The news this week: Sport and recreation in the spotlight
Tim Lamb, chief executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance brings you the first in a series of weekly blogs – rounding up all of the top news stories, issues and events affecting the sport and recreation sector.
Welcome to my new weekly blog, where I’ll be commenting on the latest debates, happenings and controversies affecting our members and the sport and recreation sector as a whole. This week, we focus on two international events soon to hit our nation this summer – Euro 2012 and the Olympics.
News stories featuring the Alliance included Independent journalist Emily Dugan’s feature on the Olympic legacy ‘failing’ to involve more people in sport. I comment in the feature that lack of funding at grassroots is undoubtedly going to affect how well we can achieve this aim which I strongly believe, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not reasonably optimistic about things going forward. You’ll find another perspective on this in a column I wrote for The Ramblers in their magazine, Walk.
Whilst we’re on the subject of the Olympics hopefully having a positive impact on participation in sport, the Alliance was this week involved in an inspirational event with Charlotte Leslie MP showcasing an upcoming Channel Four documentary called Glory Road. It follows the 1,000 day journey of young Liverpudlian boxers in their quest to qualify for Team GB and represent Britain at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and serves as an inspiring illustration of how sport can provide a path from modest beginnings to glittering achievement.
One of the most troubling items in the news this week came from the BBC and their highly publicised Panorama documentary on football racism in Poland and Ukraine, which has led to referees being instructed to take players off the field if serious racist incidents occur. It has also led to the host nations rejecting the allegations and a number of high profile black footballers speaking out. The documentary has caused much controversy and debate about whether FIFA was right to allow the two countries to host the event in the first place, but where do you stand on the issue? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
On a more positive note, it seems that Channel Four are all-set to do a sterling job of raising the profile and changing the perceptions of Paralympic sport this year, including giving novice presenters with experiences of living with a disability the chance to interview the Paralympian athletes themselves. One of the presenters has been quoted as saying: "It will be an advantage having disabled people…disabled presenters can more easily ask the questions other people find difficult to ask” which will no doubt bring great value to the coverage. We’re looking forward to tuning into Channel Four in September to watch them in action.
And finally, I would just like to shamelessly plug the new blogs section on our website which is beginning to build up a whole host of interesting stories, insight and perspectives. You can for instance, read the first in a series of new blogs titled 'How to do…a certain sport or activity'. This week, it was yoga, and the British Wheel of Yoga was extremely helpful in making the piece such a success – so thanks to them for that.
That’s it from me but do look out for more of my round-ups in the weeks to come. We’re always looking for interesting news and blog content for our website, so if you’re a national governing body, journalist, MP or industry expert who has something of interest to write – contact us with your idea and we’ll be in touch to schedule you in.
To receive the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s free daily sports news summary, a round-up of the day’s most interesting and informative news articles on sport and recreation, including links to original sources, email firstname.lastname@example.org