Edition number 32; dateline 2 October 2009

No enigma for Bletchley’s new leisure centre
Milton Keynes Council has announced that Hertsmere Charitable Leisure Trust will run the new £21 million Bletchley leisure centre, which will open its doors to the public on 3 January next year. The centre, which will have an environmental assessment rating of “excellent”, will boast a 25 metre pool, four squash courts, a six-badminton court sports hall, gymnastics hall, a seven-rink bowls hall and café. MKC leisure spokesman Paul Sanders said, “We have come a long way with this regeneration project for Bletchley and we are delighted to be forming this new operational partnership with the Hertsmere Trust. The opening could not be better timed for a great new year start when many people want to make those resolutions to get more active and fitter.” Hertsmere Leisure Trust’s chief executive, Phil Collins, added, “We are absolutely delighted to be chosen as the operator and are very much looking forward to working with MKC.”

Numbers continue to impress Old Etonian
British Cycling’s relationship with Sky continues to bring dividends with 65,000 people taking part in the latest ‘Skyride’ in London. Mayor Boris – a man more usually trusted with Latin ablative plurals rather than numbers – said, “Today has been what we think is the largest bike ride of its kind ever to be held in London. It is a fitting conclusion to a fantastic summer of cycling, in which more and more people have discovered that ours is a fantastic city in which to go by two wheels.” Johnson was photographed with children around him and no helmet, demonstrating that he has more trust in fellow road-users than the average urban cyclist.

Beach-based development for Bridgend
School students from Bridgend have taken part in the county borough’s first inter-schools surfing festival following a summer of surfing development sessions supported by the Sports Council for Wales. The programme has been led by Bridgend County Youth Service, who have established links with the Active Young People department. More than 150 young people took part in a day that also featured sand-soccer, tag rugby, dance and beach volleyball.

Kings of the console
UK Sport’s 2009 Ideas4innovation new researchers award has been won by two students from courses related to computer games at Sheffield Hallam University. Varun Kadle and Mangala Kodagoda came up with a tool to assist athletes in their preparation for performing at competition venues. When developed with help from UK Sport, the tool will enable athletes to familiarise themselves with their competition arena and devise a strategy prior to any competitive event. Sadly, the Garage Innovators award for home-based boffins went unawarded.

Happy and healthy: a new generation of women
Research from the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) in partnership with the Fitness Industry Association (FIA) says that exercise can play a powerful part in helping young women tackle negative body image and low confidence. The Sweat in the City (SitC) initiative gave over 2000 inactive 16 to 24 year old women a three-month free and mentored gym membership, and followed their journey. The results reveal the diverse benefits of exercise and important lessons on tackling the crisis in physical activity among women and girls. Sue Tibballs, WSFF chief executive, said, “Given how many women lack body confidence, it is ironic that so many reject the one thing that can make them feel better. If sport and exercise is shaped in a way which suits women, so it is feminine and fun, we can make taking part more attractive and help create a next generation of happier and healthy women.”

The coaching chain gang
Sports Coach UK have opened nominations for the UK Coaching Awards. Seven categories are up for grabs, including the innovative “coaching chain” award that recognises the numerous coaches who have worked with a single athlete all the way to the podium.

Winning waterways in the West
British Waterways has announced that the overall winner of the Waterways Excellence Awards 2009 is the project that has seen the repair and re-opening of the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal. Speaking after the judging of the awards, BW’s chief executive, Robin Evans, said, “I was particularly impressed by two recurring themes: appreciation of the heritage and involvement of volunteers. Getting the best out of all BW’s resources and people was another recurring theme, as was partnerships, with a truly inspiring variety of outside organisations and people.” He noted that the winning project “had huge complexity in its design, execution and involvement of outside parties” and it was evident “that there was huge pride in what had been achieved by our bank staff, who made a major contribution, by the local managers, who dealt with stakeholders so effectively, and by the central experts, who helped find and then deliver the right solution to time and budget.”

New mower news
East Riding of Yorkshire Council has replaced half its fleet of mowers with 16 Hayter LT324 triple turf mowers. The council looks after 1,070 hectares of highway verges and 133 school grounds as well as parks and open spaces, ornamental lawns, playing fields and cemeteries. Being in Yorkshire, the council is “extremely cost conscious with a cost per hectare managed of £3,160 against the national average of £5,225.” “The LT324 is ideal for our work” said resource officer Andy Harper. “It uses less fuel than other machines, saving thousands of pounds over its lifetime.”

Bee for Litherland
Sefton’s reputation for innovative partnership working has been further enhanced by the announcement of a scheme linking beekeeping and canals under the auspices of their Arts for Places project. Britain’s bee colonies are suffering unsustainably high losses and British Waterways is keen to see the development of green corridors centred on canals. Five new hives will be sited along the Leeds and Liverpool canal in Litherland and ten members of the local community have trained as beekeepers to tend them. Paul Kelly, housing market renewal public realm manager, said, “The Art for Places Project in Sefton is engaging with residents on a number of projects centred around the Leeds and Liverpool canal ahead of a spectacular moveable artistic structure being built there. Introducing honeybees to the area is an exciting part of this initiative and will hopefully go some way to help keep them sustainable, as well as offer people living there the skills to look after them.”

Sports Club of the Year awards 2010
The CCPR announced the launch of the 2010 Sports Club of the Year awards in association with the Foundation for Sport and the Arts (FSA) and Runningsports. The awards will recognise sports clubs that have made an outstanding contribution within their community. There is a total prize fund of £15,000.

Euro success for GB goalball
The Great Britain women’s goalball team sprung a surprise when they were crowned European champions after beating Denmark in the final. Head coach Tabo Huntley said, “Once we beat Russia in the quarter finals with a golden goal, I knew that we were capable of beating any of the sides on the day. We’d done our homework and it paid off. I’m thrilled with the progress our team has made and we’re all now looking forward to the World Championships in Sheffield in 2010.”

PTA network offers help to sports development
A new social networking site that allows parent teacher associations (PTA) to share ideas, resources, suppliers and create new fundraising opportunities is offering its services to agencies and local authorities looking to publicise the benefits of their sports development and other community activities. Richard Manville of PTAlocal explained that they had been contacted by the Wigan sports development unit when they were looking for ways to promote their schools coaching service and the PTA network had been able to help. According to the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations (NCPTA), there are over 13,000 PTAs across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which represents a sizeable potential market.


News that almost escaped the net
The National Gallery is hosting “a celebration of creative work by visitors of all ages” in the Learning Gallery. Running until 29 November, the display includes drawings, photographs and creative writing produced by participants in a range of the National Gallery’s education programmes. The ISRM has said that it “wholeheartedly welcomes” the Independent Safeguarding Authority’s guidelines on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. Sporta has noticed that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has recognised the work of its members as an ‘excellent example of a good social enterprise’ in the department’s Third Sector Strategy publication. Leisure-net Solutions is launching its third annual call-Focus survey to test whether the industry is answering telephone membership enquiries more quickly and efficiently than it used to. Lifetime has launched a government funded apprenticeship in leisure operations. Work and pensions secretary, Yvette Cooper, has announced funding for the creation of 2,000 new jobs in sport through the National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure via the £1 billion Future Jobs Fund. BISL will be hosting a conference at Lord’s Cricket Ground in November with the highly imaginative theme of ‘SPORT and LEISURE – The Decade Ahead’ [sic; strident approach to capital letters model’s own].

Rising in the East End
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is keen to report that the clean-up of the 2.5km2 Olympic Park, is almost complete and on track to beat its sustainability targets. More than 1,000 UK businesses have to date won contracts worth over £5bn from ODA. Ten London women have completed their training to become bus drivers on the Olympic Park as part of the London 2012 Women’s Project. The 4,500 tonne steel structure of the London 2012 International Broadcast Centre has been completed in just ten weeks.


Who’s whom can now be found on the new People Page.

Download a pdf version of this article for printing




News in brief
Staccato reports from the cultural typeface

last edition

news daily


other news


AN OXFORD SECRET: The Ashmolean in Oxford is scheduled to reopen on Saturday 7 November following a £61 million redevelopment that has doubled its display space. The project has been funded with a £15 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, additional support from the Linbury Trust and contributions from numerous trusts, foundations and individuals. Designed by award-winning Rick Mather Architect, the new building is located to the north of Charles Cockerell’s original museum built in 1845 and comprises 39 new galleries, including four temporary exhibition galleries, a new education centre, state-of-the-art conservation studios, and Oxford’s first rooftop restaurant.



SLACK LINES TIGHTENED: The sport of angling took a big step forward when Sport England awarded the Angling Trust formal recognition as the national governing body (NGB) for game, sea and coarse angling. One NGB for a notoriously fractious sport should help development and recognition, as Mark Lloyd, Angling Trust chief executive, explained: “At last angling has a single membership organisation recognised by government to represent the voice of anglers and the future of their sport. This builds on the recent success of the Angling Development Board in getting angling recognised and funded as a sport by Sport England. Angling clubs who are members of the Angling Trust will now find it easier to get support and funding from their local authorities and county sport partnerships.”

an independent view for the leisure industry








about us

contact us