that I worked with them, and they all represented the School of Law and Politics with diligence, passion and skill.”

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