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Relay - 18 March 2011

In this edition. We look at the importance of community infrastructure and support from volunteers in the delivery of grassroots sport. In the Active Communities section you will find the recently released SPARC commissioned guide to aid successful partnerships between Territorial Authorities and schools. Also demonstrated is the value of successful school-club partnerships. In Sports Development, we also highlight a UK student volunteering initiative that contributed an estimated £42 million to the economy.

In other highlights:

  • High Performance: a report on UK's aim to set new benchmarks for hosting major events.
  • Sport Development: a new global taskforce is convened to combat irregular and illegal sports betting.

In this Relay 


Three bids on cycling short-list – 10 Mar 2011
Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) has selected a short-list of three regions from which one will be chosen to develop a national cycling centre of excellence. The three regions are Auckland, Palmerston North and Waikato/Bay of Plenty. (SPARC)

High Performance Sport

2011 major events announced as UK Sport aims to set 'international benchmark' for host nations – 14 Feb 2011
This year, up to 27 events in at least 22 different sports are to be staged in at least 12 different towns and cities across the UK. Eighty-five per cent of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic sports will have staged at least one major world or European level competition on home soil in the six years preceding the 2012 Games. (UK Sport)

New Zealand players visit ICC Great Spirit initiative - 14 Mar 2011
While the eyes of the cricketing world will be on Mumbai on 2 April for the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, this week forty young leaders, alongside members of the Black Caps, discovered how the sport can strengthen their work with disadvantaged children and have a positive influence on their lives long after the competition is finished. (International Cricket Council)

World Netball Championships Out to Attract Youngsters – 18 Feb 2011
Generating interest and buzz at the schools level is a major goal of the Singapore-based Championships, according to organising committee chairperson Jessica Tan, as they strive to promote the sport in Singapore and around the region. The recently launched Schools Outreach Programme features fun activities such as: Be a Reporter, Big Cheer and Adopt a Country.  (World Netball Championships)

Minister welcomes FIFA U-20 World Cup bid success – 4 Mar 2011
Economic Development Minister David Carter has offered his congratulations to New Zealand Football for winning the rights to host the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. “This is an exciting development for New Zealand and for New Zealand Football ... both for the feast of exhilarating football on offer and also for the real economic and tourism benefits they bring to the host country.” (New Zealand Government)

Australian Minister for Sport officially opens the European Training Centre – 4 Mar 2011
Australian Minister for Sport Mark Arbib has officially opened the European Training Centre,  a new base for Australia's athletes in the Italian province of Varese. The Government is committing A$12.5 million for the ongoing operation of the ETC in the lead-up to the London Olympics and Paralympics. (Australian Sports Commission)

London 2012 diversity week gets underway – 8 Mar 2011
To mark the start of London 2012's Diversity Week, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) celebrated being the first organisation in the UK to receive the Advanced Level of the Equality Standard for Sport. Paul Deighton, CEO of LOCOG received the award from UK Sport CEO Liz Nicholl at the 'Everyone's 2012' Conference. (International Paralympic Committee)

Swimming review gets underway – 3 Mar 2011
An independent review of Swimming New Zealand’s high performance programme is about to get under way, led by Wellington businessman Chris Ineson. SPARC’s most recent investment in the sport, announced in December, was conditional on an independent review of its high performance programme being completed by 30 April, 2011. SPARC has invested $825,000 in swimming for the first six months of this year, with funding beyond that contingent on recommendations of the review being implemented. (Swimming New Zealand)

Sports Development

Charitable status of sport and recreation organisations – December 2010
This information sheet explains when sport and recreation organisations are considered to be charitable. It provides guidance on the benefits and obligations for charities registered with the Charities Commission, and explains how to apply for registration. (Charities Commission)

NZF Board establishes fund to rebuild Christchurch football – 28 Feb 2011
The New Zealand Football board of directors has decided to establish an emergency fund to assist the recovery of football in the Mainland Football Federation after the 22 Feb earthquake in Christchurch, with initial funding of $10,000. (New Zealand Football)

Discussions spawn task force to fight irregular and illegal sport betting – 1 Mar 2011
Representatives from the sports world, governments, international organisations and betting operators are to create a task force to work on action points approved during the first Working Meeting on Irregular and Illegal Sport Betting. (International Olympic Committee)

UNESCO and European Athletics strengthen collaboration – 7 Mar 2011
UNESCO and European Athletics will extend their partnership to promote the power and potential of sport as a driver for integration, development and social cohesion, especially among young people. (International Platform on Sport and Development)

The 2010 Racial and Gender Report Card: College Sport – 4 Mar 2011
The report, from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida, asserts that racial hiring practices in collegiate athletics have improved while gender hiring practices have remained constant. College sports received a B in racial hiring practices compared to C+ given in the 2008 report card. Gender hiring practices, however, have remained constant since the 2008 report, again receiving a B in the 2010 report. (Women’s Sport Foundation)

Supporting Student Volunteering Week – 22 Feb 2011
Sport England encouraged students across the country to give something back to sport during Student Volunteering Week, held in the last week of February. Almost one in two English students took part in formal volunteering last year, giving just over three million hours to their communities and contributing an estimated £42 million to the economy. (Sport England)
Bangladesh gives the 2011 Cricket World Cup an HIV awareness spin – 4 Mar 2011
As the overs are bowled, the wickets fall and the crowds go crazy in the 2011 Cricket World Cup, host-country Bangladesh is giving the tournament an HIV spin. Through the Think Wise campaign, the tournament is raising awareness among young people on HIV prevention and reducing stigma. (Sport and Development)

Sport Science, Medicine and Coaching

Effective coaching with teams: when less is more – 16 Feb 2011
An American sports psychologist discusses an unconventional approach to getting the best performance out of a soccer team. (Podium Sports Journal)

Regulation of pacing strategy during athletic competition – 20 Jan 2011
Athletic competition has been a source of interest to the scientific community for many years, as a surrogate of the limits of human ambulatory ability. One of the remarkable things about athletic competition is the observation that some athletes suddenly reduce their pace in the mid-portion of the race and drop back from their competitors. Alternatively, other athletes will perform great accelerations in mid-race (surges) or during the closing stages of the race (the endspurt). This observation fits well with recent evidence that muscular power output is regulated in an anticipatory way, designed to prevent unreasonably large homeostatic disturbances. (PlosOne)

What is the effect of physical activity on the knee joint? A systematic review – 1 Mar 2011
Although several studies have examined the relationship between physical activity and knee osteoarthritis, the effect of physical activity on knee joint health is unclear. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the relationships between physical activity and individual joint structures at the knee. (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise)

Effectiveness of additional supervised exercises compared with conventional treatment alone in patients with acute lateral ankle sprains: systematic review – 26 Oct 2010
Lateral ligament ankle sprains are one of the most commonly encountered musculoskeletal injuries. In the Netherlands, about 600,000 people sustain an ankle injury each year, 120,000 of which are the result of sporting injuries. The purpose of this study was to summarise the effectiveness of adding supervised exercises to conventional treatment, with results indicating  some benefit for recovery and return to sport. (British Medical Journal)

Effect of dynamic versus static stretching in the warm-up on hamstring flexibility – February 2011
Recent studies have questioned the benefits of static stretching in the sports warm-up. This research examines the acute effect of static and dynamic stretching in the warm-up on hamstring flexibility, using an intervention study design. Hamstring flexibility was measured using modifications of the Straight Leg Raise test to measure hip flexion range of motion in degrees. Static stretching did not improve dynamic hamstring flexibility. However, dynamic stretching improved both dynamic and static flexibility. (The Sport Journal)

Active Communities

30-year school-club link encourages young Manurewa swimmers - March 2011 
It’s not a formal school-club partnership. There is no written agreement and no set deliverables or expectations. But while the partnership between Manurewa Swimming Club and Manurewa Central School is low-key, it’s worked well for a very long time. The school gains invaluable coaching and support; the club gains members. Most importantly, all Manurewa Central School’s children are encouraged to participate in swimming, and those with talent get a great head-start to take it further. (SPARC)

Territorial authority/school partnerships: a guide – Feb 2011 (DOC, 5.43 Mb)
Facility partnerships between Schools and Councils (Territorial Authorities) are a comparatively new, often ad hoc, but growing development in New Zealand. This document highlights some of the opportunities and challenges presented by facility partnerships, and outlines a series of high level best practice steps. (SPARC)

Council cycling culture turns to gold in nationwide challenge – 3 Mar 2011
Hastings District Council’s cycling culture has turned into bragging rights for the region, after coming up trumps in the national Bikewise Challenge, run in February. The challenge encouraged businesses from throughout the country to have as many staff as possible get on their bikes and keep a tally of kilometres ridden. Almost 40 percent of HDC staff participated during the month, becoming the top performing council in the country. (Hastings District Council)

Physical activity behaviours of culturally and linguistically diverse women living in Australia: a qualitative study of socio-cultural influences – 11 Jan 2011
Australia continues to witness rising levels of immigration by individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) origins. The purpose of this study was to examine the socio-cultural influences on the physical activity behaviours of CALD women living in Australia by identifying the barriers, constraints and possible enablers to physical activity participation for this population.  (BMC Public Health)

Does dog-ownership influence seasonal patterns of neighbourhood-based walking among adults? A longitudinal study – 4 Mar 2011
In general, dog-owners are more physically active than non-owners. However, it is not known whether dog-ownership can influence seasonal fluctuations in physical activity. This study examines whether dog ownership influences summer and winter patterns of neighbourhood-based walking among adults living in Calgary, Canada. (BMC Public Health)


A special report on trail-running in the United States – Fall 2010
The report presents detailed information on participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region. It also provides data on "crossover" sports and common barriers to entry. (Outdoor Foundation)

National initiative launched to support public parks and recreation in America – 23 Nov 2010
"America’s Backyard" is a new programme to engage the American public and showcase the value of public parks and recreation in communities throughout the U.S. Within America’s local communities are hundreds of thousands of public park and recreation areas, which provide essential services for millions of Americans to pursue physical fitness, economic development, social interaction, conservation, and community vitality. (National Recreation and Park Association)

DOC urges public not to ignore warning signs at Cathedral Cove – 9 Mar 2011
The Department of Conservation is concerned that the lack of cooperation and vandalism on the Cathedral Cove track, Coromandel Peninsula, will put visitors at risk. Visitors are continuing to ignore track closure signs at the entrance to iconic Cathedral Cove and are entering sites where the track is being repaired. This has already resulted in an incident last week that almost cost a woman her life. (Department of Conservation)

Hawke's Bay trails are shaping up – 1 Mar 2011
The government’s New Zealand Cycle Trail project has signed on the dotted line to fund two rides in Hawke’s Bay: a 46 kilometre Landscapes Ride and a 32 km Water Ride.  Both rides will complement the existing network of Rotary Pathways connecting Napier and Hastings. (Hawkes Bay Regional Council)

Young People

UK local playground campaign highlights the need for outdoor play – 22 Feb 2011
Play England is worried that children aren't getting out to play and enjoying themselves. Barriers such as traffic, fear of strangers, and a lack of places to go are having a real impact on children's chances to play. Play England is calling on communities to pull together to find ways to support play opportunities for local children. Whereas 71 per cent of adults played outside in the street or area close to their homes every day when they were children, just 21 per cent of children do so today. (Play England)

Parks add options for kids' exercise, study finds – 4 Mar 2011
Australian researchers have found children are more likely to be physically active if they have good parks and playgrounds in their neighbourhoods. Among the specific findings: children who lived near a large public open space with a water feature and those who lived on a cul-de-sac spent less time in front of the television or computer than those who had a walking path in the park closest to their home. (US News and World Report)

Habitat matters: a case study – 10 Feb 2011
An account of how the English school of Royton and Crompton improved recreation opportunities by creating a patchwork of habitats, allowing the use of the site to evolve for the benefit of all and reducing anti-social activities. (Department for Education UK)

Young athletes in sport – five tips for parents – 5 Jan 2011
The number one reason young athletes participate in sport is to have fun. Of all the young people who participate in athletics, 90% are involved in some form of organized sport. These programmes are increasingly emphasizing winning while the “fun” aspect is being neglected.  Research in sport psychology continues to demonstrate that when athletes have fun, they exert more effort. Effort directly influences their physical and psychological development, leading to performance enhancement. (Podium Sports Journal)

Sport helping to build brighter futures for vulnerable children – 12 Mar 2011
Softball Queensland and child protection advocate ACT for Kids are stepping up to the plate to support Queensland’s most vulnerable children and young people, with a partnership between the organisations that will use sport to help build brighter futures for vulnerable children. (Queensland Government)

Measuring the impact of sports on youth development – 11 Mar 2011
USAID’s ODP and the EGAT sponsored a panel discussion on sports as a platform for youth development and spoke on the evaluation techniques for measuring the impact of these programmes. (International Platform on Sport and Development)

UK primary school bans footballs – 28 Feb 2011 
A school where Steven Gerrard grew up has banned footballs from the playground, saying would-be England stars must instead use sponge balls for "health and safety" reasons. Huyton's Malvern Primary School in Merseyside has decided that exposing pupils to leather and plastic footballs during breaktimes is too dangerous. (SkillsActive UK)

Useful Weblinks

Score the goals an educational comic book for sport and development
The comic book is primarily aimed at 8-14 year old children features 10 football UN Goodwill Ambassadors, who become shipwrecked on an island on their way to playing an ‘all-star’ charity football game. Whilst on the island, the team has to tackle the eight Millennium Development Goals along their journey towards being rescued.

Parks & Recreation online magazine
The US National Recreation and Park Association's monthly magazine informs, motivates and inspires professionals, civic leaders and citizens to elevate the value of parks and recreation as a public service. In each monthly issue of Parks & Recreation, new products feature from a variety of companies. The latest issue highlights best practice in design for recreation facilities.