Edition number 15; dateline 7 May 2008

Government gives final ‘yes’ to National Skills Academy
The National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure has been given official approval by government. Developed by SkillsActive in association with employers across the sector, the academy will open later this year with an aim of training 85,000 leisure professionals every year and making the sector a recognised world-leader in skills development by 2012. The leisure sector’s skills academy will follow in the path of other academies established in the construction, financial services, manufacturing, nuclear and food industries. Speaking at the launch, skills minister David Lammy emphasised the Olympic aspect of the academy’s remit, commenting, “For the UK to perform at its best in 2012 we need to make a sustained investment in coaching skills. However, it’s not just about winning Olympic medals. This news skills academy for the sports and leisure industry will ensure world-class training throughout the nation.” Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe added his support: “The launch of a national skills academy in sport and active leisure is a major step forward for an industry that will go from strength to strength as we approach London 2012. The NSA will ensure that our sports administrators, coaches and volunteers get the best learning and support possible whether working in community or elite sport.” SkillsActive chief executive Stephen Studd welcomed the ministers’ support, adding, “By the end of the year there will be radical changes to the way industry employers access training for their workforce. The skills academy will mark the end of fragmented training: it will be highly personalised and prioritised to address our industry’s most pressing skills issues at levels one to four.”
Full details of the National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure are available at www.skillsactive.com and an interview with Stephen Studd is featured within this issue of TLR.

Nottingham’ off the calendar
Plans by an independent organising group to deliver the Nottingham sports development seminar later this year have been shelved following claims by ISPAL that they would be staging the “actual National Sports Development Seminar” in Sheffield in September. Details of the proposed ‘Nottingham’ event were removed from The Leisure Review site following a threat of legal action on behalf of ISPAL to claim exclusive rights to the title of the National Sports Development Seminar and “all goodwill” in the event. The independent organising group welcomed the solicitor’s letter as acknowledgement that ISPAL would be staging the National Sports Development Seminar in what should be the event’s seventeenth year and naturally put its plans for a separate event the same month on hold. Although there had been no reference to the 17th National Sports Development Seminar in the event diary on the ISPAL website by the time TLR went to press, TLR Communications, publishers of The Leisure Review, had already acceded to the demand from ISPAL’s solicitors to acknowledge that the proposed event in Nottingham had no connection with ISPAL. Jonathan Ives, editor of The Leisure Review, director of TLR Communications and a member of the ‘Nottingham’ group, commented, “It’s a bit embarrassing really. We had been given to understand that there were no plans to hold the National Sports Development Seminar this year and there was a fear from many within the sports development sector that a much-loved and successful professional development event might fall off the calendar. When ISPAL’s solicitors informed us that ISPAL intended to put on the National Sports Development Seminar the week preceding the proposed ‘Nottingham’ event, the prospect of two competing events within a fortnight seemed a bit silly so we’ve put ‘Nottingham’ on hold. We were asked to make a statement to certain people that had been contacted regarding the proposed Nottingham event –  ‘This seminar has no connection with ISPAL, nor its predecessor NASD, which have run the previous sixteen such seminars’ – and we were happy to do that.”
• A review of the Sixteenth National Sports Development Seminar was published in volume one issue one of The Leisure Review. Find this and other articles in the TLR archive.

The Alec Collins Trophy
The 25th Alec Collins Trophy will be held at the Antrobus Golf Club, Cheshire on Friday 11 July. The day will follow a similar format to that of its predecessors, including 27 holes and generous catering, and will endeavour to keep its title of “probably the friendliest golf tournament in the world”. Strategic Leisure will again be offering sponsorship and marking the twentieth anniversary of the company’s founding. Explaining the origins of the event, tournament organiser Dave Johnston said, “Originally the competition was introduced by the committee of ILAM North West as a social event to bring the members – and prospective members – of the region together. It was an instant success with one of its stalwart supporters being ILAM icon, Alec Collins. Alec, who had led the amalgamation of several institutes to form ILAM itself, attended every event and even won it on one occasion. Following his untimely death a few years ago, the region commissioned a new trophy which now proudly bears his name.” The cost of the day will be £36 For full details contact the organiser, Dave Johnston, via this link.

Lap dancing as leisure leaves loophole
A report by Object, a pressure group campaigning against “sexual objectification”, has drawn attention to the impact of lap dancing clubs being licensed as part of the leisure industry. Under the 2003 Licensing Act lap dancing venues are subject to the same licensing rules as cafes and karaoke nights, rather than coming under the provisions of legislation aimed at the sex industry. This loophole, Object suggests, puts communities trying to prevent the opening of lap dancing clubs at a disadvantage and has enabled a rapid expansion of the trade since the first club opened in 1995. It seems few objections to licences have been upheld, with five local authorities who have rejected licence applications for lap dancing venues having their decisions reversed on appeal. Gerry Sutcliffe, the DCMS minister who looks after licensing issues, told the Commons recently that his department believed that the legislation could be used to control such venues but that he would raise the matter with the Home Office.

Snapping for green
The Environmental Photographer of the Year 2007 Exhibition will run from 30th May until 18th July 2008 at the Apothecary Gallery in London, followed by a regional tour. The exhibition and the competition from which it springs is part of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management’s Arts and Environment initiative,  which is seeking to put creativity at the heart of environmental thinking. Further information is available at the CIWEM website www.ciwem.org


Brief and briefer
The 2008 State of the UK Spa Industry Report shows a 6% increase in the number of spas operating in the UK since the beginning of April 2007 with 24 new spas opening in the last twelve months. A partnership between Eurostar and the National Gallery has delivered an interactive digital art gallery for international travellers at St Pancras International. Titled Station Masters, the system comprises a database of one hundred paintings from the National Gallery’s collection. The Club Company, acquired by Boundary Capital and Management for £96m in June 2006, has announced the completion of a £85.5m refinancing with Anglo Irish Bank.


Who’s whom

John Scott, UK Sport’s international director and director of drug-free sport, is to be chief executive of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. He will take up his new post in August 2008. David Albutt has been appointed interim policy officer for CLOA. Novlette Rennie OBE has moved on from Sporting Equals, while Val Stevenson, long-term stalwart of the National Association for Sports Development and its successor, is parting company with ISPAL. Sue Anstiss, managing director of leisure specialists Promote PR, has been appointed to the board of the PRO-ACTIVE West London county sports partnership. Capita Symonds Consulting has announced the appointment of Kevin Lane as a principal consultant. Kevin joins the company from consultancy PMP where he was the Quest and National Benchmarking Service Scheme manager. As part of the development and dissemination of the UK Coaching Framework (covered in full elsewhere in this edition) six representatives have been elected to the Coaching Advisory Group. They will advise Sportscoach UK on all aspects of the framework as it affects the governing bodies of sport. The lucky six are Anne Baker, England Hockey; Gary Henderson (chair), the Rugby Football Union; John Mills, British Cycling; Liza Baillie, Scottish Squash; Spencer Moore, British Swimming;
Tim Lumb, England and Wales Cricket Board; and Vinny Webb, the Rugby Football League. And as the sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed exactly half of them have been interviewed by TLR in recent months.




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Celebrating the National Skills Academy
Celebrating the National Skills Academy: Sheffield United will host one of the academy's regional hubs

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