Interviews
Interview - Ron Ziemiecki


I/V: Ron Ziemiecki, Founder & Director, Aussie People Athlete Registry:
13th January 2004


What's your background?

I was a player of many amateur sports throughout my life, I actually tried just about everything and was never exceptional at any of them, a good all rounder in most sports.

What are the highlights of your career?

I have had many from an administrative point of view, and they too are quite diverse. I was the Australian National General Secretary of the IFBB for about 10 years, during that time I held a professional judges license. I also spent some time as the ground announcer at Leichhardt Oval for the Balmain Tigers. I am currently a race judge at the Fairfield Trots, I was a past Director of that Club. I have held a lot of other positions here and there, been a trainer or coach of a few different sports.

What motivates you?

Personal development, my thirst for knowledge and my aversion to ever bogging down in a rut. I need to keep reinventing myself to stay fresh and to live life to the full.

What is AussiePeople?

Its a hobby, and a way to give something back to the sports that I derived so much from over the last four decades. Its an outrageous attempt by an non-funded individual to create a single place where all sports people can be recognised at any level. Yes, I know its probably impossible, that's why I keep pushing the envelope with it.

Why do we need your service?

Because nothing like it exists anywhere else on Earth. There is no place anywhere, that has my mindset or the culture I am trying to develop. I place the rank beginner right next to a current world champion and give them both exactly the same significance and respect. To me the sport is the great thing, not its participants. When a single player gets greater that the sport itself, then its time for him/her to move on.

How do you ensure that Australian athletes comes first?

We are specifically available only to Australian's and part of the qualification is that they must reside at least 6 months of every year in Australia. I am not concerned with what is on their birth certificate, but I do insist that they live in our beautiful country and play sport.

What do you do on a day to day basis?

Hahahaha next question! Okay, seriously, I answer about 300 e-mails a day, this covers many different aspects, but many are from young hopefuls seeking sponsorship. Usually I give them advice as I see it based on my years in sports, but sometimes I even arrange a meeting with friends I have in different sports and then its up to the athlete to sell himself. The rest of the time, I sift through news items and try my best to highlight local news, that is not going to hit the front pages of the main media. This gives the
average person a forum. I believe that I fill a void, to a degree.

What are some of your biggest challenges, and how do you overcome them?

Well, slow equipment is a burden, I usually write e-mails at such a pace and do web page updates etc, faster then my processor can keep up with. Being a sole operator and relying only on the generosity of a few far sighted corporate sponsors that advertise on our site, it is a financial struggle to keep up with the latest changes in technology.

What promotional techniques do you use to the advantage of your clients (without giving away too much to our media savvy audience)?

I leverage the greatest asset of all, I tap directly into people. The people our site features, in turn are proud to be on it and they will tell people about the site. There is nothing amazing about my simple strategy of empowering people and letting them shout out about you, but its amazing how many of the larger sporting entities have forgotten this basic tenant.

Who are your top 10 Australian sporting legends of all time, and why?

That is a fairly hard question for me, because I firstly swore to be totally neutral in all sports, this was and is vital to the concept of AussiePeople. I would by far rather select the top 10 in the 113 different generic sports we cover. However, that would probably take me a year to research properly and I guess we just don't have the time. So being squeezed to offer some sort of answer, I will tell you this. When questions like this come up, I question the logic of the answers.

Their is a tendency to remember sportspeople who were media darlings, whether they were actually the best exponents of their sport or not doesn't seem to matter in that circumstance. Other factors of vital importance are those of records, the record breakers must be recognised, however many sports over lengthy time frames change the very nature of their sports so the old records cannot really be accurately measured against more modern performers.

The final point about selecting the best or top sports person is the obvious, you can not realistically mix sports, thus comparing a boxer with a swimmer is quite absurd, notwithstanding the similarities that all top athletes possess, that of determination, tenacity and sheer skill.

So I will have to decline to answer, except to add one more final point. I believe that sport is a system invented by humans to improve the quality of their lives, and by my definition, a sports person that demonstrates sportsmanship to younger, beginners, is the true champion, he may be without record or title, but he is still a champion.

Your favorite sports arena?

Telstra stadium.

What media attention have you garnered?

I have generated media attention for other people that is what I do best. I guess I have always been a promoter, however I choose to do this for the love of the game and not for money. I won a few awards last year but am reluctant to promote that.

Who have been your biggest supporters?

I have two giant supporters, who not only support me, but who are doing amazing things for athletes in many sports on a grand scale and they usually go about it quietly. I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Greg Young the CEO of BodyScience Sports Supplements http://www.bodyscience.com.au and also to Tess Lazarus of Invigorate Management Group (wife of Glenn Lazarus the great Rugby League player) http://www.invigorate.com.au . There are many others, but these two people really care about the sportspeople that I try to promote get more than a fair hearing from these companies who manufacture and supply sports nutrition and who manage athletes to an elite level.

How does the Internet help you?

I am totally dependent on the Internet, my whole AussiePeople business exists solely on the Net.

Who are your mentors?

WOW, that's a big question and seeing I am well past 50, I would have normally answered that they are now all dead. However, to respect your question, I really only have one, who was an American, who did die many years ago, he was a chap named Earl Nightingale, and he produced a magnificent work called 'Lead The Field', and the messages (12 in total) that come out of this work, are the basis by what I try to live my life by.

http://www.bizhotline.com/html/lead_the_field.html

What can our readers do to assist you and your wonderful team?

Simply register as an athlete in whatever sport they play, regardless of what level they are at. Playing is what's important in the real game and paralleling that in our virtual world, registering is what's important to me. I don't personally care if you have played only one day, or if you are a six times world champion, to me you are equal and fully welcome.

What's your motto?

AussiePeople putting Australian athletes first.

What do you do to relax?

Work.

...end.

Editors note: No doubt about it, Ron knows his sports, people and works incredibly hard for his team. Support this fantastic initiative (and us).

Links:

Aussie People

Body Science

Invigorate Management Group

Media Man Australia: Sports News

Article: The Great Aussie Promoters, by Greg Tingle