Edition number 19; dateline 6 August 2008

The Olympic impact, part one
With the Beijing Games only a few days away, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) took the opportunity to state that British athletes competing in the 2008 Olympics had never had it so good. Government funding for elite sport is a record £265m over the four-year cycle and funding has trebled between Athens and Beijing. UK Sport has set a medal target of between 35 and 41 medals, and aspires to eighth or above in the overall medal table. Culture secretary Andy Burnham could not help but add to the pressure on our team: “This will be the biggest Olympics yet and the GB team goes into it better prepared than ever before. Other countries and old rivals like Australia now look to us as a country that got serious about sport and are now saying they are in danger of falling behind team GB in the medal table.”

The Olympic impact, part two
Kung Fu Panda, an animated film based on a martial-arts-obsessed, bear-like mammal, has prompted cultural debate in Chinese political circles. According to the Xinhua news agency, a Chinese parliamentary cultural affairs committee debated why a film based so obviously on Chinese cultural symbols and references comes from Hollywood rather than the domestic film industry. The standing committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress is quoted as commenting, “Although there is no secret ingredient to film-making success, the government ought to relax its oversight. Opening more space for Chinese artists would allow more innovation, ultimately giving China greater cultural influence abroad.”

Adopting coaches proves successful
Merseyside Sports Partnership and Liverpool John Moores University have launched a programme to develop community sports clubs and offer work experience to students entitled Adopt a Club. The new initiative aims to offer high-quality support to community sports clubs while helping students develop essential work-related skills. Students selected from the Physical Education Qualified Teacher Status (PE QTS) degree will be able to gain first-hand experience of working in the community while enhancing their academic studies and helping local sports clubs. The programme has run as a pilot for a year and will now launch in September 2008 as an integral element of the PE QTS course. An official launch will take place in early October.

Early call for the ‘Scottish conference’
Organisers of the Scottish Sports Development Conference have issued a ‘save the day’ notice for their next event. The dates in question are 11 and 12 May 2009, with the venue confirmed as the Aviemore Highland Resort. The title of the event will be Sports Development – Debating the Future. Announcing the conference details, a member of the organising group commented, “With the success of four excellent conferences behind us, we have taken the decision to re-schedule the staging of the next conference and have moved it to late Spring 2009. We hope this timing will suit even more delegates and ensure that the fifth event will be the most sought after and exciting to date.” The two-day conference package will include a series of essential CPD training opportunities focusing on issues of importance to all who work in sports development, including volunteers, national governing bodies, senior managers, facilities trusts, sports development officers and the performance sector. The event will again be supported by Sport Scotland and sponsors Schelde Sports; The Leisure Review has been delighted to accept the invitation to continue as the event’s media partner. To register for further details and ensure your ‘early bird discount’ e-mail your contact details to conference@firstcityevents.co.uk

Seventy years of Beano and Dandy
The Cartoon Museum in London has followed its exhibition of the work of Pont [see TLR News in Brief 14] with a celebration of seventy years of The Beano and The Dandy. The Beano was first published on 30 July 1938 with The Dandy launched just eight months earlier on 4 December 1937 and the two comics have been entertaining generations of British children ever since. The exhibition presents original comic artwork from eight decades and shows how the comics and their characters – including Desperate Dan, Dennis the Menace, the Bash Street Kids, Minnie the Minx, Ball Boy, Bully Beef and Chips, Brassneck, the Three Bears, Les Pretend and Winker Watson as well as feisty girl characters such as Pansy Potter - The Strongman’s Daughter and more recently Ivy the Terrible – have developed over time. Full details of the exhibition are online at www.cartoonmuseum.org

Birkett expresses regrets regarding Burgess Park
The Metropolitan Public Gardens Association (MPGA) held its AGM recently in the City of London’s Guildhall. MPGA president, Lord Birkett, took the opportunity to remind those present that a visionary green project of the last century still lies unfinished: Burgess Park in the London Borough of Southwark. It took half a century to acquire and clear the 52 hectares of green sward in inner-London, which came to be called Burgess Park. By 1986, when the GLC was disbanded, Lord Birkett, then director of recreation and arts for London, sought to have its ownership transferred to the City itself, where it would be nurtured for the benefit of the people of London, just as is Hampstead Heath and other sites and commons. He still regretted that the transfer left incomplete this bold project when it ultimately fell to the local authority. The leader of London Borough of Southwark told him that “we could not afford the park”, referring to phase two of the development, which would have completed a lake, sport facilities and other features as planned. It is unfortunate that this remains the position to this day.

Memorial plans unveiled
A design for the permanent memorial to those killed in the London bombings on 7 July 2005 has been unveiled. The memorial will comprise 52 three-metre pillars (stelae), each representing one of the victims, grouped in four clusters to represent the four separate incidents. It will be situated in the south east corner of Hyde Park, close to Park Lane and Lover's Walk, and a plaque listing the names of the victims will be sited nearby. The memorial has been created by a design team working in consultation with representatives of the bereaved families and advisors from the Royal Parks. A planning application has been placed with Westminster City Council and the memorial will be officially unveiled on 7 July next year.

Students ‘not sufficiently active’ shock
A survey of students’ physical activity suggests that students are not taking enough exercise to benefit their health. The second annual University and College Sport national active student survey was conducted by Leisure-net Solutions with sponsorship support from Life Fitness and involved students from 148 of the UK’s higher and further education institutions. Seeking to provide a clear picture of participation in sport by UK students and establish benchmark figures for facility usage, student involvement in competitive sports and general student activity levels, the survey found that fewer than a quarter of the 30,000 respondents met the government exercise target of thirty minutes five times a week. However, almost half did achieve three thirty-minute activity sessions a week.

Getting behind volunteers
TLR is delighted to remind readers of the South East Regional Conference for Volunteer Managers on 6 November at the International Lawn Tennis Centre, Eastbourne. Presented by McCrudden Training, the event will also mark International Volunteer Managers’ Appreciation Day. To nominate someone for the VM Award or to receive further details of the event e-mail McCrudden Training here.

Leisure Industry Week 23-25 September: news update

SkillsActive will be hosting the Training Provider Forum on the first day of the event. Claimed as the biggest ever UK training provider conference, the forum will bring together providers, awarding bodies and employers, and offer updates on qualification reform, REPs development, industry policy and the role of the National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure that will help train 80,000 new and existing staff and future leaders into the industry every year. To receive booking details e-mail jade.mitchell@skillsactive.com. Escape Fitness, which specialises in creating boxing, studio, performance and personal training zones, will be at LIW presenting a demonstration of how every facility, regardless of size, has the potential to create profit-generating spaces. IQL UK Limited is promising key items of industry research at the National Pool Lifeguard Symposiums 2008, which will offer “practical advice on how to overcome current knowledge gaps, improve training systems and procedures and give legal advice”.


Around the corridors

The DCMS has announced new licensing arrangements intended to make it easier to make a minor change to the terms of their licence for any pub, village hall, off-licence or other licensed premises that wants to. Gerry Sutcliffe, who has licensing within his ministerial patch, said: “We have listened carefully to the views of licence holders and come up with a set of proposals that will lead to a significant reduction in cost and bureaucracy.” Culture and tourism minister Margaret Hodge has announced the award of over £10 million from the government’s Sea Change programme. The scheme aims to boost regeneration in coastal areas through investment in culture and heritage. The three year programme will give £45 million to coastal resorts. The DCLG has launched the
first ever Black Boys’ National Role Model programme, part of a package of measures to help raise the aspirations and attainment of some of today’s young black men. The scheme will involve the recruitment of men of black and mixed heritage to take a lead in inspiring the next generation of boys to achieve and succeed.


Who’s whom

Professor Colin Jones has been appointed as new non-executive director to the Planning Inspectorate. Our interest is piqued because he is currently a trustee of the National Museum of Wales. The National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure has appointed Mark Hyde to the post of national business development director. Mark was formerly managing director of Opagus Marketing. Allan Stevenson has been appointed as chair of the Potato Council. However, he has also been appointed as a board member of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the new levy body which came into being in April this year. Phil Redmond has been appointed as the new chair of National Museums Liverpool. Professor Redmond took up his new position on 1 August for a period of four years. Cannons has appointed Richard Harlington as the new tegional trainer assessor for the London region.




News in brief
Staccato reports from the cultural typeface

last edition

news daily


other news


Dennis the Menace
Dennis the Menace: now 70 years old and celebrating at the Cartoon Museum

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