Edition number 41; dateline 30 July 2010

CCPR no more
The CCPR, the organisation once known as the Central Council for Physical Recreation, is soon to become the organisation once known as the CCPR. At its recent annual general meeting, the CCPR passed a special resolution to change the organisation’s name to the Sport and Recreation Alliance. The vote was apparently carried by all but two abstentions and the next step will be to get working on producing a “visual identity” for this new incarnation.

Amaechi centre stage at Manchester clubs event
Manchester City Council’s first ever Sports Club Conference at the City of Manchester Stadium attracted 150 coaches, officials and volunteers from a vast array of the city’s sports clubs. The event, which is intended to become an annual feature of the Manchester sporting calendar, brought clubs together to learn new skills, receive key information, share best practice and network with clubs from their own and other sports. The event provided training in safeguarding, first aid, equity and disability awareness and updating around funding, valuing your volunteers and engaging Manchester's communities. Executive member for culture and leisure, Mike Amesbury, opened the conference by thanking the delegates for their hours of countless volunteering that enables Mancunians to participate in sport but he was somewhat upstaged by former NBA basketball star John Amaechi, who praised the work of clubs, coaches and volunteers but challenged his audience to make a difference to young people’s lives. As one conference delegate put it: “Very impressive, great support to clubs, which is how it should be. Well done, look forward to next year.”

More awards for Water Babies
Baby-swimming experts Water Babies have won the best national baby and toddler development activity category in the What’s On 4 2010 awards, the third time the company has won this particular prize. Sponsored by Prima Baby and Pregnancy magazine, the awards aim to celebrate and support the best children’s activities across the UK as voted for by parents. Water Babies teach more than 20,000 babies every week through an expanding network of franchised businesses in the UK, Ireland and Australia. Jess Thompson, who founded Water Babies with her husband, Paul, in 2002, suggested that the award reflected the company’s passion for their work: “I’m delighted that Water Babies has been recognised in this way, especially as we’re the only swimming company to have won four national awards in the last three years.”

New report reveals swimming pool proximity
According to the recently published State of the UK Swimming Industry report 84.3% of the UK population live within two miles of a public or private swimming pool. The document also reveals that the public have a choice of 4,674 swimming pool facilities across the UK and that 39 new private and public pools opened in the 12 months to end of March 2010. Published by the Leisure Database Company, the report also includes an overview of other facilities available at pools and of refurbishments at UK pools. The report has received the enthusiastic endorsement of numerous luminaries across the world of leisure facility provision, including: David Sparkes, chief executive of the Amateur Swimming Association; Tim Lamb, chief executive of the erstwhile CCPR; and even Ian Wakefield, business development manager, of the Institute of Sport and Recreation Management (ISRM), soon to be subsumed into the Loughborough-based Chartered Institute of Sport.

Positive development for Midlands consultancy
West Midlands sports management consultancy Sport Structures has celebrated its eighth birthday by taking on two new consultants and promising to respond to the needs of a sector beset by uncertainty and economic constraints. Head man Simon Kirkland was bullish: “We have appointed two experts in the field to support our already extensive consultancy services. Ajay Sharma and Adrian Bradley join us with significant current practice and experience in sport and leisure to further develop our consultancy services. Many of our clients, we feel, will need this expertise to support them through these difficult times.”

Leveraged support for local people
Derbyshire villages can look forward to multi-sports clubs for kids, stretching classes for older people and weekend cycling groups with the announcement that social enterprise, the Community Sports Trust, have completed their team of co-ordinators to support villages throughout the county. The Village Games team will offer advice to village groups, sports clubs, and keen individuals who want to get things started in their locality. Hayley Lever, project manager said: “We have just completed the induction of seven superb development workers who will be there to help get new activities going”.

National plea for local culture
The National Culture Forum (NCF,) which represents the major professional associations working across culture and leisure, has responded to the secretary of state for culture, media and sport’s explanation of this sector’s part in the government’s “bonfire of the quangos” with a plea to recognise the local importance of cultural services. Chair Richard Hunt argued: “What counts for local communities is what these changes will mean for them in their ability to access the cultural and sporting facilities and programmes which mean so much to the quality of their everyday lives. People participate in these activities because they enjoy them, but they are vital also for everyone’s individual and social well-being – their mental and physical health, the cohesion of the communities in which they live and all the other benefits which ‘The Big Society’ idea aims to achieve.” He added: “NCF will welcome talking with ministers about how together we can ensure that at local level services are protected and the best outcomes are realised for people across the UK.”

Trough on legs on show
Surrey-based DJ Turfcare are looking forward to IOG Saltex – the major industry exhibition in September – with the launch of their latest product for gardeners with bad backs: the Veg-Table. It seems that “now you can grow your vegetables and plants the easy way at a height to suit you”, as the rather chi chi looking trough is actually a “raised garden bed made from treated timber and lined with waterproof material to provide the perfect-height garden on patios, courtyards and other areas where there is no soil”. David Jenkins, managing director of DJ Turfcare, says: “The Veg-Table is a true British product, made in Surrey from treated timber that really lasts. We find this to be the ideal solution for giving the disabled and elderly a simple solution to gardening without bending and digging.”

Lauren’s lorra, lorra volunteering
Merseyside Sport are singing the praises of young volunteer Lauren Lynch from St Helens who has been presented with the coveted Diana Award in recognition of having given 1,500 hours of her time to volunteering at the St Helens Centre for Gymnastics over the last 18 months as part of the Step into Sport scheme. The Diana Award recognises the hard work and dedication of young people who selflessly give their own time to help others and Lauren’s well deserved award was presented by rugby league player Kieron Cunningham who, in St Helens, is pretty much royalty.


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K&A IN STATUS BID: A six-week public consultation has been launched on proposals to reclassify the 87-mile Kennet and Avon Canal as a national ‘cruiseway’. Success would mean that the canal, which runs between Newbury and Bath, would have its maintenance requirements upgraded and move a little further away from the dereliction that threatens it. It would also help mark the route's bicentenary. Efforts to upgrade the 200-year-old waterway from ‘remainder’ status – one step above 'derelict' – have been put forward by the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust (KACT), British Waterways (BW) and canal supporters. Many of the boat-bound visitors to this year’s IWA Festival at Beale Park on the Thames near Goring will have travelled along the K&A and will agree with BW waterway manager Mark Stephens, who said: “We think that the formalisation of this status is beneficial to the canal, helping to secure its long term future by legally stating that the canal should be maintained to a level whereby cruising craft, such as narrowboats, can safely navigate the length of the canal.”
the world of leisure
The national press from a cultural perspective

Saturday 14 August
That noted old socialist Sir Alex Ferguson urges Manchester United’s fans to get behind the Glazers. Barack Obama spends a couple of days on holiday in Florida in an effort to boost the region’s oil-hit tourism industry. The Edinburgh festivals could be in for tough times as businesses and the city council look to cut back on financial support; the council is considering a bed tax, much to hoteliers’ dismay.

Sunday 15 August
The latest thing at summer music festivals is informal volunteer security teams. Armando Ianucci writes in the Observer to point out that every time the UK Film Council invests a pound five pounds result. It seems that quite a few people who work in London are living as permanent campers on some of the capital’s camp sites. At total of eighteen medals for British swimmers, including gold for Rebecca Adlington, as the European championships come to a close.

Monday 16 August
The scramble for university places and funding among students will see more students doing part-time degrees while living at home, according to some university experts. Sir Ian Gilmore, former president of the Royal College of Physicians, adds his voice to those calling for serious consideration of the legalisation of drugs. In Germany legislation is going through parliament that will stop local residents objecting to the siting of kindergarten and children’s play facilities on the grounds of noise nuisance; it’s standard legal practice at the moment, apparently. Casino operator Regency Entertainment is struggling under €557 million of debt and things look grim.

Tuesday 17 August
Arsenal are to offer shares and a role in the governance of the club. The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, New York is working on digitising recordings in the Savory Collection, a legendary collection of hundreds of recordings of the jazz greats made by William Savory, a radio sound engineer, that have to date been heard by only a few people. A slight draw back for South Australia’s latest marketing ruse [see WoL passim]: another surfer has been eaten by a shark.

Wednesday 18 August
At the current rate of progress women can look forward to achieving equality of earnings with men in 57 years. ‘Vuvuzela’ makes the Oxford Dictionary of English. John Tiffany, associate director at the National Theatre of Scotland, urges the next generation to “radicalise and revolutionise”. Moscow city authorities are to ban the sale of spirits between 10pm and 10am in an effort to tackle the city’s raging alcoholism and in south London a bowls club has had its alcohol licence withdrawn following persistent rowdy behaviour. Realtime Worlds, the video gaming company that gave us Grand Theft Auto, has gone bust, putting 150 people out of work in Dundee. Legend of literary criticism Sir Frank Kermode dies at the age of 90.

Thursday 19 August
Universities minister (we’ll give you a minute or two… It’s David Willetts) says that students unable to get a place on degree courses should consider volunteering to expand their CV. Two British climbers are rescued by helicopter from near Mont Blanc after sending SOS texts to their friends in Shrewsbury. Jeffrey Lendrum, convicted egg smuggler, is jailed. Contenders for the Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth go on show; works include a church pipe organ, a child on a rocking horse and – the headline-writers’ favourite – a huge cockerel. Fred Turok, chairman of LA Fitness, says that gyms are 50% empty during off-peak times and “the question is how do we use our industry’s spare capacity”. In Zurich Mo Farah breaks David Moorcroft’s 28-year-old British record for the 5,000 metres. In Spain forty people are injured when a bull leaps the barriers and runs among the crowd.

Friday 20 August
Defra announces significant expansion of protection for bird and sea life around the coast of Britain. AS Byatt says that the Orange Prize, which recognises women fiction writers, is a sexist prize. The Cabinet War Rooms host an event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Churchill’s speech that gave rise to the notion of the Few (“Never in the field of human conflict…”). In Italy the argument over state control of local cultural sites goes to Rome; the city is demanding 30% of the revenue generated by the Coliseum’s four million visitors per year. The women’s rugby world cup begins in Surrey with sell-out crowds and a haka

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