Edition number 28; dateline 29 April 2009

YST seeks innovation
The Youth Sport Trust is inviting applications from sports colleges, academies with sport-related specialisms and primary schools piloting a PE and sport-related specialism for their 2010 innovation awards. They hope the “Sports Colleges Innovation Awards 2010” will identify innovation and enable the trust to showcase good practice that will “help shape delivery and support the challenges faced in 21st century schools”.

Sport England seeks innovation
Sport England is inviting applications from within and beyond the sports system for their new Innovation Fund. Their chair, Richard Lewis, said: “Great ideas are priceless, so we need to do all we can to encourage innovative thinking if we’re to achieve a genuine breakthrough in growing sports participation.” The fund totals £5 million and is aimed at finding ways to unlock a major barrier to participation, exploit technology to deliver sport at new times, in new settings or to new audiences or to inspire more people to take up a sport by creatively adapting an existing game. Anyone for playground parkour?

Coaching framework expanding
Coaching developers from eighteen sports are being courted by Sportscoach UK as the agency seeks to add to the 31 sports already fully engaged with the UK Coaching Framework. Eighteen sports, from boccia to surf lifesaving and from bowls to parkour, were invited to Loughborough to be briefed on development in the UKCF and the state of play with the UK Coaching Certificate.

Etesia does it at Hartpury

In an effort to help students in landscaping and horticulture gain experience in operating outdoor powered equipment, European manufacturer Etesia is lending Gloucestershire’s Hartpury College the company’s South of England demonstration fleet of pedestrian and ride-on rotaries. The kit will stored at the college and used for practical course-work. The arrangement also means that Hartpury’s grounds team can play with equipment that they would not otherwise have an opportunity to use. Sports turf manager Stewart Ward, whose team of seven groundsmen maintains five football pitches and eight rugby pitches on the 800-acre campus, reckoned that: “The practical nature of our courses provides hands-on experience which is so valuable in future careers.”

Swimming solution for the Quiet Ones
Oldham Leisure Centre has been able to welcome Oldham Quiet Ones, a support group for people with throat cancer, to its pool with the help of some innovative swimming equipment. Following a £5,000 lottery grant, patients with a laryngectomy have been able to use a larcel, a breathing device similar to a snorkel, which prevents water from entering the lungs. Without a voice box, laryngetomees cannot talk (hence the group’s name) and often communicate in an artificial voice through a speaking valve in their windpipe. The swimming sessions are silent because the larkel blocks the speaking valve. As Janice Lang, the speech and language therapist who founded the Quiet Ones and runs the swimming club, explained, the club, its members and the leisure centre have had to solve some problems along the way. “For many of the participants this is a huge step,” she said. “This club has given them the freedom to take part in an activity that many never felt they would be able to do again.” The swimmers initially attend a training programme in Liverpool run by Aintree Swimming Club, where they are fitted with a larcel, taught how to use it and given a thorough health and safety briefing. To ensure the sessions run smoothly Oldham Leisure Centre has a risk assessment and safety measures in place, including adapted rescue techniques and specialised equipment in case of an emergency.
“A lot of pools won’t let people with laryngectomies in as they’re not happy to have a ‘high-risk’ group of people in the water,” said Lang. “But Oldham Leisure Centre were brilliant. They said we could have a private session once a month and we did special ‘neck to mouth’ resuscitation training for their staff.”

Gerflor lay about them
Sports flooring experts Gerflor are unveiling an innovative new system in their Taraflex range at St Andrews School, Leatherhead in Surrey. Developed in response to a change in European building regulations Dry-Tex doesn't need any damp proof membranes and can go down on to essentially wet concrete saving time and money. Vagg Flooring installed the system and their managing director, Stuart Varndall told us: “This is a genuine innovation that will help keep the school build programme on plan. We installed Dry-Tex because Taraflex is proven as a sports floor and the new technology helped to save both time and money.” Several more installations are planned, one at the other end of the country at Gordonstoun School in Elgin. Prince Charles will be pleased.

SHOKK, the company that specialises in youth activity, has been appointed North West Centre of Vocational Excellence by the National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure.  SHOKK will now responsible for the delivery of youth-oriented training provision in the North West. The will be working with Trafford College and Salford University to coordinate and deliver their youth training offerings.


Around the corridors

The government and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) announced that £324 million of the Olympic budget would be invested in the Olympic Village. The official story is that a private sector deal from Lend Lease and its banking consortium was on offer but the recession meant the public sector would be carrying “an increased level of risk”. Ministers thererfore decided “that the Lend Lease deal is not in the best interests of the taxpayer and that it would cost more public money in the long term”. Government funding for a £1.9 million apprenticeship expansion programme in sport and active leisure, which will recruit, train, place and mentor over 1,400 people in the next two years, has also been announced. The National Skills Academy says this will play a vital role in developing skills across the country and delivering the skilled resources needed for health agendas like Change4Life to succeed. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has unveiled ‘in-principle’ approval for a new visitor centre “to help bring alive the mystery and majesty of Stonehenge”. The DCMS has also launched a new strategy to engage with and support the voluntary and community sector. The DCMS Third Sector Strategy is available via the DCMS website.


2012: it’s coming!

With work on the Olympic stadium now a year old (see the article elsewhere in this issue), the Olympic Development Authority are telling everyone that the foundations for the velodrome are already complete. Work is also “racing ahead” at the Stratford regional station, where the capacity of the station will treble, and construction work has started on the Greenway, a cycle and walking route to the Olympic Park. The Greenway will regenerate a 2.3km stretch to link the Olympic Park to Victoria Park and West Ham station. A resurfaced and wider cycle and footpath, new signage, seating and improved access points will open the Greenway to thousands of spectators during the Games and local people in legacy. McCann Worldgroup has been appointed as LOCOG’s official marketing services provider and will be a Tier Three sponsor. LOCOG and th ODA have announced an initiative to work with the construction industry to seek the highest environmental and social standards for the PVC materials needed for temporary buildings, such as the basketball arena, and for the temporary components of permanent venues, such as the Olympic stadium.


Who’s whom

Steve Franks will be leaving his role as the Swimming Teachers’ Association’s operations director at the end of the month to pursue a new career opportunity in the commercial swimming sector. Steve has been with the STA since 2002 and will continue to work closely with the STA on a consultancy basis to help develop key projects. UK Sport has announced Matt Favier as head of performance solutions. He will join the performance team, led by Peter Keen, at the end of June. The National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure has unveiled Peter Cooke as business development director for London and Julia Whitehead who joins as business development manager for the South East. Simon Lillistone has been appointed cycling manager for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. He will look after all cycling events which will take place at the velopark in the Olympic Park, the road races around London  and the mountain bike events at Hadleigh Farm in Essex




News in brief
Staccato reports from the cultural typeface

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Capitalize capitalise
Marketing agency Capitalize have announced one new and one retained customer this month with three-year veterans of the Capitalize stable, Sport Tae Kwan Do UK, being joined – and slightly eclipsed – by the acquisition as a client of Team Columbia-Highroad,  the cycling outfit that boasts as its front-man Mark Cavendish. "Cav" (that's him third place) won four Tour de France stages last year and bagged three in this year's Giro d'Italia but is the first to acknowledge that his team make this possible. Capitalize will be keen to make the most of Cavendish's high profile as rumour-mongers seem intent on linking him with David Brailsford's new GB road racing squad due to be launched next year.

'Heavyweights' team up for charity
Former England cricket captain Mike Gatting was pressed into willing service as barman when Marston’s launched its new Lord’s Taverners ale at Lord’s recently. A proportion of the price of each pint sold will be donated by Marston’s to the Lord’s Taverners, which supports grass-roots cricket throughout the country. The Taverners have distributed over £30m to schools, clubs and special needs organisations in the UK in the last decade. The publicity for the launch includes the phrase “the two cricket heavyweights” but as one of the interested parties is a brewing company we can only infer that the Lord’s Taverners and Mr Gatting are the heavyweights in question.

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