The Pro Sports Magazine August 2013
Pathway to Gold Australian Rugby 7s
England International Football Player
Posy Musgrove, Dragons 7s , Matildas, Jordan Taylor... Sports nutrtion, top tips and more...
August 2013 1 Photo Papaya Photography
2 August 2013
WELCOME What a remarkable couple of months it’s been since I sat down to write the last introduction. The magazine has seen a 1,000% increase, Football has been established as a cornerstone of the blog, more and more female athletes are coming to the fore wanting to tell their story and be part of this, and new sports governing bodies are agreeing to support us, as well as giving us exclusive behind the scene access to players, training and team events; to mention just a few things that have happened. One of the key highlights was the launch of the Women’s Sports Foundation in London that we attended with female athletes from so many sporting disciplines.
It was an honour and a privilege to be one of only a couple of the media invited to share in what will become a talked about event in time to come, as the Foundation’s influence is felt. There are so many people who see the vision of the magazine and are supporting it with their skills, passion and knowledge. I could sing their praises here but I will leave that to the thank you section which I urge you to read. In this issue we feature Softball, Hockey, Rugby 7’s and an update on our first season’s support of the Dragon’s invitational team. We also have new regular contributors added to the team, providing the reader with greater coverage in their field. I am so pleased that Racheal Stack and Fern Cates have joined the team in addition to Adam Barlow, our Senior Football
correspondent. Rachael will be covering international Soccer for us and Fern will be our resident winter sports specialist, not only this but she will be blogging for us about her adventures as a Team GB cross country skier! The magazine continues to grow and it’s all thanks to your readership, support and to the athletes who so freely give of their time. Thank you - and looking forward to what the next two months hold for the magazine.
Myak-Paul Homberger - Editor
August 2013 Issue No 005
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Papaya P h o t o g r a p h y
S P O R T S ● S P E C I A L I S T E V E N T S ● C O R P O R AT E E V E N T S
4 August 2013
Contributors 6 Pathway to Gold - Australian Rugby 7s
Sue Smith, My Love of Football and Family
Posy Musgrave - team GB Nordic Skier
Sports International Magazines Outstanding Athlete
Dragons 7s Season Summary 26 Sports International Magazines Unsung Hero
Jordan Taylor - Interntion softball player
Getting up to speed for 7s 38 Matildas 40 Why We need to think seriously about sport
Sports Explained - Softball 46 Recipes and Tips 48 Thankyou 50
August 2013 Issue No 005
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Contributors Myak-Paul Homberger Aside from being a huge sports nut and champion of women’s sport, has numerous qualifications including being a BAWLA qualified weight training coach, two martial arts black belts alongside his instructor level in Urban Krav Maga. He is also an NLP practitioner and sociologist with an HND in RAB. Photography is his main passion and he has been published internationally. Myak has worked with men’s and women’s national teams, as well as with premiership teams and individual players.
Alison Palmer I am Alison, a Photographer & Producer, Footballer with Pro5, FA Level 1 Coach and Mum to six- year old Rosa who lights up my world more than I could ever have imagined possible. #Family. olivia & alison was formed in 2010 as a collaboration between photographers Alison Palmer & Olivia Mann www.oliviaandalison. com we met at Photofusion in Brixton and quickly became great friends. We have been referred to as the ‘dynamic duo’ at times, which makes me laugh, but there is a lot of drive, guts and determination in both of us, to produce and create the 6 August 2013
very best of work in everything and anything we do. We are working to promote women & girls sports and looking how sport can transform people’s life both here and all over the world. We collaborate on certain bodies of work, assist and support each other and also work independently on photographic bodies of work and individual photo film projects. We both love working together and apart, for us that just works. For more of Olivia’s work see www.oliviamann. com. We have had an amazing time shooting the England Women’s football team together, we have met some of the most lovely people you will ever meet, it has been an honour to photograph the players and we greatly appreciate their courage for at times stepping out of their comfort zone and working with us to create something quite different. We would to thank all of the players who have been part of the “I am a Footballer” series. by-ball cricket commentator in South Africa I do hope to pave the way for other women who would endeavour to conquer what is essentially still a man’s world.
Fern Cates I am a British Crosscountry Ski and Roller-Ski champion and train with the GB junior team in the British Nordic Development Squad. My goal is to compete in the Winter Olympics. I have just turned 18 and finished school this summer (although I spent most of my time travelling and racing around Europe rather than in class) and with the help of my family and sponsor I’m now preparing to move to Sweden to focus on my sport. I love anything to do with winter sports and endurance events and am very passionate about the equality of mens and women’s sport, particularly in terms of media coverage and increasing the number of positive female role models especially from minority sports; which is why I’m so pleased to be involved with Sports International Magazine! As a 2012 Olympic torchbearer it was amazing the excitement and legacy of the games within the public which I hope continues for the Sochi 2014 games!
Emily Ryall Emily Ryall is a senior lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Gloucestershire, Chair of the British Philosopher of Sport Association and Director of Storm7 Rugby. She is the author of various books and academic papers on the philosophy of sport and is currently writing an introductory book on the subject.
Nigel Francis Nigel Francis is the Coach of the Dragons Invitation 7s Team in Wales.
Adam Barlow My passion for football began in 1994; watching Lincoln City in the lower leagues of the English football league system. In 2008 I took up blogging and began not only to write about City, but as I was keen to develop my understanding of the game at all levels I started to watch more semi professional football to gain an insight into the game at grass roots. In late 2011 I watched the England Women’s team play and beat Serbia in a European Championship qualifier at Doncaster. I was very impressed by the skill of the players and quickly made the decision to learn and write more about women’s football.
I have trained in the sport since 1989 and in that time i have achieved the rank of third Dan Black Belt and helped in the running of classes. This has given me an huge insight into the methods of coaching in sports and what it takes to get to the top. One thing that has pleased me over the years in the sport has been the uptake of female participants. This evidence of this was for all to see at London 2012, when Jade Jones won an historic Gold for team GB. I hope you enjoy my women’s football coverage and I look forward to bringing you many more reports, interviews, and opinions from the women’s game in the UK
In 2012 I attended my first FAWSL game at Lincoln Ladies and started writing as the official fans blogger on the website. As time went on and I became more engrossed in both writing and the women’s game, I started writing articles for the website and helped to compose the player profiles for the website. Following this I met lots of very good and passionate people in the world of women’s sport, and i was very excited when I was asked to help Sports International with it’s coverage of the England team and the FAWSL in general. I hope to increase this coverage and help to give women’s sport the platform it deserves. Away from football my other sporting passion is Taekwondo, August 2013 7
Photo Geoff Squibb
8 August 2013
Pathway toGold Australian Rugby 7s Interviews and article by Myak Homberger The magazine has over the last 6 months been given unprecedented access to the Australian Rugby 7’s Women’s team and to the program that finds and develops the next generation of athletes. It all started with our first meeting with the ARU (Australian Rugby Union) at their headquarters in Sydney where we were promised unfettered access to the team. Spending time with senior staff, including program head Anthony Eddy, we then went to the Youth Olympics in Sydney to watch and meet the upand-coming stars. From there we spent time with the team in London and finally spent the weekend with the team in Amsterdam for the final leg of the IRB 7’s tour. All of these meetings, interviews and events allowed us to view and understand fully the development of the Juggernaut that is ‘Pathway to Gold’. Pathway to Gold is the Australian program that finds and develops players of the future as well as current players. Given the success and nature of the
program we felt that this was a program that needed understanding and highlighting. Programs, by nature, can be rigid, political machines that only work one way and with a great deal of red tape. What sets programs such as Pathway to Gold apart is a real sense that it is a program that it is developing not only as a program, but also with the athletes who are in the program. What has been really interesting to watch was that from seeing the Australian girls win Gold at the Youth Olympics in Sydney, chatting to them and taking photos, till when I met with four of them in London as part of the senior team, took less than 6 months. As well as this, one of the cover stars of this issue, Sal, is actually 33 - and very comfortable with her age and where she sits in the team. “Pathway to Gold is an opportunity for athletes to represent their country, it’s not about age,” she said, and continued: “I’m willing to do whatever I need to do.” Which, given that in October she was at the trail day, and by January she was part of the elite squad, speaks volumes not only August 2013 9
“it is a once in a lifetime
experience for us. ..this isn’t a sacrifice, it’s a
we make and one that
we take with both hands.” of her commitment but also of a hunger and desire the program instils. This kind of desire and commitment is what every sports program dreams about - but it’s not just Sal, it’s in all of the team who have come through the program. “Pathway to Gold has amped up in the last 3 years and I would like to see how it all unfolds between now and Rio,” says Anthony Eddy. This is a very humble remark that belies what has taken place and what is in place going forward. In one sense he is right, the program has been building momentum in the last few years and there is a system in place - but it is almost as if the refinement has been to create a system where there is no system. Yes, there is a basic plan and structure where trails are held - and as an example, the last trial yielded 450 women who were whittled down to 80, and from those 80, 25 were chosen to train as a development squad. However, once you start listening to Anthony talk you realise there is so much more to this. The senior team management and coaching staff come to all trials and build programs for those athletes and events. This alone shows their flexible approach - but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. They are working with a number of other governing bodies to host events where they bring their best teams to compete, and they look across sports to see what talents can be transferred. Obviously they work closely with all the easily transferable sports such as Aus TAG, Aus Touch, AFL and Rugby league, but netball, athletics and soccer are not omitted. “It is 10 August 2013
about building depth into the squad where 50 athletes are fighting for 12 spots for Rio, it’s about developing competition,” said a senior ARU source. What’s more, all of the team have scholarships to AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) which includes an athlete career education system to care for the athletes beyond Rugby. This is a program that is working with the athletes - and the program moulds to them, not the other way. The comments and conversations were always about athletes and how the program assisted them in developing. This is a system where the system is the athletes and giving them the tools and competitive air to breathe and become great. The ARU are clearly happy with the approach Anthony and the whole team are taking with the Pathway to
Gold program. A senior ARU source said that “the ARU are happy with the focus and investment and growth of the Women’s 7’s game.” The program has gained so much momentum that representative athletes from other sports are now requesting trials as they can see the huge benefits of the program. There is a genuine desire to take the opportunities the program offers and this seems to be because the program has created a culture that recognises talent, not age, that is flexible and can change to meet the changing requirements of the athletes: one that fully supports the women on and off the field and one that makes people want to be part of the program and give it their all. As Charlotte summed it up, “it is a once in a lifetime experience for us. This isn’t a sacrifice, it’s a choice we make and one that we take with both hands.” If only one could ‘can’ that hunger….! However the overriding view from all of the women is that they “enjoy doing it, its fun.” What a huge compliment to hear, when so often programs are seen as tough and regimented. The Australians may not be able to can ‘it’, but they have a system that is working because of its flexibility and goals and because the women get put ahead of programs. Pathway to Gold is going to be finding and developing talent to Rio and beyond, so we best all strap ourselves in for the ride because its going to be one full of talent from every walk of life - and one that is full of flair and excitement. Editors note: since we first met the ARU in January there have been four new athletes added into the senior team via Pathway to Gold and they won…..at the World Cup in Russia. An exciting start for this team, world beware….
Photo Papaya Photography
August 2013 11
SUE SMITH My Love of Football & Family (
In Conversation with England International Football Player Sue Smith and her Mum Anne.
Interview for Sports International by Olivia and Alison When I spoke to Sue she was in the middle of prepping for the Euro’s, learning all about the teams, the stats, and players’ strengths and weaknesses. The BBC have asked her to commentate and present during the championships. But revision for the Euro’s was not the only thing on her mind at the time, she was worried about her club, Doncaster Belles and whether they would win or lose the 12 August 2013
appeal to not be relegated into the WSL2. “Everyone was devastated at Donnie when we heard we were potentially being relegated after just playing one game in the new season, it just didn’t seem fair or right, there is one thing going down because you have lost every game, but to be relegated before you even play your games, was gutting. You have a choice as player and as a person to how you respond to life’s unpredictable twists and turns and as a team we just went straight out and played our hearts out, took out our
frustration on the pitch by playing some of the best football we have played, you have to come out fighting and show your spirit at times like that.” With the Euro revision on hold and the uncertain future of Doncaster Belles in the air, we moved on to speaking about the importance of family and how much her loved ones have influenced her as a player and a person. Twelve years ago, Sue and her family went through an extremely difficult time watching Syd, Sue’s dad struggle through a major operation to remove abysses on his brain, and then watch the agonising recovery in intensive care. Recently, Syd has been unwell again and it brought everything back for Sue and her family. “It was a scary time, as a kid you always see your parents as invincible, always being there for you, being strong, but when I went to see Dad in intensive care, it was all the tubes coming out of him everywhere, I would go and talk to him, but he wasn’t really there, it was awful, it hits you, you suddenly realise that you don’t care about anything other than them getting better. Football has always been my life, but when a family member is suddenly seriously ill, you see that it’s not life or death, I would have given it all up for him and not played another football match ever again if it meant my dad would get better. I had an England call up at the time around Dad’s operation, against Spain, I didn’t want to leave him, but my mum was telling me to go, and saying it’s what your Dad would want. I went and played without feeling any pressure on myself and played some of the best football I have ever played, to play that match was such a release and I scored a hat trick. When my Dad came round out of intensive care, it was the first thing I told him and he was so proud. I said, “I did it for you Dad”. What do you think your Mum and Dad are most proud about in regards to what you have achieved? “Mum and Dad’s proudest moment I think was my England debut, it was against Germany, I was so excited that I started Photo Credit: Papaya Photography
August 2013 13
every week, which of course, I try to beat her at, she was big into table tennis as does yoga and keep fit, so I guess I grew up with sport. I owe them both a lot and when one of them is suddenly really ill, you just want to pay them back for all the love and care they have given you over all the years, you just want them to be better.”
to run on to the pitch with my coat still on and the whole sub suit on, not a good look, I was just so excited, I still feel that excitement today. They were also really chuffed that I got my degree, they felt it was important for me to have a back plan to football. What characteristics have you gained from your Dad? “Strong, stubborn, technical help, he would always tell it straight, tell it how it is. He taught me to never let things defeat me, took me to training, he used to take me to training like 3 times a week to Tranmere, not all parents would do that for their kids. I owe him for that.” How about your Mum, has she influenced you as a character and as a player? “My Mum is really competitive, so at Christmas time in the Smith household, it’s a nightmare as we all want to win all the games, me Mum and I are the worst, so I guess I get my competitive streak from her. She has always been really sporty, she still plays bowls 14 August 2013
Mum Anne believed that Sue should have as many opportunities as possible and would always support her to follow her heart in what ever life choices she made. Anne says: “I remember taking Sue in the pram to go and watch her brother Carl play football, she must have only been two at the time. She was desperate to get out of the pram as soon as we got there and started to kick the ball around, it was just in her, this total love of the game from a tiny age and this unwavering determination as she got older that she would make football her life and compete at the highest level she could. As soon as she discovered there was an England Women’s Team, that was it, she had made up her mind that, that was what she was going to do and going to be, an England footballer. Sue’s first club was Rainhill and I always remember the coach saying, no matter the weather, snow, freezing or pouring with rain, he would know he had to turn up to training as there would always be one child there no matter what, that was our Sue. It was looked down on back then, girls playing
football, I remember one Christmas, Sue must have only been 5 and on her letter to Father Christmas was football boots, my neighbour asked me what Sue wanted for Christmas and I said football boots, she looked at me with horror, your surely not going to get them for her, I got them for her. I wanted her to do what ever she wanted to do in life, to follow the things that she was passionate about.” So what does the future hold for one of England’s all time favourite footballers? Anyone who has played football with Sue or knows her as a friend or colleague will know that she is a natural born fighter, there is a drive and a determination deep down.
thinking about my own family at this stage of my life, but seeing my brother have Ella and feeling the overwhelming love that I have for her, and she is not even mine, makes me realise that I may want to have a child of my own…. one that would love football though, obviously, they would have no say in that!” The decision has now been made about Doncaster Belles, they have been relegated, but somehow, I’m just not that worried about one of the players….a certain Sue Smith, because she is a Smith and has a strong pioneering family of Smiths behind her, a fighting spirit which drives her…. I know she will be just fine….
“I have to keep playing, I feel physically sick at the thought of not playing football, I want to be playing at the top level, I’m not really
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Feel great. Play tough. Sportswear designed for the female athlete
NZ Football Fern captain 2012 Olympics
I really enjoy pulling on my Emvale gear either to train in or for recovery because I like how it is different from the main stream. It has a story behind it and I know that the gear is made with the thought of what is best for each athlete in mind. While I feel sporty wearing it, I also like that it is feminine and made for women.
16 August 2013
w w w. e m v a l e . c o m
“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” - Katharine Hepburn
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Posy Musgrave Team GB Nordic Skier
18 August 2013
Photo: Jude Patterson
The unexpected and exciting success story of a young British team of Nordic skiers in international racing competitions has created waves in the Scandinavian skiing community in the last few years. Interview and article by Fern Cates
They understand the magnitude of the achievements of these athletes coming from a (virtually) no-snow nation. Three of the athletes were selected by the British Olympic Association to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The following interview is with promising athlete, Posy Musgrave, who this season has successfully achieved the best world cup results of any British female Nordic skier: At what point did you decide that you wanted to compete in cross-country skiing at an elite level and why? At school and university I skied and raced a little bit but it wasn’t until after university that I started racing seriously. I’d had some OK results before and thought I could do OK if I took it seriously for a few years. What result have you been most pleased with so far in your career? Results this year at world champs - 59th and 61st in the classic sprint and 10km skate respectively.
Also an awesome team sprint with Sarah! It’s a good feeling when you can have your best races at major championships. XCskiing is a minority sport in the UK, have you had many noticeable obstacles to overcome because of this fact? There has been a few yes, for example; Lack of funding obviously, although this is getting better now and getting funny looks from people when out rollerskiing! What is a typical training day like for a world class skier? Depends on the time of year - during the summer when I’m training the most I’ll train twice a day. So get up, breakfast, train (maybe 2 hours), lunch, rest, train again (up to another 2 hours), dinner, sleep. Not that exciting! In the winter when I start racing I will train less so I’m more rested for racing. As sister of the most successful British xc August 2013 19
20 August 2013
ski athlete, Andrew Musgrave, do you find that females are treated or acknowledged differently to males in your sport, eg do they receive equal opportunities in media, rewards, funding, qualifications, sponsorship etc? Within our team I think that things are fairly equal for men and women, for example qualification levels to get on the team and the support that everyone receives are equal. But in general there are more opportunities for men. For example in Norway where Andrew trains there are quite a few professional teams for male skiers but none for women. The most successful male skiers are probably more highly paid than the women because of sponsorship. Generally there is more pressure for girls to start skiing at a high level at a younger age, so they need to start training and racing seriously when they’re very young. This also means that if they don’t succeed when they’re quite young they’re much more likely to quit.
Photo: Jude Patterson
If you qualify and compete in Sochi 2014, other than your race, what are you looking forward to the most over the whole experience? I’m looking forward to the chance to meet and get to know athletes from other sports, both in Team GB and other countries. Also enjoying the atmosphere and getting to watch other events. If you had not become a xc skier, if you could be an athlete of any other sport- what would it be? I wish I could say gymnastics or ice skating because I love watching them, but realistically probably another endurance sport like triathlon. Where is your favourite racing and training venue? My favourite ski tracks are in Sjusjoen, Norway for both racing and training, I’ve trained there a
Photo: Jude Patterson
August 2013 21
â€œ...there is more pressure for girls to start skiing at a high level at a younger age...
22 August 2013
...This also means that if they don’t succeed when they’re quite young they’re much more likely to quit.” lot so know the trails really well and know lots of Norwegians so it’s fun at the races. What’s your favourite meal and do you have any lucky superstitions for before a race? I love filling up on lasagne for my pre-race dinner, but no real superstitions. Do you have sponsors? No personal sponsors but team ones - Salomon, Roeckl (gloves), Casco (glasses and visor). Also I get some funding from TASS and the Skiers Trust. What advice would you give to young cross-country skiers? Enjoy skiing and take any chance you can get to get on snow. What are the GB teams, and in particular your main aims for the next Winter Olympics? The team hopes to collectively improve our performance compared to the last Olympics. To achieve some top 30 places and I would like to be top 30 in the sprint. We wish Posy the best of luck in reaching her goals of competing in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Photo: Jude Patterson
To follow the British Nordic Ski team’s progressions and race results, be sure to follow them on: Twitter: @GBNordic Facebook: British Nordic Development Squad And www.bnds.org.uk for more news! August 2013 23
AT H L E T E Pietie Coetzee South African Women’s Hockey by Myak Homberger There are athletes who stand out in a generation for excelling in their sport, and there are athletes who stand out as timeless examples for generations, people such Martina Navratalova, Pele or ... Pietie Coetzee is such an athlete. She has dominated the Hockey landscape since bursting onto the scene in 1995. With over 200 caps to her name and more than 230 goals she is a goal scoring machine - imagine a male sport where the striker averaged a goal a game? (If you speak to any team, the person they don’t want in their ‘D’ is Pietie.) Alongside this, she has won awards, medals and accolades by the truck load - and yes, these are all things that make an athlete stand out from the crowd - but these are not only the things that make athletes great. What puts Pietie in another league, is her presence on the pitch, how she plays and how she supports, helps and imparts to the younger members of the team. She does this effortlessly: it just exudes from her, it’s a gift. Added to this, she loves to impart her skill and love of the game to the next generation and is keen to give of herself at any given opportunity and to encourage the next generation to compete. Her humility sets her apart. When we met up with her in London and asked her which medal or accolade 24 August 2013
Photo: Papaya Photography
meant the most, she said “the one that comes to mind is not to do with accolades, but a goal I scored that I always wanted to score.” For Pietie it’s about the game and about her enjoying doing what she does - its not about medals and accolades - and she shies away from the hype. Pietie Coetzee is the highest goal scorer of all time in field Hockey - and yet she is one of the most grounded and focused athletes you will ever meet. She is great role model who wants to impart to the newer team members and to the next generation. This is a team player who oozes talent and humility in equal measure. Pietie, we salute you and look forward to your further impact on hockey in the future!
Photo: Papaya Photography
August 2013 25
Dragons 7s Season SummaryÂ
Photo: Papaya Photography
26 August 2013
By Nigel Francis Although this was a very short season, it was a
season that cemented the Dragons 7s place on
the UK circuit. The season started with a trial tournament against the Welsh 7s squad and Cardiff Met, that allowed the coaches to look at
a number of new players, several of whom would
go on to play important roles as the season progressed.
The real start of the season saw the team in
London at Rugby Rocks. Due to clashes with other tournaments, unavailability and the FIRA
competition in Brive, the squad selected was
young in terms of 7s experience, with 8 of the 12 players, including Catrin Edwards, Karen Mayze
and Becky Newton, on debut. The squad has had some talented youngsters, with Ffion Jones,
Kath Salter and Jodie Williams all 18 or under.
It was a positive learning curve for the players and despite not winning a game, it was hugely pleasing to note that the squad competed in
every game, played to the final whistle, scored the
last try in every match and improved dramatically as the tournament went on, learning from their mistakes.
Next up was the West Country 7s and a new
milestone for the Dragons as they entered two
sides into the same tournament for the first time. The Dragons 7s were in the Open competition
and had a number of experienced players back in the fold, including captain Catrina Nicholas.
After a slow start against the Wooden Spoons, the squad refocused to narrowly lose to Green
Lightning before putting in the performance of the day to beat England Development, playing as
IPF. Facing Green Lightning in the Plate Final, the Irish showed their greater physicality and scored
a couple of early tries. The Dragons ended up August 2013 27
chasing the game and despite coming back
Dragons’ first silverware of the season.
The final outing saw two squads make the long
The Black Dragons entered the social tournament
Open at the Surf 7s. The team welcomed back
strongly in the second half had left too much to
with 8 players pulling the Dragons’ shirt on for
the first time, including Welsh XVs internationals
“The season has seen the player base expand dramatically with a number of very talented young players coming to the fore along side some more experienced players”
journey down to Newquay to compete in the Sioned Harries, Delyth Davies Amy Day and
Laurie Harries from international duty and gave debuts to established internationals, Philippa Tuttiett and Rebecca De Filippo.
Newquay was a memorable tournament with
both teams making finals in the cup and plate. The Dragons 7s faced Saracens in the Plate Final and
showed real commitment against Premiership standard opposition. The Dragons 7s played the Moody Cows in the Cup final in a game of two
halves. The Dragons turned round 10-0 up but knew that the Moody Cows would come back
Shona Powell-Hughes and Vic Owens and international footballer Elin Huxtable - another talent transfer find and a player to watch for the
future. Conceding only two tries all day, the side stormed to the Women’s Social Cup and the
28 August 2013
strongly. The second half saw the Moody Cows play very physical 7s with Katie Mason a constant threat, creating or scoring 3 tries. Whilst it was
slightly disappointing to lose both finals, it was a great achievement to get two teams into the finals.
The season has seen the player base expand
they played a remarkable Irish development
young players coming to the fore along side
are always in contention for silverware. This is a
dramatically with a number of very talented
some more experienced players, who have made
the transfer from XVs to VIIs. The future is bright
side, Saracens and the Moody Cows - teams who team full of gift and in time will deliver.
for the Dragons and everyone involved with the squad is looking forward to next season and the challenges it will bring.
Editors note: It has been a very exciting first season supporting the Dragons and we have spoken at length about a number of things for
next season that will continue the upward course they are on. Regarding the review of the season,
I would like to emphasise how well the team has done. They played very good teams and at no
point when I saw them did they not play exciting,
good and committed Rugby. Amongst others August 2013 29
Photo: Courtesy Beling Family
30 August 2013
UNSUNG Greg Beling
South African Hockey Coach By Myak Homberger The measure of a person can always been seen by the comments people around them make when they are not there - and more importantly, by the actions of those who have been impacted by them when they are out of sight. On the 18th of January 2013 Greg Beling suffered a major heart attack whilst on training camp with the South African Women’s Hockey team. This has left him in a coma for some time now and as a result his medical cover has finally run out. The SA women’s Hockey team flew 9,600 km, played four matches; climbed on a plane, flew another 500 km; got straight on to a waiting bus to take them to an event. This event was a charity coaching clinic held at Wimbeldon Hockey - not one that was organised for them, but one that as a team they had decided to run themselves to raise money for Greg. This was their only ‘down time’ as they prepared to play the World Championships in London, but
they wanted to run this event for Greg. This speaks of the man and what he has contributed to the team and to Hockey in general. The team’s enthusiasm and dedication shone through and is a testament to them and to Greg’s input. They could have slouched around but they gave it their all. This was about the kids and equipping the next generation, but it was also about Greg and raising money for him. Greg has coached since ‘forever’ and is an icon of South African Hockey. Greg, as well as coaching the Senior Women’s South African team is also one of the coaches for the South African u21 Women’s hockey team, he also coached and was a valuable member at Wimbledon Hockey club in England, he coaches Clarendon Girls High School first team as well as being the Vice President of the Border Hockey Association and is actively involved with all the Border hockey.
this is clearly demonstrated in the support from the players. When we spoke to member of the current South African Women’s Hockey squad, there was a genuine intake of breath and the comment, “where do we start? He has this enthusiasm that is contagious and he would always know if you weren’t ok, he cared about the athlete as a person”. There is a tangible fondness for Greg, who seems legendary in all he has done for Hockey from grassroots up as well as the selfless giving of his time. A true hero, an unsung hero. So we wish Greg all the very best and “sterkte” to both him and his family. He has influenced many a Hockey player and the current South African Women’s Hockey team. People like this are priceless.
His passion and energy has guided and inspired many a career and August 2013 31
â€œI have nothing in common with lazy people who blame others for their lack of success. Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.â€? - Kobe Bryant
International 32 August 2013
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Photo: courtesy Jordan Taylor
Jordan Taylor International softball player 34 August 2013
By Myak Homberger Female athletes have story after story of sacrifice and determination to achieve and to represent their country in their chosen sport - and Jordan Taylor’s story is one of those that makes you stop and think. With over 70 records, awards and medals to her name, Jordan Taylor can reflect on a successful career that is far from over - and one that almost never started, had she listened to all the people and coaches who said that she should quit and that she would never make it as a Softball player or pitcher. Born in Valencia, California, Jordan Taylor took up Softball aged 4. A keen athlete, she played
Photo: courtesy Jordan Taylor
most sports going, as well as doing ballet. “I did
As time went on, it became clear to her that
the works,” she explains. However it was Softball
Softball would be her ticket to get her through
that kept calling her and despite holding the
college. This belief was cemented when she
record at the local park for the most balls pitched
compiled a perfect record of 32-0, setting the
over the fence she was determined to get better.
record for ‘the best record in state history’. During
Daily practise with her parents and anyone who
the 2007 season, she threw 24 shutouts and four
would give her time, helped and despite being
no-hitters and allowed only six earned runs in
dropped by successive pitching coaches, she
216 innings for a 0.19 earned run average. She
made it through seniors playing Softball. “Throwing hard was easy, but my accuracy was awful,” Jordan comments as she recalls the practise she had to put in to achieve her dream. Her mother knew her daughter could do it and kept looking for coaches who would believe in her and see the potential. This resulted in a drive 3 hours each way twice a week to a coach who
“I don’t want Softball to become a job, I want to have fun and as soon as that stops and it becomes a task I will hang up my cleets.”
turned things around. What incredible belief, dedication and love. August 2013 35
also struck out 406 batters for an average of 13.2 strikeouts per seven innings. She was selected as the 2007 National High School Coaches’ player of the year while playing for Valencia. As a Senior Jordan also set the California state record for most wins in a week with 10. This was the start of an award and record laden career - and yet she is still doing it and ‘just having fun’, as Jordan comments. “I don’t want Softball to become a job, I want to have fun and as soon as that stops and it becomes a task I will hang up my cleets.” This sums up Jordan completely. Jordan’s focus came from the fact that whilst she acknowledges her natural shyness, she knew she could harness that into the other part of her character and develop herself and push
Photo: courtesy Jordan Taylor
herself mentally. This drive and passion saw her represent the USA on numerous occasions,
Here is a Californian girl, living the dream of
again winning medals - but it was never really
playing Softball full time in the largest and most
something planned. “I’m not a planner, because
competitive league in the world - and yet she is
every time I plan something it doesn’t work out,”
very clear on how she got to where she is and
who supported her. Her feet are firmly on the ground and she is so smiley, chatty and grateful
The interesting thing is that this approach has
to be where she is. Not a drop of pretence. A
made Jordan the person she is: she is relaxed,
daughter to be proud of, a sister to look up to, a
enjoys the game, enjoys each phase of her life,
wonderful friend and a role model that goes far
doesn’t stress about the plan and as a result is
beyond the call of duty.
not only a better person but also a better and more complete athlete. This to many seems to be
Thanks Jordan, it was great fun hanging out with
contradictory but the stats speak for themselves
you; and thanks to your mom for all she gave so
- and when you meet her you can’t help but get
that you can fulfil your dreams.
caught up in her smiley, chatty, humble nature. She is more focused for being less intense.
36 August 2013
Photo: Louise Poynton
“I’m not a planner, because every time I plan something it doesn’t work out,”
Photo: courtesy Jordan Taylor
August 2013 37
Getting up to Speed for 7’s Speed Endurance Carrying on from the last issue and probably the most under valued element during preseason. Speed Endurance, just think of it as building the foundation for the season ahead, who wouldn’t want to be able to maintain speed over 40, 50, 60 or even 100m over and over again…?
used in-season or during preseason. This option that is given below is more beneficial to use during in-season because it is short and sharp and will allow you to maintain repeated speed fitness levels taking you into the 7’s seasons.
This issue will teach you how to achieve this.
C.V Run round rugby pitch following the lines of the pitch starting from the dead ball line one end run across then up and across the try line then up and across the 22 and so on.
What Speed is Endurance? This is a key component and should be implemented into each training session in one-way or another. Speed endurance is key to implement, as it requires us to perform successive sprints at the same speed. Key Points • Minimal recovery time to replicate game play • 100% maximal efforts each sprint • Focus and work towards a maximal distance of 100 meters • Practice sprints with rugby ball. Implementing Repeated Sprints into your session. Repeated sprint sessions can be completed at the beginning of the session and can be either 38 August 2013
Dynamic movements – Creating rugby specific movements – Keep stretches moving • Lunges • Hip Activation • Hamstring swings
Medium distance sprint repeat session: Option1 – Medium repeated sprints 10 x 70m sprint (7-10 seconds followed by 50m jog) – 40 seconds recovery starts when run has finished or when you start the 50m jog. 4 MIN RECOVERY & REPEAT
Option 2 – Short repeated sprints 20 x 20m sprint – The recovery is a 20 seconds rolling clock, so the quicker you finish the more recovery time you have. 4 MIN RECOVERY & REPEAT Summary By implementing the session pre-training allows you to get maximal physiological benefits. The session is great for maintaining and topping up fitness levels during the season. The session above has been designed for anyone 16+, if you are younger scale the training down. Top Tip: Minimal recovery time to replicate game play. Contact us: info@exerformance www.exerformance.com
Proud Supporter of Lucy Shuker Paralympian Bronze Medalist
w w w. e m v a l e . c o m August 2013 39
Matildas Photo: Papaya Photography
by Myak Homberger Â
We spent some time with the Matildas at the end of their season to catch up and chat about Football/Soccer in Australia and the Matildas in 40 August 2013
general. The Australia womenâ€™s football team is nicknamed the Matildas (from the song Waltzing Matilda). The team has regularly qualified for
“I set myself a goal when I started playing Soccer at 8 that I was going to play for the Matildas,”
both the Women’s World Cup and the Olympics; it has had success at the Continental level, being a triple Oceania Cup winner, as well as winning the Asia Cup once. As a sport, Football/Soccer is growing in Australia. “I was around 10 years ago and its grown hugely since I started coaching,” said Alen Stajcic, Sydney FC Coach. “The challenge as in so many sports seems to be the depth, the moment you step outside of elite/premier level soccer.” This issue seems to be brought about by the huge number of sports that are on offer in Australia, but also the region specific sports that athletes can participate in. Talking with Sam Kerr, Alanna Kennedy and Kyah Simon, they are all in agreement. “It’s a growing scene and second to Netball now.” The interesting thing with these three is that their stories of how they got to play Soccer is so different - and this highlights the huge amount of sporting options in Australia. Kyah explained her soccer journey: “I set myself a goal when I started playing Soccer at 8 that I was going to play for the Matildas,” and with over 30 caps to her name she has achieved this with style including playing overseas in America! For Sam Kerr it was a different story. Brought up in an Aussie Rules house (brother represented Australia), it was only when she connected with the Western Australian National Training Centre, that soccer took off for her. This required a huge amount of change and commitment from her. However, its worth it, she says. “Putting on the Australia jersey and representing your country, there is nothing better,” says Sam, commenting on all the work she has put in to her soccer. This has paid off, with 20 caps; Players’ Player of the Year and Goal of the Year awards and an appearance on the cover of Four Four Two. Alanna Kennedy again comes from another August 2013 41
background Rugby League, where she was introduced to Soccer and hasn’t looked back capped 6 times for Australia in one short year. Despite such different backgrounds and such large geographical distances between them, it’s very clear they have the same goals and the same values and ethos. “We like the lifestyle, playing with our friends, it’s pure fun,” is the comment they all agree on. There are no large paydays for these Soccer stars, they do it because the enjoy it and they are proud to represent their country. They play with a passion and determination that is highlighted by Sam Kerr as she explains further, “ I don’t think any of us would say we want the money, it drives us. It would mean that we could train more, yes, but we are so committed and have done it for so long that it doesn’t drive us.” This is a great summary of a group of people playing an up-and-coming sport at representative level and doing it for all the right reasons, without any moaning or complaining, especially on the backdrop of the cuts by the AOC.
42 August 2013
When funding is increased for a sport we all cheer, when a new sport is added to the Olympics we cheer. Yet what we sometimes forget is that there is then often a sport that loses out and their funding is cut. This is the case with Soccer in Australia. At the end of 2012 the AOC pulled its support for Soccer which came as a huge blow to the team and the individual players who were impacted by this decision. Yet despite this they are all keen to prove both their worth and that of the sport they love - and for our part we want to support them all the way! GO Matildas GO!
Why we need to think seriously about sport by Emily Ryall This September I’m off to Los Angeles to attend the annual conference for the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport. Yes philosophers are renowned for thinking a lot, talking a lot and doing very little, and I’m always the butt of my friend’s jokes that I don’t actually work for a living! But philosophy is important and hopefully by the end of this short article, I’ll be able to explain why.
Essentially philosophy is about thinking… really hard! It is about asking questions that other people don’t ask, or questioning assumptions that everyone else takes for granted. Its purpose? To try to identify problems and to find effective and justifiable solutions. In this sense, the best sports players, athletes and coaches are philosophers at heart. They’re able to break down and analyse problems clearly. They’re able
August 2013 43
to separate out peripheral and trivial issues and work out what is important. And they’re able to weigh up and identify possible solutions. Finally, they’re able to take others along with them and persuade them of their ideas. That is the same for philosophers. Philosophers have been criticised in the past for locking themselves away in ivory towers and only talking to each other in a language that no-one else understands, but that shouldn’t and isn’t always the case. I’m fortunate enough to be a professional philosopher in a multi-discipline department which means I have to keep my feet firmly on the ground. It also means that I can influence those that are going into sport, whether as athletes, development officers, coaches, or sports scientists. I certainly don’t have all the answers (if any!) but I can get my students to think. And it is these critical thinking and analytical skills that helps enable success, in all walks of life. So my paper at this conference in September will consider whether coaches have a responsibility to develop not just good athletes or players, but good people. There are countless examples of the ‘bad guys’ of sport and many examples where players have been sanctioned for morally questionable offfield behaviour. We have this odd phenomenon in sport where athletes are held up as role models whilst we seem to set lower standards for other ‘entertainment’ trades such as music or acting. In this respect, there seems to be a greater onus on sports coaches to ensure that their protégés are not only good at their sport but also good, morally virtuous people too. So my job, as a philosopher, is to question these assumptions. If a rugby player, for example, goes out mid-week, gets blindingly drunk, and gains a reputation for sleeping around, BUT still plays exceptionally well on match days, are we rightly outraged that this athlete is not living up to their duty to provide a good role model? And is it up to the coach or management to discipline them? I am going to try to present an argument that we need to reassess our expectations. The coach or manager’s primary priority is that they have a successful team or athlete. If it can be shown that a player’s
Emily Ryall is a senior lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Gloucestershire, Chair of the British Philosopher of Sport Association and Director of Storm7 Rugby
“there seems to be a greater onus on sports coaches to ensure that their protégés are not only good at their sport but also good, morally virtuous people too”
44 August 2013
personality or vices has an adverse effect on their playing performance, then the coach may intervene, but they don’t have a professional duty to also make that player a better person. In the same way, a manager of a musician might be concerned that their act’s wild ways might prevent them from performing well on stage, and so will try to control their drinking habit, but they have no professional obligation to turn them tee-total.
matters because questioning assumptions and considering different questions can ultimately affect perception and practice. Governing bodies design coaching qualifications and set expectations and standards and these filter down to the practices we see daily on a sports pitch, athletics track or swimming pool. These don’t appear from thin air, someone has to sit down and decide what is required to be a coach and how to assess it. And they need to be justified in the approach they take. Casting a philosophical or critical eye over these processes ensure that they are fit for purpose and they have a rational basis. I may well be deliberately provocative in my questioning but the reason being is that it ensures clarity of thought and quality of debate that will ultimately lead to sound practice in the sports arena. That is why we need to think seriously about sport.
“sport is held up as a moral educator in a way that no other (non-religious) practice is”
Unfortunately, and mainly due to historical reasons associated with the English public school system where much of today’s sport originated from, sport is held up as a moral educator in a way that no other (non-religious) practice is. And there is an expectation for sport coaches to continue in this vein. That is not to say that coaches shouldn’t genuinely care about those they coach and consider their welfare. But that is no different from the way that we should treat each other in any other sphere. Despite all the claims to the contrary and what you might hear in schools and sports clubs, there is nothing intrinsic to sport that produces good character. You don’t have to look far for examples of selfish, egotistical, arrogant, over-competitive athletes to see this. Sport can be used as a moral educator but only in the same way that other human and social activities can be used. We should not therefore have a higher moral expectation of athletes to others in the public sphere. We also should not place added responsibilities on coaches to look after the moral education of their athletes, unless we are also prepared to do so to all others in similar managerial positions.
You may well (if you have read this far) be asking, why does all this matter? (Other than the fact I get a nice trip to California to talk about it!) It
Get involved in the conversation - if you have any comments please let us know: twitter: @SportsImagazine
August 2013 45
Softball We would like to introduce you to Softball as our ‘sport explained’ in this issue. So what is Softball? Well, it is a variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field. The game is dominated by the pitcher who controls all the strings.
46 August 2013
Sports Explained The International Softball Federation regulates rules of play in more than 110 countries, including the United States and Canada. Women’s fastpitch softball became an Olympic sport in 1996, but it (and baseball) was dropped in 2005 from the 2012 games. Although they are attempting
to get it back in as we speak. Despite the name, the ball used is not soft. It is about 12 in. (30 cm) in circumference (sometimes larger for slow-pitch), which is 3 in. (8 cm) larger than a baseball. The infield in softball is smaller than in baseball; each base is 60 ft (18 m) from the next, as opposed to baseball’s 90 ft. (27 m). Softball rules vary somewhat from those of baseball. Two major differences are that the ball must be pitched underhand - from 46 ft. (14 m) for men or 43 ft. (12 m) for women as compared with 60.5 ft. (18.4 m) in baseball - and that seven innings instead of nine constitute a regulation game. Softball is played between two teams on a large field, with 9 players from one team on the field at a time. The field is usually composed of a dirt or brickdust infield which contains the quadrilateral shape and running areas, and a grass outfield. However, the field also can consist of all dirt, grass, or artificial turf. There are 4 bases on the infield (first base, second base, third base and home plate); the bases are arranged in a square and are typically 45 to 65 ft. (13,7 to 19,8 m.) apart. Near the center of this square is the pitcher’s circle, and within the circle is the ‘rubber’, a small flat rectangular piece of rubber about a foot and a half in length. The rubber can be 40 or 43 ft. away from home plate, depending on age level and also the league one is playing in. The object of the game is to score more runs (points) than the other team by batting (hitting) a ball into play and running around the bases, touching each one in succession. The ball is a sphere of light material, covered with leather or synthetic material. It is 10 to 12 in. (or rarely, 16 in. (28 to 30.5cm) in circumference. The game is officiated by one or more neutral umpires. Players and umpires are generally free to ask for a brief stoppage at any time when the ball is not in play, or immediately following a play once its outcome is clear. The game is played in a series of innings, usually 7 (youth leagues may play 6). There is no time limit or clock as in other sports, although amateur leagues often impose a time limit for practical reasons. An inning is one series of both teams playing offense and defense. Each inning is divided into a top half and a bottom half indicating which team is playing which role. The offense bats and attempts to score runs, while the defense occupies the field and attempts to record outs in a variety of ways. After the defense records 3 outs, the half inning is over and the teams switch roles.
August 2013 47
Recipes and Tips Honey Oat Cookies Good-for-you ingredients Oats contain protein, calcium, and some vitamin E. Oats are a good source of B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium. Oats contain soluble fibre which can reduce cholesterol levels. Oats can cure constipation and help prevent gallstones. Oats provide slow-release energy which can help regulate blood sugar and protect against diabetes. The beta-glucan in oats can also help you feel full for longer (good for diets and healthy weight!) Porridge made with oats makes for an easy, delicious and healthy breakfast that will provide slow-release energy throughout the morning. For some, oat porridge is a very serious matter indeed: the annual World Porridge Making Championship is held on the 10th of October every year in the Scottish Highland village of Carrbridge, where the winner is awarded the Golden Spurtle! Hints Using maple syrup or golden syrup instead of honey changes the flavour of the cookies. Adding an ounce of chopped nuts adds taste, texture and additional nutrients. By Isa du Toit
48 August 2013
Recipe 125g (4oz) soft butter 75g (3oz) light muscovado sugar 1 egg 170g (6oz) oats 50g (1 3/4oz) self-raising flour 1/4 t baking powder 50g (20z) sultanas 1T honey
Method Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan). Lightly grease two baking sheets. Cream together the butter and sugar with a hand whisk until light and pale. Add the egg, whisk till just combined, then stir in the honey. Mix the oats, flour, baking powder and sultanas together and stir into the mixture. Drop small spoonfuls (about the size of a walnut) onto the baking sheets, spacing them well apart, and very slightly flatten them with the back of the spoon. (Makes about twenty cookies.) Bake for 10-12 min. until golden. Leave to cool on the sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Photo Credit: Zac Peatling
August 2013 49
Thank you’s It goes without saying that without the support and
the magazine, thank you. Jordan, for your patience
it would not happen. These people give their time
interested and for your spark. Kate-Anne, as always
people’s ability to see the vision of the magazine
and in some cases open themselves to share things that they normally don’t share, because they want
the readers to hear their story in a safe environment. To these people and all those that I have forgotten, thank you.
To Fatman and Blobin for one of the most enjoyable, if somewhat short lived interviews and for sharing about Greg our Unsung Hero so personally. Jen
explaining a game I didn’t get and making me
you can see the vision. Pietie for you honesty, time
and sharing of yourself. John for your cool gear and support of athletes. Nigel for our vision and world domination!
To Roger for his amazing work on the magazine and tech ‘stuff’. To my ever watchful proof reader ta muchly!
Wilson and all at SAW Hockey for the access and
It’s been amazing to see the support and belief and
the week. To Sporttape, Underarmour and Emvale
trust in allowing me to be a part of the team for for their huge support of the athletes we work
with and to the athletes for giving so freely of their time. Adam Barlow our first senior correspondent, you earned it providing good, down to earth
commentary on Football. Racheal Stack for her
insight and writing on Football across the pond and in Ireland, we are looking forward to great things from you! To the whole ARU family that gave us unprecedented access to the management, the
team and senior executives. To Anthony Eddy for
his time and input and to Scott, for all the bits and bobs - cheers, to our ‘sources’, thanks for all the
information and vision, to the team that allowed me to hang out and for sharing …….
To the Matildas, in particular Kyah Simon, Alanna
Kennedy and Sam Kerr for taking time out ahead
of a big match to chat and do photos, and to Alen
Stajcic for his time in a busy schedule. The wonderful Olivia and Alison, a dynamic duo who have so much
to offer and deliver the most amazing photography, they are a team very much on the same page as
50 August 2013
it has not gone unnoticed for one moment, thank
Contact Subscribe on line: www.issuu.com/sportsinternationalmagazine Keep up to date on our blog: www.sportsinternationalmagazine.com/blog or on twitter: @sportsinternationalmagazine Advertising contact: Adsales@sportsinternationalmagazine.com Editorial contact: Editor@sportinternationalmagazine.com
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August 2013 51