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Sport and fitness for today’s youth

October 2010 £2.75

Breakfast eaters are more active By Louise Cordell SCIENTISTS have announced that one simple action could stop British children from getting fatter, less physically active and less fit – eating breakfast. Researchers at Essex University have found that children who skip breakfast are less active than those who eat it, and believe that the meal could hold the key to better child health. For their study, they looked at the fitness, physical activity, weight and breakfast habits of more than 4,000 children. The results showed that a quarter of boys and a third of girls regularly went to school without eating breakfast and that the children who did not eat breakfast were less active than those who did. The research found that boys who skipped the meal were twice as likely to be classified as unfit compared with those who always managed to eat something before leaving home. Results also suggested that the lower physical activity in those that

Coaching goal is revealed

missed breakfast could have a knock on effect on children’s body weight, as breakfast skippers were nearly twice as likely to be obese compared with those who ate the meal every day. The study also recorded the reasons children gave for why they don’t eat breakfast – for boys it was often due to a lack of time in the mornings but girls often skip the meal because they think it can help them lose weight, even though it can actually lead to cravings for sugary snacks and drinks. Dr Gavin Sandercock, who led the research, claims that the decline in the health of the nation’s children is a major worry. He said: “There is great national concern about our children’s increasing weight, decreasing activity and decreasing fitness. “You don’t see many factors that relate so strongly to all three, but it appears that children who regularly eat breakfast are thinner, more active and even fitter than those who don’t.”

Organisers are celebrating the success of this year’s UK School Games – a multi-sport event for the country’s elite young athletes. The event programme included road cycling, athletics, badminton, fencing, gymnastics, hockey, judo, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. There was also an integrated programme of disability events for physical and learning disabilities in athletics, swimming and table tennis. The sports were combined into a four day Games environment designed to replicated the feel of a major event like the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games. Picture: Olympic gold medallist Jason Gardener launching the UK School Games

SPORT Wales has announced it is aiming to get ten per cent of the Welsh adult population involved in sport coaching and volunteering by 2016. The move would double the current number of coaches and volunteers to an all-time high of nearly 250,000. It is hoped that the pledge will enable every person who participates in sport in Wales to have access to an appropriately skilled coach, as part of ongoing efforts to get every child hooked on sport for life and create a nation of champions. The full details of a six-year Coaching Strategy are set to be unveiled later this month by the Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones and Chair of Sport Wales, Professor Laura MacAllister. Look out for an interview with Professor McAllister next issue, talking about the strategy and practicalities of helping Wales achieve its coaching goals.

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TV millionaire in school ice hockey plea By Louise Cordell A STAR of the Channel 4 programme Secret Millionaire has called on the coalition government to add ice hockey to the curriculum. Insurance tycoon Paul Ragan, who is also the CEO of Cardiff Devils Ice Hockey, wants the sport to be included in physical education timetables around the country. He said: “School children are allowed to attend schoolboy international football matches and high-profile rugby matches in school time. Why not ice hockey? “We are trying to build the Elite Ice Hockey League in Britain, but where is the new generation of players going to come from unless they become enthused as children. “We are far too insular about the sports that we encourage within our schools and there is far too much attention lavished upon football, cricket and rugby. “Modern society is interested in a

myriad of other sports and schools need to take that into account.” The country’s nine Elite Ice Hockey League teams currently rely heavily on players from outside the UK – sportsmen otherwise known as imports. At the moment, out of the 18 players on the roster for the Cardiff Devils, 11 are imports and six of these are Canadians. Paul added: “The Cardiff Devils welcome visiting school parties to watch training matches and skills training sessions at the Cardiff Arena and I will be now approaching the owners of other teams to see if we can’t create a national network of school visits. If PE teachers want to apply to the Devil’s offices we will also arrange for free tickets to some of our Elite League games this season. “Watching huge men skate at over 30 miles per hour and firing pucks in excess of 100 miles per hour makes for an adrenaline charged evening for young fans.”

Price freeze on dance instructor programme THE price of a YMCA dance instructor programme has been frozen in an attempt to get more young people active. The training provider YMCAfit has decided not to increase the cost of its Kids’ Fitness Street Dance Instructor training programme as a way of making activities like this accessible for more children around the country. Denise Page, YMCAfit director, said: “As well as proving successful as a way to get children moving, street dancing is a non-intimidating, up to date and something that all children

can be part of. “In line with our charitable mission, we guide our trainee instructors to devise activity programmes which are fun, interactive and accessible to all. “We encourage people on our kids’ fitness courses to take ideas from the children they are leading. “If we want children to be more active we need to work with them.” Those who successfully complete YMCAfit’s Kids’ Fitness-Street Dance instructor training course gain a government approved and nationally recognised teaching qualification.

Martin Robinson, general manager of Hilton East Midlands Airport and Ricky Hatton

Ricky rounding up charity cash BOXING champion Ricky ‘the hitman’ Hatton has teamed up with Precor to help raise money for children’s charities. He was one of several sports stars to throw their weight behind this year’s Hilton in the Community Foundation charity challenge, helping to raise over £80,000. Ricky was encouraging people to run, cycle, row and crosstrain for this year’s “Around the world in a Day” challenge, in order to collectively cover enough miles to cover the circumference of the earth. More than 4,000 contestants cov-

Contacts Group editor: Andrew Harrod – Tel: 01226 734639 Reporters: Louise Cordell – Tel: 01226 734694 Christina Eccles – Tel: 01226 734463 Dominic Musgrave – Tel: 01226 734407 Sales and marketing director: Tony Barry Assistant sales and product manager: Rachel Collins Tel: 01226 734709

ered miles either working-out using Precor cardio-vascular equipment in gyms or by taking part in organised walks. Collectively they needed to clock up 24,901.55 miles to say they’d ‘crossed’ the globe and comfortably passed it by reaching 34,099 miles. England second row Nick Kennedy said: “It’s great to be part of Around the World in a Day. This is a fantastic chance for people to challenge themselves, to get active and to support young people in need around the country.” Studio manager: Stewart Holt Deputy group editor: Judith Halkerston Circulation enquiries to: Kelly Tarff Tel: 01226 734695




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Young Brits take medals By Louise Cordell

Ekaterina Bleskina, 100m hurdles gold medallist

SINGAPORE has hosted the first ever Youth Olympic Games for over 3,500 athletes from around the world. Young people, aged between 14 and 18, from over 200 National Olympic Committees competed in 26 different sports and a culture and education programme. British athletes won 13 medals across eight sports, including five gold medals in five sports; taekwondo, rowing, gymnastics, equestrian and tennis. In addition to the medal winning performances, Team GB athletes recorded a further 25 top ten positions, of which 12 were in the top six, against the best in the world in their age group. Jan Paterson, Team GB Chef de Mission, said: “I'm delighted that our athletes have fully embraced and enjoyed the wider Youth Olympic Games experience. “The experience gained will greatly benefit their development and I have no doubt they will now be better prepared for the demands they will face in progressing their careers through to senior international, and ultimately, Olympic level. “Singapore has put on an outstanding inaugural Youth Olympic Games, with fantastic volunteers and great organisation, and Team GB’s 39 young athletes have played their part in making Olympic history with distinction.” The aim of the Games was to inspire children to embrace the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect as well as creating a lasting sporting legacy for Singapore and the athletes who took part. Ng Ser Miang, chairman of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee, said: “The young Olympians have breathed life into

Sam Oldham, Team GB silver medallist, artistic gymnastics, pommel horse the first Youth Games and their spectacular performances and enthusiastic participation have proved that the concept is a right one. “The integration of sports with culture and education and the buzz of these Games have been magical.” The opening and closing ceremonies for the 12 day event featured extravagant firework displays on the world’s largest floating stage and a mix of theatre, music and dance.

Pupils caught on camera for new exhibition SECONDARY school pupils from three Leicester schools have been catching their physical activity on camera for a new exhibition. The show, ‘Moving in my World’, is the culmination of a two-year Loughborough University study, which aims to provide an insight into young people’s experiences and understanding of physical culture within their everyday lives. More than 60 students from Sir Jonathan North Community College, The Lancaster Schol and City of Leicester College used digital cameras to record some of their daily physical activity for up to two weeks. Dr Laura Azzarito, lead researcher from the University’s school of sport,

exercise and health studies, said: “We wanted this photo research to enable young people to speak for themselves in a world where they are increasingly labelled as lazy and overweight. “We wanted to see how young people’s views of physical activity would compare against the backdrop of public health reports and media concern about young people ‘at risk’ of health problems.” Around 100 of the 1,000-plus photographs taken for the project are now on display at the Pedstrain Arts Centre in Leicester and a second exhibition is planned at the city’s New Walk Museum next year, when the full research findings are also expected to be available.




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‘School meals are a good option for fussy eaters’ SCHOOL lunches can tempt fussy eaters to try new foods, according to a new survey from the School Food Trust. In the study, researchers found that four out of five children in England who ate school lunches had tried food at school that they had not tried at home. The poll of 1,000 parents also found that half of them had been asked to make dishes for the family that their children had eaten and enjoyed at school. The Trust commissioned the poll following a Mumsnet survey which suggested that some parents choose to provide packed lunches because they worry that their kids are too fussy to eat anything else. Rob Rees, Trust chairman, said: “School meals can be a great way to help parents encourage their children to try new foods and increase the variety in their diet. “I think we all remember wanting to eat like our friends at school – it has a huge influence on what children are prepared to try, so school meals are a good option for fussy eaters. “What’s more, we are starting to see

a shift in children’s habits since the introduction of new standards for school food – our research in primary schools shows that they have much healthier options on their plates than they did five years ago.” Lunches served in all maintained schools in England must now meet specific standards, so that the average meal provides the right mix of energy and nutrients that children need. Research in schools by the Trust has also shown that packed lunches generally contain fewer healthy items and higher levels of fat, sugar and salt than school lunches. School cooks visited by the Trust use a range of techniques to encourage children to try new flavours. In Northumberland, the head chef at Cambois First School uses selfservice to encourage even very young children to put a variety of foods on their plates. Head teacher Paul Frost said: “The tasting programme has really helped to eliminate fussy eating habits. “Children as young as five and six serve themselves at lunchtime. “We work on the theory that the

children must try a bit of everything and eat what they take – but they decide on the quantities. “The results have been amazing: waste has been significantly reduced

and we can see even young children making responsible choices. “We have found that if children are given responsibility, they take it seriously.”




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The introduction of group exercise classes in secondary schools in Scotland is helping teenagers fall in love with fitness. Mary Ferguson reports.

Teenagers catch the fitness bug IN school halls up and down North Lanarkshire, young people have been getting active and developing their physical skills, with the help of a modern and motivating soundtrack. The Les Mills programmes were introduced to PE classes two years ago and now run in 23 schools in the area, enabling youngsters aged 13 to 16 to take part in group exercise classes. A successful growth bid application to North Lanarkshire Council in 2008 secured recurring funding to allow a team of five ‘Fitness Motivators’ to be appointed to work directly with pupils in schools to undertake practical training programmes. The Motivators deliver the classes through North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd, which operates 11 fitness facilities in the area. Melanie Menzies, health and fitness manager for the company, told Future Fitness the programmes have been of particular benefit to teenage girls. She said: “They tend to be fairly

some elements of the classes are modified to suit under-16s. For example, in school-run BodyPump sessions, which use barbells to increase strength, the focus is less on weights and more on technique. Melanie claims that BodyJam, which uses a fusion of dance moves, is the most popular among the pupils because the modern moves and music appeal to them, however, PE teachers also find BodyBalance, a yoga, Pilates and t’ai chi workout, is a useful tool to help relax stressed pupils during exams. inactive and are often disengaged from traditional PE activities, so these classes have been really useful for them. “We introduced these classes into our leisure centres in 2001 and they have been spectacularly popular, which is why we thought we’d try them in schools. “The pupils enjoy them so much that many are taking part at our fitness facilities too, often bringing their parents. So it’s been great for

business.” Three years ago the centres also introduced a ‘study leave’ membership package, for pupils who wanted to use the facilities while they revise for exams away from school. In the first year, over 400 youngsters took it up, and the numbers have grown every year since. Most Les Mills classes last for 45 minutes or an hour, but to fit into PE lesson time they are often shortened to just over half an hour, and

In a bid to keep things fresh, the choreography and music is changed every three months and the schools regularly swap programmes around to keep pupils interested. Melanie added: “As well as the obvious health benefits of exercise, teachers have noticed an increase in confidence among the children, especially those that may not be the most popular, but have found something they are good at.”




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Parents help kids bunk off games By Louise Cordell SCHOOL children are avoiding PE lessons with a little help from mum and dad. New research has found that one in five parents admits to sending fake ‘off games’ notes into school, event when they knew their child’s reason wasn’t genuine. Parents who spent their own school days trying to skip PE lessons are also five time more likely to help their kids bunk off from games. The national survey was commissioned by The Cricket Foundation and found that three quarters of parents of eight to 16 year olds regularly tried to get out of PE when they were younger and one in five admitted to have skived ‘many times’ in a school year. Now they are passing on their PEphobia with 31 per cent confessing they have sent a note to school excusing their child from PE without a genuine reason. However, only six per cent of parents who enjoyed sports as children have done the same. The most popular excuse for getting

out of games has stayed the same for the past two generations, with an upset stomach used by half of all parents and 40 per cent of today’s children. Having a headache and forgetting kit are the next most popular sick note excuses. Most children blamed the British weather for wanting to skip PE, but 28 per cent of girls claimed they are embarrassed about their appearance in sports kit and 18 per cent of children say it is down to a lack of sporting ability. Wasim Khan, The Cricket

Foundation chief executive, said: “There should be no excuse for avoiding PE lessons, which ought to be a positive experience for children. “Special events like National Cricket Day can also help to inspire children, even those who may otherwise try to avoid games.” Cross country running was voted the most disliked PE lesson by the majority of parents, followed by hockey, athletics, gymnastics and swimming. Cricket came tenth in the least favourite PE sports while 11 per cent of parents enjoyed every sport in PE.

PE hater numbers rise with age Other highlights of The Cricket Foundation’s school days survey include:  Four in ten children admit asking their parents to lie and come up with an excuse on their behalf, while nearly a quarter resort to faking a problem to fool their parents and 15 per cent admit to forging a sick note.  Edinburgh and Norwich top the table of PE-shirking cities in the children’s survey, while Glasgow has the highest number of children, 68 per cent, who say they have

never tried to get out of PE.  Mums are the softer touch when it comes to sending a sick note. Children are almost twice as likely to ask their mum to sign a sick note than their dad.  The number of kids that love PE decreases as they get older and the number that hate PE increases as they age.  Trying new sports, inviting in outside coaches and providing better kit and equipment were all suggestions from kids to make PE lessons more enjoyable.

Pictured from left: top: Will Basin, Tanya Bunkete, Marisa Fowler, Charlotte French, Kurt Sidwell, Regan Gavin; Bottom: Bailey Pointon, Maame Yankson, Lauren Smith

2012-inspired event united over a thousand youngsters OVER a thousand children from across Coventry have taken part in a 2012-inspired athletics event at a local school. Lyng Hall School and Specialist Sports College played host to children from over 30 primary schools, giving them the chance to experience a range of athletic events and receive coaching tips. The five-day event was the latest instalment of the region’s Festival of Sport project – a three-year scheme

which aims to give children from schools across the city an opportunity to experience Olympic and Paralympic sports in the lead up to the 2012 Games. Will Bastin, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership assistant for the 2012 Games, said: “With London 2012 now just over two years away, more and more people are becoming excited about the Olympics coming to the UK.

“We want to harness that excitement and use it as a catalyst to inspire more youngsters in Coventry and Warwickshire to participate in sport than ever before.” In order to encourage participation in the future, each child was provided with a booklet which contained facts about the sports they took part in during the event and information on how to keep them up through the junior sections of local athletics clubs.




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Trampolining club leaves kids jumping with joy By Louise Cordell A TRAMPOLINING club based at Hailsham Community College is working to get kids of all shapes and sizes excited about exercise. Karen Street, club founder and head coach, has been teaching trampolining for 32 years but moved her classes from a local authority club to the college’s sports hall five years ago. She also teaches at the college, which is based near Eastbourne, and has found that being an integral part of the school has helped make the facilities more accessible to all local pupils. She said: “When we moved the club to the college’s sports hall we had about 80 members, but we have gone from strength to strength and now have over 200 members with 15 hours a week coaching time. “About half of members are from Hailsham College and the other half come from other local schools.” Jump Trampolining Club is currently running eight beginner

groups and three advanced children’s groups as well as two mixed and advanced adult classes. The club also puts on a fundraising show once a year for the local community, to give all the children involved the chance to show off their skills. Karen added: “All the classes put on performances during the show and we also use it as an opportunity to let the kids demonstrate their other talents, mixing in gymnastics, singing and dancing along with the trampolining. “This year it attracted over 500 people and raised £2,000 in funds for the club, so it is definitely worthwhile.” The club prides itself on the fact that although is has been very successful in competitions - winning more than 100 medals and titles this year and with British School National Champions as members – it welcomes anyone of any ability. For example, other members include children with Cystic Fibrosis who benefit from the exercise, asthmatic pupils who find

trampolining helps with their breathing and young people suffering from ADHD who learn about self control and discipline. Karen added: “The other great thing about trampolining is that it doesn’t matter what size you are, so the bigger children don’t get left out like they sometimes do in other school sports. “They are better at it than they thought they’d be, so it really improves their confidence and boosts their self esteem. “There really are so many benefits, but while lots of schools have trampolines, not all of them have qualified coaches, and this means that they cannot make the almost of the equipment by running their own clubs. “It is things like this that help more kids access the sport, so we would advise all schools to consider it. “Our main aim to to get as many kids as possible jumping and enjoying it.”

Karen Street

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Sport coach shortage to be tackled By Louise Cordell RUGBY great Sir Ian McGeechan has vowed to tackle the shortage of school sports coaches after teaming up with the Youth Sport Trust. The British Lions chief has taken on the role of coaching ambassador with the charity in order to address key issues in schools sport, including the lack of qualified coaches in Olympic and Paralympic sports that could result in missed opportunities for young people. Sir Ian is a former PE teacher as well as an international rugby player and so is well qualified to take the lead on this coaching work. He said: “I am delighted to have been asked by the Youth Sport Trust to join them as their national Coaching Ambassador. “I hope that by working with them I can encourage more young people and adults to become coaches in their schools and communities. “Inspiring young people to play sport and sustain a lifetime involvement is such an incredibly rewarding opportunity, which everyone can experience by becoming a coach.” They key areas Sir Ian will be focussing on in this role include enhancing the quality of coaches working in school sport and ensuring

they inspire young people to take up sport and develop early confidence and competence. He will also be aiming to prioritise the recruitment and training of more coaches in all sports, but particularly Olympic and Paralympic sports to meet demands schools will face following 2012 and helping to create ways for young people to move more easily from leadership into coaching. Finally, Sir Ian wants to ensure that there is a diversity of coaches that all young people can identify with, help more members of the school workforce to become sports coaches and encourage more people to take up a coaching role within schools in their communities. Baroness Sue Campbell, Youth Sport Trust chair, said: “School sport and PE have undergone a huge transformation over the last decade with more young people participating, leading and performing in school sport than at any point in our history. “Clearly the desire and enthusiasm among young people to participate is there. The concern now is that we mustn’t miss, through a lack of coaches involved in school sport, the marvellous opportunities which London 2012 will create to inspire even more young people to participate in PE and sport.”

Bid to get Muslim girls playing football A SHEFFIELD sports group is giving Muslim girls the chance to take up football after receiving a grant from a local charitable trust. Sistahood aims to engage 40 young women from the Shiregreen and Burngreave area of Sheffield in regular coached football activities at Concord Sports Centre. The group has received £2,000 from football's equality and inclusion campaign Kick it Out to increase Muslim girls' participation in sport and the lessons will teach girls aged 14 to 21 for six months. Coaches from Sheffield Wednesday's community programme will be delivering the training sessions and will also give participants the opportunity to visit Hillsborough Stadium to watch the first team in action. Danny Lynch at Kick it Out said: “By providing football coaching at

Concord Sports Centre, we are removing barriers and helping to strengthen relationships in the community. “These views on the community are extremely important to us.” As part of the scheme two of the girls will also be given the chance to train for an FA level one qualification in football coaching which, it is hoped, will provide them with increased employment opportunities. Richard Apps, general manager at Concord Sports Centre, said: “These weekly sessions at our indoor, Astroturf and 3G pitches will include passing, dribbling and tackling, giving the girls a basic understanding of football skills. “This will hopefully encourage them to take up more sport and keep active."

College’s Festival of Sport promotes health and fitness BEBINGTON High Sports College has been promoting health and fitness by hosting a Festival of Sport for pupils from eight local primary schools. The event was run by college PE staff, community coaches and young leaders from the college who all supervised a range of sporting activities for the 330 students who took part. Sessions included dance, trampolining, taekwondo, basketball, football, kwik cricket, netball and athletics. All pupils took part to score points for their school in a final league table, as well as competing for individual awards for best performer and best effort throughout

the day. To round off the day, parents, headteachers and other guests joined the pupils for a Celebration of Sport ceremony where former Great Britain Taekwondo champion, Richie Saunders presented certificates to all the participants. Debbie Jennings, director of sport said: “This was a fantastic event for the college, which promoted our aim to encourage youngsters to participate in sport and celebrate their achievements. “We were also delighted with the brilliant feedback from the primary school pupils, staff and parents, who said it was a well organised, enjoyable and exciting event.”




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Search is on for Welsh sports heroes By Louise Cordell

Pupils taking part at Wyndley Leisure Centre

Olympic event gets kids active PUPILS from Wilson Stuart School Sport Partnership have been getting active as part of an Olympic themed event. Teams of up to 45 competitors from 21 primary schools took part, with over 1,000 pupils involved and 70 young sports leaders from the local secondary schools assisting with the event. The activity day was held at the local leisure centre track and was aimed at helping schools with their London 2012 Olympics Partnership mark. Competitors took part in a range of athletics activities depending on their age, and the results contributed to an

overall team score for their school. Each school had also been given an Olympic country to research and represent and took part in opening and closing ceremonies where they were judged on who had made the most effort in decorating their gazebos and celebrating the values of the Games. The Partnership supports 30 primary schools and seven secondary schools in the Sutton Coldfield area. It is based at Wilson Stuart School which was the first school for pupils with physical disabilities to gain Sports College status in 2004 and has since been awarded High Performance status.

Invite Olympic inspiration into your school

SPORT Wales is on the lookout for the country’s sporting heroes – from grassroots to gold medal winning coaches. The organisation is calling for nominations for the Sport Wales Coach of the Year Awards 2010, with the aim of recognising people at all levels of coaching for the hard work they put in. The award categories available are: Female Coach, Male Coach, Community Coach, Coach to disabled sportspeople, Young Leader, Elite Performance Coach, Volunteer of the Year, Coach Educator of the Year and Lifetime Achievement. On top of this, the Sport Wales Coach of the Year accolade will be awarded to one of the category winners. Last year’s winner was Wales Rugby Sevens coach Paul John, after he became the first Welsh coach to lead a team to World Cup victory in any sport. He said: “I was genuinely shocked to win. It was a real honour, particularly considering the calibre of the other

coaches who were in the final. “Coaches are doing a great job in Welsh sport and should be recognised for their hard work.” Nominations can be submitted until October 1 2010, with the exception of the Elite Performance Coach category, which has a deadline of October 15. Professor Laura McAllister, chair of Sport Wales, said: “Coaches are the lifeblood of Welsh sport, we can’t do without them. “The calibre of coaches I come across on a regular basis is absolutely outstanding. “We know there are more coaches than ever before, so we want to see more entries than ever before. “This is the public’s chance to show their appreciation for the people who put in hours and hours of work across the country.” The winners will be announced in a ceremony at the Sport Wales National Centre, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, on 24 November 2010. To download or complete a nomination form online visit:

Play area with the wow factor WALLACE Park in Lisburn is now home to Playdale’s largest-ever play area. The 36-acre park needed a new lease of life after becoming run down and dilapidated and Alan Poots, projects officer at the city council said: “We wanted a play area with the ‘wow’ factor, as this was a key part of our strategy for increasing visitor numbers and regenerating the park.” To get this effect, they installed equipment including an eight metre mountain tower, double aerial runway and a megaswing. The park now attracts more than 250 visitors each day, with people parking up to half a mile away to use the free facilities. Alan added: “Children have been given a facility they have never had

before – exciting play. “It’s a great success, absolutely – there’s no question about that.”

Gym chain teams up with charity to help teens train to be instructors Would you like to partner your school with Daley Thompson and Kate Staples? Are you looking to open up your school to the community? ✓ Would you like us to raise money for your PTA? ✓

Answered yes? Choose the way forward: • Pre-school/post-school fitness camps for pupils. • Daley Thompson’s Teen Programme cultivating healthy lifestyles • Adventure Fitness camp, keeping school parents in shape For more details, contact or call 01932 863240 to speak to Kate or a member of the team.

GREENS Health and Fitness has teamed up with Transforming A Generation to help disadvantaged young people build a life through sport. The gym chain and the charity, which helps teens train to be fitness instructors, have joined forces to provide better work experience within the industry. Greens has taken a group of young people on for four-month work placement programmes, where they

will experience the full range of work, interact with customers, learn from experienced managers and gain work and life training. Chris Ayres, Greens’ MD, said: “We are extremely pleased to be supporting TAG as the scheme is an ideal way for us to help disadvantaged young people as well as to gain valuable staff, trained by us and eager to work in our business. TAG fulfils our corporate social responsibility portfolio and makes clear business sense.”




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Twinning scheme set to celebrate the Olympics A NEW scheme is giving schools the chance to team up with partners from all over the world to help celebrate the Olympics.

want to put young people right at the heart of our coverage of London 2012 and this is a great way for schools to get involved and make an inspirational connection to other schools overseas.”

The Olympic Dreams School Search 2012 has been launched by the BBC and the British Council and plans to twin dozens of primary and secondary schools from around the UK with schools from other countries.

In order to enter, schools are being asked to write about what the Olympics means to them, examples of questions pupils would like to ask athletes and examples of pupils’ own hopes and aspirations.

They will then take place in a special project in the run up to the London Olympics in 2012.

Winning schools will follow the stories of their twin school’s Olympic athletes and working with the BBC World Class team, will be able to share and compare ideas and experiences online and in the BBC's World Olympic Dreams broadcasts.

By Emma Spencer

UK schools that are excited about the Olympics are being asked to apply and the winners will be partnered with schools attended by athletes who are part of the BBC’s World Olympic Dreams project. They could be matched with a school in places including Kosovo, Kenya, Ulan Bator, Belgium and Brazil and will spend two years developing partnerships and encouraging pupils to share creative work. Amanda Farnsworth, BBC London 2012 project executive, said: “We

For those schools who don’t win there will still be the opportunity to team up with another school and share ideas, as a 2012 twin will be offered to every school that enters the competition. Schools can register their interest at and the BBC World Class team will then get in touch with more information.

Jan de Vos

New operations director for employment training charity A CHARITY that focuses on training young people for employment has appointed Jan de Vos as operations director. Transforming A Generation (TAG) aims to ensure that talent rich, but opportunity poor, young people are able to gain the skills they need to enjoy a successful career. Jan will now be responsible for delivering the TAG programme

nationawide as well as spearheading the evolution of the TAG vision. Fred Turok, TAG founder and chairman, said: “Jan’s appointment is crucial to the future success of TAG. “His unparalleled knowledge and exerience will ensure that we will continue to be employer-led whilst meeting the needs of young people desperate to prove themselves and eager to build successful careers.”




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Behind Every Star recognises coaches’ worth By Louise Cordell SPORT Wales is showing its appreciation for sport coaches with a new campaign ‘Behind Every Star’. The scheme is being supported by newly crowned European 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene and his former coach Darrell Maynard. Darrell is volunteer coach for the University of Wales Institute Cardiff’s Athletics Academy and was Dai’s coach from 2005 to 2007. Dai has named him as his most inspirational coach to date and said: “All those sportsmen and women that compete at the highest level will have been coached by at least one volunteer coach in their career. Volunteer coaches can help nurture and identify the young talents of the future.” The campaign is aimed at celebrating and recognising the hard work and dedication put into sport in Wales by coaches and volunteers all across the country. Darrell said: “To be a good coach you must be willing to learn, talk to others and research in order to

develop along with your athlete. “A coach has also got to be able to let go of the athlete when they need to move on and support the athlete through this time in a positive way. Coaching is an art; there is no right or wrong way.” To help promote the scheme, photographer Terry Morris has captured 11 portraits of some of Wales’ most talented sports people with one of their most influential coaches to date, which will be exhibited at galleries around the country. Professor Laura McAllister, chair of Sport Wales, said: “Coaches and volunteers are the lifeblood of Welsh sport and we need to ensure that all participants in Wales, especially children and young people, have access to an appropriately qualified and quality coach. “Behind Every Star will see those already doing it and doing it well swapping the sidelines for the spotlight, in the hope that people in Wales will feel inspired to play their part in a creating a prosperous sporting nation.”

Capoeira teaches valuable life skills to jobless youngsters UNEMPLOYED young people throughout Cornwall will be gaining valuable life skills through the Brazilian art form of capoeira this summer, following a successful pilot earlier this year. The Jinga 16 to 25 project, which uses the 500-year-old game of capoeira to improve motivation, confidence and communication skills, is being rolled out across the county, giving even more young people the chance to improve their prospects of returning to work or training.

Craig Blackburn, founding director, said: “The pilot in March in Truro and Falmouth was a great success, with one participant already securing work before the end of the course. “In order to take part in this unique art form, participants have to develop relationships with others, not just verbally but also through movement and rhythm. “Capoeira’s unique blend of partner-based movement and percussive music builds self esteem, motivation, communication skills and fitness.”




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The country’s most talented school age athletes have been showing off their skills at this year’s UK School Games. Future Fitness found out how the four day event aims to prepare pupils for their next steps into elite competition.

Jonathan Dibben from Southampton winning road cycling gold

Four-day Games attract over 1,600 elite school athletes OVER 1,600 elite school aged athletes descended upon North East England from September 2-5 for the Sainsbury’s UK School Games North East. Events that took place at the multi sport event include cycling, athletics, badminton, fencing, gymnastics, hockey, judo, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. There were also disability events in swimming, athletics and table tennis including, for the first time, learning disability sessions for swimming and table tennis. Each of the ten sports was combined into a four-day Games environment designed to replicate the feel of a major event such as the Olympic or Commonwealth Games with opening and closing ceremonies and an athletes’ village. Will Roberts, senior development manager for talent and competition at the Youth Sport Trust, said: “This year’s event has been particularly exciting because of the new format in the athletics camp, which has been reorganised to replicate the Super 8 senior elite circuit. “We are also proud that one of the athletes who won a gold at last year’s UK School Games has also recently won a gold medal at the Youth Olympics in Singapore. “It shows that the young people

Girls fencing – England’s Antonia Denham, right, and Wales’ Annabel Smith Picture: Action Images/Craig Brough

we have competing really are at the top levels – we are now starting to see more and more of our ex-competitors appearing on the senior stage. “We have a great pedigree of athletes and we are finding that what they have learned at the School Games has helped to prepare them for the senior competitions.” As well as sport, the School Games also provide a culture and educational programme for the young people taking part. Elite athletes from each of the ten sports attended to act as mentors to the kids and help to coach them through the experience and this year one of these mentors was a former UK School Games competitor himself – Nathan French, who is now on the GB volleyball squad. The organisers also work with expert partners to give the participants experience in every aspect of the competition process, from nutrition training to anti-doping testing procedures. Will added: “The whole experience has gone full circle for Nathan, so it has been a great opportunity for the youngsters in that sport to be inspired by him. “Our main aim is to prepare these young athletes for the rigors of sen-

Boys gymnastics – Wales’ Joe Rowlands Picture: Action Images/Lee Smith ior competition – it is a great chance for them to use professional facilities and compete in an environment they are not used to – so that they will not find it intimidating when they do it for real.” This year the games have also had more young people involved in fulfilling non-competing roles.

For example, many volunteers attended as young officials, referees, umpires, young announcers and young reporters. They were involved in making sure that the event ran smoothly and in bringing the latest news from the competition to those who couldn’t attend. A daily newspaper supplement was inserted into the regional press covering the games, with all the content produced by the young reporters, and the young announcers took part in a workshop with BBC announcer Paul Dickenson. Will added: “We want to get across the message that young people have a very important role to play in UK sport. “Hopefully it also stands out as a fantastic opportunity which will encourage other young people to pursue competitive sports.” The UK School Games will be taking place in Sheffield next year and talks are now underway with the new government about the role young people will be playing at the Olympics in 2012.

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Honour for Haile WORLD record marathon runner Haile Gebrselassie has received an honorary degree from the University of Birmingham, after collaborating for years with the institution’s sports scientists to optimise his nutrition. The athlete was using a carbohydrate sports drink developed by the University when he set the current world record for the marathon in Berlin in 2008, with a time of 2:03:59. Haile, who is from Ethiopia, is widely considered to be the greatest distance runner in history and has achieved many major competition wins, including Olympic and World championship titles, at distances from 1,500 metres to the marathon. Haile’s strong connection to the University stems from his links with sports nutrition expert Professor Asker Jeukendrup and his team, who conducted experiments with him in Addis Ababa to devise a personalised sports drink. Professor Jeukendrup said: “We have a strong track record of more than ten years’ research in carbohydrate sports drinks for endurance sports such as marathon running, long-distance cycling events such as the Tour de France, and the triathlon. “Recently, we have developed a drink based on a combination of carbohydrates that delivers 50 per cent more energy and 50 per more fluid to the athlete. We have worked with Haile for a number of years and are delighted at the continuing success he has achieved. I have never seen an athlete more dedicated and at the same time so versatile. Our collaboration highlights the important role that science plays in modern elite sport.”

£4.5m extension EDINBURGH University has unveiled a new £4.5m extension to its Centre for Sport and Exercise. The three-storey development was officially opened by the University’s Chancellor, the Duke of Edinburgh and provides over 1,900 square meteres of additional state of the art sports and physical activity space. New facilities at the centre include a designated performance gym, a body conditioning ‘myGym’ and a large dance studio. The renovation has also transformed previously unused underground vaults into a free weights gym and created a new rowing gym.

Former army instructor Mike Hamilton is bringing military fitness to schools across the North West with his Commando Joe classes. After appearing on BBC 2’s Dragon’s Den to spread the word about getting kids active, he talked to Future Fitness about his plans.

Mike takes military fitness to schools MIKE Hamilton had been working as a physical training instructor for eight years when he got involved with an army pilot scheme for schools. After organising fitness sessions for a range of different age groups and seeing the enthusiastic response from pupils, he came up with idea of Commando Joes. He said: “Kids loved the activities, so I wanted to take the army recruitment element out of it and just provide fun, military fitness for kids. “I started trials in two schools, one girls and one boys school, and found that both liked the sessions equally. “There really was a fantastic response and we were immediately booked by both schools to run sessions for the next year - so I knew I was on to a good thing.” The Commando Joes classes are aimed at kids from five years old and upwards, and so are run in both primary and secondary schools. Classes take place during breakfast or after school clubs as well as during curriculum time, and on top of this, Mike offers sessions in local sports clubs and local parks to make sure that as many young people as possible are able to get involved. He added: “What the classes consist of depend on the age group, but activities range from obstacle courses and mini circuits to giant Jenga. “It means that the kids are having so much fun that the don’t even realise that they are getting a workout. “It is a very different approach

and that is what schools like – the fact that our trainers are ex-army also gets the attention and respect of the pupils straight away. “It is important to remember that not all kids engage in the traditional sports, but we eliminate that problem by only concentrating on fun and fitness. “The classes are also designed to make sure that everyone is working towards their own personal bests, regardless of ability.” Mike is now keen to grow the company and even recently appeared on the BBC 2 programme Dragon’s Den to get some additional exposure. Although the Dragons felt that the business was “a little too embryonic to invest in”, they were impressed with the concept and gave him valuable business advice

about franchising options. Mike added: “I went onto Dragon’s Den with the main aim of spreading the word about the company and to let people know what we do. “It was a good experience – but scary – I probably wouldn’t want to do it again!” He is now planning on introducing new instructors in Leeds and Liverpool over the next couple of months, hopes to be up to around 15 instructors within the next 18 months, then the plan is to take the scheme nationwide. He added: “People are always impressed to hear that every school we have been into has booked us for follow up sessions often for up to a year – so we have a 100 per cent success rate, which I think speaks for itself.”




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Parents can’t afford after-school activities By Louise Cordell ALMOST two-thirds of parents are saying no to after-school activities because they can’t afford it, according to a new survey. The online YouGov poll for Save the Children revealed that even basic activities like sports clubs were too expensive for many, including 74 per cent of those living below the poverty line. Of those who do pay, nearly half of the parents of four to 18 year olds were spending over £10 per child per week. Sally Copley, head of UK policy at Save the Children, said: “What happens after the school gates close at three o’clock is just as vital as what

goes on in the school day. “Children who do after school activities have more confidence, see the world in different ways and have a stronger sense of identity. “We are particularly concerned poorer children are missing out as a result.” On top of this, half of the parents questioned claimed that none of the activities their children do are provided by schools and, with cuts to local authority budgets looming, the charity is concerned that the situation may get even worse. Sally added: “We are glad that the government has signed up to target funds to help the poorest children with the ‘pupil premium’ – but that

good work will be undone if other funds are taken away. “Nick Clegg and the new government have talked a lot about social mobility and one of the best ways to do this is to ensure all children – especially the poorest – have the chance to do high quality out of school activities.” To help improve the situation, Save the Children is calling for a £3,000 pupil premium for every poor child to help fund study support, for the government to protect extended school funding such as area-based grants and for investment in parenting programmes and activities for children in the most deprived areas.

£145k revamp for uni gym STUDENTS at Newcastle University are enjoying a £145,000 upgrade to their gym. A total of 57 pieces of Precor equipment have been installed for the 6,500 students who regularly use the gym, including treadmills, upright bikes, recumbent bikes, elliptical crosstrainers and Adaptive Motion Trainers. Nick Beall, the university’s facilities services manager, said: “As the students really liked the existing Precor equipment, it was a straightforward decision to simply replace the pieces we had with new models. “Having trialled an AMT they also felt that the machine offered a better full body workout than the stepper as it adapted well to the natural movement of the body.”

Climber Rhys throws down youth challenge WORLD record-breaking climber Rhys Jones has announced the launch of the 30/30 Challenge for school children. Rhys made history on his 20th birthday by becoming the youngest person ever to complete the Seven Summits Challenge after climbing the highest mountain on each continent – including Mouth Everest. Now, through his social enterprise Youth Unlimited, he has set up a new scheme which he hopes will inspire young people around the country. The 30/30 project will take place over one weekend during the sum-

mer term of 2011 and will involve 30 year nine pupils from 30 schools climbing 30 peaks in the UK, all over 3,000ft high. Each group of 30 will be created from 15 different schools and each group of 30 will climb one mountain. Rhys said: “Each participant will have to raise funds to take part for a cause that benefits their community. “In addition, each pupil must give a presentation about their experience of the project and they lessons they have learned to their fellow pupils, and discuss how they will apply them to their future life.”

National Standards success

Rhys Jones

MERSEYSIDE Sports Partnership is celebrating after achieving the National Standards for safeguarding and protecting children in sport. To do this the Partnership’s core team has had to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to the protection of children at an advanced level. The standards are designed by the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit and provide a benchmark for organi-

sation involved in sport. Andrew Wileman, Merseyside Sports Partnership spokesperson, said: “While achieving the advanced standards is a significant achievement for the core team we are not only focused on maintaining the standards but committed to ensuring that we make every effort to build upon this solid base in the future.”




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European research recognition for nutritionist By Louise Cordell A NUTRITIONIST from the University of Southampton has won European recognition for her research into how a mother’s lifestyle and background can affect her child’s diet.

Pupil survey leads to new climbing zone A PUPIL survey carried out at Basildon Academy in Essex into popular sporting activities has resulted in the creation of a new climbing zone. Neil Moir, assistant principal at the Academy said: “Having started with one Freedom Climber wall, it soon became evident the impact it had on motivating students and in engaging them in a new activity that very few had experienced.

“We now have a four wall climbing zone that has brought colour, exciting graphics and high quality activity to wall spaces that were redundant. “The climbing zone is used within the curriculum and OSHL programmes and adds real value in supporting the learning process. “From a recent survey conducted across the Academy, exploring student activity patterns and interests

of students, climbing was ranked as the third most popular activity that students wanted to participate in. “This was a surprise to us but has now informed our thinking and planning of programmes. “It’s not often that a new concept capitivates young people and inspires them to take up a new activity but the new climbing zone has done just that and continues to engage more students.”

Skipping partnership formed A PROGRAMME that promotes skipping to young people and families has become a national partner of Change4Life. The scheme has already been operating in schools since 2002 and took the opportunity to link with the Change4Life movement after a visit from former health minister Andy Burnham, who suggested there was a link between the two initiatives. The Skip2bfit programme was set up by former professional boxer John

McCormack, who wanted to modernise the activity by using counting skipping ropes. He set up workshops in schools, which are now also linked to numeracy, science and IT. The company has now also introduced a ‘family fitness pack’ that includes ropes, a CD and a family fitness chart. This pack will now be promoted alongside the Skip4Life programme, in an attempt to get the whole country doing the Skip2bfit Challenge.

Megan Jarman, of the University's Medical Research Council Epidemiology Resource Centre, based at Southampton General Hospital, received the Louis Bonduelle Research Award and a prize of 10,000 Euros to support her project. The award is part of a series of initiatives run by the Louis Bonduelle Foundation, an organisation formed in 2004 to promote changes in food consumption, encourage healthy living and reward nutrition research. As part of the Southampton Initiative for Health (SIH), a programme aimed at improving the diets of disadvantaged women and their families, Megan will investigate the influence of a mother’s diet, well being, education and parenting style, as well as the household mealtime environment, on children’s eating habits. Her findings will be used to help improve the diets of young women through the SIH’s work with Sure Start children’s centre staff. Megan said: “I am really pleased to be recognised for my research, which is a reflection of Southampton’s growing international reputation as a nutrition centre of excellence. “The award will enable me to hire a part-time field worker to assist me with my data collection and focus group discussions, while also giving me the opportunity to publicise my results at national and international conferences and meetings.”




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Free:D brings notable reduction in bullying and smoking ...

Mobile gym takes fitness out into the community ... THURROCK residents, from eight to 80, are being encouraged to get interactive as Impulse Leisure takes ZigZag dance mats and Sportwalls out to the community. The mobile gym is part of a larger scheme to tackle a number of health and social inequalities in the Thurrock area, which will see a dedicated youth interactive zone created at Blackshots Leisure Centre. Garry Tapsell, Impulse Leisure’s group fitness manager, said: “We are consulting widely with our partners and young people to help us create a facility which best serves the community and we expect our 21st century interactive fitness zone to be up and running by next summer. “But we wanted to start using the ZigZag equipment right away, so

decided that if the community can’t come to us to use it, we would take the equipment out to the local community instead.” Impulse Leisure received £20,000 from Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation to buy 16 ZigZag dance mats to be used on various outreach projects and the new youth interactive zone, due to open in 2011. Garry added: “We are very keen to engage with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, so we thought why not take ZigZag's fun, interactive equipment to accessible locations in the heart of the community. “We have had such a great response to the interactive equipment that we have funded two ZigZag Sportwalls to further our outreach work.”

WHEN ESP first started to develop Free:D, they knew the potential it could have for engaging students in physical activity. They decided that if they actively encouraged partners such as Parkour Generations, the Futures Learning Trust and the Football League Trust to get on board, we could create community cohesion and start to shape a community of practice through PE and sport. “We anticipated media interest, as it was a unique concept that could change the landscape of the playground forever and parkour was fast becoming the sport of the moment. “We have broken down the barriers that gave freerunning a bad reputation in schools and have even managed to get the support of afPE, who previously did not back the activity in a school environment. “We are now pleased to be able to announce that Free:D is creating more of a stir than we dreamed of and those who have been lucky enough to be part of the pilot scheme are already

enjoying the benefits.” Paul Ogilvie, PDM for The Five Towns SSP, has noticed some outstanding changes: “The Free:D zone at Knottingley High School and Sports College has completely changed attitudes towards physical activity. “Knottingley’s young people have been amazed with the new facility, which allows them to express themselves in a whole new way. They challenge each other and enjoy the element of risk when increasing their skills. “There has even been a notable reduction in bullying, smoking and an increased interest from the dis-engaged.”

New artificial pitch brings more sporting opportunities A NEW third generation artificial grass football pitch has been opened at Freedom Leisure Rye. The facility has been funded by Rye College, East Sussex County Council and Rother District Council and will create more opportunities for local children and adults to get involved in sports. The pitch is fully floodlit and the allweather surface will give football, cricket and other teams the chance to compete outdoors throughout the year.

The facility will also benefit local football leagues, junior football coaches and will be used to run a Brighton and Hove Albion skills school. Coun Deirdre Williams, Rother District Council member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “We are delighted this fantastic new all weather sports pitch will provide a first class football facility for the local community in Rye and the surrounding area.”




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New technology is giving apprentice footballers the chance to improve their performance and their chances of a professional career. Future Fitness talked to League Football Education to find out more.

Players net technology boost YOUNG football players across the country are benefitting from a new scheme organised by League Football Education. The organisation has received Learning Innovation Grant funding to provide clubs with video analysis equipment for youth teams and apprentices. Dan Jolley, LFE project manager, said: “We wanted to do something to improve the development of players through technology and we thought that a video analysis package would work well. “We also wanted to tie it into the exit and progression strategies we have for our players. “Because of the nature of sport, many do not achieve professional contracts – so the technology allows them to build up a bank of footage to display on the web or to send out to potential clubs worldwide. “It is like an online CV that will hopefully help them get taken on.” Another benefit of the equipment is that it has allowed LFE to set up a performance analysis course and qualification. This was organised after they noticed an increase in performance analysis jobs being advertised and thought it would be an ideal addition to the apprentices’ skill base – giving them another possible career path to follow. The LIG grant of £50,000 was awarded to LFE, England Netball and England Basketball, then following a very enthusiastic response from football clubs, LFE invested a further £60,000 to meet demand. The equipment has now been put in place across the country with one package in England Netball’s central offices, one in three of England Basketball’s main centres and a further 79 into football clubs. Dan added: “The package includes a MacBook and the video

Club staff attending a video analysis training session analysis software and all the equipment was distributed via four training days. “We did it this way to make sure that the clubs had the technical ability in place to make the most of the technology – the training ranged from how to switch on the computer to how to capture the evidence and share it with the relevant individuals.” LFE has also recently organised an in-house training day in order to establish the best ways of getting evidence into its internal ‘virtual learning environment’ (VLE) – a central place where clubs can upload their footage so that it can be used as evidence for NVQ qualifications. Over time the organisation is also planning on using standardisation meetings to share best practice and pass on tips and tricks that have been learned. As a result of the technology they are also introducing a Goal of the Month competition for all the clubs, which they hope will be an

New video performance analysis will help young players to improve their game ideal way of encouraging the clubs to use the new equipment. Dan added: “The use of this kind of equipment has been happening at first team level for a while, but recently the cost of the relevant technology has come down a lot. “So the teams we work with understand the worth of it, but

they hadn’t had the chance to access it until now – so they snapped up the opportunity. “The whole project has opened up a lot of new ideas and opportunities for us and I’m sure it will continue to do so as we get better and more experienced using it.”

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Thinking outside the box YOUNG computer game fans could soon have a new reason to get involved in sport, as The Gadget Show takes a closer look at technology in football. The channel five programme has filmed an episode showing all the latest inventions and testing newly developed products by playing a match officiated entirely through technology. The types of technology tested included bespoke, high frequency bluetooth headsets, infra red cameras and copper conductive spray – which were all combined with specialist software and computers to help control the game. Tim Wagg, from The Gadget Show, said: “The inspiration is to ask why technology is not already in football. “We see the decisions like Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal at the World Cup and we all talk about technology, but few of us have actually

seen it in action. “We wanted to build our own gadgets and show the public how technology can be integrated into football if you think outside the box.”

From left: Graeme Truswell, The Alan Higgs Centre manager; Tom Slee, cameraman; Bob Jefford, director; Ben Hadley, soundman; Graham Poll, ex Premier League referee and Ortis Deeley, Gadget Show presenter.

Sporty online bid to inspire couch potatoes SPORT experts at Loughborough University have created a new online tool to inspire couch potatoes in the run up to the Olympic Games. The application, which is available on a new NHS website,, matches people to the sports which best suit them by creating a personalised profile of the user’s sporting ‘type’. It recommends five sports to try

based on a series of questions and tests assessing personality, sporting preferences and reactions. For example, a shooting target test gauges precision and reaction to speed. Users are then guided to activities going on in their area, with an interactive map featuring links to over 35,000 sports centres and clubs. Dr David Fletcher, sport and performance psychologist who led the

University research, said: “This has been an exciting project to work on with the NHS as it will have a positive and direct impact on wider society and people’s quality of life. “The Olympic Games provides a wonderful opportunity for this country and Loughborough University is committed to supporting the delivery of sporting and health improvement as part of the Games’ legacy.”

LIW launch for special needs dance mat A NEW special needs dance mat was unveiled at Leisure Industry Week. Cyber Coach launched the new mat and software, which includes features aimed specifically at special needs players. They are designed to sit on the lap of a wheelchair user and can be activated by a light touch, helping children with disabilities take part in a wide variety of games. The product designers took inspiration from discussions with Wilson Stuart School and Sports College in Birmingham, who gained specialist sports college status through engaging their pupils with physical disabilities to participate in a range of sporting activities. Glen Jones, Cyber Coach MD, said: “By focussing on what pupils can do and spotting their potential, dance and other physical activiy can be used to best effect, making a vital contribution to their personal, physical and social development. “We are now looking forward to pioneering this new product and gaining feedback from the schools it is implemented in. “We strongly believe that every child has a right to enjoy keeping fit in a way that is fun and that the right way forward is to include everyone.”




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Sporting injury prevention advice for schools By Dominic Musgrave SCHOOLS are being given advice on how to protect young people from sporting injuries by the American College of Sports Medicine. Their research has found that accidents that happen during school sports account for two million injuries, 500,000 doctors visits and 30,000 hospitalisations each year. However, they also estimate that more than half of these incidents are preventable and are supporting the STOP Sports Injury campaign. This programme has been lauched by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in order to arm the public with accurate information on the long term consequences of sports overuse and trauma injuries to children. Dr Bernard Bach, former AOSSM president, said: “There is an epidemic of injuries in youth sports but many of these injuries are preventable with safety precautions and proper training.” He is particularly concerned about overuse injuries, like tennis elbow, runner’s knee and swimmer’s shoulder, and burnout among young athletes. He added: “Overuse injuries are more common in sports than acute injuries. “We often see these injuries occur when young athletes are too focused on one sport at an early age. “We discourage year round training in one sport and instead recommend young athletes cross train and play at least two sports. “In fact, scouts actually are more interested in athletes who play more than one sport because they are better conditioned and less likely to suffer an overuse injury.” He claims that the best advice to pass on to young people is to listen to their bodies when they are playing sport and to speak to their coach or a doctor immediately if they have any pain. Dr Bach also points out that it is crucial that athletes wear properly fitted protective equipment, play in safe field conditions, warm up effectively and incorporate core strength training into their workouts. He added: “Unfortunately, 70 per cent of kids stop playing sports by the age of 13 because they are burned out. “We want to keep kids in sports for life by raising awareness about reducing injury and playing smart and educating parents and coaches about over training and keeping sports fun.”

The University of Surrey is celebrating the opening of its Human Performance Institute – a facility providing hi-tech fitness analysis for all. Experts from the university’s Sports Park and Clinical Research Centre have teamed up to give everyone from Olympic athletes to school pupils the chance to measure their fitness and improve their performance. Future Fitness found out more:

New facility gets the measure of pupils’ fitness THE Surrey Human Performance Institute is equipped with all the sports performance technology needed to provide a detailed fitness analysis. This includes a range of sophisticated heart, lung and cellular function tests, together with strength, power and flexibility assessments. Dr Hubert Bland, the Institute’s chief medical officer, said: “These are the cutting edge tools used to assess fitness and they can identify the body’s thresholds very precisely. “This information is vital for optimising performance across a wide range of sports and also for effectively improving health and fitness in general.” The tests used for assessment range from the cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) which is the ‘gold standard’ of fitness tests, to isokinetic dynamometry to measure muscle performance and field based tests to assess speed and flexibility. Dr Bland added: “Assessments like CPET tests are very useful because they provide the most advanced picture of the body’s physiology during exercise. “The results can be used to assess performance and to create training

programmes – for example by identifying which workout ‘zones’ should be used for losing weight or improving fitness. “The testing is also a very useful tracking tool, as elite, professional and recreational athletes can be assessed at regular intervals, their progression recorded and their training modified accordingly. “Finally, it is a powerful tool from a medical perspective as it can identify heart or respiratory risks.” The Institute is actively involved in research using the technology at its disposal, with current projects ranging from developing useful fitness programmes for people with diabetes to exploring the relationship between exercise and sleep. Other benefits of the Institute range from giving students on nutrition courses the opportunity to carry out lab work and learn in an applied setting, to providing bespoke training programmes for

young people on its elite athlete programme. Mark Garfoot, the university’s performance sport manager, said: “Our great sports park was already an attraction for students, but the Institute now offers even more. “It will allow athletes to achieve their best possible performances and having it on site will make a massive difference.” The University also has a wide ranging outreach programme and will be inviting local schools and colleges to take part in fitness testing days. Mark added: “This will be a great opportunity for young people, A level and GCSE students can use the experience as part of their PE courses and ‘gifted and talented’ identification days will give promising young athletes the chance to share the same assessment experiences that world class competitors go through.”

Tailor-made packages for education establishments THE Fitness Warehouse has worked with a large number of education establishments throughout the UK and Ireland. The tailor-made packages coupled with the ability to meet all the necessary customer requirements ensure that each project is managed effectively in-house. The recent installation at North Oxfordshire College included a number of Gym Gear™ Cardiovascular and Resistance equipment stations. The equipment had been recommended based upon the courses that will be offered by the college alongside the ancillary services the Fitness Warehouse are able to provide. Examples of these services involve wall mirrors, sound systems, gym flooring and visual solutions.

North Oxfordshire College

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‘Never give up on dreams and ambitions’

SIX-TIME World Champion canoeist Anna Hemmings is hoping to get more young people involved in competitive sport, thanks to her new appointment as a member of the SkillsActive board. Anna, who has also represented the UK twice at the Olympics, is visiting schools around the country to let kids know about the opportunities sport can open up for them. She said: “I think it is very important for young people to try lots of different sports. “My mum always encouraged me to take part in lots of different activities and, as well as starting canoeing when I was eight, I also did many other things, from ice skating and judo to running. There are a lot more opportunities for young people now, which is great, and they should make the most of that.

“Not all young people want to be World Champions, but the power of sport at any level is amazing.” In her school talks Anna aims to inform teachers and pupils that as well as improving fitness, PE and competition can work to build self esteem and develop communication skills. She added: “My key message to kids is always to find something you enjoy doing and that you are passionate about, because that is when you will get your top performance. “I also tell them that the main thing is to be the best that you can be and to never give up on dreams and ambitions.” After retiring from competition, Anna set up her own company, Beyond the Barriers, which is dedicated to improving health and performance. This led on to her teaming up with Skills Active and using her past experience as a

sporting professional to help get the organisation prepared for the Olympics and beyond. She added: “I think that what has been achieved towards the Olympic legacy so far is fantastic and lots of the schools I have visited are using the Olympic theme to deliver a range of key learning outcomes. “The support that is available for young athletes is getting better and better – when I started out there was nowhere near as much going on as there is today – but there is always going to be more that could be done. “For example, some of the more low profile sports, like canoeing, are always looking for sponsorship and development opportunities. “The club network is an essential part of sport in this country so it is important that we do everything we can to support them.”

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Interactive Equipment/ Dance Mats Pulse Dance Machine The Bromley Centre Bromley Rd Congleton Cheshire CW12 1PT T: 01260 294600 W: E:

Cyber Coach Unit 1a Britannia Business Park Union Rd The Valley Bolton BL2 2HP T: 0845 869 2848 W: E:

Pulse Soccer Centres The Bromley Centre Bromley Rd Congleton Cheshire CW12 1PT T: 01260 294600 W: E:

Entre Prises Eden Works Colne Rd Kelbrook Lancs BB18 6SH T: 01282 444800 W: E: info@ep-uk.

Fitness Equipment

Professional Associations

Audio Equipment

Pulse Fitness The Bromley Centre Bromley Rd Congleton Cheshire CW12 1PT T: 01260 294600 W: E:

Association for Physical Education Building 25 London Road Reading Berkshire RG1 5AQ T: 0118 378 2440 W: E:

Sound Dynamics 51 Bridge St Belper Derbyshire DE56 1AY T: 01773 828486 F: 01773 828475 W: E:

SportsArt Fitness 2 Dean Court Unit 10 Shuttleworth Mead Bus Park Padiham, Lancs BB12 7NG T: 01282 779234 W: E:

British Colleges Sport 2/3 North Street Workshops North St Stoke-Sub-Hamdon Somerset TA14 6QR T: 01935 823444 W: E:

Mark Harrod Unit 1 Tilla Court Beccles Business Park Worlingham NR34 7BF T: 01502 476882 W: Hexa Sports Ltd New Bond Street Birmingham, B9 4EJ tel: 0121 7720724

Design & Build Pulse Select The Bromley Centre Bromley Rd Congleton Cheshire CW12 1PT T: 01260 294600 W: E:

Football Facility Build Goals Soccer Centres plc Orbital House Peel Park East Kilbride G74 5PR T: 01355 234800 W: E:

Sports Clothing Kitking 9, Upper George Street Leicester, LE1 3LP T: 0116 262 7332 E:

Climbing Walls

Installation & Repairs

Freedom Climber Cherry Cottage Guildford Rd Cranleigh Surrey GU6 8LS T: 07554 016220 W: E:

Renovate Contracts Limited Unit 8 12 Moat Way Barwell Leicester LE9 8EY T: 01455 851900 E:duncan@renovatecontracts.– W:

37 LIW



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Future Fitness (October 2010)  

Sport and fitness for todays youth.

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