Thank you for celebrating 30 years of athletics history with us!

Over 400 guests attended the 30th anniversary celebration of Global Sports Communication. Representatives from federations, suppliers, organizers of Track&Field and Road Race events, athletes and retired elite athletes from far and wide joined lifetime friends in a tribute to GSC and its founder Jos Hermens.

“Make your passion into your job, and you will never have to work.” Jos Hermens

APRIL 5 2016: high fives, accolades, hugs, and handshakes as the inner circle of world class athletes gathered in advance of the 30th anniversary celebration of Global Sports Communication. A summit meeting of champions came to honor GSC founder Jos Hermens and his unique management style. Over 400 guests joined in the festivities at the National Sports Centre, Papendal in the Netherlands. Professionals from Europe, Africa, the Americas, China, and Jos's lifetime local friends; athletes, retired athletes, representatives of federations, suppliers, race organizers were hosted by the charming GSC team and the friendly Papendal staff.

Global Sports Communication in numbers is: 1000+ athletes, 73 Olympic medals, 418 world championship medals, and 71 world records.

GSC in the words of keynote speakers - Sebastian Coe, Haile Gebrselassie, Gabriela Szabo, Ellen van Langen, Patrick Sang, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Yannis Pitsiladis - is the past, present, and future of athletics.

Tom Egbers (TV presenter Dutch Broadcasting Foundation, NOS) hosted the presentation that ran from Jos Hermens' beginnings as a one-man sports advisor to today's dynamic GSC team, and far-reaching projects. Geographically, from Europe to Africa and now beyond to India and China. And scientifically, with an exciting new sub2 marathon project.

Outstanding athletes that had flourished under GSC management and now distinguish themselves in after-athletics careers told their personal stories, reflecting the hallmark GSC values of integrity, passion, devotion, friendship, and innovation. In unison with colleagues working with Jos Hermens on humanitarian and innovative projects they expressed their admiration for a man who inspired them in the past and encourages them for the future.

The entire program was illuminated by appreciation for Jos Hermens. Jos doesn't seek the limelight; he generates light! Inspiring words from the speakers were punctuated with video panoramas of their sports and after-sports careers. Champions and medalists that grew to world-class success under the guidance of GSC have integrated the GSC team, like Patrick Lang, now coaching in his native Kenya, Ellen van Langen organizing major sports events, and many others...

One of the high points of the program was a warm-hearted head shot video tribute from each and every members of the GSC team.

Haile Gebrselassie, who enchanted the audience with his irresistible humor and dazzling smile, jokingly/seriously announced that he intends to become, no less, president of Ethiopia. And who could doubt his chances of winning? And his sincere motivation—to make life better for his countrymen. Haile offered a few choice anecdotes from his incredible career, officially announced that he will never stop running but will no longer compete, and presented Jos with a pure silver statue of the obelisk of Axum “that has stood for 2000 years.” Returning the lesson he learned from Jos, “Never give up,” Haile wished him another 30 years of GSC activity... at least.

Ellen van Langen, one of three Dutch Olympic gold medalists, attributes her achievement to mental strength…greater, she thinks, than her physical strength. As for ethical values—van Langen shared her memory of a race in competition with the topmost winning Dutch athlete of her time, who, to Ellen's astonishment, suddenly stumbled and fell. Instead of taking advantage of the chance to win, Ellen stopped in her tracks, went back, and helped her competitor get back on her feet. She didn't win that race, but went on to win Olympic gold. Van Langen joined the GSC team 18 years ago. She currently specializes in organizing events such as the Shanghai DL.

Gabriela Szabo is grateful for the guidance of GSC that accompanied her from win to win. After concluding her running career, she took on new challenges, starting each time “from behind” and making every effort to get to the top in whatever she did. After serving as Rumanian Sports Minister, she pursued post-graduate studies and, with a PhD in Sports, pursues her mission to give back something of what sports gave to her.

These three 'ambassadors' were honored by Global Sports Communications with a unique sculpture in the shape of a Mobius strip /a life path / a running track. This was the inauguration of a trophy will be presented in the future to others like them, with a special relation to the company.

  • Haile and his life time achievement award 'verbinding / connection'
Toelichting van kunstenaar Erwin Middelhuis bij award 'Verbinding'

“Het reliëf van de aarde/landen symboliseert de prestatie op een wereldniveau. Ook weergeeft het de verbinding (band) van mensen, verschillende landen, culturen en geloven door topsport. Bij deze band zijn de uiteinden verbonden door deze een halve slag te verdraaien. Hierdoor ontstaat een zijde die oneindig is. Deze bandvorm kun je dan ook zien als een loopbaan/levenstraject, een weg van uitersten, vastberadenheid gebundeld in een doel. Hiermee draagt het object wijsheid en concentratie met zich mee. Het oneindige in de vorm geeft de discipline weer (trainings-frequentie), maar vooral de onuitwisbare nalatenschap van geleverde prestatie (wereldtitels). De vormovergang van binnen- naar buitenzijde bespiegeld de verandering van internationale topsporter naar een loopbaan als landsvertegenwoordiger.”

Jos was a callow youth in the Dutch countryside when he “discovered” Africa, synonymous ever since with his passion for long distance running. This association has been strengthened by three decades of continuous research and development, to give runners the best chance of realising their potential. The African connection has expanded to concern for local populations, presented by former MFA Jaap de Hoop Scheffer who presides over Local Heroes, an NGO created by GSC to foster development by using local heroes to speak to their own people and encourage them to embrace positive development. “Jos,” he says, “is a guy that thinks about the world.”

Patrick Sang was a budding athlete traveling in Europe. He lost his luggage. A disaster. But he met by chance Jos Hermens who was working for Nike at the time, and Jos immediately got him a complete set of clothes. As a coach, Sang wants to give young people in his native Kenya the means to develop their talent fully. “When you're running, it's just one race; when you're a coach, you can be running five races.”

Yannis Pitsiladis outlined with scientific precision the sub2 project, the latest GSC innovation. Every element that can improve a runner's performance is analyzed, addressed, and perfected. Details of the project are presented in the little orange book guests received as they checked in to the event. In a fascination PP simulation, Pitsiladis brought Haile Gebreselassi's Berlin record down from 2:03:59 to sub2. An advanced doping detection method is being developed in step with this clean method of enhancing performance.

“I feel like Elizabeth Taylor's 8th husband,” joked the new IAAF president, Sebastien Coe, as he wrapped up the series of presentations, following on such great athletes, and Haile the greatest. The so-British champion, who asks to be called simply “Seb,” introduced his blueprint for the future of athletics with a biographical note: “I am half Indian and my father is Jewish.” In a clean break with the recent past, he has created a Values Commission, aiming at a future of athletics under the sign of integrity. Good coaching is an art, not only a science, says Coe, who advises young athletes to “Become a student of your sport.”

When injury forced Jos to cut short his promising career, he looked for other ways to express his passion. Gradually he discovered his talent for helping athletes use their energies wisely, fulfill their promise, and avoid mistakes he had made. He saw the potential of the running boom, organized road races, started the Rotterdam marathon, expanded GSC exponentially, and never lost his modesty. “I'm being interviewed, but I am not Global Sports. We have a team I am very proud of. We all live and love athletics.”

From 1972 when he withdrew from the Munich Olympics after Palestinian terrorists murdered 17 Israeli athletes, to the present day when hundreds of guests joined to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Global Sports Communication, Jos Hermens has maintained an upstanding outstanding sports management code.

Guests carried home the little orange 30 Years of Athletics History that had guided them through the day, and copies of Emperor of Long Distance, the story of Haile Gebrselassie's life and career, by photographer Jiro Mochizuki. Subscriptions are open for a forthcoming Jos Hermens biography, previewed in the little orange book with a text by Pim van Esschoten.