Edition number 59; dateline 7 January 2013
A quick update for the new year
As our regular reader will be aware, there is not usually a January issue of The Leisure Review as an end of December deadline clashes with the TLR Christmas conference and several other diary commitments that seem to take up an inordinate amount of time. However, try as we might, we could not ignore the remarkable timeliness of a few articles on the top of the pile so we have – ‘rushed’ would be the wrong word – purposefully ambled, perhaps pointedly sauntered towards what we like to think of as a January refresh of the December/January issue that was published last month; and, let’s face it, last year.
Top of the list of timeliness comes Carl Bennett’s article on the sport and leisure sector’s approach the much-discussed obesity crisis, a piece in which he wonders, from the perspective of a health commissioner, whether the leisure offer to those who want to get active has become habitual and hackneyed. Next up is Richard Cheetham’s article that urges those sport and leisure professionals already working with enthused and committed people to understand just what this commitment entails. And finally in The Leisure Review timeliness top three is the good ship CIMSPA, which at first glance seems to be sailing in some particularly choppy new-year waters.
On the subject of CIMSPA it might be appropriate to declare an interest, or at least offer full disclosure, of The Leisure Review’s relationship with professional bodies within the sport, leisure and culture sector. I spent a good bit longer than a decade working for ILAM in various roles, latterly the head of communications, and the best part of a couple of years of that being excluded from the tortuous negotiations between ILAM, ISRM and NASD. When I was finally escorted from ILAM House (I never did get a proper hammering out ceremony…) I left with reassurances that at least a new, able and effective professional body would emerge from the ashes of the old to provide the leadership, the expertise and the advocacy that the leisure sector so desperately required. Across the TLR editorial desk, The Leisure Review’s managing editor, Mr Owen, went beyond the call of duty to the sector by collecting what was effectively the complete set, serving, in one capacity or another, for various periods and at various times, NASD, ISPAL (as ILAM and NASD became) and the ISRM.
This experience of serving the sector’s various professional body incarnations initially shaped a fair proportion of the output of The Leisure Review as we sought to continue where we had left off in our interests in the sport, leisure and culture sector but it was not long before we found our own furrows to plough. We did, however, keep a fond eye on the negotiations and discussions on the creation of a new professional body, offering help and support where we felt able. These offers were, quite rightly, routinely ignored so we contented ourselves with the occasional sarcastic quip in Row Z and moved on, confident that with the commitment of so much money and so many experienced professionals little could go wrong.
As you can imagine, it was then slightly alarming to find that as we turned the page to 2013 the discussion of how a sustainable professional body might best be structured to serve the needs of the sport, leisure and culture sector (or rather the sport and leisure sector; or the sport sector at least) is still ongoing. However, having been assured that everything is fine and that it will all be sorted by early in the new year, by the end of February or at least March at the latest, we thought we had better get a quick article in now so we did not miss the boat on this particular story; or non-story, as we have been assured that it actually is.
And so, with nothing to see here, we at The Leisure Review thank you for your continued interest and your continuing support, and bid you a happy new year. We’ll be back with a February issue in a bit.
letter from the editor
The Leisure Review editorial