Edition number 61; dateline 2 May 2012

IoS offer online opportunity to maximise the Paralympic impact 
With the Paralympics just a few months away and mindful of the potential impact of a strong performance from British swimmers in the Olympic pool, the Institute of Swimming (IoS) has developed an online seminar designed to support the inclusion of disabled people in swimming. The seminar is free to access, takes one hour to complete and covers how to recognise the ability rather than the disability, understand and explain good practice, identify ways to communicate effectively and identify ways to support the inclusion of disabled people in swimming. The IoS told The Leisure Review, “Now is the time to make sure your workforce is clued up on swimming for those with disabilities and special needs so they know exactly what your facility offers. As well as access considerations, such as hoists, ramps and dedicated changing areas, it’s important to raise awareness of any specific disabled sessions you may offer, what your policy is for accessing learn-to-swim lessons and the option of one-t- one lessons where appropriate.” TLR readers can access the seminar without charge by registering with the IoS site and then entering the voucher code CSO152GYJ5 at the checkout.
• Find this IoS seminar at www.theiosonline.com

Stevenage Leisure look to green leaves
Stevenage Leisure, which manages 19 sites on behalf of five local authorities, is currently building a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate how its environmental processes are managed. The aim is to achieve BS8555, a framework that helps organisations develop an environmental management system and ultimately minimise their negative impact on the environment. The organisation is looking to demonstrate all the steps it has been able to take to reduce energy consumption and the trust’s overall carbon footprint. Achievement of  BS8555 will be a stepping stone to achieve the internationally recognised ISO14001 standard.

SRA stand behind DCMS following speculation
Media reports that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport was being earmarked for abolition by the government as part of a restructuring of Whitehall prompted the Sport and Recreation Alliance to write to the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to ask him to clarify the situation. Coming before Hunt’s career-threatening immersion in the fallout from the Leveson enquiry, the reports suggested that the department will be closed down following the Olympic and Paralympic games. SRA chairman Andy Reed wrote: “For obvious reasons, the Sport and Recreation Alliance would be set against moving responsibility for sports policy to a department where it was a secondary concern or a tool to achieve a single, specific aim. We firmly believe that given its proven effectiveness in contributing to a wide range of public policy objectives – like crime reduction, higher educational attainment and improved social cohesion, for example – shoehorning sport into a department where primacy lies elsewhere would do it, and the nation, a great disservice. In order to nip this speculation in the bud and to allow sport to concentrate on the Games and this very exciting year for sport, it would be very helpful for the Government to issue a timely, firm and public denial that plans such as these exist.”

The English Prize: the contents of a captured ship
The Ashmolean’s spring exhibition provides a snapshot of the late-18th-century Grand Tour by exploring the story of the Westmorland, an armed merchant ship captured by two French warships while sailing from Livorno to London in January 1779. On board the Westmorland were artists, aristocrats and dealers, all of whom were bringing home a cargo of art, antiquities, books and luxury items. Declared a prize of war, the cargo was acquired by King Carlos III of Spain, who presented much of the art to the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid. Other items were eventually scattered across Spanish museums. The Ashmolean’s exhibition, titled The English Prize after the name of the inventory made by the Spanish cataloguers who listed all the items when they arrived in Spain, has collected 140 objects from the Westmorland to offer an insight into the Grand Tour and the nature of European cultural trade. The exhibition opens to the public on 17 May and will transfer to the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven from
4 October.

Sustainable Horley harvests Green Apple award
The Horley Leisure Centre has won a prestigious Green Apple Award for its positive contribution to the built environment and has also been short listed in the Institute of Civil Engineers Engineering Excellence Awards. The centre, which opened in January, is almost carbon-neutral in its operation and has already received an ‘A’ energy rating. The sustainability measures within its design include: a biomass heating system using locally sourced wood chips to heat the air and water; 105 roof-mounted photovoltaic panels; natural light and ventilation systems; a UV disinfection system to clean the pool water; and thermal pool covers which reduce water heating costs by 30%. The building is largely constructed from sustainable materials and 90% of the demolition materials from the school buildings that previously occupied the site. Waste wood products generated during construction were also reclaimed or recycled.

Money for hiking
Outdoor clothing company North Face have launched a grant fund designed “to inspire and enable the next generation of explorers by funding non-profit organisations that are working to re-connect children with nature”. The Explore Fund will support organisations that encourage youth outdoor participation, focusing primarily on creating more connections of children to nature. They also suggest that this will increase “access to both front and backcountry recreation”. Despite the hyperbole, grants top out at €2,500.

Broadcast numbers broadcast for Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) have only just announced television figures for the 2011 tournament in New Zealand and are claiming a shift in the nature of the viewing population. Last year's World Cup was watched by more young people and females than any previous tournament, with a total increase of 60% in hours viewed. This makes it the most extensively broadcast tournament ever. Significantly, they say “viewership among the five to 45 year age group increased by 6% from France’s 2007 World Cup, while the audience gender spilt narrowed with females accounting for 45%, up from 25% for the 1995 World Cup”. Bernard Lapasset, chairman of event owner RWCL, put this down to “our decision to fully embrace digital and social media platforms to engage with new fans”.


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RUN DROPS INTO OLYMPIC PARK: Monica Bonvicini’s RUN, a 30-tonne, 9m-tall installation of the word ‘run’ in aluminium and glass, has been installed in the Olympic Park. RUN is the final piece of the 26 artworks at the park. Putting modesty to one side, Bonvicini commented: “RUN is already blending in perfectly in the landscape, avoiding monumentality through the mirroring of the surroundings. At night the psychedelic light reflections will illuminate the work in an exciting, elegant and witty way, reflecting the great liveliness of London.”
the world of leisure
The national news from a cultural perspective

Thursday 26 April
Details of the London 2012 Festival, which will run from 21 June to 9 September, are announced in the presence of Secretary Hunt who still has the full backing of the prime minister, which suggests that neither of them have read the ministerial code. Robert Redford is in London to launch the Sundance festival and he takes time to point out that the prime minister doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to financing films. UEFA seem to suggest that John Terry would be able to pick up the Champions League trophy were Chelsea to win it, although professional pride, personal dignity and respect for his team-mates who had actually contributed to any victory would obviously make it impossible for him so to do.

Friday 27 April
The chief constable of Gloucestershire, Tony Melville, is to stand down from his post saying that budget cuts are making his job impossible. A former Soviet restaurant in Gorky Park is to become Moscow’s latest and most trendy art centre. Pep Guardiola says he won’t be renewing his contract as manager of Barcelona; it seems he needs a rest from football.

Saturday 28 April
The British taxpayer has apparently bought Yinka Shonibare’s Victory in a bottle sculpture twice, once for £170,000 when it was commissioned from the artist (including fee of £30k and costs of £170k) and again for £365,000 to put it permanently at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. The Frieze art fair is to expand from it British roots, opening this week in New York. In Italy it seems some 50 players representing half the teams in Serie A are to be investigated as part of a huge match-fixing scandal; could this finally be the hole that sinks this particular rotting ship? Meanwhile, Southampton are up, Wycombe are down and Wiggins is set fair for another stage-race victory.

Sunday 29 April
Fancy a cruise this year? Bear in mind that some P&O staff are on a basic wage of 75p an hour, an arrangement with which the crew is “much happier”, according to – guess who – P&O. Some disquiet among residents in That London who may have surface-to-air arsenals put on their roofs during the Olympics, although for which sport one requires such equipment no one has yet revealed. To the surprise of almost no one the FA seems to have a short list with only one name on it; to the surprise almost everyone the name on that list is Roy Hodgson. And now Fernando Torres cannot stop scoring; three in one match this time. Brad Wiggins wins his second major stage race of the year, putting him (whisper it) among the pre-race favourites for the Tour.

Monday 30 April
Noma in Copenhagen is named the world’s best restaurant again; only three UK venues are in the top 50. Having dropped the mayor’s weekly press conference, Boris Johnson says that his second mayoral term will feature increased accountability via a question and answer session on Twitter. Yep, actually he said it. Elizabeth Fraser, the voice of the Cocteau Twins, has been persuaded to perform at this year’s Meltdown festival on the Southbank and in New York the still uncompleted One World Trade Centre is now higher than the Empire State Building. Back home the British Olympic Association loses its case at the Court for Arbitration in Court, meaning its bylaw banning athletes caught doping from competing for Britain is overturned. BOA chair, Colin Moynihan, says that the World Anti-doping Authority needs to be reformed to take a tougher stance against doping; meanwhile Dwain Chambers’ agent talks of forgiveness, colonial attitudes and, one suspects most importantly, lost earnings. And speaking of lost earnings, Danny Cipriani has left the Melbourne Rebels early, heading for Sale with a stated aim of playing for England again.

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