08/06/2012 – The news this week: Sport and recreation in the spotlight

Welcome to the second weekly news round-up from the Sport and Recreation Alliance, the independent voice for sport and recreation, where we’ve managed to uncover a wide spectrum of stories affecting sport and recreation in amongst the extensive coverage of the epic Diamond Jubilee weekend.

With Euro 2012 kicking off today, racism in Ukraine and Poland continues to hit the headlines with reports already coming in of the Dutch team being subjected to racist chants during their training session. Interesting perspective is also provided in the Telegraph that's worth a read, where the 'A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian' author asks people to not 'judge a nation by its hooligans'.

The issue has made lots of journalists think about bigotry closer to home, and how it might not be as much a thing of the past as we’d like to think. This is illustrated in Scotland on Sunday’s article which reveals the extent of homophobia in Scottish sport and is also covered in an article by Ian Birrell who argues that prejudice still very much persists in UK sport behind the scenes.

The Guardian covered a controversial issue close to the hearts of many of our members – UK Sport’s decision to no longer award money to sports unless they qualify by right for the Olympics in 2016. The decision has been described as ‘ruthless’ by many yet the other side of the argument is that pressure breeds results, and what’s more there simply isn’t enough money to go around at the moment. Where do you stand? It would be great to hear from you.

Better news comes from the Government’s announcement to abolish repeat criminal record checks for community volunteers. This will be welcomed by a whole host of sport and recreational clubs, who rely so heavily on volunteers and struggle to recruit them due to the bureaucracy which holds them back. We hope that this eases the burden somewhat and encourages more people to give up their spare time for sport.

And finally, with all this rain outside, it seems fitting that the hosepipe ban may be lifted early. This would be great news for grassroots sports clubs not wanting to put people off from using their facilities this summer. With only 49 days to go until the Olympics, this would mean that our facilities will be irrigated and won’t be at risk of being unusable or below standard – so people up and down the country will be able to take full advantage of their local tennis court, football pitch, running track, bowling green or cricket ground.

One more thing before I go – don’t forget to take a look at the newPhoto of Tim Lamb blogs that we’ve added to our website this week, including a ‘Top Ten’ feature with Surfing GB on the best surfing beaches in the UK – the Sport and Recreation Alliance staff are looking forward to trying out as many of these amazing beaches as possible, so bring on the next bank holiday.

Until next week,

Tim
 

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