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  • Published: Feb 19th, 2012
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Cricket, Lovely Cricket

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All over the globe, there are aspects of life that can make noticeable contributions to the very identity of a particular location, and in England it’s the game of cricket. The sport is popular in various pockets of the world such as Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, the Caribbean and the Indian sub-continent, but in many countries it’s rarely played and sometimes barely even understood. But if you have never really seen what the appeal of it is, perhaps it’s time to try a little harder.

Cricket has been around for centuries, and it’s a huge contrast of a sport. It can be slow-paced and cerebral, yet it can also be wildly exciting and abandoned. On some occasions it rewards patience, yet on others it requires throwing caution to the wind. It has always been thought of as a gentleman’s game, but it produces occasional bouts of ill-temper and gamesmanship that will hit the headlines all over the world.

The rewards in the professional game are plentiful if you get to the top of the tree, but no-one has ever played the game just for the money. Fast bowlers from Pakistan, all-rounders from West Indies and opening batsmen from New Zealand will all tell you it’s the love of the sport that drives them on, not the promise of a hefty pay packet when the game has finished. It’s truly a purist’s pursuit, and that’s why so many people enjoy it.

To be in England when the sun shines

In England, the love affair with cricket goes right back to the birth of the game, and many legends of the sport have become household names over those years. From WG Grace and Jack Hobbs to Ian Botham and Kevin Pietersen, the game has always created superstars, yet it remains a true grass roots phenomenon, and a drive through the nation’s rural backwaters is enough to convince you of its importance.

From Cornwall in the south-west to Northumberland in the north-east, there are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of village cricket clubs which play throughout the summer. Organised matches have been around for hundreds of years, and wherever you are in England on a weekend in July, the chances are you won’t be far away from a local game, so why not stroll over and take a look at what’s going on?

At one time, cricket was the preserve of the very wealthy, but that all changed many moons ago. These days, a village side is likely to feature accountants and gentleman farmers playing alongside bricklayers and electricians, all brought together by the love of this intriguing sport. Next time you visit England, be sure to head for a cricket match and see why this passionate affair continues.

David Rice is a UK writer and a keen fan of cricket. He often attends matches at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Car hire in the area is affordable, and so is hotel accommodation.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Feb 17th, 2012
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  • Comments: Comments Off on Don’t Miss Out On The Olympic Spectacular

Don’t Miss Out On The Olympic Spectacular

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A London Underground train decorated to promot...

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The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting fiesta in the world, and provides some of the most spectacular action you are ever likely to see, ranging from dramatic recoveries from seemingly impossible positions to majestic dominance from the moment an event begins to the second it is won. Every four years, we settle down to watch the excitement unfold, and here are three of the sports to watch out for at London 2012.

Two-wheeled typhoons

The cycling is one of the most breath-taking events of all in any Olympic Games, and this year promises to be a classic. The Great Britain side swept all before them in 2008, and with home advantage they may be even more dominant than last time around. Of the 18 gold medals awarded in Beijing, eight of them went to UK riders. The London Velopark is located in the Olympic Park itself, and will provide spectators with a wonderful day’s entertainment. If you can’t attend, however, watching the action on a 46 inch LCD TV will prove to be just as much fun.

The fastest on the planet

While there are several events in the athletics programme that will undoubtedly catch the eye, the blue riband is surely the men’s 100 metres final. Last time out, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt shook the world with a staggering run that left his rivals far behind. His winning time of 9.69 seconds was all the more remarkable because he appeared to slow down after 70 metres. His victory propelled him into super-stardom, and the defence of his title in London is one of the most eagerly-awaited events of the 2012 Olympics.

GB United – but only as a one-off

The Olympic football tournament isn’t as high profile as many would like, partly because a significant number of nations prefer to use less experienced players, and partly because the use of players over a certain age is limited by the competition’s rules. The 2012 Games offers one intriguing prospect, however, because Great Britain, the host nation, will be entering a team. In world football England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland compete separately, and the individual governing bodies are not usually keen on any amalgamation. When the GB team plays, it might be worth recording it on Freeview recorders, because it’s unlikely to ever happen again.

Needless to say, there are many more sports which will make the headlines during the 2012 Olympics. They include swimming, rowing, boxing and sailing, so the true sports fan will want to see as much action as humanly possible.

 

 

 

David Rice is based in the UK and is a keen fan of sport. He has already invested in a 46 inch LCD TV in readiness for the Olympics, because he plans to see as much of the action as possible. He also plans to look at the choice of Freeview recorders on the market, so he will never miss any of the events.

 

 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Feb 10th, 2012
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  • Comments: Comments Off on Skateboards Vs Longboards

Skateboards Vs Longboards

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English: Longboarding with the Kahuna Big Stick

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Skateboarding is one of the most amazing thrill rides that anyone can do. Most people see skateboards as one large lump of sports, and when purchasing a board and deck most people just assume that all boards are made equally and are meant for the same thing. If you have been looking towards purchasing a new ride to get in on the action, you’ll have to know the difference between a street deck and a longboard. There are completely different options as they perform different types of tasks. Consider the following differences between both types of boards to make the ultimate decision when you’re about to purchase your next skateboarding product.

First and foremost we’ll discuss longboards. Longboarding is a popular activity that transcends the initial invention of the skateboard in the 1970’s. The longboard is meant for cruising through town, riding down hills, and pushing less than any other type of board. These specialized boards are longer, have larger trucks and wheels, and are easier to learn on than other boards. In most instances, you will not have to push hard on these options as one push will have you gliding down the road with relative ease. The wheels are usually softer, the bearings faster, and the turn radius much looser than traditional boarding options that you will find. These are not meant for half pipes, tricks, or anything fancy. If you’re looking for transportation, this is a great option to look into. They might cost more than the average option, but it will be well worth the investment.

The second type of board you can purchase is your standard street skateboard. These types have double kicktails at the nose and the tail of the board, and are usually no longer than 32 inches long. They also have a deep concave in the interior of the board, utilize smaller trucks, and harder wheels. These boards are meant for those that are looking to ride their boards for more than transportation. You’ll find that there is a higher learning curve on these, and if you’re planning on doing any tricks, you’ll expect to take some major spills. Street skateboards are the only boards that professional skateboarders ride in contests, magazines, and any other form of promotional media. They are made of harder woods, glued together with tight epoxies, and are meant to take major impact. The same impact on a longboard, for instance, would snap the wood fast. The street boards are meant to take serious impact, with some boards even having an interior lining of titanium. All street boards come in 7 to 8 plys of wood and are meant for tricks more than transport.

At this point, considering both options above, you should have a clearer picture of what kind of board you’ll need. If you’re not into tricks or flying off stairs or rails, go for the street style. If you want transportation and easier learning curve, go with a longer board.

 

When Im not boarding I like to blog about medical assistant training on my healthcare blog.

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The Top 10 Iconic Sportsmen of the 20th Century

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Baseball player Babe Ruth

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10. Michael Schumacher (Motor Racing)

Forget the collisions and the controversies; it is without doubt that this seven time Formula One champion has to make it into the list. Considered one of or the best driver in History – the man who manage to turn round the formula one fortunes of Ferrari and the only driver to go an entire season with a podium finish at every race in the year 2002

9. Michael Jordan (Basketball)

Basketball player turned Baseball turned Actor – Michael Jordan may have not been all that great at the latter occupations but he was one hell of a Basketball player. The 6ft 6” giant dominated the sport and led his team the Chicago bulls to three Championships. Didn’t do too well at the Baseball thing but we all admired him for his Talent and the fact that he was in Space Jam.

8. Babe Ruth (Baseball)

Babe Ruth – the most famous Baseball player that has ever lived could in some people’s eyes be one of the most iconic sportsmen. With a career that spanned from 1914 – 1935 and hitting 60 home runs in a season a record that stood for 35 years, this American legend was two time all star legend and a seven time world series champion.

7. Lance Armstrong (Cycling)

Lance Armstrong was considered to be at deaths door at one point when he was diagnosed with Cancer in 1996. However after a long arduous recovery the man went out to do something even more miraculous and win the Tour De France, Seven Times fro 1999 to 2005. So astonishing was his recovery and competitiveness that many accused him of taking performance enhancing drugs.

6. Jesse Owens (Track and Field)

Jesse Owens was technically the first Person to defeat Hitler, not in War but at track and Field. This great runner specialised in Long Jump and the Sprints, and he showed his dominance in the 1936 Berlin Games. Owens went on to win four Olympic Gold’s at these games which became a very poignant moment as this was suppose to be where Hitler was to show off his superior Aryan race.

5. Sir Steve Redgrave (Rowing)

If you have been knighted by the Queen and are considered one of Britain’s greatest Olympians then you definitely are one of the most iconic sportsmen.  Sir Steve’s credentials are truly amazing, five consecutive Olympic Gold Medals from 1984 to 2000 means he is one of only four Olympians to do it and on top of that three commonwealth game wins means he is truly one of the best sportsmen of our Era.

4. Don Bradman (Cricket)

The original master of Cricket batting – Don Bradman was quite simply the best batsmen in Cricket to ever walk the Earth and his stats definitely back it up. The Australian had a Test batting average of 99.94, and the only reason that he never had 100 as his average was due to the fact that on his last game, he was out first ball; the reason he gave to his colleagues when he came back to the pavilion was that he had never hit his first ball for 6 and wanted to try it.

3. Jack Nicklaus

Now I could of said Tiger Wood however with Nicklaus’ who won 18 major trophies over a career of 25 years and a recode that tiger still has to beat and at the moment does not look like doing, is why he makes it into this list. A great golfing legend that opted not to play tournaments so that he could concentrate on Majors has a tremendous golfing record.

2. Pele

Regarded across the world as one of or the greatest footballers of all time and was voted the Football player of the century by the IFFHS and voted by the Ballon D’or committee as the player of the century. In his career he scored 760 official goals, 541 in league championships, making him the top scorer of all time. In total Pelé scored 1281 goals in 1363 games.

1. Muhammad Ali

“I’ll Show You How Great I Am” Were wise words that came from Muhammad Ali and boy did he!! With a great boxing record, and involved in some of the best boxing matches between Joe Frazier and George Foreman Ali was a three time World Heavyweight boxing Champion and in 1999 he was given the title of “Sportsmen of the Century”

 

Written by Annabel, Event Organiser for Chillisauce, specialising in Hen party ideas

 

 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 3rd, 2012
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How to start your own sports team in five easy steps

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English: The Fernhurst Sports FC 1st Team with...

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Sometimes, it has to be said, organizing team raiding sessions in World of Warcraft doesn’t really fulfill all your social needs. You love the taste of victory, or crushing an enemy and leading your comrades to triumph, but it somehow seems hollow when, afterwards, you’re still sat at your laptop with only half a bag of Doritos and a 2 liter bottle of Mountain Due to celebrate.

If you want to combine that feeling of victory and comradeship with being in the same room as other people, it may be that starting your own sports team is the thing for you. Starting a sports team, whether it’s for a five-a-side football tournament, beach volleyball, bowling or even motorsports is a great way to spend some time with your mates and get a bit of exercise.

To do this, however, you must first complete several important steps, and they will all be (slightly) harder than the montage in that underdog sports movie you love so much.

Step One: Assemble the guys!

You can recruit players from a bunch of different places. Once you’ve press ganged everyone you can from you World of Warcraft guild and your drinking buddies at the bar, you can also recruit players at the local park and stick posters up at the leisure center, town hall and local businesses for tryouts.

It’s not essential, but if you can find a once legendary player who’s since fallen on hard times and hit the drink, for whom this team might be his one last shot at redemption, then that’s definitely a plus.

Step Two: Financing!

Yes, the chances are everyone will have to pay money to join your team of sports legends. Most leagues will charge you an entry fee to take party. You’ll also need to buy equipment and uniforms. Once you’ve worked this out it will be the last bit of maths you have to do for this project, I swear.

Step Three: Pick a name!

The name of your team should strike fear into the hearts of your enemies, while inspiring your supporters. It will be a name whispered down the generations as people tell the tales of your team’s mighty exploits. So try not to make it too silly. When it comes to picking a team name, there are two main schools of thought.

School one is to think of an animal, then prefix that animal’s name with the verb “Fighting”. The Fighting Badgers, the Fighting Iguanas, the Fighting Anteaters- it works for literally anything.

School two is to take the name of the place you live in, and suffix a noun verb that sounds vaguely threatening. The Cambridge Destroyers, the Leicestershire Usurpers, the Southampton Shouters. I’m sure your suggestions will be better than mine.

Step Four: Get a uniform!

The uniform is what brings you together, turning you from a ragtag bunch of misfits into an actual team.  Think what the Storm Troopers in Star Wars would be without their distinctive white robot suits, or what Hipsters would be without their tiny mustaches and thick rimmed spectacles.

You needn’t go quite as extreme as full body armor or irritating facial hair however. It’s surprisingly cheap to get specially embroidered polo shirts, for instance. To bring your team colors to perfection, however, you’ll need a team logo. A symbol that describes everything your team is and aspires to be. If you went with School One of team name, this will be extremely easy. Just a picture of your animal of choice, fighting or looking like it’s about to fight. At this point, it’s a good idea to find your friend who’s a graphic designer and get them to help you out.

Step Five: Train!

This is the really hard bit. Now that you’ve assembled your team, picked an intimidating name and designed some really stylish uniforms, you’re actually going to have to get good at the sport you’ve chosen to play. So, good luck with that!

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Tighten Your Core with Break Dance

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English: Break dancing in Lyon, in front of th...

Of all the dance disciplines, there are few as intense and body-transforming as break dance. Not only does it look amazing (and, let’s face it, really cool), but it also does incredible things for your body. Upper body strength is key to break dancing and general fitness will need to be upheld just to be able to pull off some of the more complicated choreography. Warm ups before a break dance lesson will tend to include an aerobics-style workout, featuring crunches, push ups and headstands, making this one of the more tricky styles of dance to get into. More than worth it, however, as once you have begun to pick up even the most basic moves break dance is energetic, exciting and will transform body your physical shape and the general way you move.

The History of Break Dance

Break dance originated in the 1970’s, inspired in part by James Brown’s energetic onstage moves, and quickly became popular with young athletic men who wanted to take part in a form of dance that was impressive and acceptable on the streets. Break dancers formed ‘crews’ and could meet up to ‘battle’ (basically a dance-off, with the emphasis on pulling off the most impressive moves to win). In the 1990’s break dance became a widely accepted dance form as it began to seep into popular culture, appearing in films, music videos and even television ads. Very much associated with hip hop music, it became one of the most popular identifiers for young people (by this point both men and women) that were part of the hip hop subculture.

Although break dance has faded out of public consciousness since the 90’s, it is still very much one of the more dramatic and popular youth-oriented dance forms. You can take part in break dance and urban dance classes as part of many gyms, or in independent classes run by urban dance schools. Just do an Internet search to find your nearest class.

Break Dancing Moves

 

Break dance relies on a few basic elements. There are simple moves for each, which will build your strength and balance enough to move onto some of the more spectacular moves. Toprock are steps performed from a standing position, and are used often to warm up before dropping into the more complicated Downrock, which involves movements and positions on the floor, using hands as much as feet. Power moves and freezes are used to add more stylistic elements to the dance as a whole, with power moves being the more gymnastic movements, and freezes tending to end a section of break dance choreography – holding a strong pose either on your hands or feet (the physical representation of a ‘ta-dah!’).

When beginning to learn break dance, one of the first moves you will perfect is the 6-step, which is basically just walking in a circle on the floor with one hand on the ground. From this position, it is easy to move into more complicated poses, stands and movements. Once you have the 6-step down, the hardest part should be over and your rhythm and balance should be right for learning the trickier elements. This video shows a detailed instructions on how to do the 6-step so it is a great place to start and see if you can get the basic moves down.

Break dance will tone your entire body as well as strengthening your core as you learn to hold strong positions for long periods of time, and move your body in ways that you hadn’t previously even thought of! It will not only improve your general fitness, but give you better balance and posture as well, as you learn to move with much stronger control of your body.

Whilst not one of the simplest types of dance to pick up, break dance could easily be one of the most rewarding skills to learn.

Written by Caitlin who is a blogger for UK based poledancingpoles.info where she blogs about pole fitness. Caitlin is dance crazy and there is not a dance craze that she hasn’t tried. When she is not busy blogging she is usually found in a dance class or shimmying up her chrome x-pole and showing off her latest moves.

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