Edition number 22; dateline 31 October 2008

Last chance to book for volunteer managers’ conference
The South East Regional Volunteer Managers' Conference, under the title of ‘Empowering Today's Volunteer Manager’, will be held on 6 November at the International Lawn Tennis Centre, Eastbourne. The last day to book is Monday 3 November and full Take a look at the website to see full details of the programme at the McCrudden Training website. The conference will se the launch of Nicky's new guide A Handbook for Volunteer Managers, published by TLR Communicatons Ltd and available through their – well let's be candid –- our website.

Inside and out and the National Gallery

Inside Nicholas Penny was unveiling the National Gallery’s latest exhibition but outside his staff were on strike. Members of the Prospect union, which represents professional and managerial workers across a range of industry sectors, had taken to the pavements of Trafalgar Square in support of a pay claim. Their dispute focused upon what the union described as “a late and inadequate pay offer which will compound problems of low morale, recruitment and retention”. Although formally the dispute was with the National Gallery management, strikers were at pains to emphasise that the responsibility for the situation lay with the Treasury and the DCMS. They were demanding that the Treasury and the DCMS adopt a different attitude to pay negotiations and recognise the staff as a highly valuable asset. The large press corp, which had gathered for the opening of Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian, to an eager press corps, may have taken note but inside talk tended to focus on the striking artworks. Penny, the National Gallery’s director, emphasised the importance of the partnership with the Prado. Under a reciprocal arrangement the exhibition had been previously displayed in Madrid with loans from the National Gallery’s own collection of Renaissance protraiture; extensive loans from the Prado and other gallery’s brought the exhibition to London.

New resources for coaching squash
Sportscoach UK has announced the completion of a major revision of the UK Coaching Certificate Level 3 qualification in Coaching Squash. The project involved the co-ordination and rewriting of all resource and supporting material for coaches taking the qualification, work undertaken on Sportscoach UK’s behalf by TLR Communications Ltd. Colin Allen, Sportscoach UK’s coaching systems manager for squash, explained the initiative. “The resource for the UK Coaching Certificate Level 3 in Coaching Squash was a collection of papers written over a period of time by upwards of six different people. We recognised that if the the UK Coaching Framework were to succeed in building a clear career structure for coaches within a professionally regulated vocation we needed to ensure that all the constituent parts were professionally produced and delivered. This has been achieved and the new resource will prove invaluable in supporting the development of a world-class squash coaching system.” Working with Gayle Kerrison, the lead officer of the UK Coaching Certificate source group for squash, TLR Communications undertook a three-stage review of the resource. Mick Owen, TLR Communications commercial director, explained the approach: “Our first task was to apply plain English techniques to more than twenty separate documents,” he said. “This process led into phase two, which was making the style and voice consistent across what would become the new resource. Finally we had the new resource, including the teaching materials, re-designed so that the whole looked better than its parts. It was painstaking work but we enjoyed working with Gayle and her colleagues. We were proud to see the new resource being issued to candidates at the recent Level 3 course in Lilleshall.”

Manchester: sport city
The National Squash Centre in Manchester plays host to the taekwando International British Open this weekend. The competition will feature Olympians Aaron Cooke, local lad Michael Harvey and fighters from over fifty nations. Also in the building but not in competition will be Britain’s first Olympic medallist Sarah Stevenson, while just over the Alan Turing Way many of Team GB’s cycling superstars will be competing in the UCI World Cup event at an event that saw the sold-out signs go up during the Olympics.

New ownership for sports recruitment site
Sports Structures has announced its acquisition of Jobswithballs.com Ltd and its website (www.jobswithballs.com) for an undisclosed, performance-based six-figure sum. The website, which was launched in 2001, is to be integrated into the suite of professional recruitment solutions offered by Sport Structures Recruitment. Kirkland told TLR: “The integration of the Jobswithballs.com website within Sport Structures Recruitment is part of our ongoing commitment to provide dynamic, highly flexible solutions to our clients in the sports and leisure industry. The website's will re-launch with a fresh look and increased functionality in the New Year.”

Next August afloat
More than 90 people representing 27 organisations helped launch the Inland Waterways Association’s (IWA) 2009 National Festival and Boat Show, which is to be held at Redhill Marina, Ratcliffe on Soar in Nottinghamshire over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The annual festival moves around the country and next year’s hosts Rushcliffe Borough Council received a ceremonial tiller pin to mark their involvement. The festival is run entirely by volunteers and provides the proverbial ‘great day out for all the family’ with “brand new boats and everything to go in them”, as well as arts and crafts, more than forty real ales, eclectic food choices and a variety of live music.

New approach to Building the Foundations
As the Building the Foundations phase of the UK Coaching Framework draws to a close, Sportscoach UK is considering a new approach to the provision of workshops from April 2009. It seems that the forty-plus workshop titles currently on offer will be split into three distinct areas – minimum operating standards, sports coaching and sports science – and a new delivery model will be introduced. This new model will see the management of workshops outsourced to partners working under licence and using their own tutors who still need to be trained and accredited by Sportscoach UK.

Local authorities sign up for free swimming
The Free Swimming Capital Modernisation Programme introduced by Sport England and  intended to address some of the needs of the swimming stock in England as part of the government’s free swimming programme closed on 24 October. The scheme aimed to encourage creative approaches to enhancing swimming facilities and increasing participation in physical activity and sport by members of the local community, especially those aged 60 or over and those aged 16 or under. Culture secretary Andy Burnham announced that over eighty percent of local authorities are to join the free swimming initiative, claiming that nine million people over the age of sixty will be able to take part. “I’m confident that removing the barrier of entry charges will encourage more people to take the plunge,” he said. Former culture secretary, James Purnell, now secretary for work and pensions, added his support to free swimming as part of his department’s pursuit of “active ageing”.
• See Roger Millward’s comment in this issue of The Leisure Review

Grass-root gongs from Sport England
Sport England has presented awards to five organisations that are excelling at getting more youngsters involved in sport. The awards come as the government’s school sport survey shows that an average school is linked to at least seven different sports clubs, with the most common links being with football, cricket, rugby union, swimming and athletics. Sport England presented the awards as part of the inaugural Young People Best Practice Awards in Telford.

Reef not yet ready
The £2.68m artificial surf reef featured in last month’s TLR has fallen foul of the weather and may not be completed by the end of the year. A spokesperson explained: “Construction of the reef relies on periods of good weather with calm seas and we are sure you can appreciate that the weather this summer and autumn has been poor. While everyone has been working on the site at every opportunity, the contractor, ASR, has now advised us that it may be difficult for them to complete construction this year.”

New data for sports facility survey
Sport England has awarded a three-year contract for data services to the Leisure Database Company. The data collection and maintenance contract includes the delivery of sports facility and grass pitch data for 30,000 sites throughout England for Sport England’s Active Places website. Over the last four years the Leisure Database Company has supplied data on twelve core sports facilities (ie fitness gym, golf course and driving range, swimming pool, sports hall, indoor tennis courts, synthetic turf pitches, running track, indoor bowls, ski slope, ice rink, squash court and dance/aerobic studio) across 12,500 sites in England. The new contract adds grass pitch data for sports such as football, cricket and hockey across 17,500 sites and means TLDC is now the sole data provider for the Active Places initiative.


In the bag and around the Woolsack

The remains of HMS London, which sank in the Thames Estuary nearly 350 years ago, have been 'designated' by the DCMS under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 following a recommendation from English Heritage. The DCMS has announced the inaugural Creativity & Business International Network (to be known, almost inevitably, as ‘c&binet’) will be held at The Grove in Hertfordshire 26 - 28 October 2009, bringing together the people with the power to shape the future of the global creative economy. Over £4.5 million has been given to twelve English seaside towns in the latest round of funding from the government's Sea Change programme, which aims to reinvigorate our much-loved resorts by investment in culture and heritage. Speaking at the PLA Conference in Liverpool, Andy Burnham reiterated the value of the public library service in the digital era, and urged them to embrace their role as interesting, innovative places for the whole community.


News reduced

According to the 2007/08 School Sports Survey nine out of ten pupils are now doing at least two hours high-quality PE or sport each week, compared with 25 per cent in 2002. A new national body to enhance the university experience through sport has been set up: British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS). Life Fitness has recently appointed preferred supplier for all cardiovascular and freeweight equipment at David Lloyd Leisure. They will be installing 1,100 pieces of equipment in clubs across the UK and in Europe over the coming months. Lucian Freud gave his first TV interview for twenty years to speak about the importance of saving Titian’s Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto for the nation. The new Rotherham Leisure Complex was opened on 24 October. Managed by DC Leisure, the £11m facility is part of the  £35m Rotherham PFI project. Dorking Sports Centre has introduced a dedicated boxing area in conjunction with Escape Fitness as part of its new-look Harpers fitness gym. The Cartoon Museum in London is hosting an exhibition of the work of Carl Giles (1916-1995), the most famous cartoonist of his generation and creator of the much-loved ‘Giles Family’. The exhibition of over eighty works will run until February 09.  The Swimming Teachers’ Association has announced that its membership has grown by 20% to 6,000, with a 50% increase in the number of swimming teacher courses being delivered. SkillsActive has been awarded £500,000 from Sport England and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to continue the London Coaching Bursary scheme, which has seen over eight hundred Londoners benefit from funded sports training. The Institute of Community Cohesion (ICoCo) has launched a website to bring together a range of practical advice and support on how to promote cohesion and integration drawing. DC Leisure has been voted the Fitness Industry Association (FIA) Operator of the Year 2008/2009.


Olympic watch

Six new cameras on the Olympic Park site now enable everyone to get a bird’s eye view of the work taking place to deliver the venues and infrastructure for the 2012 Games. The Olympic Delivery Authority has completed a health and safety educational programme for over 2,000 children from schools within the five boroughs around the Olympic Park - Hackney, Greenwich, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
Over the summer 1,164 students from fourteen primary schools and more than 1,000 students from nine secondary schools from East London have taken part in workshops which use interactive theatre to teach children about safety around construction sites. LOCOG has begun the process of creating mascots for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012 by inviting the creative industry to register interest in designing what will become some of the key visual icons of the London Games. The first of more than thirty new bridges to be built in the Olympic Park has been lifted into place. The bridges will create new connections across the site and leave an open and accessible public park in legacy. “Britain’s leading confectionery company” Cadbury has become the latest “Tier Two Supporter” for London 2012.


Who’s whom

Caroline Weber has been appointed executive director of communications and public affairs by Sport England. Weber rejoins her old employer, where she was formerly public affairs manager, from MacDonald’s where she headed the sports programmes. Following his confirmation as head coach to the British and Irish Lions rugby touring party to South Africa, Ian McGeechan is stepping down as chair of Sportscoach UK with immediate effect. His temporary replacement – for one year only – is Heather Crouch from netball. Also being appointed pro tem by Sportscoach UK is Graeme Maw who becomes the interim manager of the UK Centre for Coaching Excellence in sport and disability sport based at Leeds Metropolitan University. Dr Maw’s background is in coach development and he was formerly performance director with British Triathlon and the Welsh Rugby Union. Jane Cooper, currently at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, has been appointed director of communications at the DCMS. Her previous roles include head of communications for law firm Leigh Day and Co and head of government relations for Amnesty International. Guiseppe Toni Mascolo, the 'Toni' half of the global hairdressing name, Toni&Guy, has been presented with an honorary OBE by culture secretary Andy Burnham; as has chef Raymond Blanc.



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Inside and out: Saint Constance and Doge Leonardo Loredan in the Renaissance Faces exhibition and out on the pavement striking National Gallery staff

Britain's Sarah Stevenson will be on the sidelines in Manchester

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