Edition number 24; dateline 30 January 2009

New title news: last seen “in production”
With well over one third of The Leisure Review subscribers already signed up to our new print magazine, TLR News&Jobs, it might be prudent and indeed polite to explain just where the precocious little title is hiding. We aren’t people to make excuses and the word “spin” is anathema to us so here it is straight from the managing editor’s lips: “With Mercury in retrograde in the first month of 2009 new ventures will suffer teething troubles and even the best laid plans may gan aglay” He added: “We had a bit of a glitch with our selling team but we’re now forging ahead with both recruitment and display advertising and everything looks good for a February launch.” If you haven’t signed up for the fortnightly mix of industry news and recruitment then just email your postal address to mickowen@theleisurereview.co.uk putting “Get TLR News&Jobs” in the subject line.

Welsh Assembly considers canoe access issues
Earlier this week the Welsh Assembly responded to arguments put forward by the users of the Principality’s many rivers by announcing a “short inquiry into access along inland water”. After the Welsh Canoe Association gave oral evidence to the petitions committee and presented a 10,000 signature petition – the largest ever received by the Assembly on any topic –  the committee resolved to investigate further. Visits will be arranged to the River Teifi in Ceredigion and the Scottish Parliament in order to consult different user groups, land managers and statutory bodies. For a discussion of access issues on Welsh rivers see the December issue of The Leisure Review.

Stability priority for Brit at the Met
Thomas Campbell has this week taken up his post as director of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. An expert in tapestries, Campbell grew up in Cambridge and has been at the Met since 1995 when he visited the museum for research following degrees from Oxford and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Now head of what is widely regarded as one of the world’s wealthiest museums, Campbell has put financial stability at the head of his list of priorities. New emphasis is to be put on displaying the museum’s own collections rather than staging the big exhibitions of works from elsewhere. “This is not a period when we just hold our breath and wait for things to get better,” he said. “The need of visitors is changin and constantly evolving, and my sense was to bring some of the creativity and energy that we put into the exhibition programme into the permanent collections.”

IDeA launches discussion paper on commissioning
The Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) has published a discussion paper which they hope will stimulate the development of a commissioning framework for culture and sport. Available online, the paper offers a vision of a commissioning process owned by both local and central government. The aim is to improve both the strategic commissioning of services within the leisure sector and this sector’s response of commissioning processes within health, social care and other services for young people. The document includes the input from workshop sessions held in the autumn of 2008 and the IDeA are hoping to include relevant case studies from local authorities that have demonstrated success in commissioning, needs assessment or building capacity within the third sector. For details of the scheme and to download the discussion document visit the culture and sport section of the IDeA website at www.idea.gov.uk

Big names in the frame for Scottish Sports Development Conference
The Scottish Sports Development Conference in Aviemore on 11 and 12 May will see minister for communities and sport, Stewart Maxwell, debate the future of sport in Scotland with, amongt others, commercial heavyweight Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, and rugby internationalist turned broadcaster and small-p-politician, John Beattie. As conference managers First City Events confirm keynote speakers, workshop titles and a truly inspirational closing speaker (we know who it is but we can’t tell you) you can keep up to date with developments courtesy of The Leisure Review at our special Scottish conference news page.

New arrangements for Awards for All England
Following a review of the Awards for All England programme, each of the lottery distributors supporting the scheme will have their own small grants programmes from 1 April. Arts Council England, Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and Sport England will all have their own schemes which will mean “that each distributor can better address the needs of their applicants and the themes they support”.

New name, new questions for Welsh canoeing
The Welsh Canoe Association has re-invented itself as Canoe Wales and has crashed into the New Year re-branded, slimmed down and loaded for bear. In addition to its successes in the access arena [see above] the new company is challenging the behemoth that is the UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC) delivery system to prove that the new-style common coaching qualifications are fit for purpose in that corner of the leisure world marked ‘outdoor pursuits’. On behalf of his fellow directors (as well as the wider canoeing, sailing, climbing and rambling community, no doubt) chairman Phil Blain has challenged the board of the British Canoe Union (BCU), and by inference the custodians of the UKCC roll-out, to address “the level of membership complaints” which centre on whether a framework influenced so heavily by the needs of coaches in competitive sports can justify the time and expense required by people who deliver in recreational contexts. It is a complex argument but when Canoe Wales feel the need to demand (their word) “an immediate and independent review of the scheme” and submit that in the interim “further design of the scheme must cease” it is clearly one about which they feel strongly. We asked the BCU, the umbrella body running canoeing’s coaching scheme, for a response but none was forthcoming. Sportscoach UK told us: “The UK Coaching Certificate has been developed in conjunction with the governing bodies of sport and is an integral part of the UK Coaching Framework. Sportscoach UK will continue to work with the British Canoe Union and its member bodies through the national source group to support the development of a programme that is right for canoeing coaches and coaching across the UK.”

Support for talent support in Northern Ireland
The Sports Council for Northern Ireland are inviting applications to its practitioner development programme, a lottery-funded bursary programme that aims to address the current lack of practitioners supporting talented athletes. Coaches, scientists and medical practitioners, with the necessary experience, skill and knowledge to improve athlete performance, are all eligible to apply for support with placement opportunities, attendance at major international events, visits to observe athletes in a high-performance environment, compensation to employers, higher education courses and research projects. Noleen Lennon at Sport NI awaits your call.

Support for the up-and-coming in Scotland
SportScotland have made a £334,188 investment in Tennis Scotland composed of £138,000 from lottery fund and £196,188 from Scottish government funding. The money is to be used for “development programmes to ensure that up and coming players are given the opportunity to participate in the sport and to develop to their full potential”, according to SportScotland chair, Louise Martin.

Customer survey for footballers
Meanwhile on Planet Soccer Sport England has commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct a player survey “to establish what is important to people when they take part in sport and how satisfied they are with the quality of their sporting experience”.  Over-16s need only visit the FA’s website to fill in a form.

Young people saving lives (and perhaps their own)
Way out East Positive Futures (Great Yarmouth) has helped over 250 young people achieve awards in Rookie Lifeguard, the RLSS UK’s water safety programme, in the last year. The programme not only promotes fitness and safety around water but engages young people aged 12–18 years old, the age group most at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour, in sport and leisure activities.

Never Watch Alone at Wigan
Wigan Learning Disability Partnership Board,  Wigan Athletic FC and Wigan Warriors have launched the Never Watch Alone initiative which will enable supporters with a learning disability to attend matches alongside their fellow supporters. Using a network of ‘buddies’, the initiative will enable those supporters with a learning disability to go to games with a friend, a like-minded fan who shares their passion, rather than a professional carer. No experience necessary apparently.

Up and down the corridors of presumed power

Culture minister Barbara Follett has placed a temporary export bar on eleven dresses designed by the early 20th-century French couturier Madeleine Vionnet to allow time for fund-raising by UK institutions. The decision follows a recommendation by the reviewing committee on the export of works of art and objects of cultural interest, which is administered by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. Culture Secretary Andy Burnham has convened a panel “made up of some of the UK’s top sport, broadcasting and business talent” to the free-to-air broadcast status of sporting events. Under the chairmanship of ex-FA chief David Davies the panel members are Dougie Donnelly, Angus Fraser, Professor Chris Gratton, Eamonn Holmes, Penny Hughes, Colin Jackson, Michael Pescod, Nick Pollard and Hope Powell. Defra is to put an an extra £4.3 million into research into the health of bees. Local government minister John Healey announced £73.1bn for English councils next year, guaranteeing a 4.2 per cent funding increase despite the economic downturn. This, says, the Department for Communities and Local Government, demonstrates the government's commitment to vital council services. Southport, Great Yarmouth, Bridlington and Hastings are the latest towns to receive grants from the Sea Change programme. They will benefit from £12 million of funding with the aims of boosting regeneration in coastal areas through investment in culture and heritage. Andy Burnham said that the first day of 2009 marked the start of “what promises to be a fantastic decade for British sport”. A decade of investment, he argues, has set up a golden decade of sport when a host of international events will be coming to the UK.

2012: could it be any nearer?

In the last days of January the first thirty-metre long steel section of the Olympic Stadium’s roof has been lifted into place, taking the height of the stadium to almost 37 metres above podium level. Airwave has become the latest Tier Three Supplier to London 2012. Airwave is now ‘official private mobile radio services supplier’. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) got there first, having been chosen as the exclusive ‘strategic consulting provider’ and the first Tier Three Provider to London 2012. The new 36-metre bridge that will form the  entrance to Stratford International Station has been successfully lifted into place, fully glazed, ready for the official opening to high-speed domestic services in December 2009. The government has announced that further funding from the £9.3 billion London 2012 Olympic budget has been allocated to support the building of the Olympic Village and media centres. Apparently the Games’ overall £9.3 billion budget remains unchanged and the contingency remains sufficient to cover the remaining risks to the project. Adecco has been appointed as the ‘official recruitment services supplier’ and a Tier Two Supporter to London 2012. And Olympics minister Tessa Jowell has said that the London 2012 ‘big build’ can offer construction job opportunities for women and help breakdown gender barriers within the industry as a whole. Marvellous.


Who’s whom

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have appointed Tony Drury as head of youth performance, stepping up from his role as junior academy coach. Canadian Kevin Tyler has been appointed strategic head of coaching and development at UK Athletics. Known as a ‘coach of coaches’, he joins Dutch head coach Charles van Commenee and Paralympic head coach Peter Eriksson, who is a Swede, in a place chief executive Niels de Vos calls “the very heart of a new era of athletics officialdom”. Just before Christmas SportScotland announced the recruitment of three outsiders to its new sports development management team on the eve of the agency’s relocation to Glasgow. Jacqui Lynn from Active Stirling becomes head of school and community sport; Alan Clark, Active Schools manager with Highland Council, will take up the position of head of partnership management; and Fiona Wernham will join as the head of coaching and volunteering from Edinburgh Leisure. Steve McKenna, a former senior executive of the Gala Coral group, has replaced Kate Hempel as marketing executive at BiSL. After twelve years Hempel has decided to leave the organisation to pursue an exciting new venture in the UAE leisure market. David Fison, a man with over 35 years of experience in the construction sector, has been appointed to the board of the Olympic Delivery Authority. Lady Cobham has been appointed as the new chairman of VisitEngland, the national tourism body. As previously trailed, Dame Liz Forgan has been appointed chair of Arts Council England, the first woman to chair the Arts Council in its 62 year history.

And going the other way…

The British Olympic Association has announced that Simon Clegg is now its former chief executive and chef de mission. Industry watchers were surprised at the timing of Clegg’s departure and speculation is rife that the names ‘Clive’ and ‘Woodward’ may be in some way associated with his decision after a twenty-year career which saw the ex-Army man manage British athletes at twelve summer and winter Olympics. Colin Moynihan, the BOA chairman, is known to be enamoured of the rugby world cup winning ex-photocopier salesman.




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Challenging the past: Picasso at the National Gallery
The National Gallery’s first exhibition dedicated to Pablo Picasso opens this month and will reveal how the greatest artist of the 20th century pitted himself against the great European painting tradition. Picasso: Challenging the Past features over sixty of the artist’s seminal works and focuses on the enduring themes of European art history and his own career. Every major period of Picasso’s oeuvre is represented with loans from among the leading public and private collections of Europe and North America. The exhibition runs from 25 February to 7 June.
Above: Pablo Picasso, Femme nue à la Source, 1962
© British Museum Images/Succession Picasso/DACS 2009

White-water riot: access issues for paddlers
Picture courtesy of BCU

John Beattie, shown here with Novlette Rennie in 2007, will be one of the highlights of SSDC 2009.

Event discount for TLR subscribers
Subscribers to The Leisure Review can get a £25 discount on a delegate place at the Get Britain Active Conference, a one-day event exploring how to increase participation in sport and active leisure across all groups. P
romoted by the Sports Marketing Network and Make Sport Fun, the event will be at the London Irish Community Centre in Camden – a stroll from St Pancras, King’s Cross and Euston stations – on 18 March. Add the legend "The Leisure Review special offer" to the booking form to receive your discount. For full details of the event are available via the booking form.
Download the booking form [pdf format 1.8MB]

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