Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Jimmy Is on His Marks to Start a New Career

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Jimmy Is on His Marks to Start a New Career

Article excerpt

Byline: Marie Turbill Reporter marie.turbill@eveninggazette.co.uk

JIMMY Wattis is a name and face that will be familiar to many.

For the last 26 years he has brought sporting triumph to Middlesbrough.

There was the introduction of the Schools Mini Soccer League programme, the Reebok 5s, which led to Middlesbrough teams becoming national champions and getting a trip to Real Madrid. And at one time he even managed to get FA qualified coaches to deliver coaching in almost every primary school in Middlesbrough. Then of course there was the introduction of Tees Pride 10k, the 5k Riverside Run, the Sport Relief Mile, the International Mile road race... and the list goes on.

Middlesbrough Council sports events manager Jimmy is one of those lucky few who can look back on his career over the last 26 years and honestly say he has "enjoyed every single day".

But now, as he embarks on his own business venture, Jimmy is bidding a fond farewell to a job he has long loved. He is launching his own events company, drawing on all the skills and expertise he has built up over the years.

"Twenty-six years is a long time but it has flown," he said. "The reason being that I've thoroughly enjoyed every day.

"Every role I have had with the authority I have seen as a challenge and I would like to think I've made a success out of each one."

Through it all he has never lost sight of how lucky he has been to earn a living doing something that he loves.

The 59-year-old was brought up in an era when industry was booming on Teesside.

He said: "As a child I can remember Middlesbrough as a thriving place, everyone went to work, the buses would go every 10 minutes and every one was full."

His dad worked for Dorman Long (British Steel) and he explained in those days you followed your dad into a trade. …

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