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Sports negotiation students score top marks at Wembley competition

22 March 2017

Cardiff's Sport Law team - Olivia Smith, Drew Evans, Violah Matwaka and Renee Lim.
Cardiff's Sport Law team - Olivia Smith, Drew Evans, Violah Matwaka and Renee Lim.

This March, a group of Law students followed the path of many others by travelling to Wembley Stadium in pursuit of glory.

Unlike their predecessors, their travels took them to the UK Sport Law Competition which was taking place at the legendary and iconic sports stadium.

This is the second time the competition, which is organised by Shulmans LLP, has taken place but the first time it had been held at Wembley.

The Cardiff team, which consisted of Olivia Smith and Drew Evans took part in two negotiations: the first involving a sponsorship deal for an e-gaming team and the second resolving an intellectual property dispute over performance assessment equipment. The two completely different scenarios were designed to stretch the students and were perfectly designed to require flexibility and commercial awareness in addition to negotiating ability.

Olivia and Drew were joined in Wembley by reserve team members Violah Matwaka and Renee Lim who helped them prepare for the event.

All four of students had studied on the elective Skills Module, taught by Professor Julie Price and PhD student and Solicitor-Advocate Matthew Parry, where they learned the importance of client interviewing, negotiations, and mediation in the context of the law.

The team did incredibly well with Olivia and Drew being ranked top by all of the judges who saw them on the day, an achievement that was matched by only two of the other 19 teams that participated. When the scores were broken down, Cardiff finished third overall on the tie break system, with the team receiving prizes including tickets to England versus Lithuania and merchandise from the sponsors.

With the judges being drawn from professionals in the game, solicitors, barristers, and members of the sporting governing bodies, all four of the students could network and lay additional foundations for their futures in the law sector.

Olivia said after the competition, “I was delighted to represent Cardiff University in the National Sports Law Negotiation Competition 2017 in the iconic Wembley Stadium. The competition provided an invaluable opportunity to enhance my practical negotiation skills whist competing against 19 university teams from across the United Kingdom. I felt privileged to network and gain constructive feedback from a panel of professional judges from the legal and sports sectors. The competition has greatly increased my interest in sports law and has given me an insight into the challenges faced within the sports industry. I would encourage future students to embrace the opportunity to be involved in this competition.

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