Conference delegates to be inspired to be champions

Company: GCA

A British Olympic Silver and World Championship Gold Medallist has been booked for the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) conference in January (2016) to inspire attendees to bring out the best in their teams.

The GCA has announced Roger Black MBE will be one the speakers at its golden jubilee event, which will be attended by leading independent garden centres from across the country.

Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “Roger was the first presenter we booked for the event, which also sees our organisation mark its 50th anniversary, and we’re very much looking forward to all he has to say about being a champion and the dynamics of being in a highly successful and motivated team.

“He was part of the famous quartet that clinched gold from the Americans in the World Championship 4 x 400m relay in Tokyo in 1991.

“After contending with numerous injuries and serious illness, including a leaking heart valve, diagnosed at the age of eleven, Roger collected 15 major honours in total during his athletics career. He won two Olympic silver medals, beaten only by Michael Johnson in the 400m, in 1996.

“Having achieved success both individually and as part of a team, Roger understands what it takes to become a champion.”

As a television presenter, Roger has fronted athletics coverage and appeared on shows from Tomorrow’s World to Strictly Come Dancing. He also markets his own range of fitness products and acted as an ambassador for Team GB at London 2012.

Roger said: “I'll focus on the Olympic mindset by sharing with the audience the lessons learnt throughout my athletic career that enabled me to run fast, overcome adversity and achieve my dreams both individually and as part of a team.”

The GCA’s annual conference will be held at The Grand Hotel in Brighton from January 24 until 27, 2016. More than 300 delegates are expected to attend the event.

Iain continued: “As always our conference will provide attendees with pertinent information on key aspects of the garden centre industry to assist members in achieving their business goals.

“The information shared will focus on a wide range of topics, including merchandising, marketing and management. There will also be plenty of opportunities for delegates to network and socialise.

“Next year is an extra special one for us. 2016 will see the association celebrate its 50th anniversary so the annual dinner in particular will be a very special event.

“As well as the celebrations the conference will be the usual mix of top quality speakers, such as Roger, analysis of inspections and garden centre best practice, and the unveiling of competition and award winners. We will be announcing more details shortly on how to book places for the event via our website

“The schedule for the golden jubilee conference will be as follows:

  • Sunday – Greenfingers Challenge Cup
  • Monday – inspection and competition round ups plus keynote speakers – based around operational issues. An evening dinner themed, networking event for garden centres and associate members.
  • Tuesday – a day of strategy with keynote speakers on subjects such as the economy, challenges facing business and direction of future market trends with an emphasis on maintaining and enhancing profitability. In the afternoon there will be the supplier exhibition. In the evening we will host our Annual Gala Dinner and awards presentation, plus a special celebration of our 50th anniversary.”

The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.

Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.

To book a place at the conference, please visit the members’ area on the GCA website via

For further information, please call 0118 930 8918. Alternatively, log on to or follow the organisation on Twitter at

Share this...
Next Article Back
Let us hear your thoughts on this article...

To see earlier stories - Look in the News Archive