Posted: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:41
With the historic vote on the Scottish Referendum on independence only a day away we know one thing: that whatever the outcome politically the UK will never be the same again. While the impact of a 'no' vote is likely to have little impact on sport in the longer term, divining the likely consequences to sport from a 'yes' vote is not easy. As like most other issues in the debate, any divorce will be a messy business, especially when one party has, so far refused, to accept the situation and look to the future.. Read More »
Posted: Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:59
In the end, even Usain had a good time. But despite the unqualified success of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, many will continue to question the purpose of the event and its role in an ever more crowded sporting calendar. Comparisons with the Olympics are inevitable. How can the so-called 'friendly games' – an anachronism of Empire – ever compete with the International Olympic Committee's multi-billion dollar sporting monster? The smart answer is not to copy the Olympics, but instead to lead.. Read More »
Posted: Mon, 08 Sep 2014 10:44
From the picturesque landscape of the Yorkshire Dales in the Tour de France, to John Barrowman clasping a man's face and kissing him on the lips during the Commonwealth Games ceremony in Glasgow: the implications for Britain's obsession for major sporting events are there for the billions of viewers worldwide to see. Yet these magificant sporting spectacles have another equally significant impact. As the recent House of Lords Select Committee on Soft Power states, in the view of the British Council, 'sport has.. Read More »
Posted: Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:34
Revisiting the Swedish Sport Model
With London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 now events of the past, it is a good time to consider whether we British should be patting ourselves on our collective backs or if it is time to consider the possibility that, in the quest for Olympic and Commonwealth Games medals, something may have gone missing. In the course of such deliberations, we may also wish to consider what we can learn from some of our nearest neighbours.
The claim that sport matters more to people in the.. Read More »
Posted: Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:47
Like many people I am passionate about sport – indeed passionate enough about wanting it to be taken more seriously that in the early 2000's I tried with colleagues to get Sportsthinktank.com going. While that put its head gingerly above the ground with a few reports and events it then faded away due to lack of attention from over-busy founders. Luckily, Andy Reed has now taken up the cudgels and is doing a fine job.
I now head an organisation, NPC, that tries to help people think about how we can use the.. Read More »
What does a city need with a velodrome? Sporting facilities and legacy: the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games, 1970 and 1986
Posted: Mon, 04 Aug 2014 10:26
As we move through the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the talk of the commentariat inevitably shifts towards what the competition's legacy will be. Host nations and cities of major competitions increasingly tout the value of legacy when attempting to justify the costs of such tournaments, despite subsequent targets with regard to sporting performance and tourism rarely being met. So one of the more tangible aspects of legacy involves the building of facilities that are deemed to be 'world-class', ones which.. Read More »
Posted: Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:09
In the second part of this Blog I offer a further five problem and solutions that policy makers and the sector need to address to greater unity in the grassroots sports industry.
6. Sports bodies are not focusing enough on grassroots: Sports bodies set the tone in grassroots sports and typically favour elite sports performance over grassroots. Presumably this is because any successes are splashed across the newspapers. Who doesn't enjoy positive PR? Nowhere is this more apparent than in football and tennis that.. Read More »
Posted: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:44
Since launching OpenPlay, a platform that connects sports facilities to their users, I have had the opportunity to meet an enormous range of stakeholders in the grassroots sports industry. Examples include school lettings officers, sports coaches, sports development officers, sports bodies, fitness software providers, leisure consultants, MPs and local community groups. I'm not sure there is a comparable industry with such an eclectic mix of stakeholders.
However, one over-arching thing has struck me. There is.. Read More »
Posted: Wed, 02 Jul 2014 23:14
With the World Cup in progress in Brazil it is a fitting time to reflect on why football is such a popular game. Although football is now a billion-pound industry awash with money, the real reason why it is the "world game" is that it is so very easy to organise and play. And it is free. All you need is some players, something for a ball and makeshift goals. What you see at the World Cup final is essentially the same as what's played in a backstreet in Ghana.
The theme this year is "Football & Peace" during.. Read More »
Posted: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 11:20
Across the world, former fitness agencies are all morphing into something hopefully 'Active'. Ireland and Europe are the latest two (formerly ILAM and EHFA) who are now Ireland Active and Europe Active following the Fitness Industry Association morph into ukactive last year. Listening to St Mathew's Passion over Easter made me wonder if the global fitness industry, as it is, has the passion to change and grow the market. Perhaps too many organisations are keen to change their name to follow 'best practice' or.. Read More »