Sport-in-brief- your weekly update from the high performance sports communitySubscribe
Grace Cullen 08 November 2012
Athletics: Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis has been named alongside American Allyson Felix and Valerie Adams of New Zealand in the shortlist for the IAAF World female athlete of the year. The winner will be announced in Spain on 24 November.
Badminton: BADMINTON England has announced it will be the first sport to confirm a major event presence at the Copper Box on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park when it opens in July 2013.
To be known as the London Grand Prix, the annual event will be part of the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) Grand Prix Gold event series and will take place over six days from 1 to 6 October 2013 and will bring the world’s best players back to London.
Adrian Christy, Chief Executive of BADMINTON England said: “In 2009, we had a very clear vision to attract major European and International events to England, not just to showcase the best players in the world but to continue the amazing growth of badminton in this country.
“Between then and the London 2012 Olympic Games, we have hosted the European Individual Championships, the European Team Championships, the World Badminton Championships and secured the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships as a Premier Superseries event.
“Not only have more than ¼ million fans from the UK and around the world watched some of the best sporting action you will ever see, but thousands of people of all ages have picked up a racket, some for the very first time, as a consequence of the event legacy programmes that sat as part of our inspiration. A great example of this was the World Championships 2011 Legacy Programme which was supported by the Mayor’s Office and has resulted in more than 3000 more people playing badminton in London as a direct consequence of the event.”
Boxing: A British team is to join the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) World Series of Boxing (WSB) for the first time. The exciting new team – the British Lionhearts – was launched in London.
The franchise is being run in the UK by a dedicated team led by Matt Archibald, the franchise General Manager.
The British Lionhearts team is drawn from boxers that are part of the GB Boxing Olympic Programme along with a number of international selections (in accordance with WSB regulations).
It will be prepared and led by Rob McCracken who has been appointed the Performance Director of the British Lionhearts in addition to his responsibilities as Performance Director of GB Boxing.
The team will train and prepare at GB Boxing’s purpose-built training facility based at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield (EISS).
WSB is a unique global boxing league formed of franchise teams from around the world that compete in five weight categories at home and away matches. A pro-style competition, it allows boxers to retain their amateur status and, crucially, their Olympic eligibility. One of the main aims of WSB is to help make boxing a more established sport for young athletes and to position boxing as one of the world’s leading aspirational sports.
The confirmed British Lionhearts team currently includes three boxers that competed at the London 2012 Olympics including silver medallist Fred Evans.
The squad currently includes: Charlie Edwards (54kg, England), Sean McGoldrick (54kg, Wales), Andrew Selby (54kg, Wales), Gamal Yafai (54kg, England), Joe Cordina (61kg, Wales), Sam Maxwell (61kg, England), Josh Taylor (61kg, Scotland), Aston Brown (73kg, Scotland), Fred Evans (73kg, Wales), Antony Fowler (73kg, England), Adriani Vastine (73kg, France), Babacar Kamara (85kg, Sweden), Lawrence Osueke (85kg, England), Mohammed Arjaoui (91kg+, Morrocco), Frazer Clarke (91kg+, England), Uaine Fa (91kg+, Tonga).
Matt Archibald, General Manager of the British Lionhearts, said, “The development and launch of the British Franchise is all about supporting some of our country’s most talented boxers. The Lionhearts set up will complement existing boxing clubs and academies and see representation in all Home Nations by 2015, building on the legacy of GB Boxing Team at London 2012 throughout England, Scotland and Wales. We are supporting British boxing and British boxers to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, all the way to Rio 2016 and beyond. Our aim is to grow the sport of boxing in the UK, building a wider audience through TV after our table-topping Olympic games, and to support a legitimate new pathway for boxer development.”
Cycling: Great Britain’s Olympic team pursuit champions Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell are on the list of five British Cycling programme riders named in the Honda Dream Team Professional Cycling Team.
The British registered team will be a new addition to the UCI calendar, and have received the backing of Bradley Wiggins CBE through the Wiggo Foundation.
They are joined by fellow Britons Elinor Barker - junior world time-trial champion - and Amy Roberts, both of British Cycling’s Academy programme.
Trott, who also won gold in the omnium in London, said: “I’m excited to be joining the DTPC Honda Pro Cycling Team for the 2013 season and look forward to being a part of what I believe will be one of the most professional and most successful teams next year.
I’m looking forward to gaining more experience on the road with such a great team next year.”
Team owner and manager Rochelle Gilmore added: “I believe that having partnerships with companies like Honda and the Wiggo Foundation, the team can function as a truly professional organisation, making the athletes a priority and providing them with what they need in order to reach their potential.”
The team will debut in the Ladies Tour of Qatar to be held from the 30 January and 2 February 2013.
Meanwhile British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme rider Emma Pooley has joined Swiss women’s team Bigla Cycling for the 2013 season.
A silver medallist at the Beijing Olympics and 2010 time-trial world champion, the 30-year-old is an ideal role model for the team’s under 23 riders according to team manager Emil Zimmermann.
At the London Olympic, Pooley played an integral part in helping Great Britain team mate Lizzie Armitstead to silver medal in the road race but narrowly missed out on a medal in the time-trial event.
She said: “I’m looking forward to this new challenge and I’ll do my best to help the young riders on the Bigla team to make the step up.
“I’ve raced against a lot of them in local races in Switzerland and I can see how talented they are. We will be a force to be reckoned with in 2013! I’m very grateful to Herrn Bösch and Zimmermann for giving me this opportunity to join the Bigla team in Switzerland.”
Hockey: Great Britain Hockey has been awarded the prestigious President's Award by the International Hockey Federation at its Congress in Malaysia.
The award was made to GB Hockey in recognition of its contribution to the development and promotion of hockey in maximising the opportunity of the London 2012 Olympic Games and its work towards securing a lasting legacy for hockey.
Richard Leman, President of Great Britain Hockey, said: “On behalf of everyone involved with Great Britain Hockey I’m delighted that the efforts of the organisation and everyone involved in hockey have been recognised with the President’s Award from the International Hockey Federation. It’s a testament to the extra effort put in by everyone involved in hockey in this country over the past few years, from grassroots volunteers to the staff and the athletes of the GB teams. It’s a great honour for us to receive this award on behalf of the whole Hockey Nation.”
Great Britain Hockey’s celebrated Hockey Nation programme has been central to the sport’s efforts to generate visibility for and participation in the sport, spurred by the buzz of the London 2012 Olympic Games. More than two years in the making and running since January 2012, the Hockey Nation programme has seen a number of events and initiatives run across the country to encourage more people to get involved in hockey.
Sailing: Four-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie has been named Sailor of the Year by the International Sailing Federation for a fourth time. Britain's Paralympic gold medal-winner Helena Lucas and windsurfing youth world and European champion Saskia Sills were among the other nominees.
Wheelchair Tennis: Great Britain will host its highest status of tournaments yet on the ITF’s 2013 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, with the Tennis Foundation delighted to announce that October’s Nottingham Indoor tournament has been upgraded to ITF 1 Series status for the first time.
There will now be more world ranking points available to the world’s top players at next year’s indoor event at Nottingham Tennis Centre, which saw world No.2 Maikel Scheffers and world No.5 Jiske Griffioen claim titles there this weekend.
The 2013 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour features seven British-based tournaments with July’s British Open, also held in Nottingham and organised by the Tennis Foundation, retaining its Super Series status as one of the top six standalone wheelchair tennis tournaments in the world outside of those held at the Grand Slams.