Edition number 42; 27 August 2010

STA link with The Leisure Review
The Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA), the international experts in safety training solutions and an influential player in the sport and leisure sector in this country and abroad, has become a Premium Partner of The Leisure Review. After signing the deal STA business development director Alan Siddons explained the rationale behind the arrangement: “This partnership provides the STA with the opportunity to share its opinions, thoughts and expertise with the key thought-leaders in the sector and to support a title that stands for integrity, intelligence and independence, qualities we believe the industry needs at this time.” Jonathan Ives, the magazine’s editor, was more than pleased: “We have always sought to be part of the industry we commentate on and to work with key people within it. The STA is a great example of a not-for-profit organisation that uses sound business principles to maximise its charitable objectives. We know we are going to enjoy working with like-minded people.” The STA prides itself on offering the highest quality training, delivered by trained professionals and backed by experience. “These are the fundamental principles upon which STA has earned its enviable reputation,” Alan said. “As a result, the STA has experienced rapid and sustained growth in market share and is unquestionably a leading training provider in the leisure industry both nationally and internationally. Our teaching practices, training programmes and standards have been adopted in over 25 counties throughout the world.” The STA is essentially a multi-service provider, offering development and delivery of vocational training, and a comprehensive range of accredited qualifications and awards across four key business areas: swimming teaching, lifesaving, first aid and leisure management. “Being a registered charity and an awarding body with both QCF and SQA approval, the STA is completely independent, self-funded and is devoid of government intervention,” Alan said. “Consequently, the STA has the freedom and flexibility to facilitate customer requirements on an individual basis, however demanding.”

Volunteering Insight gets KAM’s thumbs up
In an eye-catching move, sports development consultancy KAM Ltd has become title sponsor for The Leisure Review and Sports Marketing Network’sInsight session on volunteering planned for 27 September in Swindon. Kay Adkins, managing director of the Derbyshire-based company which was chosen by the London Borough of Newham to develop local volunteers for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, explained what drew her to support the event: “The Insight session programme is designed to stimulate debate about key issues in our sector and with David Cameron’s talk of the Big Society plus the drive towards 2012, volunteering is critically important to the vitality of sport, leisure and culture. As a profession we need to come to terms with the place of volunteers and as volunteers we need to understand the constraints that the professional in the system are operating under. This event, a mixture of information giving, awareness raising and crucially debate, can only help.” Volunteering: can’t live with them, can’t do it without them is being hosted by the Wiltshire and Swindon Sports Partnership (WASP) at the PGL Liddington site just off junction 10 of the M4 from 4pm to 7pm on 27 September. Full details can be found at The Leisure Review's events page.

The Leisure Review symposium: now booking fast
Following the announcement of The Leisure Review symposium in the last issue of TLR, we are pleased to be able to report that senior figures within the sport, leisure and culture sector have received our invitation and responded to our challenge to formulate a vision of a viable future for the leisure industry. The symposium will be held at Wadham College, Oxford on 31 March and 1 April 2011. Full details can be found via the TLR events page or by the oh-so-clever links from the symposium logo but, with places strictly limited in order to facilitate debate and discussion, you may be well advised to book early.

Breakfast at Eversheds
Business in Sport and Leisure (BISL) will be hosting a breakfast workshop at city law firm Eversheds from 8am on Thursday 23d September with Sport England’s Jennie Price discussing how to deliver effective leadership in an organisation. Price has extensive public and private sector experience, having worked at  the Waste and Resources Action Programme, a national recycling programme, before joining the now-threatened national agency for sports development.

Dinner at the Adelphi
Merseyside Sports Partnership are leading the way in modelling support for sport’s volunteers by issuing an early invitation to their 2010 Sporting Champions dinner to be held at Liverpool’s iconic Adelphi Hotel on 12 November. The dinner will recognise and reward the hard work and dedication of people involved in sport on Merseyside, from community volunteers to the sporting elite, while raising money for local bursary funds to help young people pay for transport to sports competitions, professional coaching and sports equipment and helping our future sporting champions to achieve their potential. Businesses can contribute to these excellent causes while gleaning valuable profile by sponsoring one of the evening’s awards, including coach of the year, the blue riband award.

Sterling work in Stirling
Stirling University is set to develop Scotland’s first national centre for taekwondo to prepare athletes for world-level competition with 30 top players from Scotland, Norway and South Korea on campus in August for an 8-day development camp. The national centre idea is supported by the university and by Taekwando Scotland.

Hidden in plain sight
Given that 51% of all volunteers in the UK are engaged in the sport and leisure sector, many of our readers might find themselves constrained to seek to influence the findings of the Volunteer Rights Inquiry by completing the stakeholder response form on the Volunteering England website. No tick box exercise this, however, with the first question alone belying the claim that “Inquiry members firmly believe that the solutions to address this important issue must come from a co-productive approach with the wider volunteering movement”. Perhaps someone at VE – who pride themselves, corporately, on their use of English – could put into plain language this question: “Proportionality, reciprocity and parity of esteem; are these the right principles to deploy in the search for practicable, affordable and sustainable solutions?” Give that to your local street hockey club secretary and watch her rush to be “co-productive”.

Customer care within the M25
London facility management company GLL have added five Customer Service Excellence (CSE) awards to their groaning corporate trophy cabinet. Last month the biggest social enterprise in Britain was awarded the Carbon Trust Standard for measuring, managing and reducing its carbon emissions and now six of the centres the trust manages on behalf of Waltham Forest have scored top marks in a rigorous assessment to receive the new Cabinet Office quality mark for customer care. CSE assessor David Thornton “was particularly impressed by the work of the community development officers who identify services required by the most disadvantaged people in society whether this be due to physical or mental health disabilities or lack of finance”.

Top sports schools sought
Our friends at the Daily Telegraph have launched their search for 10 category winners in their annual School Sport Matters awards. Their justification for the campaign might cause Baroness Campbell to choke on her Weetabix [Surely Sainsbury’s own brand breakfast cereal? Ed] painting as it does a picture of declining standards and general fat-kidness (or childhood obesity) but even she wouldn’t cavil at the recognition that there needs to be both “state school of the year” and “independent school of the year” awards if anybody from the former category is to win anything. Doubtless the judging panel of rent-a-celebs, including Kelly Holmes, James Cracknell “and a host of other sporting luminaries”, will include a few specialist sports colleges in the top 10.

New on the block: Nordic walking
During September DC Leisure will be piloting Nordic walking programmes at three of its  locations. Rich Millard, DC Leisure’s client relations and sports development director, is hopeful that the pilots will introduce new converts to an increasingly popular outdoor activity. “We wanted to broaden our offerings to include outdoor fitness activity that would take full advantage of our sites’ beautiful locations,” he said. “All those who try Nordic walking agree that being outdoors is energising and that they feel fantastic afterwards. If the trials at the Fleming Park, Winchester and Wiltshire sites are successful we will look into rolling out Nordic walking programmes across more DC Leisure sites.” Nordic walking was originally used by cross-country skiers as a way to stay fit during the summer and uses specially designed poles to engage all the body’s major muscle groups.


Download a pdf version of this article for printing



News in brief
Staccato reports from the cultural typeface

last edition

news daily


other news


LONDON MAYOR RECOGNISES THE POWER OF SPORT: With every conversation seemingly dominated by public spending cuts and the need to lower any revenue expectations the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has bucked the trend by announcing a new fund to encourage investment in sport as a major factor in tackling crime and unemployment. The fund will make awards between £50,000 and £250,000 up to a total of £4 million over the next two years. Bids are invited from projects supporting ‘at risk’ young adults between 16 and 25, projects increasing participation in sport and projects promoting community development. Mayor Johnson said: “The beauty of sport is its ability to get people together from all backgrounds to join in positive activity. As well as helping young people stay healthy, it can provide immense mental stimulation and as such help tackle issues such as crime, educational underachievement and a lack of community cohesion. With the greatest sporting spectacular, the 2012 Games, soon upon us, we must not lose sight of our promise to deliver a genuine grassroots sporting legacy for all Londoners, including those who need our help the most. I want to support projects that help bring positive change to communities – from using sport to discipline and motivate vulnerable youngsters, to yoga classes for isolated older people that re-ignite neighbourly spirit. I am confident we will have a marvellous response, with projects reflective of the inspiration, innovation and passion that Londoners have in spades. Our Olympic and Paralympic legacy will come from supporting these kind of projects and I am excited by the potential for real change that this fund will unlock.”
the world of leisure
The national press from a cultural perspective

Tuesday 14 September
It seems that there are some concerns regarding the Catholic church’s understanding of what constitutes a reasonable child protection policy. The Health Protection Agency points an accusatory finger at British restaurants, particularly their dish cloths which are frequently less than pristine. The V&A announces plans for a exhibition dedicated to the aesthetic movement of the late 19th century. Steph Brennan, former Harlequins physio, is struck off.

Wednesday 15 September
The British fashion industry is worth £21 billion a year, according to a report commissioned by the British Fashion Council. More research, this time from Aberdeen University, says that exercise cannot solve the obesity crisis on its own; we also need to eat less. The Cyrus Cylinder, a 2,500-year-old Babylonian relic, goes on display in Iran on loan from the British Museum; it’s due to be returned in January and in Bloomsbury fingers are being crossed. The FA cost-cutting move of its offices from Soho Square to Wembley has cost £17 million. Chapeau!

Thursday 16 September
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in the UK. The Department for Communities and Local Government is rumoured to have agreed a 30% budget cut with the Treasury, indicating large-scale cuts for local authorities. Mervyn Westfield, a former Essex cricketer, is charged with spot-fixing. Another cricketer – make that ex-cricketer – Andrew Flintoff announces his retirement; that he does so on the last day of the county championship, thus stealing the headlines from champions Nottinghamshire, ensures disgruntlement in cricket circles. Mark Cavendish wins his third stage of the Vuelta a Espana.

Friday 17 September
The Italian culture ministry threatens to take control of the Venice film festival following accusations that the head of the festival jury, Quentin Tarrantino, has given all the prizes to his mates or former girlfriends. Works of art some 5,000 years old have been discovered at sites in Somaliland in eastern Africa by a team from University College London. File under ‘WTF’: a primary school in North Yorkshire has felt obliged to alter its arrangements for playtime following complaints about the noise from neighbouring residents. The Scottish Premier League is planning to restructure to counter dropping standards and falling interest; the Old Firm derbies will still take place four times a year. Dave Brailsford admits that British Cycling’s first Tour de France was a humbling experience.


More World of Leisure...




an independent view for the leisure industry








about us

contact us