Edition number 38; dateline 30 April 2010

Farrant adds clarity on consultancy collapse
With rumours circulating about the financial future of recently conjoined consultancies PMP and Genesis, The Leisure Review sought clarification from the former’s chief executive Graham Farrant. He told us exclusively that: “In 2009 PMP Consultancy Ltd and Genesis Consulting Ltd merged their operations into a group shareholding structure to form Pmpgenesis. Due to banking and contractual requirements separate legal structures were maintained for each company to operate separately. This provided the potential to build a combined business from the strength of two long-standing brands, well known to the market for the quality of their people, products and services, with the Pmpgenesis brand being developed into the market over time. Each company continued to trade as a separate legal entity.” But all was not well with the Scottish half of the dream team. Farrant continued: “Due to the ongoing recession and the downturn in the public sector and business markets, the company arrangements were not sustainable and in February the Genesis directors took the decision to wind up Genesis Consulting Ltd as a separate trading company and focus future trading activities through Pmpgenesis.” Which would explain why former Genesis boss Alistair Gray is on the new brand’s website while many of his former colleagues are seeking work elsewhere. Finally, to avoid any confusion, Farrant reassured the industry that “Pmpgenesis, PMP Consultancy Ltd, and its major events division, PMPlegacy, will continue providing strategy, innovation, planning and organisational development expertise to their public and private sector clients. They will continue to work on major projects such as the FA’s bid for the World Cup in 2018 and with many major public and private partners across the, sport, leisure and business markets.”

That’s radical, man
The Working Class Movement Library in Salford is commemorating its founders Edmund and Ruth Frow with a lecture, poetry and music on 1 May at the Old Fire Station, Crescent, Salford. Between 1837 and 1852 the leading Chartist newspaper The Northern Star published over 1,000 poems by more than 350 poets, most of whom were ordinary working class people, and a selection of these will be read by Maxine Peake of Shameless, Dinnerladies, Early Doors and much, much more. Not only is it free but they’ll give you a cup of tea into the bargain. Hasta la revolucion!

Rugby League boys and girls get military mental strength
England Rugby League (not Great Britain note) have joined forces with the Royal Marines to promote leadership and mental strength among players involved at every level of the national teams structure. The partnership was launched on St George’s Day when representatives from the various England squads met Royal Marine personnel, climbed a wall, played with a big gun and went on a boat trip round the harbour. The Royal Marines, who have forged successful partnerships in recent years with the Rugby Football Union and the Cambridge University rowing team, now hope to propel England RL to the next level in time for the 2013 World Cup which is to be held in the UK. Lt Col Matt Jackson said, “Our strategic partnership will maximise the potential recruiting angle for both organisations, with particular emphasis for us on recruiting young Royal Marine officers”, while England prop Eorl Crabtree – famously nephew to Shirley ‘Big Daddy’ Crabtree – reckoned, “Hopefully this partnership will give us something different. It’s something we really haven’t done before is the mental toughness side of it.” Quite.

Workers play time at Sutcliffe’s
Sutcliffe Play has become the UK’s first and only employee-owned playground equipment manufacturer. Chairman Robin Sutcliffe, who is selling ownership of the company to its employees, said, “Employee ownership has been a dream for almost 50 years. From the day I joined the family business my ultimate aim was to one day hand the reins of our business to its employees.” Managing director Viv Jebson is confident that the company will continue to thrive under the ownership of its employees: “At a time when UK manufacturing industry has suffered we have continually performed above target and we are looking forward to continued growth in the knowledge that the future of the company is in our own hands.”

Group dynamics: health, sport and the role of teamwork
The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust is promoting a one-day seminar titled Me, My Team and I which promises to investigate “group dynamics at play in the world of sport and in the workplace”. Aimed at “anyone who talks and thinks about sport in the workplace (and those who have to listen!)”, the 11 June event boasts speakers Mike Brearley on leadership and BBC journalist Rob Nothman on “the team ethic – and why it can become a good walk spoiled”. If the event is half as good as the flyer – which includes the workshop descriptor “Thierry Henry may be the king, but the new prince has arrived. Henry and Reyes: envy, rivalry, inductions, inclusion and exclusion of new staff in the workplace” – the day will be well worth the £150 being asked.

STA puts the RFU online
A new online training service is to be launched by the Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA). The Rugby Football Union (RFU), until now not generally noted for its prowess in the pool, is to be among the first organisations to make use of the new system. The STA Training Portal will provide online access to a range of the STA’s teaching and qualifications. Under the arrangements with the RFU rugby coaches to be able to complete the non-practical elements of the STA’s rugby-specific first aid qualification online via the portal.


News in briefer
This summer the National Gallery will host Acts of Mercy, the first exhibition of works by Cayley Robinson to be shown in the UK for 30 years; they will also be staging Close Examination: Fakes, Mistakes and Discoveries which will celebrate the remarkable collaboration of scientists, conservators and art historians at the National Gallery. The ETU European Taekwondo Championships are in St Petersburg from 12 to 15 May. Barnsley Premier Leisure  has renewed its agreement to offer and deliver the Swimming Teachers’ Association’s full range of swimming teaching, first aid and pool plant qualifications, as well as using the STA’s International Learn to Swim Programme. Pendle Leisure Centre in Colne, Lancashire has refurbished its gym and upgraded its equipment to offer a range of unique kit from Physique. The Conservation Foundation has launched its London Green Corners Awards to find the beautiful, unusual, unexpected, inspirational, gorgeous, delicious and witty green corners. The Smart Card Networking Forum reckons that many local authorities are failing to use their card schemes to provide an integrated service to their local communities. Alex Fergusson, the MSP for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale has been appointed the Honorary President of STA Scotland. Leisure Industry Week 2010 will be taking place from the 21st-23rd September at the NEC Birmingham.

2012 and all that
Over one million people have registered for Olympic and Paralympic tickets, with 96% of registrations from the UK. LOCOG and UK Anti-Doping have signed a memorandum of understanding about how the doping control programme will be delivered at London 2012. Gymnova has become a tier 3 sponsor of London 2012, the 28th domestic sponsor overall and will provide all the equipment needed for the Gymnastics events at London 2012. The three concrete pools in the aquatics centre are being tested with over 10 million litres of water before being sealed and lined with 180,000 tiles. LOCOG has launched its official online shop at www.london2012.com/shop.



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While the seemingly endless arguments over planning, finance and whose fault it all was, the once-beautiful but now dangerously (and deliberately) dilapidated Battersea Power Station has reopened with the help of a marquee. A new marquee venue within the power station’s original boiler house opened for business, providing a 1,300 sq ft space that can hold 700 guests for dinner and up to 1,000 guests for a reception. The marquee also features a ten-metre clear roof, allowing views of Gilbert Scott’s celebrated structure. Capita Symonds have been working with Industri Management on safety plans, risk assessments and acoustic services for the site.

Photo: Rob Falconer
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May 2010: a selection

Tuesday 18 May
Some city types have run the World Cup through their computer and come up with an England win but, given that the same city types were unable to spot fraudulent trading on a massive scale or its likely implications for the global economy, no one pays them any attention. Gary Lineker discovers rather later than most that the Mail on Sunday, who published the Lord Triesman scam and, until now, Mr Lineker’s own column, is a paper of dubious ethical standing and decides to stop trousering their cash in protest. Experts at Kew Gardens have grown the world’s smallest water lily, saving it from extinction. The British Library announces that 40 million pages of its newspaper archives are to be made available digitally. Awards for two British wine growers, Camel Valley and Nyetimber, at the International Wine Challenge. The All England Club appoints an official poet for the Wimbledon championships and Elvis Costello says he won’t be performing in Israel in light of the occupation of Palestinian territory. The French government is to put 200 classics of French cinema online to encourage access by school film clubs. “We teach literature, music and theatre at school,” said Costa Gravas, president of the Paris Cinématheque, “and we believe it is essential that cinema be taught as well”. An alleged al-Qaida operative currently in custody says that his plans for bombing the World Cup in South Africa were “just an idea”. Greece reports the cancellation of more than 20,000 hotel bookings as the economic crisis continues; tourism accounts for nearly a fifth of the country’s economy. The 20 clubs of the Premier League had a combined turnover of £1.9 billion last year, a figure matched almost to the figure, give or take a few tens of millions, by the total of loans and investments from club owners. Greg Searle is named in the GB rowing squad at the age of 38, raising his hopes of an Olympic seat at the age of 40.

Wednesday 19 May
God help us: Wenlock and Mandeville, the London 2012 mascots, are unleashed on a bemused world. At least they make the logo look good. The late JG Farrell’s novel Troubles wins the Lost Booker award. The RIBA prize list includes a slew of cultural buildings, including an electricity substation on the London Olympics site. The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, makes his first speech, promising that “culture will not be singled out as a soft target”. Good news at last for the FA: in Spain La Liga’s clubs are €3.5 billion in debt. Personne or personnes unknown enter the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris under the cover of darkness and have it away with five paintings worth an estimated €500 million.

Thursday 20 May
Waking up to the enormity of last night’s art heist, Christophe Girard, deputy culture secretary, says, “This is a serious attack on the heritage of humanity.” Lily Allen wins three Ivor Novello awards for her songwriting. Devon wants its version of the cream tea to be recognised by the EU as worthy of protected designation of origin. Art Founders, 150-year-old company that has cast the works of almost every significant British sculptor of the last century, has gone into receivership. Floyd Landis surprises almost no one with a confession of long-term doping and allegations that others in the world of professional cycling are up to it as well; his former team mate Lance Armstrong sticks to his “I’ve never failed a drugs test” mantra. Lord Condon says that match fixing could spread through cricket like a rash if the cricket authorities don’t keep an eye on things.

Friday 21 May
Flashmobs are said to be organising in support of the BBC Asian Network. The Cycling Tourists Club says that women are disproportionately at risk from serious injury and death in road accidents, particularly in those accidents involving HGVs. The Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck (no, really), says that UEFA regulations requiring clubs to meet financial solvency standards, scheduled for introduction in 2012, will affect this summer’s contract negotiations.

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