Breaking Barriers


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


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:

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

Match Preview: Giants v London City Royals



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)


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, 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)



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)


Most expensive

Least expensive










West Ham












Manchester City



Manchester United






Crystal Palace



Leicester City






Newcastle United






Cardiff City









Wolverhampton Wanderers



West Brom



Huddersfield Town



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



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?



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

Rashid to pick up 16 Indian wickets?



Adil Rashid will take 16 wickets on his return to Test cricket against India, according to spread betting firm Sporting Index – though India’s spinners will take 25 scalps, compared to 20 from English spinners throughout the series.

Rashid, who was a controversial pick by selector Ed Smith, has been named in the starting XI at Edgbaston for his first Test in two years, and his first first-class game in 11 months. While his red ball skills may be rusty, traders at Sporting Index are backing the Yorkshireman to pick up 16 wickets across the five match series.

It looked a long way back to Test cricket for Rashid since his last match in 2016, with Moeen Ali, Liam Dawson, Mason Crane, Jack Leach and Dominic Bess all getting the nod as England’s spinners – before a dramatic recall for Rashid ahead of the India series.

The 30-year-old leg-spinner has taken 38 wickets in 10 Tests for England, including 23 in five matches against India in 2016/17.

Sporting Index traders are backing the tourists to come out on top in the spin stakes, however, with Indian spinners predicted to take 25 wickets across the series, compared to 20 for England.

With Ravi Jadeja and R Ashwin sitting in the top five of the ICC Test bowling rankings, and talented youngster Kuldeep Yadav waiting in the wings too, traders at the spread betting firm think they can beat the likes of Rashid and Ali in the battle for spin supremacy.

Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “England have turned to Adil Rashid as they hope spin can win it against India – and we’re backing the leggie to take 16 scalps on his return to Test cricket.

 “Rashid’s recall has certainly ruffled a few feathers, and with pitches likely to be conducive to turn, he could ruffle a few Indian batsmen too.

 “We think India’s spinners will come out on top, however – though are backing a 3-1 England series victory in what looks set to be an enthralling encounter.”

Rugby League set for World Cup legacy boost



England hosts the competition in 2021 and Sport England are investing £10 million of government money to help the sport grow and become more visible, engaging and welcoming to current and potential participants.

The funding will be split into large transformational community projects, for example refurbishing changing rooms and installing new artificial pitches, and smaller-scale projects such as supplying new kit or equipment to clubs.

All investment will focus on four key areas: creating welcoming environments, encouraging more players, building community engagement and cultivating further investment resulting in an innovation fund for the community game.

Massive benefit

Charles Johnston, their property director, said the funding represented the biggest investment into rugby league facilities the country has ever seen.

“With this funding, communities will gain better access to the facilities, improved infrastructure and essential equipment they need to be active,” he added.

“We are pleased the investment will provide benefit to people engaging in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair game, with a focus on those disadvantaged areas where inactivity levels are stubbornly high.

“By focusing our efforts on increasing participation in the game, we’re ensuring that the Rugby League World Cup’s legacy lasts long after the last ball has been kicked and the crowds have gone home.”

Interested parties can pre-register their funding application here.

Good Sportsmanship



They had a big lead and, as the time wound down, the other team was starting to get frustrated and rather “chippy.” One kid in particular had locked into some one-on-one challenges with my son, who is mild-mannered and often plays the role of peacemaker.

Ultimately, my son’s team won and, as the teams lined up to do the sportsmanship handshake, this kid refused to shake hands with my son and others.  Instead, he walked away with a one-fingered gesture in their direction.

Not a great sport.

Based on my experiences, I am going to guess that he is the child of parents who also do not demonstrate good sportsmanship. What I have observed time and again in youth sports is that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Sadly, many parents today put winning above character.

Competition is a vital part of achievement and outperforming. In fact, the word “compete” comes from the Latin word competere which means “strive together.”  Yet, this concept tends to be misunderstood and underappreciated.

The reality is that we regularly compete in most aspects of our life. We compete for jobs we want, college admission spots, and for new clients and employees.

Unlike the boy my son played, Ty Koehn understands the essence of competition and character. Koehn is a high school pitcher in Minnesota. Last week during the sectional championship game, he struck out his best friend and competitor, Jack Kocon. This final strike advanced Koehn’s team to the state tournament.

As his team rushed to the pitcher’s mound to celebrate, Koehn immediately headed to home plate and gave Kocon a big hug before joining his teammates in celebration, as you’ll see in this inspiring video.

When asked about his reaction, Koehn said that he wanted his friend to know their friendship was more important than the outcome of the game.

The scene reminded me of a video I saw a few years back of a softball player named Sarah Tucholsky. Sarah had hit a three-run home run, the first in her college career, but she had missed making contact with first base on her first go-round. As she ran back to tag first base, she tore her ACL.

As per official rules, none of Tucholsky’s teammates could assist her in running the bases, which she couldn’t do because of her injured knee. The umpires also pointed out that Tucholsky’s hit would only count as a two-run single if she were replaced by a pinch runner.

What happened next was one of the most incredible acts of sportsmanship I’ve ever seen. It’s actually hard to watch this video without getting emotional.

Competing is about elevating our own game. It’s about practicing, getting better and having the will to win as a team. Instead of winning at all costs or wishing failure on others, real winners always prioritize character over winning itself. True sportsmanship requires that we know how to win well and be gracious in defeat.

Do you know how to keep you family water safe?



Latest stats show that 56 children under the age of 11 years old drowned in the UK in the last 5 years, with more than 300 people accidentally drowning every year.

And for every drowning death that occurs, there are more than 10 near drownings, with many of these leading to life changing injuries
We at the RLSS UK strongly believe that lives could be saved if children and young people were taught how to be safe near water.

We launched the Drowning Prevention Week campaign five years ago to help put water safety at the forefront of everyone’s mind in the lead up to summer, a high-risk time of year for drowning. 

Drowning Prevention Week, this year running from 15-25 June, is a national, awareness raising campaign and every year schools, leisure centres, community groups, businesses and MPs use our free downloadable resources to teach their local communities how to stay safe near water.

We want to equip everyone, young and old, with basic water safety skills to help them identify risks and make informed choices around water based activities.


There are a number of things you can do to help keep your family safe this summer:

At home

• Always use self-closing gates, fences and locks to prevent children from gaining access to pools of water
• Securely cover all water storage tanks and drains
• Empty paddling pools and buckets as soon as they have been used. Always turn paddling pools upside down once empty

• Always supervise bath time (never leave children unattended). Empty the bath as soon as possible after use

On holiday

• When researching your holiday, or arriving at your destination, check the safety arrange-ments of any water-based activities and if there is lifeguard cover at the pool or beach
• Check bathing sites for hazards, check the safest places to swim and always read the signs – find out what local warning signs and flags mean. Take time to check the depth, water flow and layout of pools
• Swim with any children in your care – it’s more fun and you can keep them close and safe
• On beaches check when the tide will be high and low and make sure that you won’t be cut off from the beach exit by the rising tide. Also, be aware of dangerous rip-currents
• Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well-known hazard – each year there are drownings as people on inflatables are blown out to sea. Do not use them in open water
• Do not swim near to or dive from rocks, piers, breakwater or coral
• Swim parallel to the beach and close to the shore
We believe that the majority of drowning incidents can be prevented, especially with children. No family should ever have to go through the pain of losing a child through drowning. Making sure everyone is aware of the basic principles of water safety helps to keep families safe, and still enjoy the water. 

We don’t want to stop people having fun in the water, far from it, we want everyone to have fun and enjoy the summer weather. But it is important to remember that drowning can, and does happen, and that there are things you can do to prevent tragedy. 

To get involved with the campaign, find out what your local leisure centre is doing or visit our campain wesbite for our free resources at

Stay safe this summer!

Karen Welsh, RLSS UK Campaign Manager

For more information about RLSS UK: visit their website at, follow them on Twitter @RLSSUK, visit their Facebook page –, join their LinkedIn page – @rlssuk