Edition number 4; dateline 1 August 2007

Weather watch
Despite having escaped only recently into the public domain, Row Z has already received correspondence from a northern reader giving notice of an intriguing story. It seems that High Peak Borough Council, LGC Council of the Year 2007 and rated ‘excellent’ by the Audit Commission in the comprehensive performance assessment, has spent £25,000 from the public purse on a ‘canopied stage’ to be hired out to community groups for carnivals and concerts. However, it now transpires that it cannot be used in the wind, as the cantilevered cover blows away, or the rain, as the sides are not waterproof and this has a deleterious effect on the lighting rig and amplification systems. We will leave it to local councillor, one Chris Webster, to comment: “I’m sorry, but we live in a very windy and a very rainy place. This is patently ridiculous.”

Assistance required
And while we are on the subject of reader input to Row Z, a request comes from our editor for potential stop-off points on what could well be a regular tour around the many e-zines now available to the discerning sport and leisure professional. Naturally we will be visiting with our friends from the institute formerly known as ILAM and popping in on the Institute for Swimming and Recreation Management. Should UK Sport ever make it possible to ‘sign up’ for their weekly dip into the sparkly waters of elite sport, we shall include them in our run round and, of course, there’s Leisure Media, which has so many e-zines to choose from we may have to ration ourselves to one per month, in addition to the ISPAL one, that is. If you know of any other crackers out there that will enable us to provide a true reflection of the breadth of the industry please pop them on an electronic postcard and send them to Row Z via the TLR contacts page or the link on the right. Just one word of warning: please do not send links to anything from Sport England. It takes the work experience lass so long to translate it into usable English that even though we pay her nothing it’s still too expensive an exercise.

Scottish sports development goes fourth
Mention of breadth takes us beyond the bounds of Albion, northwards to the land of the deep-fried Mars Bar, from whence we hear that the fourth Scottish sports development conference is well on the way to completion. Already booked for keynotes are: Dr Pat Duffy, group chief executive at Sports Coach UK; Novlette Rennie OBE, chief executive of Sporting Equals; and world-class change management, leadership and motivation speaker, Chris Moon. The usual wide array of workshops, including ‘The Coaching Profession – a conflict of agendas?’ and ‘Business Planning in Sports Development’ have been organised and the Scots’ famed facility in the networking department is to be given free rein. The event has a growing importance in the Scottish – and UK – industry calendar and anyone within a caber's toss of Crieff Hydro on 20th and 21st November would do well to secure a delegate place by e-mailing friend of Row Z Joyce Lamond of the inestimably elegant and efficient First City Events. Go on, give it a click.

Row Z on Tour
Last week’s column posed some key questions about Le Tour which, now that it has finally finished, have been replaced by a whole load more. Is Contador clean? Can we trust ANY team managed by Lance Armstrong, especially one that had three riders in the top ten? Is cycling a sick sport, or one on the road to recovery? Our own ‘boy on a bike’ says: “Any event that can draw crowds and coverage like Le Tour has a future –  sponsors want profile. Clearly some people have been, and still are, cheating but a whole bunch of them got caught and more will do. The political fighting between WADA, the UCI and ASO looks like it might be just as entertaining – and long running – as the bike race itself but with anti-dopers like Chris Boardman, Bradley Wiggins and the nonpareil David (Just Bloody Clean Up Our Sport) Millar speaking and writing with such passion about the need for change, you have to have some hope.” So Row Z says, “Allez le Tour!


Row Z
The view from the back of the stand





last edition


other news

contact Row Z


an independent view for the leisure industry








about us

contact us