23/11/2012: Sport and recreation in the news this week

This week the issue of doping bans in sport has resurfaced, with the British Olympic Association welcoming the move by world anti-doping agency WADA to double the ban for first-time drug cheats.

This follows Seb Coe’s recent comments that a crackdown on doping was a top priority for him in his new role as the BOA’s chair.

The awful news also hit the headlines yesterday of the unprovoked attack on Tottenham Hotspur fans in Rome by Lazio ‘Ultras’, a violent and often fascist section of the club’s fans.

Whilst many countries have made excellent progress in tackling football violence, this is a stark reminder that football authorities – and fans - still need to be on their guard.

In more uplifting news, we learnt this week that Toni Minichiello, the man who coached Jessica Ennis to Olympic Gold this year, won Coach of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards for the part he played in Ennis’s success.

We at the Alliance are acutely aware that it’s the coaches and volunteers who are often the unsung heroes in sport, and we welcome this recognition.

In Owen Gibson’s interview with Minichiello in today’s Guardian, Minichiello says that many coaches across different sports have been struggling to meet the demands from young people inspired to take up sport as a result of the Olympics, an issue that was very much reflected in our recent Olympic poll.

And finally, as it’s Friday, I shall leave you with Channel 4’s analysis of this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year contenders – with such outstanding achievements being made by many a British athlete this year, I challenge you to come out with an outright winner.

All the best

Tim

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