Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (March - April 2012)
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Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (March - April 2012)
“We are going to use Scoop to allow our learners to write blog posts regarding current sporting issues/debates/opinions/stories. We are going to give a platform to our budding journalists to give you THEIR view on the world of sport. Happy reading…”
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Is there a future for Test Cricket?

Is there a future for Test Cricket? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (March - April 2012) | Scoop.it

By Matt Woods (Seoul)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Level 3

 

If you went up to a young cricketer today and asked them what they would like to do, they’d no doubt say they want to smack sixes like Kevin Pietersen and bowl as fast as Stuart Broad. However do you think these superstars learn their skill by playing for twenty overs at a time? They will have grown up playing at least fifty over cricket, if not longer once they got into a county side. But due to the rise in twenty20, people don’t want to play the longer form of the game anymore.

 

I have grown up watching test cricket on TV, and even had the opportunity to go to watch England a few times, however nowadays, children don’t go to watch a day or two days worth of cricket, they want to see big hits in a shorter form of the game. They want to be over and done with, within a few hours, but why?

 

Batting for a long period of time, takes a lot of physical and mental strength. Players have to be able to concentrate for huge periods of time, learning how to switch off, yet stay tuned into the game. Lots of players don’t have the psychological strength to deal with that pressure. They will get a few runs and think they then need to smack the ball to all parts of the ground and yes this is great in some circumstances, however the majority of the time, players will get a few runs and then get out.

 

If you look at a great test player such as Alastair Cook; he bats for hours and hours on end and never really tries to smash the ball. He has such a strong temperament; he is able to accumulate runs slowly no matter what score he is on. On the other hand a player like Kevin Pietersen, who is world class on ever level, is completely different to Cooks. He will look to score as quickly as possible. When he first gets to the crease the first thing he does is try and get off the mark. He’ll get a few runs and then try and smash the ball, this is just the way he plays his game. However now with the introduction of twenty20, more and more players are starting to play faster and faster. Do these players have the kind of skill to be able to adapt their game to different situations? I personally don’t think so. Yes their will be a select few, however not everyone will be able too.

 

TV broadcasters such as sky want fast explosive games; because they believe it’s more entertaining therefore people will want to watch it. Likewise with cricket grounds, they try to get as many one-day games and twenty20 matches in as possible, because they can fill a stadium and get lots of money fast. The introduction of twenty20 has introduced a whole new audience to the game and this is fantastic, I’m not disputing that. However I would hate to think it is taking over from test match cricket.

 

IF you look back to 2005 when England won the Ashes back from Australia in fantastic fashion, the players were treated like Gods. They were paraded round the streets of London and given honours by the Queen. Where has this love and passion gone? Twenty20 wasn’t really around back then, so all people had to be entertain by was this fascinating series. I remember watching that unforgettable final few minutes of the test at Edgbaston, both teams holding on of dear life, with England, thankfully, coming out victorious. This kind of love for the game seems to have disappeared and it’s all been drummed into twenty20 and one-day cricket.

 

People don’t seem to have time, with their busy life’s to sit and watch days of cricket. They want a few hours after work in the sun with a beer. Which I think is fantastic, however this shouldn’t take away from test cricket. The longer form of the game should still fascinate us all; especially with the introduction of things like the decision review system (DRS). Adding more tension to decisions, waiting to see what the third umpires says. Using modern technology to and bring an old game into the future.

With the introduction of the IPL money has now become a major factor in the game. Players are auctioned to play for teams and paid a fortune to play for a few hours at a time. This is obviously great for the current players, however is this really what we want our young cricketers to be aspiring to do?

 

Players in the modern game are all super fit, however I have heard lots of excuses about players not wanting to play test cricket because they aren’t fit enough or because they have an injury. These are terrible excuses and are setting a really bad example on up and coming aspiring cricketers. They’ll think, actually I don’t need to be that fit cause I’ll only be batting for a few hours, not a day in the sun. With current Obesity levels as high as they are, is this really what we want. Test cricket is a marathon not a sprint. It involves high levels of mental strength and planning to achieve the best. However youngsters these days are never going to have these attributes if all they ever play is shorter forms of the game.

 

I welcome twenty20 and really think it is bringing new people into the game, however getting rid of test cricket is going to bring down the foundations of what is such a fantastic sport. Adapt and bring test cricket into this modern world, but don’t let it die out.

 

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How did Easter effect the Championship?

How did Easter effect the Championship? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (March - April 2012) | Scoop.it

By Beth Dexter (LA)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Level 3

 

Reading took a huge step towards promotion to the Premier League as they beat West Ham 4-2 at Upton Park. They have won 11 of their last 13 games, moving within two points of leaders Southampton and four points above West Ham. Leeds’ terrible home form continued as they went down 2-0 against Watford, their third defeat in four home games. They are unbeaten in four on the road, claiming eight points. Burnley have only won one of their last nine league outings after they went down 3-1 at home to Birmingham. The Clarets had been seventh at the turn of the year, but have slipped to 16th now because of poor results. Brighton remained in the top six on goal difference after they shared the spoils with play-off rivals Middleborough last time out. They have lost only once in their last 16 league games, drawing their last two. Watford are only six points adrift of the top six after they claimed a win at Leeds last weekend.

 

The Hornets are unbeaten in seven games, winning their last three, and could launch a surprise play-off charge this month. Blackpool surprised league leaders Southampton as they claimed a 3-0 win. The Seasiders are in the play-off spots on goal difference despite two wins in seven attempts. Barnsley’s poor run continued with a narrow defeat at Ipswich last time out, taking their recent run to five defeats in the last six matches. The sequence has left the Tykes only nine points above the bottom three. West Ham suffered a blow in their promotion push as they slipped to a home defeat to Reading last weekend. They fell four points below the second-placed Royals after just one win in their last seven games.

 

Southampton lost at Blackpool last weekend and are now only two points ahead of second-placed Reading. The defeat ended a four-match winning run, although they are unbeaten in six at St Mary’s. Portsmouth slipped five points adrift of safety on Saturday as they were hammered 5-1 at home to Burnley. Pompey, however, have won five of their last six matches on the road. Birmingham claimed a second straight 3-1 victory as they followed up a win at Doncaster with another at Burnley. They have only won two of the last seven at St Andrew’s, however, but still sit fourth in the table. Crystal Palace let in three second-half strikes in their 3-0 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest. It ended their faint play-off hopes, and leaves them with only one win in March’s seven games.

 

Coventry are out of the bottom three for the first time since October after they won 2-0 at Hull. It extended the Sky Blues’ unbeaten run to six, with back-to-back victories, while they’re unbeaten in five at home. Peterborough beat Leicester at London Road, picking up a third win in four home games in the process. On their travels, however, they haven’t won in eight attempts, losing their last three. Derby let the lead slip as they were held to a 1-1 draw at struggling Bristol City last time out. The Rams have lost just two of their last eight, winning four of them, and have already equaled their best points tally under Nigel Clough’s management.

 

Ipswich extended their unbeaten run at Portman Road to eight matches last weekend as they beat out-of-form Barnsley. They have only picked up two points from their last four on the road. Leicester’s top six ambitions look to be over after they were beaten at Peterborough last weekend. Their inconsistent form of three wins, three defeats and two draws in March leaves them seven points behind the top six.

 

Doncaster are still rooted to the foot of the table, six points away from safety, after they were beaten at home by Birmingham last Friday. They are winless in seven matches, losing four of the last five. Middleborough secured a point at top-six rivals Brighton last weekend, but dropped out of the play-off spots on goal difference. They have now drawn all of their last four outings 1-1, meaning they’re without a win in six. Cardiff were held at home by lowly Millwall last Saturday, and it was a fourth straight draw for Malky Mackay’s men. They are two points behind the top six after a run of one win in nine league outings. Millwall claimed a precious draw at play-off chasing Cardiff last weekend, although they dropped a place and are four points above the bottom three. They have lost five straight matches at home in all competitions, and are winless in eight there.

 

Hull are now five points adrift of the play-off zone after they suffered a surprise home defeat to Coventry last weekend. They have now lost all of their last four. Nottingham Forest moved six points clear of the bottom three after a second-half hat-trick sealed a win at Crystal Palace. The Reds have claimed 12 points in March’s eight outings, and are unbeaten in four. Bristol City dropped into the bottom three as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Derby. The Robins are without a win in five league games and are winless in seven away matches, losing five of them, while scoring two in their last nine away games.

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So, what is inline skating?

So, what is inline skating? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (March - April 2012) | Scoop.it

By Paige Nuttall (Helsinki)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Year 1

 

Once again summer is round the corner and training begins for the ‘Inline Speed Skating British Championships’, organised by the FISS (Federation of Inline Speed Skating) this event is held every year to find the best of the best from every team in Britain.

 

Late last year Raps Racers (My current team) was able to take part in the Good wood marathon for the NSPCC Charity as well as the International Championships in Belgium to race against other teams from all over the world with some great achievements, following this amazing event it has set many young skaters up for the Champs with the confidence to achieve the highest.

 

The first big event is in early March known as the most popular Indoor British Championships of the season, teams from all over Britain including, Raps Racers, Southwoodern skating team, Birmingham skating Team, London Speed Skating team and many, many more will be taking part in such events as 100metre sprint, 800metre sprint, along with many time trials and relays.

 

Along with new additions to some of the skating venues leading up to the event there has also been some new additions to some of the teams, some young athletes aged only 6 have joined up and some aged 50+ still skate which overall is great for the sport as a whole by increasing its popularity. I wish the best of luck to all the teams in the British Championships and hope that they enjoy the experience.

 

To find out more about the sport, watch - http://youtu.be/gp34cQPwVT4

 

To get involved and find your local club, click here -

http://www.inlinespeed.co.uk/FindaClub.html

 

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Fiat Netball Superleague 2012: Who will reign victorious?

Fiat Netball Superleague 2012: Who will reign victorious? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (March - April 2012) | Scoop.it

By Grace Duddy (Melbourne)

BTEC Extended Dipolma in Sport Level 3

 

The Fiat Netball Superleague got off to an exciting start this year as a new layout was introduced, with Phase one and Phase 2. After playing each other once, the table would then be split into top and bottom tier and then teams would then play each other off again. 8 teams are battling for the ultimate prize; to claim the title as ‘winners’ of FNSL 2012. This year’s competition is set to be one of the best yet; with a lot of new young talent being showcased; especially for the Loughborough Lightning and Team Bath teams.

 

The first round of fixtures kicked off in stupendous fashion with Surrey Storm, Celtic Dragons, Northern Thunder and Loughborough Lightning all securing crucial victories in the first round of matches. However, round 2 saw a few shock results; after Team Northumbria overturned Celtic Dragons 55-52 on Dragon’s home turf, and Yorkshire Jets going down 48-41 to Hertfordshire Mavericks. After a strong first game of the competition, this round also saw Lightning experience a crushing defeat to Surrey Strom by 66 goals to 38, and Team Bath having their second loss of the competition 55-45 against Northern Thunder.

 

Round 3 was bound to bring yet even more competitive clashes; with Team Bath and Yorkshire Jets still both looking to record their first wins of the campaign. This round saw big rivals Yorkshire Jets go face to face with Team Northumbria; and come out as victors by a narrow margin of 46-42. Dragons recorded their second win of the campaign, with Thunder and Storm both continuing in their winning ways and being the only 2 teams to remain unbeaten after round 3.

 

Round 4 again brought yet more head to head clashes; with Loughborough Lightning entertaining their old rivals Team Bath on home soil; who were still waiting to record their first win of this year’s campaign. After a tight, closely fought game; it was the flawless shooting performance from England shooter Kadeen Corbin that proved too much for the Lightning defence to handle, which resulted in Team Bath taking the game 56-31. This round saw Dragons travel to table-toppers Northern Thunder; only to fall to a crushing defeat at the hands of the leaders after a disappointing performance, 61-38. Surrey Strom remained unbeaten in the campaign after yet another sterling performance from the England shooting duo of Rachel Dunn and Pamela Cookey and England team-mate Tamsin Greenway (wing attack) on hand to feed some delightful balls into the circle. Mavericks also recorded another win of the campaign after emerging victorious from a physical battle against Team Northumbria 54-42 .

 

Now halfway through the first half of the season, it was starting to become even more crucial for teams to record wins; all teams wanting nothing more but to make it into the top tier of the table by the time it came to Phase Two of the competition. This next round saw Lightning take on Mavericks; with Lightning favourite from last season Talissa Haynes returning to the court but for the opposition; after making the move at the end of last season. The fans were hoping for a physical battle, and they got exactly what they’d hoped for, with both sides racing out of the starting blocks and exchanging goals score for score after the first few minutes.

 

As expected, the second half of the season brought yet more exciting performances and results by all of the teams; with some surprise results along the way. The top two teams in the league finally came head to head in a top of the table clash, which saw Storm meet Thunder in what promised to be a physical and exciting battle. Until now, both teams had been unbeaten in the league securing some pretty convincing and astonishing score-lines. This was a battle of the best; but Thunder emerged victorious from this one 67-48.

 

As we await for Phase Two of the campaign to get underway, it is clear that Thunder and Strom from the top tier, will battle to the end and Yorkshire Jets and Celtic Dragons from the bottom tier won’t stop at anything until they achieve their common goal; of getting into the FNSL play offs for a chance to be crowned champions of 2012. After going unbeaten in the league all campaign, Thunder will be the favourites for this one, but can Surrey Storm hit back and take the table-toppers by ‘storm’ by reigning victorious over their rivals this time? With astounding shooting performances from both teams’ shooters it will certainly be an interesting encounter. After narrowly missing out on a place in the top tier; by a measly 4 goals! Dragons will be looking to take charge of the bottom tier and finish at the top of it and earn a place in the play-offs. But with fierce competition from Jets imparticular, will they be able to hold their nerve?

 

Personally, I think Thunder will be crowned champions of this year’s FNSL after keeping a clean sheet throughout the season and scoring an average of 50 goals per game against all of the opponents – which is some statistic! Many of their shooters have had 100% shooting performances in their games and with the highest number of goals scored out of all 8 franchises in the campaign, it seems almost inevitable that they will carry on this streak of brilliance and shoot their way to the play offs and consequently the final, and be crowned 2012 winners.

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The F1 season is nearly here, so who is going to challenge this year?

The F1 season is nearly here, so who is going to challenge this year? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (March - April 2012) | Scoop.it

By James Collington (Helsinki)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Level 3

 

A dominant championship back-to-back German driver, in a constructor’s championship winning car, with a forward thinking team principal. Sounds familiar doesn’t it Mr Schumacher? Although we are actually talking about a young Sebastian Vettel driving the number 1 Red Bull Racing car, with Christian Horner as team principal, rather than the record seven-time championship winner Michael Schumacher, in his famous Benetton/Ferrari, with Ross Brawn as team principal.

 

I think it’s going to be another rampant season for the young German, who last year won 11 of the 19 2011 races. Although I, and I’m sure along with many other F1 fans, will be hoping for a tighter more exciting 2012 season, with my favoured duo of McLaren’s Button and Hamilton looking most favourite to push Vettel the hardest, we’ll have to see which Hamilton returns to partner the ever consistent Jenson Button, will it be the heroic Hamilton of 2008, or hap-hazard Hamilton of 2011 who was forever colliding with other drivers. Or will Webber finally mount an assault on his team-mate to be the lead Red Bull rather than Vettel’s rear gunner.

 

Maybe Michael Schumacher could finally justify his return to F1 from retirement with an un-thinkable eighth championship title, or will another lack lustre season follow leaving us, and maybe even him, thinking why did he ever come back to risk his reputation. Maybe Ferrari have finally got their act together to produce a capable championship winning car, although they have not achieved this feat since 2007, they have certainly got capable drivers in the double winning 2005 & 2006 World Championship driver Fernando Alonso, and partner Felipe Massa.

 

Could there be a possibility of a Brawn GP mark II, with two new teams in Caterham and Maurissia, with the British based Caterham looking the more likely to challenge, with the dependable Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov, could Caterham really produce an F1 car that is as good as some of its track day cars that are much loved by Jeremy Clarkson and co.

 

Hopefully, the return of Championship winning driver Kimi ‘The Iceman’ Raikkonen, will grab Lotus by the scruff of the neck and drag them to be a championship winning team, unlikely and very wishful thinking though.

 

Let’s hope it’s one of these drivers can topple Vettel, and that’s no disrespect or dislike towards Vettel, personally I think he’s a fantastic driver, with a great personality, as demonstrated in the Top Gear interview, who has the ability to go further than his hero, Michael Schumacher. Hopefully, Button and fellow drivers are able to mount more of an assault on the 2012 Drivers Championship.

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How did Raps Racers Speed Skating team get on at the National Indoor Championships?

How did Raps Racers Speed Skating team get on at the National Indoor Championships? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (March - April 2012) | Scoop.it

By Paige Nuttall (Helsinki)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Level 3

 

It looks like all the training has been worthwhile for Raps Racers Speed Skating team after a huge success at the Indoor Championships on April 25th 2012, Lydia Bunn who has only just recently moved up to the Senior Ladies category had some great results at this event. Lydia came 1st in the Senior Ladies 100metre Time Trial along with 1st in Senior Ladies 500metre Sprint Final following these two most amazing results she also attained 1st in the Senior Ladies 1500m Time Trial a huge well done.

 

I spoke to Lydia about her amazing success and asked her a few questions about why she likes skating and what she enjoys most, Lydia quoted ‘when I skate I don't think about anything except the race and I love the adrenalin, and I just love the feeling of being on my skates’. Most sports are competitive and involve knuckling down and trying your hardest but in the end it’s about having fun and loving what you’re doing.

 

Along with these results there were more great results from other skaters in the team for example George Kirkman, Andy Porter, Sutton Atkins and Hollie Smith.

 

Here is a web link to see the complete results of this event:

 

http://www.inlinespeed.co.uk/Document/PDF/BIC%20Race%20Results%202012.pdf

 

A huge well done to all the different Raps Racers skaters which were involved in this amazing event as well as the other racers from the other teams, hopefully there will be further successes in the near future at different events.

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Marvellous Messi: Is he the greatest ever?

Marvellous Messi: Is he the greatest ever? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (March - April 2012) | Scoop.it

By James Collington (Helsinki)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport

 

A young boy from a poor area of South America, with a medical condition, who through hard work, chance, and determination makes it to the biggest stage in world football, with the world’s best club, while also being the best player in world. Sounds like a fairy-tale, or, moreprecisely, the storyline to the Goal! And Goal 2: Living the Dream films.

 

We are of course talking about a Mr Lionel Andrés Messi. He is the best player in the world, and you don’t need the goal statistics, or the 18 trophies won with Barcelona, or all the other individual honours to see that. All you need is to watch him in one game to see that this boy is special.

 

Now I hear plenty of people in football and the media who echo this Messi v Ronaldo duel, and I used to agree with this ‘duel’, about 2 or 3 seasons ago, but not anymore times have moved on, from Messi’s debutant season with Barça in 2005-06 he has gone on to win 18 trophies to date, whereas Ronaldo, from that same period, has played for Manchester United and Real Madrid, two of footballs heavy weights, has won only 9 trophies. In that same mess I has gone on to win 72 individual honours, which in comparison makes Ronaldo’s 47 look measly. Also I find Messi more entertaining to watch, this is less play acting, a lot less tantrums when things go wrong, and certainly a lot less self-proclaimed brilliance.

 

But is he the greatest? Well, naturally comparisons have been rightly drawn between him, fellow countryman Diego Maradona, and of course Pelé, as the greatest footballer of all time. Now I wasn’t around in the time of Maradona or Pelé, I’ve read about them, and heard about them through word of mouth, but I don’t need to have been around to see that Messi eclipses both of them. They played in an age of football where players could drink and smoke, with little technological know-how, whereas Messi plays in the age of ‘the super athletes’ where food, drink, sleep, and lifestyle is recorded and analysed, and where players have specific training to ‘aid’ their ability. So you have to be one of the best already to compete, no longer can any Tom, Dick, and Harry appear at a training ground and stroll into the sides straight out of Sunday league football, such as the likes of Roy Keane and Ian Wright.

 

That is why I feel that Messi is the greatest footballer of all time.

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The hopes of a nation: Jess Ennis

The hopes of a nation: Jess Ennis | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (March - April 2012) | Scoop.it

By George Crewe (Melbourne)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Level 3

 

For many athletes going to the Olympics is the pinnacle of their career, and perhaps even more so when the Olympics are in your home country. This year’s eagerly anticipated games will be held in London, and it will give the British athletes the rare pride of competing in their home country.

 

Though, on the flip side, it brings an added pressure that certain athletes thrive under and makes others crumble. Jess Ennis will carry a lot of the nation’s hopes this year, and she is somewhat a pin up girl for the nation. She has headed a lot of advertising campaigns and so on in the build-up to the games, and that in itself adds an extra pressure, because after all that build up it would be embarrassing if she were to fail miserably.

 

The heptathlon is a gruelling event to take place in. Many would argue that heptathletes are among some of the most talented athletes that take part in the Olympics, as the event involves them competing in events varying from the hurdles to the javelin.

 

With her recent success in this event it is thought by many that Ennis has as good a chance as anyone else to be wearing that gold medal come the end of the games, and undoubtedly she is going to have the whole nation behind her, and hopefully she can thrive under that.

 

When people talk about the Olympics in themselves you often hear the word legacy mentioned. Ennis, this summer, will have the opportunity to create her very own legacy by winning gold in her home country and going down in history. I think I echo everyone’s hopes for her and I’m sure the whole country will be backing her this summer!

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Is Stuart Lancaster the right person to lead England?

Is Stuart Lancaster the right person to lead England? | Loughborough College Sport FE Magazine (March - April 2012) | Scoop.it

By Danny Staniforth (LA)

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Level 3

 

Stuart Lancaster, was second in command to Martin Johnson, coaching the England Saxons for the past few years. Currently in the 6 nations, he has had 3 successful wins with the newly arranged, young, England squad. The majority of the England rugby squad was changed from older experienced players, to the young players who have come through the national ranks with less experience and as Lancaster would say, “More of a spark”.

 

He has brought in players such as the talented Owen Farrell, who has made a big impact since the start of the 6 nations, racking up more than 20 points in 2 games.

Personally I think that Lancaster should be given the job as England head coach because he has been there through the good and bad. He also has experience with a large range of abilities and strengths. This would have a major impact on the English gameplay.

 

The difference between the 2003 World Cup winning manager, Sir Clive Woodward, and the stand in manager, Stuart Lancaster, is that Woodward made his World Cup team up of experience and determination. Whereas, Lancaster has built his new team around power and spark. Lancaster’s reasons for this are that he thinks that the England team needed more pace back into the game. He has involved a range of different key elements of the game by bringing in the players he has. For example, he has brought back David Strettle for his speed in the game, Farrell for his imagination and Manu Tuilagi for his sheer power and monstrous tackles.

 

Only time will tell, but I think Stuart Lancaster has proven in the Six Nations that he has the ability to lead England for their home World Cup coming up and the way he is allowing England’s young lions to flourish can only be exciting to watch.

 

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