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Relay - 28 June 2011

In this edition: It’s fashionable to describe cycling as “the new golf”, except that cycling carries greater risk of serious injury. We carry several articles in the Active Communities section on research and action to understand and mitigate the risks of cycling. Thanks also to all our subscribers who completed the recent feedback questionnaire.

Other highlights:

  •  Sports Development: a report from Cricket Australia on the extension of its national umpire training programme;
  •  Sports Medicine and Coaching: detail from a global initiative to develop globally recognised coaching systems and qualifications;
  •  Young People: reports on how sports bodies are approaching the use of social media by athletes, including those of school age.

In this Relay

High Performance Sport

Recommendations of independent review of Swimming New Zealand’s High Performance area accepted by the Swimming New Zealand Board – 16 Jun 2011
Swimming New Zealand has established a committee to review the structure and environment of its High Performance programme. SPARC initiated an independent review of the programme carried out by former NZ Sports Foundation CEO, Chris Ineson. There is also a link to the full report from the independent review. (Swimming New Zealand)

Keep Rugby Clean the message at Junior World Championship 2011 – 18 Jun 2011
The Keep Rugby Clean message has been driven home at the IRB Junior World Championship 2011 in Italy with players, officials, tournament staff and administrators wearing branded t-shirts to show their support for the International Rugby Board’s campaign. (International Rugby Board)

IOC commission gives thumbs up to Rio 2016 preparations – 9 Jun 2011
A three day International Olympic Committee (IOC) coordination commission visit inspected the works in progress for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with a general consensus that works were proceeding according to schedule. (Sports Features)

Qatar to build first stadium for FIFA 2022 World Cup by 2015 – 7 Jun 2011
Qatar plans to complete construction by 2015 of the first of its state-of-the-art new stadiums with cooling technology to stage FIFA World Cup 2022 football matches. (Qatar Olympic Committee)

IOC steps up efforts in fight against irregular and illegal betting in sport – 15 Jun 2011
A working group established in March at the first meeting on irregular and illegal sports betting has agreed to set up three sub-groups to flesh out objectives in the fight against irregular and illegal betting in sport. (Olympic Movement)

Ticket applicants get a second chance to secure the greatest tickets on earth – 17 Jun 2011
The London 2012 Organising Committee says 2.3 million tickets will be available in the second round of London 2012 Olympic tickets sales, which is open to the 1.9 million people who applied in the initial round. (London 2012)

Sports Development

Athlete satisfaction and the peak event: adapting the athlete satisfaction questionnaire to a New Zealand setting – 2010
This thesis explores athlete satisfaction and the peak sporting event. It surveyed 381 athletes from a range of team and individual sports using online data collection methods. While differences in satisfaction levels between genders were not observed, there were differences between individual and team sport athletes. (Massey University)

Volunteering and the recession – February 2011
This article uses national survey data to show that claims that volunteering “flourished” during the recession were premature and overly optimistic and that in fact rates have declined. It offers some possible explanations for this fall in volunteering and concludes by discussing why it is important to understand the impact of the recession. (Institute for Volunteering Research, UK)

Red card to red tape: A review into the regulatory burden faced by sport and recreation clubs in the UK  – March 2011
This review was commissioned by the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP, to feed into the Government’s wider review of regulation being conducted by the Cabinet Office. (Sport and Recreation Alliance, UK)

Change management: fad or future-proofing? – June 2011
Sport, leisure and culture are changing at a bewildering pace and managers in all sectors are feeling the pressure. Matt Fisher makes the case for project management as a way to create order out of the chaos. (The Leisure Review)

Engaging disabled people in sport – 2011
This site has a link to download a toolkit to provide support and guidance on how to engage disabled people in sport. The resource includes advice on navigating a complex environment; it highlights some of the many barriers that exist to participation, as well as showing how these can be overcome. (English Federation of Disability Sport)

Western Australian sport charts course for next five years – 8 Jun 2011
An ageing population, increasing time pressures and the value of volunteers were key features of the WA sport and recreation industry’s new five-year vision: Strategic Directions 5. The document can be downloaded from this site. (Government of Western Australia)

Australian state governments back national strategy on match fixing – 10 Jun 2011
Sports Ministers from around Australia have signed off on a National Policy on Match Fixing in Sport. The historic agreement came as a key part of the Sports Ministers’ Council held on the Gold Coast. Queensland Sport Minister Phil Reeves said the agreement aims to preserve the integrity of one of Australia’s greatest assets – its national sporting heritage. (Queensland Government)

FIFA Vice-President Jack A. Warner resigns – 20 Jun 2011
Jack A. Warner has informed FIFA of his resignation from his posts in international football. His resignation has been accepted by world football’s governing body. (

Union Cyliste Internationale Management Committee: decisions for the continual improvement of cycling – 17 Jun 2011
International Cycling’s Management Committee has adopted several measures for the improvement of the quality of the riders’ environment, including limiting team staff membership by people guilty of infringing the Anti-Doping Regulation during their riding career. (Union Cyliste Internationale)

New Zealand Cricket announce new selection system – 8 Jun 2011
New Zealand Cricket has announced a new national selection system which includes the creation of a National Selection Manager (NSM). The new role will be full-time and responsible for men’s and women’s international cricket from Under 19’s through to the BLACKCAPS and White Ferns. The NSM will be supported by a system which provides for close consultation with all head coaches of New Zealand teams and major association head coaches. (New Zealand Cricket)

Educating entry level umpires – Summer 2011
Two years after putting a new Level 1 umpire accreditation program in place, Cricket Australia is reaping the benefits of what umpire educator Denis Burns calls a ‘powerful educative tool’. More than 1300 new umpires have come into the system as a result of the new Introduction to Officiating course. (Australian Sports Commission-Sports Official)

Sport Science, Medicine and Coaching

May I curse a referee? Swear words and consequences – June 2011
The purpose of this study was to determine whether male and female soccer referees would execute the Laws of the Game in response to players’ verbal abuse. Referees were presented with 28 swear words and asked how they would respond if this situation occurred in a real game. (Journal of Sports Science and Medicine)

A preliminary investigation regarding the effect of tennis grunting: does white noise during a tennis shot have a negative impact on shot perception? – 1 Oct 2010
There is a growing chorus of critics who complain that many of the top-ranked professional tennis players who grunt when they hit the ball gain an unfair advantage because the sound of the grunt interferes with their opponent's game. This study explored this potential detrimental effect of grunting by presenting videos of a tennis player hitting a ball to either side of a tennis court; the shot either did, or did not, contain a brief sound that occurred at the same time as contact. (PloS ONE)

Do static-sport athletes and dynamic-sport athletes differ in their visual focused attention? – 2011
The goal of this study was to evaluate current attention tests in sport psychology for their practical use in applied sport psychology. Some 130 nationally-competing athletes from different sports were analysed using two measures of visual focused attention. Compared to static-sport athletes, dynamic-sport athletes had better visual search scores in the concentration grid task in the presence of auditory distraction. These findings suggest that the results of attention tests should be differentially interpreted if different sport types and different test conditions are considered. (The Sport Journal)

Global framework for the recognition of coaching competence and qualifications – May 2011
A joint communication from the International Council for Coach Education and the Association for Summer Olympic International Federations regarding the establishment of a project group to develop a comprehensive reference document to guide the development and recognition of coaching qualifications and systems on a global basis. (International Council for Coach Education)

Britain’s Paralympic coaches share expertise at development workshop – 16 Jun 2011
Members of UK Sport’s Paralympic Coach Development Initiative met for the first workshop of its kind to discuss and develop ideas around driving Paralympic performance in the UK to world class success. (UK Sport)

Firm in-soles effectively reduce hemolysis in runners during long distance running - a comparative study – 9 Jun 2011
Shock absorbing in-soles are effective in reducing the magnitude and rate of loading of peak impact forces generated at foot strike during running, whereas the foot impact force during running has been considered to be an important cause of intravascular hemolysis in long distance runners. The objective of this study was to evaluate the intravascular hemolysis during running and compare the effect of two different types of in-soles (soft and firm). (Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Technology)

Barefoot running: to ditch the shoes or not? – 9 Jun 2011
A hot issue among runners is whether running in bare feet reduces or increases the risk of injury. Stuart Warden, associate professor and director of research in the Department of Physical Therapy at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, says for some runners it could do both. (Science Daily)

Enzyme prevents fatal heart condition associated with athletes – 25 May 2011
Scientists have discovered an important enzyme molecule that may prevent fatal cardiac disorders associated with cardiac hypertrophy – the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes. (University of Manchester)

Vitamin D and athletic performance – May 2011
The actions of vitamin D perform more like a hormone rather than a vitamin in the body, and its regulatory effect on neurons, muscle, bone, heart, lungs, immune function and reducing inflammation make it a key player in athletic performance. (National Strength and Conditioning Association, US)

The finer details of golf play – 16 Jun 2011
A common challenge to golfers is a psychological condition known as the ‘yips’, which results in neuromuscular responses, usually involuntary spasms of the hands or lower arms, and can cause athletes difficulty in the simplest of moves. The yips is one of sport’s most misunderstood phenomena. Many have thought that it is the same as choking, caused by anxiety and pressure, when in fact it’s a chronic disorder, much like a phobia. Whilst it can be exaggerated by pressure, it’s not the cause phenomenon. (English Institute of Sport)

Lower limb biomechanics during running in individuals with Achilles tendinopathy: a systematic review – 30 May 2011
Abnormal lower limb biomechanics is speculated to be a risk factor for Achilles tendinopathy. This study systematically reviewed the existing literature to identify, critique and summarise lower limb biomechanical factors associated with this condition. (Journal of Foot and Ankle Research)

Active Communities

Risk of injury for bicycling on cycle tracks versus in the street – 9 Feb 2011
The objective of this study, conducted in Montreal (with a longstanding network of cycle tracks), was to compare cyclist injury rates on cycle tracks versus in the street. For six cycle tracks and comparable reference streets, vehicle/bicycle crashes and health record injury counts were obtained and use counts conducted. (

Two in three Australians blame unsafe roads for staying off their bikes – 1 Jun 2011
A national survey conducted by the Cycling Promotion Fund (CPF) and the National Heart Foundation of Australia has found more than 62% of Australians want to be able to ride a bike for transport, but road safety fears are keeping bikes in the shed and off the road. (Cycling Promotion Fund, Australia)

Assessing the impact of road traffic on cycling for leisure and cycling to work – 10 Jun 2011
This study explores the relationship between leisure and commuter cycling with objectively measured levels of road traffic and whether any relationship was affected by traffic levels directly outside of home or in the local neighbourhood. (International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity)

New cycle-friendly drain covers for Wellington – 13 Jun 2011
Wellington City Council is helping make wobbly rides a thing of the past by installing new cycle-friendly drain covers. (Wellington City Council)

European Parliament hearing on grassroot sports – 9 Jun 2011 
A public hearing on “Grassroots sport and physical activity in Europe”  was held at the European Parliament 31 May. This site also contains a link to the European Commission’s communication on “Developing the European Dimension in Sport”. (International Sport and Culture Association)

Ireland launches Link-2-B-Active as a national sports programme for the unemployed – 13 Jun 2011
Link-2-B-Active creates opportunities in sport for unemployed people. The concept was developed by South Dublin County Sports Partnership, which created links to unemployed individuals and groups to facilities made available by their operators. Some 135,000 people participated in their locally delivered programmes. The Irish Sports Council will support Link-2-B-Active as a national programme though the network of Local Sports Partnerships. (Irish Sports Council)

Everyone Wins! Booklet for community sporting clubs – 9 Jun 2011
The Everyone Wins! toolkit, produced by Australia’s VicHealth, provides practical tools and resources to help community sports clubs become more inclusive and welcoming of everyone in their community. The toolkit aims to help clubs increase the involvement of women and girls and people from culturally diverse communities.

SPARC financial support for Lindvart Park initiative – 10 Jun 2011
The Lindvart Park Sport and Recreation Hub at Kaikohe has received a $340,000 SPARC grant over three years to assist with the development of the park as a multi-sport venue. The grant will enable the hub management committee to employ a full-time project manager to implement an Active Communities programme for the park and associated facilities. (Far North District Council)

Using local sports facilities more effectively to promote physical activity – Jun 2011
This article presents the findings of a study which investigated the association between physical activity and access to facilities. The facilities considered for this study were public-use sports fields and buildings throughout metropolitan Edmonton. (Alberta Centre for Active Living)
Australian women more likely to exercise or play sport – 17 Jun 2011
Australian women and girls participate in physical activity more often than men and boys, according to the latest 2010 Exercise Recreation and Sport Survey (ERASS) Annual Report. On average, they have increased the frequency of their physical activity from twice per week in 2001 to three times per week in 2010. (Australian Sports Commission)


US National Recreation & Park Association synopsis of 2010 research papers: Parks offer a wide array of benefits beyond just physical – 2010/2011
This report summarizes the key categories in which parks and recreation contribute to building healthy, vibrant communities. It outlines in six main areas the latest research into the benefits provided by parks: physical health, mental health, social functioning, youth development, environment, and economic impact. (National Recreation & Park Association, US)

Socio-economic determinants, demand and constraints to outdoor recreation participation in Sweden – Mar 2011
This paper examines the participation-demand-constraint nexus in outdoor recreation using data from a Swedish national household survey. Results show that the most common activities among Swedes are characterised by being easy accessible, ‘ordinary’ and ‘simple’, demanding no partner, no special equipment, no excessive physical strength or skills. Please note – the introduction and foreword are in Swedish but if you scroll past this, the research is in English. (Swedish National Institute of Public Health)

Exploration of the experiences and perceptions of spinal cord injured people who attend outdoor recreation programmes – Jun 2010
Outdoor recreation programmes have the potential to assist in the rehabilitation and community re-integration process for individuals recovering from spinal cord injury (SCI). This is a qualitative study using constructivist-grounded theory in order to gain an understanding of the personal experiences of individuals with SCI who attend these programmes and the influence the programmes had on their lives. (University of Otago)

Power of trails for promoting physical activity in communities: research brief – January 2011
This summary highlights findings about specific trail characteristics that appear to attract regular users and examines how trails influence physical activity among various populations based in America. (Active Living Research)

World conference on drowning prevention – May 2011
More than 400 experts from 50 countries in the field of drowning prevention, research, rescue, policy and practice gathered recently at the World Conference on Drowning Prevention in Vietnam. This site includes links to presentations given by New Zealand contributors outlining successful collaborative initiatives that are contributing towards building a water safety culture. (WaterSafe Auckland)

Young People

140 characters or less: maintaining privacy and publicity in the age of social networking – 18 Jan 2011
The article focuses on the outcomes of social networking sites among school-athletes. It says that social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook allow the athletes to promote team activities and charitable acts and gain free publicity. However, the rise of the sites also causes privacy violations. It examines how professional sports leagues are establishing social networking policies. (SIRC)

North Lanarkshire Primary School Games hailed a huge success – 10 Jun 2011
A former Celtic footballer gave a huge thumbs up to Bank of Scotland National School Week on Thursday after taking a trip to the North Lanarkshire Primary Games. Tom Curley, who is now the Lanarkshire Provost, was an avid spectator at the Wishaw Sports Centre as more than 1,300 pupils from 65 schools tried their hand at a host of sports on day one of the North Lanarkshire Primary School Games. (sportscotland)

Thousands of Kiwi kids celebrate Olympic Day – 19 Jun 2011
This week, more than 3700 pupils from all over New Zealand have taken part in the Olympic Day Run. The run, held annually in more than 200 countries, encourages people all over the world to get moving and participate in sporting and cultural activities. (New Zealand Olympic Committee)

English young people urged to get out and give sport a go in Olympic legacy push – 15 Jun 2011
Thousands of young people have joined celebrations of sport across England to launch Sportivate, part of the UK's "Places People Play" mass participation legacy programme. Sport England is investing £32 million of National Lottery funding in Sportivate, which will give people aged 14 to 25 the chance to receive six to eight weeks of coaching in a sport of their choice. It will help those who aren’t currently playing sport in their own time to get out and give it a go. (Sport England)

Environmental resources moderate the relationship between social support and school sports participation among adolescents: a cross-sectional analysis – 18 Apr 2011
This study found that access to physical activity resources moderated the association between social support and physical activity. Among adolescents with high levels of resources, greater social support was associated with students participating in a greater number of sports in school, whereas no such relationship emerged among adolescents with low resources. (International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity)

American Outdoors Alliance for Kids makes a move to get more kids active outdoors in support of America’s Great Outdoors and Let’s Move Outside! – 14 Jun 2011
To commemorate its one year anniversary and celebrate National Get Outdoors Month, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids launched a new Facebook application to inspire and encourage young people to get outside and be active. In support of the President’s "America’s Great Outdoors" initiative and the First Lady’s "Let’s Move Outside!" programme, the new "Get Your Nature On" Facebook application will provide inspiration, encouragement and resources to young people who commit to getting active in the outdoors this year. (Outdoors Alliance for Kids)

Active Parent Education Kit – 2010/2011
The Active Parent Education Kit provides parents with resources to optimise their child’s sport and recreation experience. The kit targets parents, schools, clubs, officials, coaches and any community groups that are seeking information about the parent’s role in a sport or recreation environment. (Department of Sport and Recreation, Western Australia)

Useful Weblinks

Tennis NZ introduces DogRun
Introducing DogRun, an online player matching service. DogRun offers tennis players an opportunity to play tennis where and when they want by advertising their availability for free. Registered members are able to select their level of skill and look for other registered players to compete against.

Volunteer Awareness Week 2011 Toolkit
The toolkit for 2011 Volunteer Awareness Week is now avaliable to download free of charge. It is designed to provide ideas, examples and inspiration to assist in promoting and publicising volunteer activities. The kit includes a user guide, ideas for promoting volunteering, using the media to promote volunteering, and ideas to increase volunteer participation.