Edition number 64; dateline 31 August 2012

Autumn Insights inked in
The Leisure Review’s coaching correspondent, Mick Owen, has confirmed that there will be two Coaching Insights this autumn. The Herts Sports Partnership has booked a seminar, themed “Learning in games, with games and from the Games”, as part of the 6th Annual Herts Coaching Conference on 7 October. Nottinghamshire County Council are lead partners for a seminar “exploring the power dynamic in the coaching relationship” on the afternoon of 1 November. The seminars, in Hatfield and Nottingham respectively, will bring together expert speakers with knowledgeable audiences to debate issues which matter to coaches at all levels. For booking details go to our Coaching Insights page before you forget and someone else gets your spot.

Legacy looks north
With just under three months to go to the UCI World Cup round in Glasgow, the “house full” signs have already been posted on the event website, despite the organisers adding extra capacity at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome and the fact that the great man will not actually be competing. The new venue will be open for business on 6 October and is in place in good time for the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Glasgow’s velodrome will bring to four the number of world-class indoor tracks in the UK, joining Newport, Manchester and the Olympic track in Stratford. British Cycling will hope that the track will underpin the ongoing development of track cyclists which will constitute the performance legacy of London 2012.

More for ornament than use
This autumn Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum will present the first exhibition devoted to the art of Meiji textiles ever to be held outside Japan. Titled Threads of Silk and Gold: Ornamental Textiles from Meiji Japan, the exhibition will showcase the spectacular ornamental textiles made for the Western market during Japan’s Meiji era (1868–1912) when Japonisme saw the European Impressionist painters exploring themes and styles taken from Japanese art, and Victorian rooms filled with Japanese decorative arts and crafts. Dr Christopher Brown, director of the Ashmolean, told TLR, “We are honoured to be the very first museum to exhibit this extraordinary collection to the public.” The exhibition will run from 9tNovember until January 27 2013.

Gormley plinther lands software selling berth
Gladstone Health and Leisure has expanded its sales team for the second time this year by appointing Antony Davies and Deborah Blythe to manage their south west and midlands territories respectively. Davies has a background in software, while Blythe has been in the health and fitness industry for 15 years with time served at LivingWell Total Fitness. More eclectically, referring to a penchant for fund-raising, she says, “I raised more than £800 by standing on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth as part of the Antony Gormley Art Project.”

SRA chief promises participation legacy
Andy Reed, chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, has gone out on a limb and promised that the governing bodies of sport will deliver a lasting Olympic legacy despite what his organisation calls “a lack of investment in grassroots sport”. The SRA’s high-profile head man believes that his members “are well-placed to make the most from the inspiration which the Games can deliver”, although he acknowledges that “a lot of the talk at governing body level before the Games has been about a lack of new funds for the legacy of participation which organisers promised from the Olympics.” Reed cites schemes like the British Canoe Union’s Go Canoeing, which is aimed at new participants and those returning to the sport after an absence, and British Gymnastics’ ‘I am BG’campaign, which “aims to direct supporters, clubs and members into activities which will cement their relationship with the governing body.”

Rugby league shows it cares
Timed to coincide with the 117th anniversary of its foundation, the Rugby Football League has launched “an exciting new charity” called Rugby League Cares. An amalgamation of the sport’s existing charities the Rugby League Foundation, RFL Benevolent Fund, RFL Heritage Trust and individual club foundations, the new charity will be dedicated to supporting “the rugby league family and its local communities as well as enhancing and enriching people’s lives through the power and positive influence of rugby league”. The chairman of Rugby League Cares, Terry Flanagan, said: “The central idea is to provide assistance to rugby league’s broad community by attracting more support from sponsors, partners and the public in general."

BAM get RoSPA gold medal. Boom!
The facilities management business behind more than 70 UK leisure and community centres has achieved a remarkable health and safety distinction. BAM FM, part of BAM Construct UK, has been awarded a gold medal from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in its Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2012. The gold medal for preventing accidents and ill health is achieved only after reaching gold status for five successive years and reflects sustained achievement. Kath Fontana, BAM FM’s managing director, said: “Managing facilities successfully is about the collective commitment of our people. So we are delighted to have our work recognised by RoSPA. Because we design, develop, build, manage and maintain facilities, we have an integrated understanding of the health and safety of buildings right through their life cycle.”


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STA TO PARTNER SWIMTIME: STA has formed a new partnership with Swimtime, one of the UK’s largest swimming companies, which will mean that tens of thousands more youngsters who learn to swim with the company will benefit from STA’s International Learn to Swim Programme (ILSP). Linda Price, director of Swimtime, which delivers 12,000 lessons every week through a nationwide network of franchisees, said STA’s learn to swim programme was a perfect fit for the company. “It’s about teaching children how to swim, ensuring they are confident and competent in and around water,” she said. “Learning to swim is such an important life skill to learn at a young age, and one that will transcend so many areas of your child and adult life, both recreationally and in sport.”
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Thursday 6 September
Medal madness in the Paralympics with Jonnie Peacock, David Weir and Sarah Storey winning yet more gold; the GB team has now passed its pre-Games target for medals and variety of sports in which they are achieved. Artist Frank Auerbach has donated nine etchings by his friend Lucian Freud to the Courtauld Gallery. On Planet Football the Premier League is to consider proposals for a wage cap to prevent any more of the game’s riches ending up in the pockets of the players (start the clock) and Stephen “Stevie” Gerrard, the on-pitch embodiment of bemused disappointment, says that the England team he now captains has to believe that “miracles do happen”, even though they don’t.

Friday 7 September
The families of the Hillsborough disaster are urging the prime minister to issue an official apology when an independent report is published later this week. Meanwhile, the PM is apparently minded to make sure the honours system is sufficiently warped to accommodate all the Paralympian and Olympians that need gonging. Amid Paralympics-related indifference, England win a football match on the road to a disappointing performance in the finals of some competition or other.

Saturday 8 September
Andy Murray is through to another major final. Super Saturday again at the Olympic park with Ellie Simmonds among those winning more medals. Apparently 77% of MPs do not think the UK’s drug policies work and the Bristol Old Vic is getting ready to reopen after a £12-million restoration. Jean Todt, president of the governing body of motor sport, is worried that Formula One might be a bit expensive, while Mark Cavendish seems to have come to the conclusion that the British Cycling road team is a bit too crowded and might be on his way to a team where he can be top dog.

Sunday 9 September
And with a sigh and a tear we say goodbye to our Olympic and Paralympic summer, thanking all things holy that the Paralympic closing ceremony was a damned sight better than the Olympic equivalent, even if the Paralympic version did have too much Coldplay for comfort (ie it had some Coldplay). Disability campaigners have pointed out that many of the UK’s sports centres, gyms and pools are a long way short of accessible, which could be an issue for any would-be Paralympians come Monday morning. It seems that London’s restaurants are having something of a mini-boom, largely based on a collective realisation that reasonable pricing policies might encourage people through the door.

Monday 10 September
A huge number of people gather in London to see the Olympic and Paralympic celebratory parade. Tate Britain opens its Pre-Raphaelites exhibition; expect a mass outbreak of whimsy any day soon. Olympic medallists Lewis Smith and Victoria Pendleton are among the contestants on this season’s Strictly, while Lord Coe is ready to take on the mantle of the head of the British Olympic Association.


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