Edition number 56; dateline 1 November 2011

Millward to stand down at the STA
Roger Millward, the man at the helm of the Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA) since 1994, used the occasion of the organisation’s annual general meeting to announce that he will be standing down from the position of chief executive in July next year when he will be 70. David Candler, STA President, said: “The STA would not be the formidable organisation it is today without Roger Millward. His fearless determination to ensure that STA has a voice in the marketplace is one of the key reasons why STA is in such a strong position commercially and financially with a high profile nationally and internationally.” Candler was able to confirm that Alan Siddons, currently the STA’s business development director, will take over the role of chief executive. Millward commented: “I cannot deny that I will miss the day-to-day challenges but feel it is the right time to hand over the reins to a younger person. I have worked with Alan for many years, and am confident that he is the right person to take the STA forward.”

Leaders to speak leadership unto leaders at SRA convention
The Sport and Recreation Alliance’s 2011 Leadership Convention, due to be held at the Forest of Arden Marriott on 16 and 17 November, has some genuinely interesting speakers lined up to engage and challenge the chairs and chief executives from national governing bodies (NGB) and county sports partnerships (CSP) expected to attend. Putting aside Jennie Price, the line-up combines the industry nouse of Keith Mills (the man who invented Air Miles), Ulster Rugby’s CEO Shane Logan (who used to head up Coca Cola in Russia) and West Bromwich Albion’s manager (at the time of going to press) Roy Hodgson. The SRA’s Helen Tan explained that the event will feature “keynotes and workshops designed to enable attendees to take time out and reflect on how their organisation is currently performing and what the next steps are to even greater levels of performance.”

Free answers to library questions
As part of their Future Libraries programme, the LGA and Arts Council England are inviting portfolio holders for libraries to attend a free seminar on Tuesday 6 December at Local Government House. The aim is to share learning and assist councillors to develop local and innovative solutions. A spokesperson for the LGA explained, “The challenging financial climate councils face is prompting some areas to transform radically their library service. Through strong political leadership, modern library services are emerging that are fit for the 21st century, more efficient and supporting wider council and community priorities”, pausing only to add, “Places are limited so please book early.”

Culture managers offered development
With the deadline of 5 December approaching, there are still a few places available on the fourth high-quality Leading Learning programme. Programme director Sue Isherwood made the case for councils and other bodies buying places for their best people: “This is the only programme specifically tailored to the needs of those senior managers working in and with local government culture and leisure services. It has five main support elements: initial 360-degree assessment of your leadership strengths and potential; six days of residential sessions to allow you to meet inspiring exemplars, reflect on your own practice and challenge your knowledge and skills; monthly one-to-one mentoring sessions with a well-matched senior figure with extensive local government experience and expertise; five bi-monthly facilitated action learning sets organised regionally; and a website with further reading, participants’ forums and development opportunities.”

Pure Gym growing
Budget gym chain Pure Gym are pushing forwards with plans for expansion with the launch of their London Oval flagship set to be followed by openings in Cardiff and Coventry. The company see their mission as “removing industry stereotypes such as inflexible contracts, limited opening hours and high cost memberships”. The group's chief executive officer Peter Roberts told The Leisure Review: “We aim to grow to 28 gyms by the end of our financial year and 45 by the end of 2012.”

WSSF diary assault on media bias
According to Sue Tibballs, chief executive of the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, “As little as two per cent of all sports media coverage is devoted to female competitors and women’s sport in the UK  and this lack of profile leaves women’s sport short-changed and presents a clear lack of healthy and active role models for women and girls.” Her organisation’s response has been to launch a calendar with an introduction from Sarah Winckless, world champion rower, Olympic medallist and chair of the British Olympic Athletes Commission, who says: “I am proud to see that this calendar is supporting women in sport for both Olympic and non-Olympic events. When you watch this year's fantastic programme of sport, remember how hard all the athletes and players have worked to get there. Think about how important  the Games are for elite athletes but remember how important games, sport and physical activity are for all of us, particularly women and girls.”

FLA strides forward into SGSA
The Football Licensing Authority is set to become the Sports Grounds Safety Authority and will expand its advisory role to provide advice, on request, about safety at sports grounds to any national or international organisation, person or body. The aim is to provide greater consistency in the application of sports grounds safety advice.

Driscoll trumpets coaching agency’s web success
The new Sportcoach UK website has won the Interactive Media Awards Best in Class Awards in two categories, sport and charity. The Best in Class award is the highest honour bestowed by the Interactive Media Awards and recognises excellent planning, execution and overall professionalism. The new site was launched in July. It has tailored sections for coachesand those who develop coaches. There is also a resource bank containing information and good practice on areas such as ‘Becoming a Coach’, ‘Coaching Children’, ‘Delivering Frontline Coaching’, and ‘Inclusion and Diversity’. Sportscoach UK executive director John Driscoll was delighted with the awards. He said: “Every organisation recognises the immense value of its website as a communications tool… This recognition from external media specialists IMA is a tribute to the technical expertise and sheer hard work of our marketing and communications team and our colleagues at Reading Room.”


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Tuesday 25 October
China is to limit the number of “entertainment” programmes on television in favour of “harmonious, health and mainstream programmes”. Back in London, the Bishop of London says that the anti-banking protestors should now leave the environs of St Paul’s. Brighton seafront has acquired its own 46-metre Ferris wheel and the FA is to investigate a claim that John Terry made racist comments during Chelsea’s defeat at QPR. In India England are whitewashed in the five-match series of the 50-over version of hit-and-giggle cricket. In Wales Gareth Thomas retires from professional rugby, while in America Bernie is in talks to add a New Jersey grand prix to the Formula One schedule, a list of events that already includes a race in Texas next year.

Wednesday 26 October
It seems St Paul’s will reopen one of its several doors to the praying and paying public despite the continuing presence of protestors in the yard. A graph of the government’s total spending of £691 billion shows that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport accounts for £7 billion of it, with community health under the auspices of the NHS weighing in with £8.4 billion. In New York the Metropolitan Museum of Art reopens its Islamic galleries following a major refurb and a ten-year wait since 9/11. Britain’s biggest nightclub company, Luminar, is calling in the receivers, putting 2,700 jobs at risk.

Thursday 27 October
Still at St Paul’s, someone who isn’t: the canon chancellor of the cathedral, Giles Fraser, who has resigned over plans to call in the police to clear protestors. Tate Britain says next spring will see an exhibition to illustrate the influence of Picasso on British artists. French chanteur Jonny Hallyday is scheduled to perform in the UK for the first time in his long career. In Moscow the Bolshoi reopens following a major restoration of the building, returning it to its 19th-century splendour. On Planet Football the PFA says that Manchester City cannot fine Mr Tevez more than two weeks’ wages; the club wants to make it four, which equates to something around the million-pound mark.

Friday 28 October
A government-commissioned enquiry is proposing extensive state funding for political parties, which could amount to £100 million over a five-year parliament, balanced by severe caps on private donations. The prime minister is to revive the British Empire Medal as part of the ‘big society’ initiative (some say ‘charade’), although there will be no royal investiture for recipients. Clocks back this weekend but strong suggestions that next year will see the start of an experimental period of double British summer time.


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The Leisure Review’s final three Coaching Insights events for the year are due to take place in Winchester, York and Hatfield. The Winchester event is being run in partnership with Sport Hampshire & Isle of Wight and takes place on 23 November. The events in Hatfield and York are on 1 and 6 of December respectively and are being run alongside the Herts Sports Partnership and North Yorkshire Sport. So far the seminars in the autumn series have been extremely well received, building on successes from previous events and bringing some top sporting minds into the same room with jobbing coaches and sporting professionals. Places are still available for all three events and full details and booking information can be found on our events page.

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