Edition number 55; dateline 30 September 2011

Precor to support budget gym debate
Equipment suppliers Precor have underlined their support for the burgeoning budget gym sector by agreeing to partner The Leisure Review in delivering the latest of the magazine's round table debates. The debate will be held in Manchester just before Christmas and will bring together industry heavyweights from all shades of opinion, with The Leisure Review both ‘holding the ring’ on the day and ensuring the debate is fully recorded and recounted. Precor's Miles Rimell explained their involvement: “We identified from the outset how impactful and important the budget sector would be for our industry. As well as being a key supplier to budget clubs and chains, with recent installations for a number of clubs being testament to the fact that they are choosing to install quality equipment, we have also invested heavily in research. This round table event is a fantastic opportunity both to debate the future of the sector and also shape that future. The Leisure Review is an influential voice within the industry and we are pleased to be working with them to provide a service to the thought leaders who read the magazine and beyond.”

Tug boat company to boost community sport

Merseyside Sports Partnership have announced a partnership with a global leader in the world of towage, Svitzer UK. The company, whose tug boats help ships to berth safely in and out of the Mersey, has sponsored a range of sport equipment which will be used to offer sporting activities to parts of the local community that might not otherwise have had access. The kit, which can be used to play games and matches but can also be adapted for urban settings, restricted spaces and be used by people with mobility issues, has been supplied by Factory Eleven. Calum Donnelly from Merseyside Sports Partnership says: “It’s thanks to the generosity of Svitzer and of Factory Eleven who produce these sports kits that we are able to bring them to the local communities across Merseyside.”

Black and Backley say, “Jump”; you say, “How high?”
Playground equipment supplier Proludic have brought in two of the country’s most famous Olympians to help launch their new concept of “social fitness” which aims “to harness modern technology and community play areas to create a lasting national legacy for next year’s events in London”. Roger Black and Steve Backley have been engaged for the next year as virtual coaches for people using the company’s sport legacy zones where users can access their advice by “scanning QR codes” with their smartphones. 

CAMRA say, “Come down the pub”
As this issue goes to “press send” CAMRA will be starting their 2011 Cask Ale Week, during which they hope to encourage non-real ale drinkers to try real ale for the first time, encourage experienced real ale drinkers to go to real ale pubs throughout the week, encourage non-real ale pubs to stock real ale for the first time and encourage pubs to organise a number of real ale events to increase trial and improve their trade. Which is all very encouraging. Positive messages, exciting promotions and campaigns concealed as lash-ups: that’s how to change a culture.

Chinese use water for more than torture
China's largest indoor-come-outdoor waterpark, the Bali Waterpark, has opened in the city of Fushun. Themed as a Balinese tropical paradise, the waterpark features world firsts such as the Flume-in-Flume Viper, a very large waterslide that allows one tube to race inside another tube with guests in both.

Decisions, decisions for OCL
In a month in which Oldham Community Leisure became the first corporate member of the Institute of Management for Sport and Physical Activity it has been announced that their chief executive Ian Kendall is to resign, citing the short-term nature of Oldham Council’s commitment to the social enterprise he has headed up since 2003 as a factor in his decision.

Big bucks for Welsh coaching
Sport Wales have launched a six-year strategy which is the focal point of an additional £1 million worth of Assembly funding pledged towards coaching. The ambitious targets include  doubling the percentage of the Welsh adult population involved in coaching and volunteering to 10%, ensuring that 100% of coaches who are trained become active and the aspiration that every person who delivers coaching will be qualified.


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IN THE FAST LANE: LA fitness have launched what they are calling a "ground-breaking new partnership" with Community Swimming Ltd which will see LA fitness pools open to the local community as part of the aim of getting one million Britons swimming. The launch event saw five-time Olympic swimmer Mark Foster come together with Strictly Come Dancing judge and chanteuse Alesha Dixon who, it appears, is also the creative director for LA fitness.
the world of leisure
The national news from a cultural perspective

Friday 23 September
The BBC is planning to phase out pets on Blue Peter as part of an updating of the programme. Nobody panic but the boys and girls at Cern think that they may have found neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light. Schools commissioner Liz Sidwell reckons that white working-class culture is the hardest culture to change and British cyclist Lucy Garner wins the world junior women’s road race champion in Copenhagen. The IOC says it will investigate allegations that amateur boxing’s world governing body has accepted cash to deliver two gold medals to Azerbaijan at the London Olympics.

Saturday 24 September
The first major exhibition of the work of artist Ford Madox Brown for half a century opens at the Manchester Art Gallery. Climate change could render the climb to the summit of Everest an ice-free challenge, says the Mountain Institute. It seems fewer than one third of state schools have signed up for the government’s ‘school Olympics’.

Sunday 25 September
It seems the cost to Britain of bombing Libya could reach £1.75 billion, somewhat at odds with earlier estimates coming from the government benches [see WoL passim]. The Bodleian in Oxford is to exhibit some of its treasures while it prepares a new gallery for their display. Park Hill in Sheffield, the once-notorious housing development that has been regenerated by Urban Splash, is proving popular with potential tenants ahead of the release of the first flats. Barcelona holds its last bullfight. Mark Cavendish becomes the first winner of the men’s roadrace world championship since Tommy Simpson in 1965; the British Cycling team has won six medals in total during this year’s Worlds. In Berlin Patrick Makau lowers the men’s marathon world record to 2 hours 3 mins and 38 seconds and American astronomers have calculated the precise time at which the moon would have shone through Mary Shelley’s blinds in Geneva during the night on which she had been challenged by Byron and Shelley to come up with a ghost story: 2am on 16 June

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