Sport-in-brief - your weekly update from the high performance sports communitySubscribe
Grace Cullen 17 October 2012
Badminton: BADMINTON England has unveiled its plans to relocate from its existing site in Milton Keynes to a new £20 million facility at The National Bowl.
The sport’s governing body has submitted an initial application to Milton Keynes Council for what has been described as one of the best training and community sport facilities in the world.
BADMINTON England’s relocation from the National Badminton Centre to The Bowl would see the land at its existing Loughton base sold for development enabling the exciting vision for BADMINTON England to be realised along with other capital investment sources.
A more detailed planning application will be submitted by January next year and the plan is to be relocated to the new site, which includes a 3,000-seater arena, by the spring of 2015.
The initial application includes a minimum 16 court indoor badminton hall, new fitness club, administrative accommodation, athlete accommodation, and associated car parking space.
Adrian Christy, chief executive of BADMINTON England, said the move was inspired by the massive demand for badminton courts, the desire to replicate tournament conditions in a training environment for the GB programme and the council’s ambition to position Milton Keynes as an International Sporting City.
He said: “As minimum, the National Badminton Centre will double in size. Demand for court time outstrips supply and we have to frequently turn clubs and casual players away because we simply don’t have the space for them.
“We want to remain in Milton Keynes because of the fantastic support we have here and we see The Bowl as the perfect place to enable BADMINTON England and MK Council to realise an amazing vision that will deliver fantastic benefits for the local community as well as enable our world class players and stars of the future to train and prepare in the best possible environment.”
Basketball: British Basketball are looking to recruit Head Coaches for the men's and women’s programmes to take the team through to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The roles will be part time, focusing primarily on the summer international season. Key targets will be to maintain and improve Great Britain’s current standing in Europe with a longer term goal of qualifying for Rio in 2016.
Chris Spice, Performance Director for GB Basketball, believes the programme has a great opportunity to make the London Olympics just the start for the sport in Great Britain.
He said: “The 2012 Games were a fantastic catalyst for the sport, but we see this as very much the beginning for the programme, not the end. We plan to invest more than ever before, have a wider pool of talent to choose from, and have world class players competing every week in the best leagues in the world.”
Interested candidates can download the full job descriptions from www.gameongb.com with the closing date for applications 12pm GMT on Wednesday 21st November 2012.
Expressions of interest and applications should be directed to Leigh Hine - Associate Director at Portfolio. Leigh.Hine@PortfolioIntl.com - 020 7108 1005.
Canoeing: Following canoeing’s most successful ever Olympic Games in London this summer, planning for the next Olympic cycle is well underway and GB Canoeing have announced the appointment of Heather Williams as its new Talent Pathway Manager.
This is a strategic post that will play a pivotal role in the establishment and implementation of an effective Athlete Performance Pathway for the Olympic disciplines of Canoe Slalom and Canoe Sprint, including Paracanoe. The Talent Pathway Manager will also be responsible for leading an England Talent programme that aims to deliver a significant increase in the number and performance levels of athletes moving into GB senior programmes.
Heather, a former elite triathlete, joins GB Canoeing from the British Triathlon Federation where she has been Performance Director for the last six years. She will take up her new role on 1 November 2012.
Commenting on her new role Heather said: “I am extremely pleased to be joining GB Canoeing at this key time, helping to build for the future on the back of such a successful 2012 Olympic Games. This is a really exciting new opportunity for me and the sport, which will offer a host of fresh challenges as we work towards the 2016 Olympic Games.
“I am really looking forward to working across sprint, slalom and paracanoe and in particular, enhancing the links between the high performance programme and the wider sport as a whole.”
Cycling: GB finished the UCI Track World Cup in Cali with four medals, while the newly formed Team SWI Welsh Cycling won two medals.
Jess Varnish and Becky James teamed up to win gold in the team sprint on the opening day, beating Japan in the final. British champion Kian Emadi – making his World Cup debut – set a personal best in the 1km time-trial to claim the silver medal. There was also silver for Welsh Cycling Team SWI in the women's team pursuit which featured junior women's world time trial champion Elinor Barker, Amy Roberts and Ciara Horne.
Day two saw Becky James and Jess Varnish picking up silver and bronze respectively in the individual sprint, while on the final day of competition, Welsh Team SWI’s Jon Mould picked up a bronze in the points race.
Disability Swimming: Six-time Paralympic Champion James Anderson has called time on his swimming career that has spanned two decades.
At 49-years old, Anderson was the oldest member of the swimming team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and competed at his first international in 1994.
For his dedication to the sport he was awarded an MBE in the 2005 New Years Honours list and then an OBE in the 2009 Birthday Honours list.
On his retirement Anderson said: “I’ve had a wonderful career and feel it is time to go out on a high. Having competed at my sixth Paralympic Games on home soil in London it doesn’t come much higher. I would like to thank all those who have helped me over the last 21 years from coaches to swimmers, support services and especially my parents.
“I still hope to be involved in disability sport and will look at other options for participation and possibly coaching. I’ve played boccia in the past so I may look to help out, and maybe participate, at a local level. I’ve also been involved with the regional swimming squad in the east of Scotland for the last few months and will look to keep supporting this.
National Performance Director John Atkinson added: “Jim has had an outstanding career that spanned across six Paralympic Games. He has been a great asset to the team throughout his career and has inspired and influenced the next generation of Jim Andersons.
“His career is testament to his dedication to swimming and his spirit. From myself and everyone involved with Disability Swimming we wish him well for the future.”
Diving: Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley topped off a record-breaking week for Britain’s divers at the World Junior Diving Championships with Group A Platform gold.
Daley was in imperious form throughout the prelim and consistent in the final, receiving a dozen 10s in the final to score 663.95 and win gold by more than 50 points.
Julian Bellan, Junior Development Manager, was delighted with his team’s performance in what has been the most successful meet by a British team at a World Junior Diving Championships with six medals.
He said: “This week has been out of this world and Tom was phenomenal today. In some ways there was more pressure on him here because he had an Olympic medal.
“The standard of the field has been higher than any recent world junior diving championships in all events, but especially in the platform. Tom held it together and completely nailed his dives scoring well deserved 10s.
“This has been the most successful championships by far, we have two gold, two silver and two bronze medals and set ups out aspirations for the next four years looking to Rio.
“We had lots of finalists, some in their first final at a competition at this level. The team spirit has been brilliant and Tom has proved a great mentor and role model for the rest of the team.”
Gymnastics: British Gymnastics has announced the appointment of Amanda Reddin to the role of Head National Coach for the women’s artistic gymnastics programme.
Reddin brings a wealth of experience to the role having competed at the 1984 Olympic Games and most notably coached Beth Tweddle MBE to European, World and Olympic success across four cycles. Coming so soon after an outstanding London Olympic campaign, this appointment will see the discipline continue to drive forwards towards Rio 2016.
Jane Allen British Gymnastics Chief Executive Officer said: “In appointing Amanda Reddin as Head National Coach for women's gymnastics, British Gymnastics is confident she will drive the women's national programme to the next level and hopefully replicate the fantastic results over the past summer. She has a proven track record for producing national team gymnasts with her Liverpool programme contributing three of the five members of the 2012 Olympic team.”
Amanda Reddin said: “It is a great honour to be appointed as Head National Coach and I’m excited to take on the challenge of continuing the great legacy left by Adrian Stan. I look forward to building relationships with coaches and gymnasts as we look ahead to European and World Championships in 2013.”
Rowing: The GB Rowing Team will be out in force at the Diamond Jubilee Rowing Championships (DJRC) this weekend (20-21 October), with 20 stars already signalling their intention to appear at the one-off event.
The Championships will be a unique festival of British rowing, and will offer the opportunity to see some of London 2012’s biggest names returning to compete at Eton Dorney for the first time since the summer.
GB medal winners including Kat Copeland, Alex Gregory, Pete Reed, Greg Searle, George Nash and the Chambers brothers are all expected to make an appearance over the weekend, among a number of rowers from Team GB’s London 2012 squad.
Some of the Olympians will be racing in their club colours, others will be on hand to sign autographs and meet the crowds.
Marking the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s reign, the DJRC will provide an opportunity for rowers from across the UK to compete for the title of British Champion 2012, as well as vying for GB Rowing Team selection going into the next Olympiad.
Racing will take place over the 2000m Olympic rowing course on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 October, with entry to the event costing just £10 per car and £15 per minibus – payable by cash only at the entrance.
Taekwondo: Ruebyn Richards and Bianca Walkden return to action for the first time in six months this weekend.
Richards, last season's Croatian Open silver medallist and former world number two Walkden are part of a four-strong team competing for the Galeb Belgrade Trophy at the Serbia Open.
They are joined by GB Academy team mates, Londoner Stephanie Allen (+73 kg) and Jamie Abley (-68kg) from Spennymoor, a junior gold medallist at this year's Dutch Open.
GB Performance Director Gary Hall said: "Ruebyn and Bianca are world class players and looking to stamp their mark on selection for next year's World Championships.
"They need to get some games under their belt for the tournaments ahead.
"They will get some decent competition in Belgrade and it's all good preparation.”
Triathlon: ITU Triathlon world champions will be decided this weekend as the 2012 season comes to an end at the Barfoot&Thompson World Triathlon Grand Final in Auckland, New Zealand. Jonathan Brownlee has the opportunity to win his first senior world title, whilst elite junior, U23 and Paratriathletes aim for medals as part of the GE Great Britain Triathlon Team.
Brownlee famously won bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and although he says his experience at the Games cannot be bettered, winning the world title would cap a remarkable year for the 22 year old.
He said: “To win the world title would be incredible, especially to follow Alistair as the champion. It’s been a long season and the Olympics was my major focus this year, but I now have a big opportunity this weekend and I hope to make the most of it.
“Alistair wanted to be here but we’ve both been so busy since the Olympics, it’s been crazy and he needed a break. The World Series races in San Diego and Madrid were two of my best ever, so I’ve shown I can race without him, but it does change things.
“My ideal race would be to be part of a small break away on the bike. It’s no secret that I like to race like that and the tough bike course in Auckland should break things up a bit.”
Brownlee starts with a cushion of 180 points over Olympic silver medallist, Javier Gomez. To guarantee the title he will need to finish on the podium in the Grand Final race, which will feature a cold water swim and severe climb on the multi-lap bike course.
Tennis: Heather Watson has become the first British women in 24 years to win a WTA singles title, capturing the HP Open in Osaka.
Watson edged Chinese Taipei's Chang Kai-Chen in the deciding tie-break, winning 7-5 5-7 7-6(4).
As a result of this win, 20 year-old Watson has claimed the British No.1 spot jumping 21 places to a career high of world No.50. In another career high move, Laura Robson sits at 52.
Wheelchair Basketball: The 19-21 October will see the UK’s top junior wheelchair basketballers battle it out in The Lord’s Taverners National Junior Championships.
A fundamental part of The Lord’s Taverners Junior Programme, where many of the 2012 ParalympicsGB Wheelchair Basketball Teams honed their talent and skills, this prestigious tournament sees the best players from all across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, descend upon Stoke Mandeville Stadium in the quest to bring home the highly coveted Under 15 and Under 19 Regional trophies.
Included in the line-ups are players from the Great Britain U22 Team which, earlier this year, successfully qualified for the 2013 U23 World Championships by reaching the Bronze Medal Game at the 2012 U22 European Championships.
Regions taking part: East Midlands, Yorkshire, North West, South West, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, West Midlands, South East, London, East.