Mark Ruddy joins the CCM ranks

The CMAE is delighted to announce that Mark Ruddy has gained the internationally renowned Certified Club Manager (CCM) certification.  

Mark has built a career in a variety of roles in the sports club industry in Ireland and the United Arab Emirates. He is former General Manager at Kilkenny Golf club, Lucan Golf Club and Courtown Golf Club. He is now the Founder and CEO of Grow Sport, a Sports Club Consultancy Business.

This esteemed certification is granted by the Club Management Association of Europe (CMAE) and recognises excellence and professionalism in club management.

The CCM designation has been the hallmark of professionalism in club management since 1965 and is the cornerstone of CMAE’s education programme. It is recognised globally as a valuable and widely respected mark of a manager’s commitment to professional development and the club industry.

Well done on achieving the CCM, Mark Ruddy. A lot of things happening lately, where does the CCM now fit in? 
The industry is moving and changing just like myself. On the back of achieving CCM, I stepped away from my Traditional Club Management Job at Kilkenny Golf Club and went to work on creating a new business, Grow Sport.

You and a couple of people studied together for the exam, was that something you would recommend to others? Anything else you would recommend for someone wanting to go for CCM? 
Studying with peers for the CCM exam can be a beneficial strategy for some individuals, as it allows for collaborative learning, sharing of resources, and mutual support. We used email, calls and WhatsApp to motivate and inform each other. Jim Quinn and Damian Connolly were great sounding boards for me, as they too were taking the exams.

Resource Sharing: Each person may have access to different study materials or resources, and sharing these resources can enrich everyone’s study experience. Michael Walsh, CCM and Pat Barrett, CCM shared various pieces of their CCM preparation which really was invaluable. 

What about your own CCM journey? What will you remember the most? 
I sat my first MDP in Dubai in 2015. I had a great boss at the time, Martin Duff, CMDip, who signed me up at Dubai Creek in 2015. That opened my eyes to the various benefits of the education. Michael Braidwood, CCM hosted the week and I have connections to this day that I reach out to. I have to say there are two really special events that I would attend every year if I could, World Conference and MDP Golf in St Andrews.

World Conference is a must-go event, especially to see the great Greg Patterson and Ray Cronin, they will arm you with knowledge you will use for the rest of your career. Jason Koenigsfeld and CMMA go the extra mile for the International Managers and make the week very special. On the european side, MDP Golf in St. Andrews is magical. The speakers, the day trips and the staff you engage with throughout the week is unbelievable.

Finally, what will happen next? What is your plans from now?
Next steps, well I will never stop educating myself, so the European Conference and hopefully the World Conference also. I have just started my Sports Club Consultancy Business in April, so I hope to use all the tools and education CMAE have provided for me over the last 9 years.