All posts by Medway Sports

Cash boost to increase activity levels

We Are MEDWAY SPORTS Love Sport

Major investment to increase activity

Ten national governing bodies (NGBs) have been given more support to help people keep or develop their sporting habit.

More than £16 million will be spent on the 10 sports over the next two years to help work Towards an Active Nation.

The 10 NGBs will use their awards across everything from tackling inactivity to developing talented athletes.

While many NGBs were awarded full funding for the 2017-21 period two years ago, these 10 were awarded initial funds but also given another two years to develop business cases or illustrate positive results before applying for further funding in the 2019-21 period to continue to help people get, or remain, active.

Angling Trust, Baseball Softball UK, the British Equestrian Federation, the England and Wales Cricket Board, England Netball and Volleyball England will focus their resources on maintaining and building their existing base of participants.

While British Cycling and Exercise Movement and Dance UK will prioritise recruiting those people who regularly dip in and out of exercise and Swim England will look to engage the quarter of the adult population who do fewer than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.

Enthusiastic

The final investments will see Volleyball England, British Fencing and England Netball focus on supporting their talented or high performance athletes.

“Millions of people love sport and take part regularly and we don’t take their commitment for granted,” said our executive director of sport Phil Smith. “Even the most enthusiastic people can sometimes find it hard to maintain the habit, especially when life gets in the way.

“This funding of national governing bodies is to help increase the number of people engaged in sport, through investing in clubs, coaches, facilities, equipment and new ways to play.

“Alongside this, some of our investment will support talented athletes to fulfil their potential, such as the England Netball team, who are heading in to a home World Cup this year with high hopes.”

2019 Women’s Six Nations

We Are MEDWAY SPORTS Love Sport

England Women head coach Simon Middleton has announced the Elite Player Squad (EPS) for the 2019 season.

With the 2019 Women’s Six Nations fast approaching and the recent announcement of the England Women Elite Player Squad which includes 28 full-time professionals, don’t miss out on your chance to see England Women in action during February and March.

The Red Roses will take on France at Castle Park, Doncaster, on Sunday 10th February (KO 12:45pm), before travelling to Sandy Park, Exeter, to face Italy on Saturday 9th March (KO 12:05pm). The team will finish their campaign against Scotland at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 16th March (KO 7:30pm).

Tickets for the France and Italy matches will be available from £10 for adults, with free entry available at Twickenham Stadium for all fans who would like to watch the Red Roses take on Scotland. Entry will only be permitted after the conclusion of the men’s match.

Forwards

Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury Womens RFC)
Sarah Beckett (Firwood Waterloo Ladies)
Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears Women)
Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women)
Jo Brown (Loughborough Lightning)
Rowena Burnfield (Richmond FC)
Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins Ladies)
Bryony Cleall (Saracens Women)
Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women)
Amy Cokayne (Wasps FC Ladies)
Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies)
Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries)
Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens Women)
Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning)
Justine Lucas (Loughborough Lightning)
Cath O’ Donnell (Loughborough Lightning)
Marlie Packer (Saracens Women)
Ellena Perry (Saracens Women)
Abbie Scott (Harlequins Ladies)

Backs

Jess Breach (Harlequins Ladies)
Rachael Burford (Harlequins Ladies)
Katy Daley-Mclean (Loughborough Lightning)
Abby Dow (Wasps FC Ladies)
Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women)
Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury Womens RFC)
Natasha Hunt (Gloucester-Hartpury Womens RFC)
Claudia Macdonald (Wasps FC Ladies)
Sarah McKenna (Saracens Women)
Leanne Riley (Harlequins Ladies)
Emily Scarratt (Loughborough Lightning)
Emily Scott (Harlequins Ladies)
Kelly Smith (Gloucester-Hartpury Womens RFC)
Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries)
Lagi Tuima (Bristol Bears Women)
Carys Williams (Loughborough Lightning)

Represent your club in the ePremier League

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Ever dreamed of lifting a trophy for your club?

Now you can make those dreams a reality by registering to play in the first ever ePremier League competition, playing the video game FIFA 19.

Anyone aged 16+ and resident in the UK can enter the competition, regardless of gaming experience or ability.

The deadline to enter is 4th January 2019 so register now and opt to take part on either PS4 or Xbox One.

Online qualifying begins on Saturday 5th January 2019, and the best 16 gamers for each club will go on to compete in club playoff rounds.

Win the playoff and you will be representing your team in the ePremier League Final in March 2019.

The trophy awaits!

Parkrun backed with major investment

We Are MEDWAY SPORTS Love Sport

Sport England making a £3 million investment in parkrun to help more women and people from lower socio-economic groups get active.

The three-year collaboration will support the creation of 200 new events across England as the National Lottery money will help to build on the phenomenal growth parkrun has seen in the 14 years since its creation.

There are 584 locations around the UK where parkruns take place each weekend and, with 1.8 million people having taken part already, our aim is to extend that network.

“This important partnership with parkrun is part of our ongoing strategy to help grow new and innovative sporting ideas and broaden their reach into the demographics in society who are least likely to be active,” said our chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth.

“The funding – which is only possible thanks to National Lottery players – will enable parkrun to reach females and people on a low income, who are less likely to be active than the general population.

“We know from our research that cost and a lack of local opportunities are real barriers in stopping people being more active, and what parkrun does brilliantly is offer free, community-based events for all abilities.

“We’re looking forward to working with parkrun to help even more people get and stay active.”

Modernisation

Parkrun began in October 2004, with a timed 5km run in Bushy Park, south west London.

Since then the free, timed, 5km runs have spread across the country and this investment will enable the modernisation of parkrun’s digital platform for registration, results and event information, in order to allow it to continue to grow indefinitely.

“This is an endorsement of the strides we have taken to create a model that empowers communities to implement a permanent mixed gender, multi-generational health intervention that appeals to a broad cross-section of society, particularly those for whom physical activity and volunteering is not the norm,” said the organisation’s chief executive, Nick Pearson.

“We are now in a position to build on our message and encourage more people to walk, jog, run and volunteer at our events by growing into new areas and engaging new audiences.”

Breaking Barriers

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Barriers are meant to be broken, even when doing so seems unachievable. Nowhere is this truer than in running.

The first major running barrier was broken by Roger Bannister, who, on May 6, 1954, busted through the four-minute mile barrier with a time of three minutes, fifty-nine and four-tenths of a second. In doing this, he accomplished a feat that many had previously thought was impossible.

Then, curiously, numerous other runners broke the four-minute barrier over the next few years. Presumably they were aided both by improvements in training, coaching and technology, but psychology also played a big part; these other runners now knew it could be done. Today, an elite high school runner can accomplish the feat.

The next barrier in the running world is the sub-two-hour marathon. Nike is leading a project dubbed “Breaking2” and has even dedicated a special research and development team to the project with the hope of breaking the barrier in the next few years. In fact, one runner came within minutes of doing so in 2017. It’s likely only a matter of time.

There is nothing that Nike wants to be associated with more than elite athletes, especially those who inspire others.

Oregon runner, Justin Gallegos, has recently gained national attention for his goal to break a barrier and run a half marathon in less than two hours.  Oregon is the Alma mater of Nike founder, Phil Knight, and a training ground for elite runners.  However, two hours for a half marathon certainly doesn’t sound elite…what’s missing?

Justin Gallegos has cerebral palsy. For him, running is both a joy and a physical struggle.

As a toddler and preschooler, Gallegos used a walker and did physical therapy to improve his gait, according to Running Magazine. He then began competing in long-distance running in high school and caught the attention of Nike. He also helped Nike develop a shoe designed for runners with disabilities.

Just a few weeks ago, Justin made history by becoming the first professional athlete with cerebral palsy to be signed by Nike. Nike surprised him with a contract offer by sending a video crew to capture the event at one of his practices, a video he believed was for a National Cerebral Palsy Day promotion.

At the end of a run, a director from Nike presented Justin with the contract. He was moved to tears, as are most people who watch the video of the event.

I am sure some will contend that there is a lot of marketing and PR motivating Nike’s sponsorship of Justin. However, I give Nike a lot of credit for sticking to their values and supporting an athlete with lofty goals and who serves as an inspiration to others.

While some runners will continue to challenge the two-hour barrier, Justin’s courage will inspire a whole group of athletes and humans in different but equally important ways. I, for one, have committed to run my first half marathon by next summer.

Quote of the Week
“I was once a kid in leg braces who could barely put one foot in front of the other, now I have signed a three-year contract with Nike Running!” –Justin Gallegos

Have a great weekend!  Robert Glazer

Club Soccer Director 2019

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Sequel to the smash-hit football sim created by a real football manager arrives on The App Store and Google Play

  • Developed by a real life manager and coach with over 15 years experience

  • Unparalleled in-depth gameplay at the club level

  • Manage even more clubs – over 800 clubs across 38 leagues

  • Play as the Director and drive your club to success through hiring and firing your management team and squad, securing sponsorship deals and developing new facilities

  • Even more choice to hire and fire from  – 30,000 players and 10,000+ staff members

  • Improved stats engine mirrors real-life team and player behaviour

Northampton, UK – 4 September 2018. Marking the beginning of the new football season, Independent developer Go-Play-Games today announced that Club Soccer Director 2019 (CSD 2019), the latest iteration of its hit football management series has kicked off on The App Store and Google Play. This latest version features a raft of improvements and innovations over its predecessor including a huge choice of 38 leagues from new countries (including Portugal, Holland, Turkey, Russia, Scotland, Brazil), thousands more players and staff, new revenue opportunities, revamped AI and a new landscape view to work better on tablets.

While most soccer management games are focused on squad-level tactics, Club Soccer Director 2019  offers players in-depth control at the club-level. Players assume the role of the football Director in an existing or user-generated club from one of 38 leagues across 14  countries. With the ability to hire and fire at will, wannabe directors can impose their style on the squad by recruiting staff and skillfully negotiating the twice-yearly transfer window to find the best squad members.

As well as staff and squad management, player’s assume full control over their club’s facilities including the stadium, the training ground and the academy – all of which can be upgraded and improved, yielding happier fans, better players, and brighter academy prospects. Club Soccer Director 2019 features even more way to generate income through negotiating deals including sponsorship, ticket prices, stadium naming rights and other commercial revenue generating opportunities. Meeting, or exceeding season objectives on a regular basis improves the Director’s reputation, giving players the choice of moving to one of over 800 clubs across 14 countries.

For anyone that likes to tinker with tactics, players have the option to override the manager’s decision on match days, including team lineup, formation and both in and out-of-possession tactics. Players can also dictate to the manager how they want him to play. Club Soccer Director 2019’s live-action match engine has been overhauled to give a more realistic match-day environment. This includes improved tactical setups from managers in which they adapt to matchday situations. There’s also real-time statistics, individual player overviews and four different game speeds – giving gamers as much or little control as they want. Players can also watch post-match interviews that look and feel like a real-life sports broadcast.

Club Soccer Director 2019 development is being led by Jim Scott, a football manager and coach with over 15 years of experience. As well as being a current football manager, Jim has also 20+ years developing and publishing sports games for console, PC, and mobile platforms.

Club Soccer Director 2019 is available as a free app from the App Store at:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/club-soccer-director-2019/id1394468825

Club Soccer Director 2019 is also available as a free app from Google Play at:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.GoGames.ClubSoccerDirector2019

Match Preview: Giants v London City Royals

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YOUR GIANT’S MATCH PREVIEW

It’s the first home of the new British Basketball League season and it’s a huge opportunity for the Giants to build on the brilliant win at Sheffield last week.

Manchester Giants v London City Royals
Powerleague Trafford Sportsdome,
Trafford Way, Manchester, M17 8DD

Sunday 30th September
5pm tip-off (doors open at 4pm)

Teams

Here are the respective rosters.

Giants: Ingus Bankevics, Torry Butler, Willie Clayton, Vlatko Granic, Callum Jones, James Jones, Mike McCall, Conor Porter, Barry Webster, Adam Oldham, Bailey Goodall.

USA Select: Kyle Carey, Ashley Hamilton, AJ Roberts, Ed Lucas, Josh Rogers, Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Elvisi Dusha, Orlan Jackman, Will Neighbour.

Last Meetings

London City Royals are a new team to the BBL so this is the first ever meeting of the two sides.

Last Game

The Giants stunned Sheffield Sharks away last week – check here for all the highlights, match report and stats.

The Royals also won last time out, beating Bristol Flyers on their BBL debut, while they are also in action the night before they travel to Manchester – with a home game against Surrey Scorchers.

Watch live online

Once again, every game in the BBL will be live streamed online this year. You can watch the game on Livebasketball.tv, or through various partners, including bet365.

The non-basketball lines on the court floor will be taped over to enhance the broadcast experience.

Buy online here – Adults £12, Concessions £9, Junior £7, Family £30.

You will be able to pay cash on the day, though tickets are subject to a £2 increase.

Season Tickets

Season Ticket holders are allocated reserved seats this season, so if you haven’t yet received your reserved seat sticker, then please let us know at the ticket desk and we will go with you to locate your preferred spot this season.

You can still buy a season ticket on the day of the game too – they are priced at £160 adults, £120 concessions, £90 juniors or £350 family, and offer great savings to match day prices.

For Season Ticket holders asking about the discount tickets for friends, a separate email will be sent with your personal discount code.

What the players are saying

Mike McCall: “I’m very excited for the first home game this Sunday. We’re looking forward to competing at a high level on both ends of the floor for the city and the fans. The team has been locked in and ready to go.”

Torry Butler: “I’ve always been on a team that had something to prove and I’ve always been an under-dog. So with that being said, by winning the first game, we made a statement. But we aren’t satisfied… we have a long season ahead and more wins to come. We’ll just take it one week at a time.”

Premier League Ticket Prices (2018/2019)

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PREMIER LEAGUE TICKET PRICE STANDINGS (2018/2019)

The Premier League is back with a bang and there have been goals galore since the opening game last week. Demand for tickets to these games have never been higher. Safe Ticket Compare have analysed all football ticket prices for single seats for the Premier League and discovered that Arsenal still lead the way in terms of ticket prices. A single seat for a category A game (Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Chelsea) costs a staggering £95.

North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur are the only other team in the top flight selling a single seat at more than £90.

Huddersfield offer the cheapest single seat ticket for the Premier League at £30 for all games, regardless of the opponent.

Premier League ticket prices (No Membership)

Team

Most expensive

Least expensive

Arsenal

£95

£25

Tottenham

£95

£20

Chelsea

£87

£41

West Ham

£80

£25

Fulham

£79

£30

Brighton

£60

£30

Liverpool

£59

£9

Manchester City

£58

£35

Manchester United

£54

£31

Southampton

£52

£32

Crystal Palace

£50

£27

Leicester City

£50

£26

Everton

£49

£38

Newcastle United

£48

£23

Bournemouth

£45

£32

Cardiff City

£42

£31

Watford

£42

£36

Burnley

£40

£30

Wolverhampton Wanderers

£40

£25

West Brom

£35

£25

Huddersfield Town

£30

£30

Huddersfield Town also lead the way for Season ticket prices as they offer a season ticket from as low as £199. The demand from fans often determines the prices but teams like Huddersfield and Newcastle recognise that and try to keep all tickets lower than £50 for all categories and opponents.

Whilst many teams offer lower prices for a small area of the stadium, Chelsea have the highest price for their cheapest seat at £41. Tickets for away fans were capped after fan protests in 2016 and will continue until after this season when the Football Association will revisit the topic.

Latest from the Pitch

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BUILDING A WORKFORCE THAT WORKS FOR ALL

Sport England have developed a plan to give the more than 400,000 people who work in the sport and physical activity sector in England the best possible support.

Working in an Active Nation’s vision is that everyone working in sport and activity feels confident, valued and supported.

This strengthening of the workforce would make it more able to give the best possible experience for the people who are – or who want to be – active.

A shift in emphasis will place a deep understanding of the people who do sport and activity at the heart of workforce development, helping a wider range of people to engage with getting active.

There are two main objectives in our newly published plan:

  • Support the workforce to become more customer focused
  • Develop the workforce so that it’s recognised as professional.

To help achieve these aims, those who work in the sector need to be recruited, developed and supported in the right way.

How they’ll achieve this

They’ve developed a series of strategic approaches and key actions that will help achieve these objectives.

This includes increasing the diversity and inclusion of the workforce and using insight to give a deeper understanding of the impact the workforce has on the people it’s trying to engage.

First Who, Then What?

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FIRST WHO, THEN WHAT

Michigan’s softball coach, Carol Hutchins (“Hutch,” to most of her players) has more NCAA career wins (1,500) than any other coach, male or female, in any sport in the University of Michigan’s storied history.

In a speech she gave, Coach Hutchins remarked:

“If I lose a recruit, she might beat me twice a year. If I make a mistake on a recruit, she beats me every day.”

Having led the Wolverines to 23 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and 25 overall since taking over in 1985, Coach Hutchins keenly understands that getting the wrong recruit is far more damaging to her team than passing on an all-star.

This perspective is also espoused by Jim Collins in his bestselling book, Good to Great. Collins’ “First Who, Then What” concept is a key hiring characteristic of companies that have endured over the long-term and differentiate themselves from competitors who started at the same time but eventually flamed out.

As Collins’ writes:

“The executives who ignited the transformations from good to great did not first figure out where to drive the bus and then get people to take it there. No, they first got the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figured out where to drive it. They said, in essence, ‘Look, I don’t really know where we should take this bus. But I know this much: If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.’”

Collins also writes that when people “get on the bus” because of where it is going, it presents a problem when you need to change direction. And even if you do find the right direction, if you have the wrong people, you probably won’t make it to your destination.

This has been Acceleration Partners’ approach to expanding abroad. Having seen many companies in our industry rush into new markets only to waste both time and money, we chose instead to put our focus on finding the right people to lead our efforts in those new countries and represent our brand. Once on board, we then asked them to develop the plan for their market, rather than the reverse.

“First Who, Then What” can be applied not only to whom we hire, but whom we marry and choose as our friends and business partners. If we get the who part wrong by focusing too much on the what (i.e. wanting to be married or have kids), it’s often a recipe for disaster down the road.

Ideas and circumstance change. Neither will matter if you wake up every day and have to spend time with people you don’t like or respect.

Next time you have a problem or opportunity, consider looking at it through the “First Who, Then What” lens – and pay close attention to whom you want on your bus and whom you need to take off.

The “right people” concept is not just about skill sets and talent. It’s also about their character and core values. Although Michigan’s Alumni Field is among the best facilities in the country and has a top-notch grounds crew, Hutchins will make her players clean the locker room or sweep the dugouts every now and then. To play for her is to be grateful for the opportunity to be a college athlete. “Go out there and play for the people who paved the way before us,” she tells them.

Clearly, Coach Hutch is the right “who.”

Quote of the Week
“A company should limit its growth based on its ability to attract enough of the right people.” -Jim Collins