Row Z edition 30; dateline 3 April 2009

If it looks like a car race…
Can anyone explain what Formula 1 has to do with sport? Last year, apparently, the absolute genius that is L Hamilton won “it”. Fantastic. Well done, Lewis, but doesn’t it interfere with your gymnastics? This year he’s at the back and J Button, a man who couldn’t buy a finish last year, sweeps all before him. And it’s not anything to do with –  and we quote – “the car’s radical diffuser, the device use to disperse under-car airflow”. Jensen should get back to Coldplay, the BBC should get back to Saturday afternoon Rugby League with Eddie Waring and everyone else should accept it’s not a sport, it’s all about the car.

Political activism the CAMRA way
Row Z is slowly coming round to the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) who may well be ‘beardie weirdies’* but who have not only come up with a campaign to make beer cheaper in pubs that seems to be making headway but have also instituted something called National Cask Ale Week (6-13 April). To quote What’s Brewing, the monthly organ of the ‘gobby hobbits’*, if you value the community, care about food miles or favour natural foodstuffs “at the very least go the pub – even better take a friend with you”. Sideliner has abandoned the duck race thing which looks a tad too commercially orientated (see Row Z passim) and is now four-square behind CAMRA. Drink LocALE – whatever that means.
*These insults come courtesy of Stephen Oliver, managing director of Marston’s Beer Company, the Gerald Ratner of beer sellers.

Young learners: doh!
Our leader has been getting very excited as – along with everybody else in the business of leisure – Row Z is getting an apprentice. Sadly, Sidey has somewhat missed the point and our glorious leader is wondering where to send the young person for tartan paint and who would appreciate the joke if the lad or lass asked them for a long stand. We can only hope Florence Orban doesn’t read this.

Institutionalised scuttlebutt
Sideliner has been hot on the trail of some hard information about the proposed second coming of the third institute for the sector and can now assure all of you not numbered in the ranks of ISRM or ISPAL (formerly ILAM) that things are developing apace. It seems that these two august bodies plan to approach the Privy Council with a proposal for a single chartered institute for sport in the next couple of months. We are not to get hot and bothered about the name – it seems – as there will be a long list of the areas of work covered by the merged body, into which everyone from plumber to parkie will fit. And we shouldn’t really say ‘merger’. But essentially should the Privy Council – who have to stand up ALL the time – like the idea then two will become one and the sector can move forward united. If not there will be action points; and in this context no points means prizes. What does Sideliner think? If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem and if this is the overdue solution then that’s not a problem; after all since the last abortive effort to create a new professional body just about everyone has been treading water (with ISRM fashioning floats our of pyjama trousers?). But Sidey won’t be joining until someone explains just where NASD went.

Drawing a veil
This month we will be avoiding thinking about: Kevin Pietersen; the British and Irish Lions starting fifteen for a game sixty days hence; the three Super League players (and one reserve) currently facing prison sentences on assault charges; the world cross-country championships; Dwayne flipping Chambers; Sport NI sponsoring a boxing tournament (what next: cage fighting?); England’s new kickball kit; Horne and Corden; and the fact that UK Sport are advertising a job with the purpose of “delivering curriculum-based coaching to 4 to 11 year olds”, which stipulates that “experience in coaching” is merely “desirable”.


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