Edition number 18; dateline 7 May 2008

Hostile bowling
Row Z is proud of its record on protest and our status as champion of the underdog. Our stance on China and the whole torch thing is still having repercussions and indeed we are avoiding the Chinese embassy in case the threat to “not be merciful” applies to us. However, there are some things even we shy away from and taking sides between Northavon Bowls Club and Bradley Stoke Town Council near Bristol is one such. It seems the bowlers, pensioners all, have refused to pay the same as everyone else to use the council’s greensward. The council locked them out, the bowlers staged a mass incursion and the constabulary became involved. Here at Row Z we take our responsibilities seriously and, knowing that one wrong word from us at this stage on such a weighty matter might prove significant, we hope our many readers from the parks management end of the spectrum will respect and appreciate our silence on the subject.

Surveying the charters
Sources from all over the industry keep letting slip that our friends at ISPAL may well be manoeuvring to become the Chartered Institute for Sport and Physical Activity. Great news for those who like to collect acronyms and indeed for those who always thought ISPAL sounded too much like a proprietary brand of toilet paper but a bit of a kick in the teeth to their parks members who have just seen ILAM House, the beautiful riverside pile which has been owned by parks-type organisations since the dawn of time (-ish), sold out from under them and now face the task of finding a place in a sports institute.

Tie a tartan ribbon…
Seen in the UK Sport website jobs listing: Homecoming Scotland 2009 are looking for staff. The organisation aims to motivate those of Scottish descent as well as those who simply love Scotland to “come home and take part in an inspirational celebration of our culture, heritage and the very many contributions Scotland has given to the world”. Sideliner will be packing his tartan trews and looking out his Dunfermline Athletic replica kit (the 1968 Cup winning vintage) for what promises to be a ‘rerr terr’.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
However, long before then the entire Row Z team will be making tracks for Sheffield and the 17th National Sports Development Seminar coming to market courtesy of the Institute of Sports Parks and Leisure. We know that’s what ISPAL is really called and that they are definitely going to deliver the seminar we have always liked to call ‘Nottingham’ because their lawyer told us. Forcibly. Nottingham in Sheffield? What next? An institute with a major event planned for September forgetting to mention it to the dozen or so people at their April AGM? The self-same organisation’s conference hotline advising an enquiring member that there was no Autumn sports development seminar being planned? Boris Johnson getting elected as mayor of London? Crazier and, indeed, crazier. The final comment on this vexed and increasingly tedious subject is that Row Z is pleased to comply with the lawyers’ request to distance itself from everything ISPAL. Row Z would like to reassure both its readers that our self-imposed moratorium on propagating professional body scuttlebutt is once more in place.

“Further Father? That can’t be right.”
And finally a story to make you smile courtesy of a friend of Row Z who must remain nameless. It seems that Warner Brothers once sued the Marx Brothers for using ‘Casablanca’, as in ‘A Night in Casablanca’. Harpo, Chico, Groucho and of course Zeppo countersued the studio for using ‘Brothers’ as in ‘Marx Brothers’.


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