Edition number 24; dateline 2 October 2009
This is what we do
Dissect the heart of The Leisure Review and you will find discussion, debate and considered opinion delicately inscribed. There is plenty of evidence of these in this issue, not least on the letters page where both the Youth Sport Trust and Sport England offer their responses to our recent article on the Sport Unlimited programme. We are grateful that both organisations have taken the time to contribute to The Leisure Review and pleased that we are able to offer a forum for debate that any properly functioning sector requires. For all our idiosyncrasies, it is perhaps worth noting that although The Leisure Review is published online the editorial team still thinks of it and presents it as a magazine. While we would be the first to admit that we seek to make the contents readable and that we are not above occasional flippancy, we do take our journalism seriously; an invective-strewn blog this is not. The Leisure Review is committed to the sport, leisure and culture sector, a sector that deserves to be taken seriously. It is also a sector that deserves to be celebrated, nurtured and protected but in this respect the sector has been ill-served on occasions by a few organisations and individuals who were well placed to make a contribution. Forgive us if we occasionally allude to this in passing and suggest that some might do better.
If you coming to The Leisure Review for the first time this issue could be said to offer a fair representation of what and – to go all West Baltimore for a moment – how we do. The letters page must take centre stage on this occasion as we continue the discussion about how best to deliver effective sports development. There is an extended interview with Anne Tiivas, head of the Child Protection in Sport Unit, on the new arrangements on safeguarding and child protection, a subject that we felt merited an in-depth treatment. Other subjects are approached with a somewhat lighter touch, including waterways access, the charity sector’s relationship with sport and an academic conference on developing youth talent. There is some open space (of which we currently do too little), a little bit of libraries (showcasing The Leisure Review’s most accomplished writing talent) and some literary pretension (of which we probably do too much but we like it and we’re not going to stop now). In this particular issue there is not much on the arts but a cover featuring Antony Gormley at least hints at where the editor’s sympathies lie. Row Z has also done its best to welcome the arts sector but we may have to face up to the fact that Sideliner is too wild to tame now.
We have noticed that our readership continues to grow, which suggests that there is some interest in what The Leisure Review provides. We are grateful for the support of all our subscribers and the numerous colleagues who have been generous with their time, their encouragement and, on occasions, their pointed advice. TLR 24 is noticeably different to the early editions but the ethos, built upon a commitment to the sport, leisure, culture sector and high-quality writing, remains the same. Of course, a lucrative business model remains elusive but we are not alone in that. Better minds than ours are among those scratching their highly paid heads on the matter but as soon as The Leisure Review cracks it we will sell the concept to Rupert Murdoch and retire to Loughborough on the proceeds.
letter from the editor
The Leisure Review editorial