Edition number 46; dateline 3 January 2011

Council says “not out” to development appeal
Plans to extend the Old Trafford home of Lancashire County Cricket Club (LCCC) is facing a legal challenge from a neighbouring retail park’s owners who are worried that the inclusion of a Tesco supermarket in the scheme alongside new pitches, two new grandstands and a new pavilion will affect business. Despite the appeal to Trafford Council, plans to upgrade the ground ahead of the 2013 Ashes series are going ahead and Jim Cumbes, secretary of the county club, has said: “LCCC has been in Old Trafford for 150 years and is seeking to secure a future for international cricket for the next century”, adding, “This action is about securing commercial gain at the expense of the LCCC’s sporting legacy for schools, community groups and young people in the North West.”

IWA going for a Burton
The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) are looking for volunteers to help manage and deliver their national festival which this year is on Shobnall Fields in Burton-on-Trent from 29 to 31July. With well over 150 boats already booked and British Waterways (BW) dredging the Trent and Mersey canal to ensure that a record number of boats can be accommodated, the festival is a great place to use existing skills in a novel context for a good cause. 

Plus ça change at ISRM towers
The board of the Institute of Sport and Recreation Management (ISRM) is encouraging members to vote for amalgamation with the Institute of Sport, Parks and Leisure (ISPAL) whether or not the privy council has announced its decision on whether the new body thus produced will have chartered status. The Loughborough-based body is holding an EGM on 7 January and with chair Marc Newey admitting that “we are unlikely to hear the outcome of our application until January 2011” the meeting will be voting for something of a pig in a poke. It must be noted, however, that, with the new body to be based in the offices currently occupied by the ISRM, led by its current chief executive and with no ISPAL staff planning on the long commute from their Reading base to the East Midlands, it will probably be business as usual for ISRM staff as they set about delivering the “interim three year business plan from 2011, based largely on the current footprint of ISRM's revised business model” which Mr Newey and colleagues have put on the table.

Active endorsement in Merseyside
Merseyside Sports Partnership is combining the good news from the Active People survey and the traditional new year increase in good intentions to make the case for exercise of all kinds. The statistics that show more than one fifth of the local population is taking part in moderate exercise three times each week, prompting marketing officer for the partnership, Katie Crozier, to comment: “Sport is part of the culture of Merseyside and always will be. What is fascinating about this survey is that it shows not only that we are more active than the rest of the country but that we are also getting more physical year by year, which can only be a positive sign.” She went on to make the case for even more physical activity: “I would encourage everyone to look at ways to get more physically active in the new year as sport and physical activity are a great way to look after your health, control your weight and surprisingly keeping active gives you more energy and helps you to handle stress. Joining a local gym is great but it’s not for everyone. Keep looking until you find a form of exercise that fits into your life – it could be anything from football to yoga – and get support. By joining a community sports club you become part of a new social network and can support each other, which I have found to be a great way to keep you focused.”

Big pat on the back for GLL
Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) has been recognised by Number 10 Downing Street with one of David Cameron’s monthly ‘big society’ awards. Cameron is quoted as saying, “With its passion for providing affordable leisure and fitness facilities and dedication to encouraging a wide range of people to get involved in physical fitness, GLL has shown a real commitment to improving the lives of the communities it serves.” Managing director of the leisure trust, which runs over 70 facilities for 20 authorities in London and the south east, responded by saying the award was “a fantastic endorsement of our charitable, social, sport, health, business and environmental goals”.

Engel's Oxford lectures take a sporting theme
The News International visiting professor of media for 2010-11 at Oxford University, Matthew Engel, is presenting a series of four lectures during January and February with the title, ‘Please, mister, can we have our ball back? Sport, the media and the people.’ A columnist for the Financial Times, Engel has edited 12 editions of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack and in 25 years on the Guardian covered 70 different sports, from Olympics and World Cups to tiddlywinks and underwater hockey. The four lectures, which are open to the public, are titled:

Each of the lectures is scheduled to start at 5.15pm and full details can be found on the Green Templeton College website.

The Leisure Review will be attending the opening event and if any TLR reader would care to join the editor for a post-lecture tour of some of Oxford’s historic buildings, please drop us a line.

News from NEXT YEAR’S Olympics
LOCOG has launched a search for a specialist provider to design and deliver floral bouquets and arrangements for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In the stadium all the spectator seats are installed and the flagship venue’s floodlights have been turned on for the first time. The Royal Mint will be producing around 4,700 victory medals at their headquarters in Llantrisant, South Wales. Boris Johnson has announced that he has secured funding to ensure that one in eight London school children can watch the 2012 Games for free. Cate Blanchett, Toni Morrison, Olafur Eliasson, David Hockney, Mike Leigh, Jude Law and Damon Albarn, Rufus Norris and Jamie Hewlett are some of the artists in the first group of commissions and special projects for the London 2012 Festival, a 12-week UK-wide cultural celebration opening on midsummer’s day 21 June 2012 and running until the last day of the London 2012 Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012.

Other news that may have made it on other occasions
Visitors to the Tower of London are now able to participate in some of its most infamous and audacious escapes in the places they really happened, with the launch of the London landmark’s first ever iPhone app. DC Leisure won the title ‘Facility Operator of the Year 2010’ at the Kellogg’s ASA Swimtastic Awards. 82 year old Weston Towler claimed a gold medal at the British indoor rowing championships (BIRC) held in Birmingham with a time of 8 minutes 41.6 seconds over 2,000 metres. Leisure-net Solutions has become one of only four consultancies in the UK to be officially certified as a Net Promoter partner. Football legend Ian Wright is backing the Mayor of London’s call for more male mentors in the capital. Ian will front a new poster campaign urging people to sign up and make a real difference to a young person’s life. Britain’s Ben Ainslie, skipper of TEAMORIGIN, has won his first ISAF Match Racing World Championship title by winning the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia. Tim Lamb has written to tell us that the Sport and Recreation Alliance is the new name for CCPR as of 1 December 2010. “I want to emphasise that we are still very much the same organisation, with the same excellent staff, focused on providing the same top quality service to the governing and representative bodies of sport and recreation,” he wrote. “All that has changed is our name.” Arsene Wenger and Harry Redknapp have lent their support to the Ambassadors programme, a drive to recruit 8,000 Ambassadors for the 2012 Games which has already signed up thousands of people form across the capital.


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WAVE OF EUPHORIA FOR LEE VALLEY: Evidence of the sporting and community legacy that has been predicted from the 2012 Olympics is being provided by the Lee Valley White Water Centre where the canoe slalom course has been completed on budget and 18 months early. Unveiled by HRH The Princess Royal the centre – the first brand new 2012 venue completed by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) – will be owned  and operated by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) as a sporting and leisure facility for canoeing and white water rafting, as well as a major competition and training venue. The venue will open to the public for rafting and canoeing in April 2011, delivering an early legacy over a year before the Games begin.
the world of leisure
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Wednesday 5 January
After two days of evenly matched Test cricket, England take charge of the fifth Test in Sydney. A Warhol owned and refined by the late Dennis Hopper (he used a gun to add the  personal touch to the work) goes on sale in New York. China and India are set to join the Venice Biennale. The new edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is to have racist epithets (essentially the N word and ‘injun’) expunged. HMV is planning to shut 60 of its UK stores. Sepp Blatter sets up a FIFA taskforce to explore improvements to the game of football, including, he suggests, more than three points for a win and an end to drawn games.

Thursday 6 January
The Commons public administration select committee says that the bonfire of the quangos has been a cock up, poorly managed and costing more than it will save. The Olympic Park Legacy Company reckons there will be one million visitors a year to the Anish Kapoor tower on site. The proposed high-speed rail link will have two million trees to combat noise pollution. The Procession of Calvary by Bruegel the Younger will be staying at Nostell Priory after funds are raised to save it from sale abroad. Sport England unveils plans to get more women playing sport, including netball, street games and cycling. The Rugby Football Union unveils a new structure for the organisation; Rob Andrew’s period in sole charge of elite performance is likely to come to an end. Cuba is to reopen to cruise liners, having pinned its hopes of economic recovery largely on tourism income. Former British heavyweight boxing champion Gary Mason is killed in a cycling accident aged 48.

Friday 7 January
Blimey: England have actually won the Ashes in Australia. Shameless, the television tale of Mancunian penury, is to be adapted for the US. The English National Opera is to broadcast opera live and in 3D. It is estimated that 800 libraries – one fifth of the total – are to be closed as local authorities attempt to make ends meet; and, as Ed Vaizey said before he got into government, the closure of libraries “is outrageous and offensive to everyone who ever cared about books and reading”. Zoe Smith, 16-year-old Commonwealth Games weightlifting medallist, has had her funding cut for being overweight.

Saturday 8 January
Withdrawal of the £38 million annual funding for Creative Partnerships, a scheme that improves the teaching of arts in schools, draws protests from many, including Sir Ian McKellen, who was able to point to the PwC research that shows every pound invested in the scheme generated 15 in economic benefits. The England and Wales Cricket Board is looking forward to a post-Ashes cash bonanza this summer from ticket sales and sponsorship. The British Medical Association reckons that art classes and leisure activities in hospitals would speed patients’ recovery. Having reached the age of 70, Barry Dennis, one of the last of the great showmen on the rails and perhaps Britain’s best-known bookie, is to retire; his son Patrick will be taking over the business if not the high-profile approach.

Sunday 9 January
“We’re all in this together” update: good to see the chancellor of the exchequer enjoying his leisure during his holiday to Kloisters. Researchers at McGill University in Canada suggest that music produces the same feelings of euphoria produced by food or drugs. In Spain the state broadcaster, TVE, is to stop showing bullfighting, prompting protests among those for whom killing animals in public is an intrinsic part of Spanish culture. Scotland is exploring the possibility of hosting the grand départ of the Tour de France.

Monday 10 January
“We’re all in this together” update encore: after all the bluster and manifesto promises there are to be no restrictions on the banking sector. MusicWeek magazine has studied the best-selling singles of 2010 and decided that rock and roll is dead. Edinburgh Zoo is to receive a giant panda from China. Rumours that the remake of film The Great Gatsby might be in 3-D provokes eye-rolling among cineastes. The FA’s new sponsor, Vauxhall (the motor manufacturer rather than the bridge), is keen to revive the home international tournament, last played in 1984 (Northern Ireland are the current holders).

Tuesday 11 January
The Institute of Contemporary Arts appoints Gregor Muir, a respected and highly credentialled gallerist, as its new executive director. In Spain City of Culture opens in Santiago de Compostela amid criticism that the €400 million cultural centre is not sustainable culturally or financially. Figures from UEFA show that more than half the football clubs in Europe’s top division are running at a loss. Stuart Pearce could be the coach to take the British football team into the London Olympics.

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