Weekend Plans With Beyond Sport Founder & President Nick Keller
Beyond Sport’s mission is a global one -- advocating for social change through sports by creating events and facilitating partnerships -- so Founder & President NICK KELLER is no stranger to world travel. When THE DAILY spoke to him earlier this week, he was in N.Y. for an event addressing the issue of mental wellness before flying back home to the U.K. But in spirit, Keller is never far from his native London. He is part of the 25% of Londoners “born and bred” in the city, where he heads up not only Beyond Sport, but its parent company Benchmark (which he also founded) and sister brands including Sport Industry Group and Square Mile Sport. He talked with us about travel, fatherhood and the world’s great swimming spots.
IT’S THE JOURNEY: We hold events across the globe, so invariably there’s a lot of traveling. But we have a really good team, and a little of the strain of travel is spread out among us. I take 10 or 11 big trips a year, to the U.S. a lot, mainly to N.Y., L.A., S.F. But I have a 13-year-old, a 10-year-old and now a four-month-old, so my world is closely aligned to where my children are. I’m in N.Y. now, but I’ll be back in the States for the ESPYs next month in L.A.
THE LIFE AQUATIC: I love getting outdoors, so the first thing I tend to do when I land in a city is either find a place to swim or a place to run around. I tend to be in a constant state of rehab from my old rugby injuries. So after a flight, I see if I can find a pool, or a sea, or a lake or any outdoor swimming. On the rare occasions I get to travel to Lausanne for something related to the Int’l Olympic Committee, getting to swim in Lake Geneva is absolutely amazing. I don’t get a chance to go around and see the sights, so getting a swim or a run somewhere is great.
LOVING LONDON: I adore the city. It’s a remarkable place to live, and a city that has so much green space. I live right by Hampstead Heath. It’s Zone 2, just outside the main part of the city, yet I’m a 10-minute walk from 700 acres of green park land and natural swimming ponds. It really is a respite from the city. That rates highly, as does the food culture and coffee culture. But for visitors, I recommend going to Hampstead Heath. Bring your swimming trunks and go to one of the ponds. Then wander off to Parliament Hill to get the best view of London. Then there are loads of pubs in Hampstead or Highgate.
FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND: I’ve got some friends coming over this weekend for a barbecue, which makes me sound more Australian than English, doesn’t it? My two oldest kids split their time between me and their mom, and I’ve got them all weekend. As anyone with a 13-year-old knows, social media has improved the social lives of countless teenagers. So, I will be taxi driver to a 13-year-old, I imagine. On Father’s Day, I’ll be heading down to Richmond Park for cycling with my two boys.
FAVORITE SPORTING EVENTS TO ATTEND: The Olympic Games are a mind-blowing experience every time I’ve been. The collision and integration of humanity coming together to participate in sport is pretty special. Any time I watch the New Zealand All Blacks play rugby, I find that incredibly special as well. While I’m a passionate England supporter, there’s something about watching the All Blacks play that’s different. I live 10 minutes from Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, and I can walk there, so I’m pretty lucky.