Richard Fidler talks sport with Yuri Matischen

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Yuri Matischen is Managing Director of MLS – the Sheffield-based sports and leisure consultants and event management company. He is Sport England’s Yorkshire & Humber Champion for Sport, Chairman of One Health Sheffield Sharks basketball club and Sheffield City Region, LEP Sector Group Chairman for Sport, Leisure and Tourism.

What have you been doing today?

Relaxing after organising the 2012 South Yorkshire School Games, which took place at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield this week. The two day Winter Festival ended yesterday.

The summer event will take place at Abbeydale Park Sports Complex in July. More than 3,000 pupils from across South Yorkshire have competed in events such as netball, basketball, cheerleading, gymnastics, boccia and new-age curling.

Who is your inspiration and why?

Sport is an inspiration because it gives you a level playing field on which to show your talents, stay fit and healthy, and make numerous friends and contacts. It’s a way of life!

Which sports star did you admire when you were growing up?

Basketball legend Michael Jordan of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls.

Away from your love of basketball what’s your favourite other sport?

If it’s not basketball, which has been a massive part of my life, I enjoy cricket.

Who is your most famous person in your phone?

Lord Sebastian Coe, one of Britain’s greatest ever athletes, and Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG).

When was the last time you cried?

A couple of years ago, when my dad died and my son, Matteo, was born in a matter of weeks.

Who or what are you most proud of?

My son Benito who has overcome his autism and integrated into mainstream school so well.

What’s the best piece of advice you have received?

I was once told to always treat people the way you would like to be treated.

When did you know you were good at what you do?

Probably when I was a student at Loughborough University when I got a First in Business combining competitive sport.

What one item do you take with you wherever you go?

My mobile phone never leaves my side– it’s a total communication tool!

What is the most nervous you’ve ever been?

The birth of our first child – the final hours weren’t easy for my wife Joanna!

Do you ever doubt yourself?

I have an inner voice that keeps me humble!

What is your view on social networks like Twitter and Facebook?

If it can topple nations it has to be a force for good, so long as it isn’t abused.

How do you relax away from sport?

To relax I go running or sleep. I like to run at least four miles most mornings.

Where was your last holiday – and would you go there again?

We went to Cornwall on a camping holiday. The kids love it and so do I.

Do you cook? If so what’s your favourite – if not, who provides the perfect meal?

Not really. Joanna is an excellent cook though! I love my mum’s Lasagne (she’s Italian).

What was the last book you read?

It was A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka – my dad was Ukrainian. It epitomised our lives.

If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you do?

I’d stay in the same area and do more work to improve peoples’ lives through sport.

Tell our readers in your own words why you think we’re interested enough to interview you?

I have a diverse range of roles in Sheffield including the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Sport England, Autism Plus, the Sharks and our own business MLS.

What’s your favourite TV programme?

I do like Dr Who but I can’t get to the television in our house!