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Relay - 3 December 2011

Sport is increasingly recognised as a powerful lever in efforts to affect broader social change. The Sport Development section contains reports from programmes and research aiming to harness the power of sports and elite athletes for social causes. For a report on elite competition a century ago, check out the essay on the first Indian cricket tour of the UK, in the High Performance section.

Sport and Recreation Knowledge Library 

The Knowledge Library is an online repository of New Zealand-specific sport and recreation research. It is for all those working in, or interested in, sport and recreation, whether practitioners, researchers, students and the general public.

Other highlights:

  • High Performance: New Zealand’s first official Olympic athlete support programme has launched in Wellington;
  • Sport Development: The Australian Sports Commission announces two major research projects into sustaining Australian football and the future of Australian sport;
  • Sports Science: In this section there are several articles exploring the effects of head trauma and concussion in football players which all come to the conclusion – head injuries result in significant short and long-term impacts.

In this Relay

High Performance Sport

Taipei City expects economic boost from Summer Universiade – 1 Dec 2011
The Taipei City government expects the 2017 Summer Universiade to generate as much as US$330 million for the local economy after the city edged out Brasilia for the right to stage the event. Taipei City Deputy Mayor Chen Hsiung-wen said that the biennial event would attract around 12,000 athletes from more than 130 countries, and the additional influx of spectators would act as a significant boost to the local economy. (Sport Business)

London to stage 2017 IAAF World Championships – 11 Nov 2011
London has been awarded the right to stage the 2017 International Amateur Athletics Federation World Championships following presentations to the IAAF council in Monaco. The London 2017 bid was up against a rival bid from Doha, Qatar. London was chosen by 16 of the 27 member voting council to host the championships. (UK Sport)

British Paralympic Association responds to controversial survey – 3 Dec 2011
The British Paralympic Association has released a statement in response to a recent survey which suggests that it would be appropriate to scrap the Paralympics and combine it with the Olympics. There are 10 million disabled people in the UK and 386 took part in the survey. Non-disabled people were also asked for their views, including the parents of disabled children. The results showed that 65% of the 386 disabled people and 62% of parents of disabled children support combining Paralympics with the Olympics. (English Federation of Disability Sport)

IOC teams up with Red Cross movement to promote peace and youth engagement in communities – 30 Nov 2011
The International Olympic Committee has pledged to work with the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in promoting a culture of non-violence and peace through sport. The pledge was made on 28 November in the framework of the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, held in Geneva. (

Athlete Support Development Programme – 24 Nov 2011
New Zealand’s inaugural Athlete Support Development Programme, kicked off on the 12th of November at the Olympic Museum in Wellington with 11 former athletes and NZ Olympic Team Services staff involved in discussions around athlete performance and support. (NZ Olympic Committee)

Christchurch aims to host U-20 football world cup – 30 Nov 2011
Christchurch is seeking its way back into hosting major events, with its bid to host the FIFA U-20 Football World Cup 2015. New Zealand has been confirmed as the host nation for the popular international event. (Christchurch City Council)

A cricketing century - England versus India, 1911-2011 – 2 Nov 2011
A University of Leicester historian has been studying the first-ever ‘Indian’ cricket tour to Britain in 1911. Dr Prashant Kidambi’s research has been featured in a widely acclaimed essay in the 148th edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, telling the long-forgotten story of this extraordinary tour a century ago and placing it within the wider context of changing Indo-British relations. (University of Leicester)

Sports Development

Building Australia's football community - a review into the sustainability of football – 1 Dec 2011
In April 2011 the Government announced a review of the structure, governance and administration of football in Australia. The Hon Warwick Smith AM was commissioned to lead the review. Mr Smith also holds the position of Chair of the Australian Sports Commission. (Australian Government)

The future of Australian sport – 23 Nov 2011
The Australian Sports Commission will conduct ‘The Future of Australian Sport’ – a project examining the multiple trends that may impact sport out to 2040. Looking across a range of social, economic, political, environmental and technology trends, the project will paint a vivid picture of what Australian sport will look like in ten, 20 and 30 years from now. (Australian Sports Commission)

Fundraising activity in arts, culture, heritage and sports organisations, UK: a qualitative study – September 2011
This study combined desk research with 17 organisational case studies to reveal a changing environment for fundraising, caused by the financial crisis and the resulting impact on donor behaviour, as well as the anticipated impact of reductions in government spending. These changes were compounded by a perceived intensification in competition for a reduced pot of potential donations. (Department for Culture, Media and Sport, UK)

WADA Director General addresses Partnership for Clean Competition – 1 Dec 2011
WADA Director General David Howman used a keynote speech at the Partnership for Clean Competition conference in New York to spell out the challenges faced by the world’s anti-doping community. A copy of his speech can be found by
following this link.(World Anti-Doping Agency)

All Whites stand up against domestic violence – 18 Nov 2011
New Zealand Football and the New Zealand Professional Footballers Association have made ending violence against women the official cause of the national team, the All Whites. The initiative is in partnership with White Ribbon – an anti-violence campaign offering men the chance to be part of the solution. (NZ Football)

United Nations and International Volleyball Federation join forces to drive social change – 18 Nov 2011
The United Nations and the International Volleyball Federation have signed a two-year partnership agreement seeking to support the attainment and awareness of the UN Millennium Development Goals, as well as harnessing the power of volleyball to bring about positive social change worldwide. (United Nations Sport for Development and Peace)

Research into Warriors off-pitch contribution – 30 Sep 2011
A Massey University researcher is assessing how much of an impact the professional rugby league team, the Warriors, are making off the field. Dr Rochelle Stewart-Withers is carrying out research into the rugby league team’s One Community programme, which aims to use the power and profile of the players as positive role models to tackle social issues at grassroots level. (Massey University)

Designer chosen for Rutherford Park – 30 Nov 2011
The contract to prepare a development plan for Nelson’s Rutherford and Trafalgar Parks has been awarded to Wraight and Associates, leading designers who have delivered high quality urban spaces such as Waitangi Park on Wellington’s waterfront. (Nelson City Council)

World first study into Rugby Sevens – 25 Nov 2011
Rugby sevens is on the cusp on becoming a truly global sport with tens of millions of dollars being pumped into it worldwide. The phenomenon that the seven-a-side adaptation of traditional 15-player rugby union has become is the focus of a PhD student at Griffith University. (Griffith University)

FIFA turf to be laid at Petone facility - 5 Dec 2011
A new state-of-the-art FIFA football turf in Petone will add up to 600 more matches to the winter football calendar in Wellington and will form the basis for a lower North Island football hub. The $2 million upgrade of Memorial Park is funded by $550,000 of FIFA Goal Project funding, a $500,000 investment from Hutt City Council, $450,000 from Capital Football, with the balance to be made up from community funding or sponsorship. (Australasian Leisure Management)

The Highland Dance Company of New Zealand – 18 Oct 2011
The formation of The Highland Dance Company of New Zealand promotes Highland Dance to the dance community and general public both within New Zealand and internationally. (DANZ)

Masters arriving in force – 24 Nov 2011
Early Bird registrations for the 2012 NZ Masters Games suggest next year’s Dunedin event could be one of the best ever. With the Games Village based at Forsyth Barr Stadium being a major draw card for visiting athletes, registrations are looking good across a range of new and old sports - and age groups. (Dunedin City Council)

Sport Science, Medicine and Coaching

Circadian rhythms in exercise performance: implications for hormonal and muscular adaptation – 1 Dec 2011
Almost all physiological and biochemical processes in the human body follow a circadian rhythm (CR). This review by New Zealand scientists discusses the effects of CR on physical performance and its implications for training. (Journal of Sports Science and Medicine)

Pedalling power and speed production vs. technical factors and track difficulty in bicycle motocross cycling – December 2011
This article analyses whether there is a determined profile in the production of cyclic and acyclic periods in relation to the phases of a bicycle motocross race and whether this profile is related to the variables, difficulty of track and techniques used. (Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research)

Rugby training: in-season strength and conditioning work – October 2011
This is a training programme for rugby players that will enable maximum benefits from limited training time. The rate at which players are gaining in strength, power and speed is huge and these physical attributes are becoming a pivotal part of any rugby player’s training programme. It’s no longer acceptable just to rely on getting fit from playing games. (Peak Performance)

The hot (invisible?) hand: can time sequence patterns of success/failure in sports be modeled as repeated random independent trials? – 5 Oct 2011
While statistical traces of the “hot hand” phenomenon are observed in the data, an open question still remains: are these non- random patterns a result of “success breeds success” and “failure breeds failure” mechanisms or simply “better” and “worse” periods? (PLoS ONE)

Frequent 'heading' in soccer can lead to brain injury and cognitive impairment – 29 Nov 2011
Using advanced imaging techniques and cognitive tests, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and others, have shown that repeatedly heading a soccer ball increases the risk for brain injury and cognitive impairment. (Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University)
Former football players prone to late-life health problems, study finds – 9 Nov 2011
U.S. football players experience repeated head trauma throughout their careers, which results in short- and long-term effects to their cognitive function, physical and mental health. University of Missouri researchers are investigating how other lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise, impact the late-life health of former collision-sport athletes. (University of Missouri)

Implications for concussion assessments and return-to-play standards in intercollegiate football: How are the risks managed? – September 2011
The lack of understanding regarding the symptoms and effects of concussions by athletes and coaches can generate pressure on both team physicians to diagnose concussions as well as sport administrators, who need to be aware what concussion protocols are being followed. While the grading guidelines have advanced the use of uniform terminology and increased awareness of concussion signs and symptoms, the lack of scientific method in creating the concussion management guidelines called their effectiveness into question. (Journal of Sport Administration & Supervision)

No longer lost in translation: the art and science of sports injury prevention implementation research – 22 Jun 2011
This overview paper provides perspectives and guidance on the design, conduct and evaluation of sports injury intervention implementation studies, including better understanding of the complexity of the ecological settings for intervention delivery. (British Journal of Sports Medicine)

Level of dietary protein intake affects glucose turnover in endurance-trained men – 16 Nov 2011
To examine the effects of higher-protein diets on endogenous glucose metabolism in healthy, physically active adults, glucose turnover was assessed in five endurance-trained men. (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition)

What happens to an athlete’s knees? – 1 Nov 2011
According to research presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, participating in certain sports such as soccer, as well as elite long distance running, weight lighting and wrestling may increase the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis. (Newswise)

Less plaque found in female marathoners compared to their male counterparts – 16 Nov 2011
Elite female marathon runners have fewer coronary plaques than their sedentary counterparts, while their counterpart elite male runners developed significantly more plaque volume than their sedentary counterparts. (Medical News Today)

No decline in running economy for older runners – 29 Nov 2011
Runners over the age of 60 are the fastest-growing group in the sport. A new study from the University of New Hampshire suggests that their running can remain fast as they age, too. The study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, found that the running economy – how efficiently the body uses oxygen at a certain pace – of older runners was no different than that of younger runners. (University of New Hampshire)

Improving optimal performance—and life—for young athletes – US Fall 2011
A composite case study illustrates how a multidisciplinary approach can be used to improve athletic performance and overall life functioning. The use of heart rate/respiration biofeedback and QEEG-guided neurofeedback are built on a foundation of cognitive therapy. The athletes represented in this article are high achieving 18 to 24 year-old athletes. (Biofeedback)

Active Communities

Experience of sport and physical activity in Northern Ireland – November 2011
This report presents data from the 2010/11 Continuous Household Survey, a Northern Ireland-wide household survey administered by Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. The short report presents analysis on participation in sport; frequency of participation; membership of sports clubs; sports volunteering; sports spectating; and satisfaction with sports provision in Northern Ireland. (Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Northern Ireland)
The British cycling economy: ‘Gross Cycling Product’ report – 26 Aug 2011
Cycling in the UK has undergone a renaissance over the past five years. This report sets out to define the ‘cycling economy’ lying behind this growth in numbers. (London School of Economics)

Battle Back Centre at Lilleshall to support wounded troops – 29 Nov 2011
Sport will be a key part of the recovery activities offered to wounded, injured and sick Service personnel at the new Battle Back Centre that will open fully at Sport England’s Lilleshall National Sports Centre next year. (Sport England)

Christchurch's HOT Triathlon Festival is back – bigger and better – 29 Nov 2011
With the success of the inaugural event last year, the Canterbury aftershocks haven’t derailed the expansion of the one-day festival. In its first year the new triathlon event attracted nearly 500 athletes. (Endurance Sport)

Dancing their falls away – 4 Nov 2011
Twice weekly ballroom dancing classes for senior citizens can bring back the balance and strength needed to prevent falls in elderly Australians, according to University of Sydney researchers. (University of Sydney)

Massive boost for future funding of grassroots sports in Europe – 1 Dec 2011
Sport is set for a 238 million Euros funding boost between 2014 and 2020 under the 'Erasmus for All' programme unveiled recently by the European Commissioner in charge of sports, Androulla Vassiliou. (International Platform on Sport and Development)


Developing a multi-sensory outdoor education programme – 19 July 2011
An appreciation of nature and enjoyment of the outdoors is not limited to those who can see. But nature trails that offer interaction with forests and the natural environment are quite limited for people who are visually impaired or blind. Well-designed environmental education programmes, such as New Jersey’s Sensory Awareness Trail, can offer a look at nature through all the senses. (Insight: Research and Practice in Visual Impairment and Blindness)

New website packed with safety tips for adventure and outdoor operators – 1 Dec 2011
A new website offers adventure tourism and commercial outdoor operators a “one stop shop” for information and advice on running a safe operation. The site, has been developed as a result of the government-led Adventure Tourism Review, by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand with support from Outdoors New Zealand and funding from the Department of Labour. (Tourism Industry Association New Zealand)

Greenspace is good…and we’ve proved it! – 2 Nov 2011
With a summary of the largest single set of Social Return on Investment, (SROI) reports, Greenspace Scotland has proved that greenspace is good for health, communities and quality of life. Ten SROI reports revealed that every pound invested in environmental community activities in greenspace delivered between £2 and £17 in benefits. (Greenspace Scotland)

Rescued hunter is a reminder to plan and prepare well before heading off into remote country – 15 Nov 2011
The safe rescue of an inexperienced hunter recently in a remote area of the Kaimanawa Ranges was good news. However, the outcome could have been quite different if the weather had not been so favourable. Mountain Safety Council Hunter Training Programme Manager Mike Spray highlights the importance of thorough planning and preparation before heading off hunting. (Mountain Safety Council)

Improved safety system for outdoor users – 1 Dec 2011
The Department of Conservation is joining outdoor recreation organisations in reminding people heading into the backcountry to make sure they tell someone where they are going and when they expect to be back. The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council is introducing an on-line visitor intentions service this summer, developed in collaboration with NZ Police, NZ Search and Rescue, Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand, Land Search & Rescue and DOC. (Department of Conservation)

New nationwide trail embodies New Zealand culture and history – 5 Dec 2011
A 3,000km trail from Cape Reinga to the Bluff was opened at a public event in Wellington on 3 December. Te Araroa – which means The Long Pathway – links spiritual, historic and scenic locations, opening up an epic hike through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. (Walking Access)

Feedback wanted on proposed navigation safety changes – 1 Dec 2011
Northlanders are being asked for feedback on proposed bylaw changes designed to make harbours and estuaries safer and reflect changing recreational use of them. (Northland Regional Council)

TECT All Terrain Park wins ‘Outstanding Park’ award – 28 Nov 2011
The TECT All Terrain Park in Western Bay has won recognition as New Zealand’s ‘Outstanding Park’. The New Zealand Recreation Association announced the win at the Outstanding Awards 2011 gala evening in Dunedin on 17 November. (Tauranga City Council)

Rafting deaths highlight need for comprehensive risk assessments – November 2011
A Workplace Health and Safety Queensland's Assessment of Safety report and the coronial inquests into two white-water rafting fatalities highlight just how critical it is for employers, clubs and adventure activity providers to undertake comprehensive risk assessments. There is a link to the coroner’s reports on this site. (Outdoors Queensland)

Young People

The 2011 Active Healthy Kids Canada report card on physical activity for children and youth (Ontario supplement) – 13 Oct 2011
Every year, Active Healthy Kids Canada releases a report card on the physical activity of Canadian children and youth, drawing data from sources including research literature, government agencies and non-governmental organisations and using a simple grading system. (Active Healthy Kids Canada)

Canadian children's active pursuits during the after school period – 19 Oct 2011
The 2010 Physical Activity Monitor examined young people’s participation in a variety of activities after school hours. Parents were asked to report on the types of activities which require energy expenditure such as doing chores, playing outdoors or participating in organised or unorganised physical activity and sport. (Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute)

Active after-school programmes for girls and young women - policy and recommendations – October 2011
The after-school time period, from 3:00pm – 6:00pm, is a key opportunity to encourage healthy choices amongst children and youth. Earlier this year, the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity hosted consultations with programme providers and decision-makers to identify barriers to girls’ and young women’s participation. The document describes a vision and strategic directions for active after-school programmes for girls and young women. (The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity)

Australian KidSport to get more children joining clubs – 9 Nov 2011
Some 30,000 financially disadvantaged Western Australian children will have their fees to join sport and recreation clubs paid by the State Government under a new $A10million KidSport initiative. (Western Australian Government)

Many physicians unfamiliar with student-athlete heart screening guidelines – 1 Dec 2011
A survey among physicians in the state of Washington found fewer than half were familiar with student-athlete heart screening guidelines and only 6% actually incorporated those guidelines into their own practices. This is an important finding given the regular news reports of teenagers collapsing from sudden cardiac arrest at sporting events. This has sparked a debate within the medical profession about the best way to screen prospective student-athletes for cardiac risks. (Sport Digest)

Useful Weblinks

Preparation and readiness to join a board/committee modules
Committees and Boards need members/directors who, as well as being appropriately knowledgable, can bring some balance in gender representation and gender considerations to the board table. Australian Womensport & Recreation Association has five learning modules to assist preparation and readiness to join a board/committee. Topics covered are: introduction to good governance, committee readiness, effective board meeting procedures, implementing a successful mentoring programme and risk assessment.

Safe Steps screening programme
Volunteer Canada's Safe Steps Screening Programme provides an easy-to-use method for organisations to ensure that the people they serve are safe. The Safe Steps are much like a menu - you need only select those steps that apply specifically to positions within your organisation.

Best use modelling project for sports fields
The Australian Sport Turf Institute has now documented valuable considerations when upgrading or establishing sports fields. Read or download these documents and use them as a guide in developing your local sports fields.

The site is there to help improve skateboarding skills, help skaters locate New Zealand skate parks, and generally get inspiration to skate more.