Tag Archives: sport

LibLink: Christine Jardine: The Women’s World Cup is a fantastic force for equality but it is only the start

The Women’s World Cup is on at the moment. Christine Jardine writes for the Independent about what this means for equality in sport.

As a child I loved playing football, and nagged my parents until they bought me my own football strip. But there were few people who didn’t find my girlish enthusiasm either amusing or something to frown upon.

This is why the knowledge that six million viewers thought it worthwhile to tune in to watch two teams enjoy a platform previous generations could only dream of filled my heart with joy.

But we are still far from equality – prize money, for example, is still much higher for men than for women:

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Travel for Sport Post-Brexit

Following on from the European Athletics Championships last week in Berlin comes this letter from the Government on the free movement of those involved in sport after Brexit.

It was in answer to a letter from the Chair of the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee, Lord Jay of Ewelme. It begins,

The Home Affairs Sub-Committee of the House of Lords EU Committee recently concluded an inquiry into Brexit: freedom of movement in the fields of sport and culture. The Committee will publish a report on freedom of movement in the field of culture; this letter refers to the evidence that we took on sport, and asks for elaboration of a number of points that witnesses raised.

The inquiry considered how the UK’s decision to end free movement from the EU might affect the two sectors. We received written evidence from a range of individuals and organisations, and held two oral evidence sessions.

He goes on to ask the following questions:

  • Has the Government made an analysis of the number of EU27 citizens working in the UK sports sector?
  • Has the Government considered the effect of ending free movement on sports such as horseracing?
  • Has the Government assessed whether extra Tier 5 or Tier 2 visas will need to be issued for EU27 sportspeople wishing to enter the UK post-Brexit, and if so, how many extra visas might be needed?
  • How will non-elite EU27 sportspeople enter the UK after the end of the transition period? Will the Government introduce a preferential system for EU27 sportspeople, or will they fall under the rules that currently exist for non-EU sportspeople?
  • How, if at all, will the Government protect what Angus Bujalski called the “business of sport” from any negative effects associated with ending free movement?
  • Has the Government given any consideration to introducing a seasonal workers scheme for EU27 workers in the sports sector?
  • Has the Government assessed how UK sports, from the elite to the grassroots level, would be affected should the UK no longer be able to make use of the Kolpak ruling?
  • The Government’s current proposal is for an “association agreement” with the EU. Under the terms of an association agreement, would UK sportspeople be able to play in EU sports teams as “homegrown” players, post-Brexit? And could EU sportspeople continue to play in the UK as such?
  • How, if at all, will the Government protect what Angus Bujalski called the “business of sport” from any negative effects associated with ending free movement?
  • Has the Government given any consideration to introducing a seasonal workers scheme for EU27 workers in the sports sector?
  • Has the Government assessed how UK sports, from the elite to the grassroots level, would be affected should the UK no longer be able to make use of the Kolpak ruling?
  • The Government’s current proposal is for an “association agreement” with the EU. Under the terms of an association agreement, would UK sportspeople be able to play in EU sports teams as “homegrown” players, post-Brexit? And could EU sportspeople continue to play in the UK as such?
  • How, if at all, does the Government plan to ensure that sportspeople, other sports sector workers, and fans, will be able to travel and work in the EU after the transition period?
  • What will the Government offer to the EU in return?
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Make time for football! The social impact of participating in culture and sport

As a professional musician and the mother of a keen athlete, I was interested to learn that the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee are looking into the social impact of participating in culture and sport.

On Tuesday they took evidence from three people: Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England; John Herriman, Chief Executive, Greenhouse Sports; and Deborah Williams, Executive Director, Creative Diversity Network. The questions asked were around the power of culture and sport to address deep-seeded social issues.

Deborah Williams made the point that we need a broader understanding of what culture is, that it is not elitist, but that there are a breadth of cultural opportunities available and space for all to participate. She highlighted the need for education to be for the whole child.

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Congratulations to the Welsh football team

So Wales did not get beyond the semi finals in Euro 2016. Or rather; Wales got through to the semi finals of Euro 2016. An awesome performance which highlighted real teamwork and courage. They had tenacity in the face of people expecting so little of them. They believed in themselves and gave it everything.  They stood out as a team who felt privileged to be in the contest, wanted to make their mark and will come home to Wales with their heads held high having made it to the semi finals. Llongyfarchiadau Cymru/Congratulations Wales.

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Brexit’s potential impact on sport

 

There have been a number of voices over recent months hinting at the negative impact that Brexit could have on British sport. Earlier this year BBC Sport analysis suggested that 332 players in the top two divisions of English football, plus the Scottish Premiership, would be at risk by a Leave vote – a view backed up by Karen Brady from Stronger In a letter that she sent to all of the professional football teams in England, Scotland and Wales in January. Similarly, she hinted at the impact on competition and travelling fans – something relevant not just in football, but in the two rugby codes, both of which have commitments in European club competition on a regular basis – and I say that as a fan of a rugby league team that got beaten 44-16 by a team from Toulouse at the weekend!

Whilst football and rugby, with their European dimension, would be hit at professional level, it is the grassroots impact on sport that is perhaps more significant.

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Cautious welcome for new sports strategy

sporting future

On Thursday the government launched Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation, their response to a consultation earlier in the year on the future of sport and physical activity.

Sport is something that I’m passionate about, and the power of sport, if harnessed, can be tremendous. It can unify communities, bringing people together whose views might otherwise be poles apart.

Additionally sport has wider implications. It encourages discipline, team work and builds confidence. It can provide skills and experience that are directly transferable to the workplace. And, above all, it promotes and encourages healthy lifestyle choices.

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Clegg launches Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation

I think it’s fair to say that Nick Clegg may not exactly rock the tracksuit look, but he did do something very valuable today. In one of his last engagements as Deputy Prime Minister before the election campaign, he launched the Charter for Mental Health in Sport and Recreation aimed at kicking the mental health stigma out of sport. The video explains why:

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The Tour De France is great news for York but also needs a business case

Tour de France logoHosting the Tour De France is a huge opportunity for York and Yorkshire, but a time of cuts to local government budgets the delivery plans must be watertight.

When it was announced last year that York was to host Stage 2 of next year’s Tour De France, I was excited. So were most residents of the city.

The Tour is the most prestigious cycle race in the world and reckoned to be the biggest annual sporting event on the planet. With 188 countries broadcasting the event, the media exposure is probably only beaten by the Summer Olympics and the Football World Cup.

Anyone who has watched the event, either in France or when it last crossed the Channel in 2007, will know size of the event and the passion of the fans.

I could go on… for the bigness of the race and the glory of the event is indisputable. However, it appears that in the excitement of ‘the biggest race in the world’ coming to town many key questions and issues have been overlooked.

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Andy Murray, Virginia Wade and my experience of a small dose of Everyday Sexism

So last night I tweeted this:

In response to this Times front page:

andy murray

It got a fair few retweets, including from Graham Linehan (@Glinner) and Danny Baker (@Prodnose), and my timeline started to get busy. Responses fell into two camps.

First, Pedants (and I mean this affectionately here), who pointed out it isn’t just Virginia Wade who’s been written …

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Sheffield Labour councillor opposes own decision

Sheffield City Hall - Some rights reserved by Welcome to SheffieldAngela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge has called on Sheffield City Council not to close Stocksbridge Leisure Centre. Stocksbridge is in the remote rural north of Sheffield and local people will not have the same access to alternatives that others in Sheffield might.

So who is making the proposal to close Stocksbridge Leisure Centre? Well it turns out that the cabinet advisor for leisure on Sheffield City Council is Smith’s husband, one Cllr Steve Wilson.

Might this be a topic to discuss at home before troubling the press?

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Opinion: Creating a legacy for UK sport from London 2012 – lessons from Jamaica

Politicians of all colours are running around to claim credit for Team GBs success at London 2012. Similarly sporting figures are also running around to trying to gain funding for ‘their sports’ from the Government. How can we build on success in 2012 to gain even more medals in 2016?

I want to use the example of Jamaica, a country which has produced some of the best sprinters in the world. Since 1964 (way before Usain Bolt), Jamaica has won a medal in every summer Olympics – all of them but one in athletics.

As some of you know, I was born …

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Three intriguing opinion poll results that made me go, “Hmm, really?”

Looking through some of YouGov’s recent poll results (as you do on a summer’s evening during the Olympics), a trio of responses struck me as, well, slightly bizarre. See what you think…

Lib Dem voters LEAST LIKELY to think Britain is best at cricket, MOST LIKELY to think we’re best at cycling

This may simply be a reflection that ‘Britain’ does not play cricket. Or perhaps just a subjective viewpoint: after all, England is currently ranked the best test cricket team in the world (though fourth in one-day internationals); while …

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Opinion: Why I won’t be watching Euro 2012

I know for many years that there has been the debate as to whether sport should be brought into politics and am old enough to remember when there was a boycott against the South African apartheid regime.

Watching BBC Panorama last week brought up feelings of disgust, horror, anger and a sense of déjà vu. Had we entered some time vortex back to the 70’s where these chants were all too common on the terraces here in the UK?

It was made worse when the interviewer asked the police chief about what he had witnessed and filmed only minutes earlier to be …

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Jo Swinson MP questions BBC on all male Sports Personality shortlist

The very first thing that Alex Jones said on Monday evening when the shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year was announced live on the One Show was “they’re all men”. She sounded quite shocked – and rightly so.

She was not alone. World champion swimmer Rebecca Adlington took to Twitter to say that there were many women in sport who deserve recognition this year.

Attention was also given to how those shortlists were made up – voted for  predominantly by male sports editors of national newspapers and, inexplicably,  representatives of lads’ Mags Nuts and Zoo.

Four MPs, …

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

Lynne Featherstone launches Government campaign to tackle homophobia in sport

Lynne Featherstone, Minister for Equalities, has launched Charter for Action – a set of principles to help stamp out homophobia and transphobia in sport and make sport a welcoming environment for LGBT people.

The Pink Paper reports:

A groundbreaking gay sports charter which will invite national governing bodies of sports to commit to tackling homophobia was launched yesterday.

The announcement was made by Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone as she attended the Sheffield Eagles rugby league game – a match against Widnes Vikings which saw players take a stand against homophobia by wearing specially made kits bearing the slogan ‘Homophobia: Tackle

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Lib Dems reveal one playing field sold off every day last year

Ahh, the wonders of government spin… here’s a BBC report from yesterday:

The Government is claiming greater success in its efforts to protect playing fields from developers. The latest figures show 97.5% of planning applications resulted in improved or protected sports provision. … “These figures are proof that the tough policies we put in place are working,” said sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

Let’s compare that claim with the news, revealed by the Lib Dems and picked up by the media today, that 360 playing fields were sold off in the last year, despite government safeguards which were meant to prevent …

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