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Relay - 18 February 2011

In this edition: As the countdown to next year’s Olympic Games continues, we look at high performance athletes’ build-up programmes both in New Zealand and overseas. This includes a UK talent transfer initiative (Pitch2Podium) that gives young footballers an opportunity to succeed in the Olympic arena. We also include several initiatives to keep young people/adults participating and remaining engaged in sport and recreation.

  Other highlights include:

  • Sports Development: New academic research on what corporate sponsors value in sport sponsorships;
  • Sport Science: A scholarly review of emerging issues in sports medicine;
  • Recreation/Useful websites: Ideas and resources to provide inspiration for outdoor activities.


High Performance Sport

2012 Olympic Games remain on time and within budget – 14 Feb 2011
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games remain on time and within budget, says the annual report from the Government and Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), which includes updates on milestones, financial information, and preparations for the Games. The overall public sector funding package for the Games remains at £9.298 billion, following a spending review.  (Department for Culture and Sport, UK)

British sport pushes the boat out ahead of London 2012 – 14 Feb 2011
British sporting competitors will warm up for the London 2012 Games with the most action-packed year of domestic sporting competitions on record. In its latest release, UK Sport details how 2011 will see up to 27 events in at least 22 different sports being staged in towns and cities across the UK. (Inside the Games)

Snow Farm gives triathletes a boost – 3 Feb 2011
Many of New Zealand’s top triathletes attended the Tri NZ high performance camp at Snow Farm in the Cardrona Valley near Wanaka. Snow Farm is approximately 35km from Wanaka and includes a 13km gravel road up the side of a mountain, while accommodation is at an altitude of 1540m. Living and training at high altitude assists training. The lack of oxygen stimulates increases in red blood cell production, which has a positive effect on performance. (Tri NZ)

Green and Gold project to prepare Australian athletes for London – 2 Feb 2011
Ten Olympic sports will share in $2.5 million of targeted funding support under the Australian Government’s Green and Gold Project to boost their prospects of success at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Swimming is the largest beneficiary, receiving an extra $1 million for athlete and coaching support, along with cycling and rowing, which will each receive an additional $300,000 to boost preparations for their top athletes. (Australian Sports Commission)

UK Sport seeking "Ideas4Innovation" beyond 2012 – 9 Feb 2011
UK Sport’s Research and Innovation team will be searching for ideas that could impact on British athletes’ performances at Olympic and Paralympic Games beyond 2012 through this year’s Ideas4Innovation competition. The award scheme aims to harness exceptional research concepts and proposals which, given sufficient funding and support, could improve British athletes’ performances. (English Institute of Sport)

Sevens Olympic plans continue in Wellington – 4 Feb 2011
Representatives of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games were welcomed by senior members of the International Rugby Board at the HSBC Sevens World Series event in Wellington, New Zealand. The visiting members focused on the technical requirements of Rugby Sevens, including operational needs, optimum venue dynamics and design configuration. (International Rugby Board)

Vancouver celebrates one year on – 10 Feb 2011
February 12 2011 marked one year to the day since the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Events held across the country to commemorate the occasion included a special breakfast event for the “blue jacket” Games volunteers. Other information in this article explores the legacy from the Games. (

Sports Development

482 Prime Minister's Sports Scholarships for 2011 – 10 Feb 2011
Sport and Recreation Minister Murray McCully has announced the athletes, coaches, officials and support team members from 32 sports that will benefit from more than $4 million in Prime Minister’s Sport Scholarships in 2011. The Prime Minister's Sport Scholarships help sportspeople pursue tertiary study or professional development while continuing to strive for sporting success. The programme is administered by Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC), which receives applications through national sport organisations and the New Zealand Academy of Sport. (New Zealand Government)

How China plays the game: a cultural perspective on sports in China – February 2011
This article examines the history of Chinese sports in relation to sport development and cultural renaissance against the backdrop of the 2008 Beijing Olympiad. The differences between Chinese and Western sports are analyzed from a cross-cultural perspective. An argument is made that the westernisation of traditional Chinese sports has had profound implications upon East-West cultural conflict and negotiation. Post-Olympic and future sports landscapes in China are also discussed. (Scandinavian Sport Studies Forum)

The 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships economic impact assessment – January 2011
The 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships, hosted in Moncton from July 19 to 25, was one of the largest single sport events ever hosted in Atlantic Canada. The championships generated a considerable economic impact for the host community. Measurement of that impact is the subject of this study. (Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance) 

IAAF President Diack opens “Oceania House” – 5 Feb 2011
IAAF President Lamine Diack has officially opened “Oceania House” at Varsity Lakes, Queensland, in the presence of the Mayor of the Gold Coast and athletics legend, Ron Clarke, and delegates from each of the 20 IAAF Member Federations of the Oceania Area.  This facility brings together under one centralised administration the Oceania Athletic Association, the IAAF Regional Development Centre and the IAAF High Performance Training Centre. (IAAF)

Commonwealth Games Canada seeks candidates for international sport administration internships – 2 Feb 2011
Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) is looking for nine young Canadians who are passionate about sport to be part of its third team of Capacity Support Officers (CSOs) to go abroad under the Capacity Support Program (CSP).  The CSP is a three-year pilot programme co-funded by CGC in partnership with the Commonwealth Games Federation and sends young Canadians with sport administration backgrounds overseas to support Commonwealth Games Associations in developing countries. (SIRC)

2011 Volunteer Awareness Week theme announced – 3 Feb 2011
“Volunteering – every minute counts” will be the theme for this year's Volunteer Awareness Week, from 19 to 25 June. The theme emphasises that volunteers provide an invaluable contribution to our society and that every minute of their work counts. For those who manage/organise volunteer programmes this means they should be flexible in how and when they involve their individual volunteers so as to enable everyone – even the busiest – to have the opportunity to volunteer. (Volunteering New Zealand)

The significance of sponsorship as a marketing tool in sport events – January 2011
Sports sponsorship is a marketing tool that is frequently used by companies to create awareness, competitive advantage, and higher profit margins. The aim of this thesis was to gain a deeper understanding of how companies use sponsorship in sport events as a strategic tool in their marketing programmes. The thesis describes and explains companies' objectives with sport sponsorship, the threats being encountered by its use, and the reasons why companies decide to sponsor. (ARCADA)

Sport Science, Medicine and Coaching

Messages from World Rowing coaches conference – 2 Feb 2010
Rowing coaches from 24 nations came together in January at the annual World Rowing Coaches Conference with ‘finding the edge – talent and technology’ their theme. The conference was held at Windsor, Great Britain, close to the rowing regatta venue for the London 2012 Olympic Games. From this article you can link to and download the presentations from the conference. (World Rowing)

The effect of a low carbohydrate beverage with added protein on cycling endurance performance in trained athletes – October 2010
Ingesting carbohydrate plus protein during prolonged variable intensity exercise has demonstrated improved aerobic endurance performance beyond that of a carbohydrate supplement alone. The purpose of the present study was to determine if a supplement containing a mixture of different carbohydrates (glucose, maltodextrin, and fructose) and a moderate amount of protein given during endurance exercise would increase time to exhaustion (TTE), despite containing 50% less total carbohydrate than a carbohydrate-only supplement. (Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research)

Winning linked to higher testosterone levels – 25 Jan 2011
The winners of wrestling matches have greater increases in testosterone levels than losing wrestlers, a research report suggests. The researchers collected blood samples before and after matches in members of an elite collegiate wrestling team.  Levels of testosterone and other hormones were compared for match winners versus losers. In both groups, testosterone levels were higher after the match than beforehand.  The increase was greater for wrestlers who won their matches. (Wolters Kluwer Health)

Use of dietary supplements in Olympic athletes is decreasing – 4 Feb 2011
Athletes use dietary supplements in order to increase energy, maintain strength, enhance performance, maintain health and immune system and prevent nutritional deficiencies. This study assessed the frequency of use of dietary supplements among a large sample of elite Finnish athletes between 2002 and 2009 found a decrease in their use. (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition)

Effects of step rate manipulation on joint mechanics during running – February 2011 
This study sought to characterise the bio-mechanical effects of step rate modification during running on the hip, knee, and ankle joints to evaluate a potential strategy to reduce lower extremity loading and risk for injury. It was found that subtle increases in step rate can substantially reduce the loading to the hip and knee joints during running and may prove beneficial in the prevention and treatment of common running-related injuries. (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise)

Athletes prone to a rash of skin conditions – 4 Feb 2011
Team sports have a long history of fostering cooperation, camaraderie and a healthy competitive spirit among athletes. But the closeness that brings athletes together also can create an environment for a host of contagious skin infections. Now, dermatologists are urging teammates and coaches to be aware of the most common skin conditions caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi that occur in athletes, and educating them on how to prevent a widespread outbreak.  (American Academy of Dermatology)

Good sports: how coaches provide moral guidance to athletes – 2 Feb 2011
Coaches help athletes achieve peak physical performance – but can they also teach them to make ethical choices? New research from Concordia University has examined how coaches exert moral influence over athletes and how athletes respond. The study gathered data from 17 elite coaches. (Concordia University)

Comparison of the incidence, nature and cause of injuries sustained on dirt field and artificial turf field by amateur football players – 9 Feb 2011
This Iranian study compares injuries sustained on dirt field and artificial turf field by amateur male football players. The overall incidence of match injuries for men was 36.9 injuries/1000 player hours on dirt field and 19.5 on artificial turf (incidence rate ratio 1.88; 95% CI 1.19- 3.05). Most common in the dirt field were skin injuries (abrasion and laceration) and on the artificial turf, sprain and ligament injury followed by haematoma/contusion/bruise were most common. (Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Technology)

Emerging Issues in sport medicine – January 2011
For the past 20 years, the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine has been providing information about multidisciplinary topics in sport medicine. In this thematic edition on emerging issues in 2011, topics covered include: the incidence of deaths by cardiac arrest in sport, exercise-induced asthma, concussion risk, and the growing use of platelet-rich plasma treatments. (Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine)

Active Communities

Grab your bike and join the Wild West Bike Festival – 4 Feb 2011
New Plymouth’s Wild West Bike Fest has five weeks of enticing bicycle events for children and adults alike. The variety of events include a Big Bike Fix-Up in Waitara, a fruit tasting and off-road ride through an orchard, children’s theatre by a bicycle-mounted storyteller, skill clinics, mountain bike racing and the Methanex Family Fun Ride and Mayoral Challenge. (New Plymouth District Council)

Alberta survey on physical activity 2011: A concise report – February 2011
The Alberta Centre for Active Living has conducted the Alberta Survey on Physical Activity every other year since 1995 to monitor the physical activity levels of Albertans. The survey series is part of the centre’s strategy to provide credible and user-friendly physical activity information to researchers, practitioners, communities and decision-makers. The survey examines different factors that influence leisure-time physical activity in three broad categories: socio-demographic factors, psychological factors, and access to physical activity opportunities.

Baypark Arena construction open day – 15 Feb 2011
The Bay of Plenty's biggest multi-purpose indoor sports and event venue will open to the public for a one day only sneak preview next month, on Sunday, 27 March. This will be a chance to see the construction in progress and to get a feel for what the $41 million indoor centre is going to look like. Baypark Arena is a new 9-court (10,000 square metre) indoor sports and events centre currently being built beside the outdoor Baypark Stadium. It is due to open in late August 2011. (Baypark)

Sports clubs encouraged to bid for Sport England funding – 27 Jan 2011
Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, has urged grassroots sports clubs to examine how they could benefit from the Sportsmatch programme, which has been re-launched for 2011-12. Sportsmatch brings additional funding to not-for-profit organisations that have secured sponsorship to deliver new projects to get people playing and enjoying sport. Grants are available to match sponsorship from the commercial sector, private individuals or charitable trusts. (Sport England)


Family Nature Clubs toolkit – 22 Dec 2010
The purpose of this tool kit is to provide inspiration, information, tips and resources for those who are – or who might be – interested in creating a Family Nature Club. The tool kit draws on what many other families have done and learned. Families are discovering that having fun outdoors doesn’t require waiting for a special event or programme. Instead, they are taking the initiative and creating their own clubs. (Nature Play, Western Australia)

Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand Young Adults Scholarship Scheme –  August 2010
Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand is the national association of over 80 tramping & mountain-climbing clubs, representing a total of over 11,000 individual members. The FMC  wants to raise its profile with New Zealand’s youth (under 30's) to promote tramping and to explore ways of assisting clubs to attract younger members. The FMC executive has announced the creation of a young adults scholarship scheme commencing in 2011. (Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand)

Survey finds Britons spend only 17 minutes outdoors daily – 3 Feb 2011
Britons spend only 17 minutes outside each day, or less than a year across a lifetime. A study commissioned by a bath and shower brand has discovered Britons spend only a fraction of their time enjoying the outdoors each day, with many admitting to only venturing outside in order to get to and from work. The survey polled 3,000 people, many of whom blamed gymnasiums for their failure to go outside. More than four-fifths (82 per cent) of those surveyed said it was because of the prevalence of gymnasiums that they spend so much of their time indoors, with a third saying they would exercise at home if their gymnasium shut. (SGB Outdoor)

Giant strides to ready cycle trail for RWC influx – 10 Feb 2011
The race is on to get as much as possible of the Twin Coasts (Bay of Islands-Hokianga) cycle trail operational in time for visitors attracted to the north for the Rugby World Cup in October this year. There has been a spurt in construction work over the last six months and progress is well advanced on the 72 kilometre cycling and walking link. (Far North District Council)

Hawke's Bay's Water Ride receives $712,000 from New Zealand Cycle Trail Project – February 2011
Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail project will sign its contract for the new Hawke’s Bay Trails – Water Ride at a formal event in Napier tomorrow. The Hawke’s Bay trails, made up of the new Water Ride (78km), and the already approved Landscapes Ride (55km), are a joint initiative of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and The New Zealand Cycle Trail project. New Zealand Cycle Trail project manager Jonathan Kennett says the Water Ride is a grade-1 ride that will cater for all levels of riding ability, including families and cyclists of any age. (Ministry of Economic Development)

Young People

Sport, culture and education: the meeting point – 27 Sep 2010
The Commission for Culture and Olympic Education is a key tool not only for encouraging and promoting the practice of physical education and sport but also for teaching life values and skills, particularly to young people. This publication offers information on the importance of combining sport, education and culture. (International Olympic Committee) 

Finding the ‘gold’ in South Auckland’s young leaders – 3 Feb 2011
Nine young people from Otara, Papatoetoe, Mangere and Manurewa have graduated from the inaugural "AMP'd" leadership programme. The youth leaders were identified from the AMP’d drop in programme, which provides free sport and recreation for 11 to 17-year-olds after school in local Manukau parks, and have successfully completed a year-long leadership course. (Manukau Leisure)

Youth sailing participation and market segment profiles for Plymouth, UK – January 2011
Over recent years there has been growing concern over the future of dinghy sailing in the UK, largely as a result of a reduction in the number of people participating on a regular basis. The study investigates whether determinants of wider sports participation can be used to segment the market based on product usage. The results were used to support a differentiated target marketing strategy to increase youth sailing participation in Plymouth. (University of Plymouth)

Useful Weblinks

Nearer to nature, Western Australia
The Australian Department of Environment and Conservation's Nearer to Nature team provides the community with activities that help participants discover marvellous natural areas. You can download the "Nearer to Nature Activity Programme 2010" from the front page of this website.

UK Sport: Pitch2Podium
Pitch2Podium is an exciting talent transfer programme created by the UK Talent Team and our partners within the football and rugby authorities. The aim of the programme is to provide young football and rugby players who have been unsuccessful in securing a professional contract, with a second chance opportunity to succeed in a new Olympic sport. Topics include talent identification and development, and people development.

Sport management: things to think about
This tool sets out the standards Sport England assesses core-funded sports bodies and provides prompts or "things to think about" in relation to the principles that support those standards. It  provides links to some other specialist websites. The Things to Think About self-help tool can be used by all those involved in governing and managing sport.