Monthly Archives: January 2016

Find Sports

rffFinding a sport for me

As well as a large number of local clubs you can join and facilities you can use there are also national organisations which promote sport for young people like Sport England. There are also national funding programmes like the National Lottery which can give young people an opportunity to develop their sport. This section concentrates on these organisations. Almost all of them will be able to put you in touch with a local organisation. This section also includes information on being a spectator and supporter.

Most people’s experience of playing sport begins at school, either in the playground at break time or in games lessons. Some people love school sport and go on to play in their spare time. For others it is a weekly chore and the sooner it is over the better.

If you never really liked sport at school you probably wont feel very enthusiastic about taking it up later. But sport is a very broad term and just because you had a miserable time doing cross country at school doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy archery or rollerblading for example. Perhaps you’re just not so good at running but you might have a really steady arm for snooker!

Some of the most popular sports are easy to play without much equipment The most important thing about sport is being able to participate in it. The more you play the better you get. You may find that you want to play in a team and compete with others and this is the point when your sport gets more serious and questions about equipment, access to facilities and travel costs become more important.

Sport is also a great way of getting to meet people. If you’re stuck at home or feeling lonely, joining a sport club can give you an excuse to meet new people. In the section on different sports we’ve included information on how much it costs to play the sport, where to go for a local contact and what kind of opportunities there are for disabled people.

Where can I play sport?

All local authority leisure departments provide sports facilities in their area. The Government has introduced new Sport Action Zones to enhance community sports across England. The programme is intended to run for 10 years. Call your local authority to find out what is available for you locally.

You don’t have to play sport in a sports hall or recreation centre, kicking a ball in the park, walking the dog or practising yoga at home are all beneficial sporting activities. You and a group of friends may like to form your own football team, running group or perhaps even a Frisbee challenge team! All of these activities can be enjoyed informally. If you want more details about any sporting activity, contact one of the sports organisations in our listing.

Are you getting enough exercise?

The Health Education Authority (now the Health Development Agency) published a very useful leaflet called “Getting Active – Feeling Fit”. The guide encourages you to make exercise part of your weekly routine. They have the following advice for young people:

“When you’re young, it’s easy to think that you don’t need to bother exercising. But it’s vital to keep active to keep yourself in good shape. Not only will you look and feel better but you’ll be less likely to store up health problems for the future.”

The leaflet suggested you do some or all of the following:
-Join a local leisure centre;
-If there is a particular sport you enjoy, make enquiries with your local sports centre to see if there is a club you can join;
-If you prefer individual activities, try cycling, walking or jogging. You may know someone who would like to train with you;
-There may be discounts available to young people in your area. Find out from the local council if schemes like this operate in your area;
-Don’t forget dancing… A night on the dance floor can use up as much energy as a full workout!

Contact the HEA if you would like to receive a copy of their leaflet.

There are a number of organisations in the UK promoting sport in general or the development of a particular sport. Here we have included details of organisations promoting a general interest in sport, including the Sports Council, National Coaching Foundation and the Sports Council Lottery Fund.

Tips to Consider When Collecting Sporting Memorabilia

cyIf you have a favorite player or favorite team, chances are you have some sort of merchandise of that player or team. Whether it’s a jersey, a banner, a blanket, a helmet, or even just a baseball cap. You may want to expand your horizons and invest in some memorabilia which would perhaps be investments for your future financial gain. There are some elements to consider when becoming a collector. First, you must educate yourself about the sports memorabilia industry. Second, you must determine what you want to buy. Third, you must determine how much you want to spend. And fourth, you need to do your homework before you get started.

(1) What is sports memorabilia?

– Sports memorabilia refers to anything that can be directly related to a sports event or a sports personality. Items from professional sports such as a baseball, football, basketball, a jersey, a boxing glove, a baseball card, and even an old bleacher seat from the famed Yankee Stadium which was recently dismantled in order to make way for the new Yankee Stadium. What makes these sports artifacts become valuable due to fans or ‘collectors’ if you will, find value in the rarity time value of these collectibles. Vintage sports memorabilia typically refers to sports items ‘representing the best of a pastime’.

(2) Sports memorabilia cards

– Collecting cards is a fun, exciting, and educational hobby that can last a lifetime. Almost all of us have had a pack of baseball or football cards at one time or another when we were kids. Many people have been saving all of their trading card since their childhood. These people may be sitting on a gold mine because some of these cards have a very high value in the memorabilia market -especially if they are in good condition.

When one thinks of sports cards, the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind is of course baseball cards. However, collector cards are popular in sports such as football, basketball, and hockey.

(3) Beginning as a collector

-With as little as a few dollars, you can start a collection of your own. First, you need to decide how much money you can afford to spend on your collection and what type of memorabilia you want to acquire. Then survey the varying types of memorabilia out there in the marketplace. This will give you a general idea of how much you may want to spend and what it is you may want to collect.

Second, you will probably want to join a memorabilia forum or message board. A good one to join is sportscardforum.com. At sportscardforum.com, you can keep up with the latest news in the sports memorabilia industry. Also, this is a great way to meet other collectible enthusiasts and perhaps some sports memorabilia dealers in your local area.

Purchase a price guide. You will need this as a point of reference to determine how much each piece of sports memorabilia you are interested in approximately worth in the marketplace. The best price guides can be found at Beckett.com. When purchasing a price guide, be sure you purchase the type of price guide that corresponds to the type of memorabilia you are interested in buying.

Begin your collection by starting out with inexpensive items at the start.

(4) Where to buy sports collectibles and artifacts

– The most efficient and easiest way to find sports memorabilia is on the internet. Many online auction sites such as eBay rate vendors and provide buyer and seller guides. Many people scour newspaper ads for estate sales and auctions looking for vintage memorabilia that may be available and are hidden gems. Some collectors even deal with sports memorabilia brokers and attend collectible trade shows. As a beginner with any collection, most collects start out by visiting sports memorabilia shops.

By visiting and patronizing sports memorabilia shops or stores, you can see the items in person. You are dealing directly with the shop owner, and you have a comfort level that surpasses any online shopping site. The problem with the online industry is that you are prone to counterfeit items. Don’t get me wrong, you are always prone to counterfeit items in the sporting memorabilia world.

(5) Autographed sports memorabilia

There are a few more factors in which sports memorabilia autographs can enhance the value of a piece of memorabilia.

– The death of a popular or respected athlete can prove to bring a sudden increase in demand for autographed items by that player. The simple logic is that the player will not be able to sign any more autographs-limiting the supply of his signed memorabilia in the marketplace. As a result, collectors will want these items even more and that in turn will increase its value even further.

-Sports memorabilia collectors value their favorite athlete’s autograph. For instance, signed NFL full sized helmets will surely cost a lot more in the future if it were signed by a football great such as Joe Montana or John Elway.

-Sports memorabilia autographs can increase in demand if a particular athlete has a very lengthy career and a good reputation as an athlete (i.e. Derek Jeter). Furthermore, players who have retired with well respected careers will also have prized memorabilia in their name.

-If an item in which the signature of the player is inducted into the Hall of Fame, the value of the collectible goes up due to the permanent elevated status of that athlete among his or her peers.

3 Reasons You Need a Sports Betting System to Make Money With Your Sport Picks

vetFor the sports gambling masses who lack a highly accurate systematic approach, the answer is a resounding “No”. However, when you stop gambling away your hard-earned cash and treat your sports wagers like a prudent “Sports Investor”, you’ll leave the less savvy masses way behind to suck up the dust after you make money betting on sports the RIGHT way – even if you have absolutely no previous experience. So, by the time you finish reading this information, your answer will be a resounding “Yes, I really can make money betting on sports” when you find out how to ditch the “gambling” aspect and get access to a sports “investing” system that really works. Here’s how…

Many Professional Sports Gamblers actually make a good living betting on sports. However, such Pro Gamblers who make money sports betting on a consistent basis are in essence Sports Investors because they approach their craft with highly systematic methods. Becoming a Professional Sports Investor requires that you have access to a vast away of comparative statistics and a team of people who constantly crunches numbers, analyzes performance, and back-tests all of that data to find repeating patterns and trends.

But those do-it-yourself sports bet days are now a thing of the past. When the developers of whatever sports betting system you utilize are extremely knowledgeable sports fanatics, you don’t have to be so knowledgeable and fanatical about sports at all in order to make money betting on sports! And of course, all that research certainly has to be done – it’s just that you no longer have to do it when you have an extremely reliable Sports Betting System to do all that grunt research on your behalf…

Regardless of the system you utilize, there is still one hard and fast rule that you should adhere to, which is to never bet more than 10% of your “bankroll” on any particular sports event. For newbies or beginners, your “bankroll” is the overall amount of money that you are comfortably willing to lose on all of your sports bets. As a prudent Sports Bettor, I suggest that you put considerable thought into setting your own bankroll and adhering to this 10% rule.

Whether you’re a pro, newbie, or somewhere in between, just like the casinos where the house absolutely rules, when it comes to betting on sports, the odds are stacked in the bookie’s or sportsbook’s favor, not yours–unless you’ve got a surefire betting system to do the hard work for you plus enable you to make money betting on sports and avoid going to the proverbial “poor house”, wherever that is.

The only way to consistently make money betting on sports is to constantly pick the winners and minimize your losses on a consistent basis over an extended period of time. Now you can either spend countless years of trial and error devising and tweaking your own sports betting system, or you can use an already proven Sports Investing System.

The most amazing aspect of a good sports investing system is that quite a number of the people who make money using them have absolutely no interest whatsoever in sports. Their interest is only in making money on a consistent basis, which is precisely what just some of those successful first-time sports bettors have done to vastly improve their lives and financial status in the process.

When you shift your mindset from Sports Gambler to Sports Investment Professional, the overriding question shifts from “Can you really make money betting on sports?” to “Why not ditch the sports “gambling” along with its potential heartbreaking losses and learn how to win consistently via sports investing?” Cheer to your ultimate success!

Shane Alexander is a real estate investor who has recently learned how to make money betting on sports the RIGHT way by taking the “gamble” out of sports betting via “sport investing”, an amazingly accurate sports betting system that you’ll find a very useful, profitable, and easy to follow short video about here:

The National Service Factor in Sports Development

nnyNational Service (NS) is one of the key foundations, together with multiculturalism and religious harmony, in Singapore’s unique social fabric. Every male of the modern generation has gone through the rites of NS, including our very best athletes. These athletes leave their schools as future sports champions of our nation, but very few of them actually fulfill their potential to do Singapore proud in international competitions. What happened to these potential sports stars? Did NS hinder their passion and motivation to excel in their sports? Why do so few carry on in their sports after school and NS? In our national quest for more sporting excellence and glories, perhaps it is time to re-look at our NS policy and see how we can truly support and encourage the journeys of these potential sports stars without necessarily compromising the security of the nation.

The argument that NS is detrimental to the development and continuous journey of our budding athletes from school is not new. Athletes who are affected have been fighting for years to get the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) to make special concessions and arrangements for them to continue with their training programs with their sports coaches. In most cases, MINDEF has adopted a general guide line that athletes can still continue with their sports career as long as their obligations with their respective NS units are not compromised. This basically means that athletes will have to count on the good graces of their commanding officers to make special arrangements for them to continue training, and at the same time fulfill their training and duties with their units. A most difficult task at best. Any top class athlete will tell you that in order to be successful and be competitive with the rest of the other world class athletes, training twice a day, seven day a week, with full nutritional and physiological support is common practice. NS training by itself is already tough, and asking our athletes to spend time in NS and train at the same time is just not possible. When faced with this situation, most of our athletes have no choice but to drop out. Only a handful, with good fortunate and determination will be able to find the time to balance the NS commitments and training to the effect that some measure of success is possible. Even these athletes do not compare well when competing against other sportsmen from around the world. How do sportsmen in countries without compulsory NS fair? Let us investigate a bit further.

In the Olympic Games, the usual powerhouses that garner the most medals include countries like China, USA, Russia, Australia, Britain, Germany, and to a certain extend South Korea and Japan. Do these countries have compulsory military service? The answer is no. A logical conclusion here is that their athletes have unimpeded paths towards their sporting ambitions and peak performance in sports. Of course some might argue that these countries are large in terms of their population size. China has a population of 1.3 billion. Surely, from these mass of people, champions for various sports can be found. That is true. Let us now examine countries with similar population as Singapore and compare their sport achievements.

A search on the internet will reveal that the following countries have comparable population size as Singapore (5m); Norway (4.8m), Ireland (4.5m), Croatia (4.4m), New Zealand (4.3m), Finland (5.3m) and Denmark (5.5m). What strikes you as you view this list? These are all countries with well known sports achievements despite their limited population size. The three Scandinavian Countries listed above have won in access of 350 Gold Medals in all Olympics Games, and they are also well represented in World Sports Events. Norway and Denmark has featured in many football World Cups. Finland is consistent in producing NHL professional ice-hockey players. As for Ireland and Croatia, they have won 8 and 3 Olympic Gold medals respectively in their history. But let us not forget these two countries are also power houses in other sports. Ireland features highly in World Cup Football, Rugby and even golf. Croatia produces the best water-polo and handball teams regularly on the World Stage. Need we say more about New Zealand? Apart from the All Blacks, New Zealand has also produced 36 Olympic Gold in their history. These countries did not have huge population bases like China and Russia, but yet they have been consistently successful in peak performance in sports. By the way, did I mention that these countries have no compulsory military service for their citizens?

If we change our perspective and look at a country that Singapore is modeled after, maybe the effect of NS on sports become clearer. Israel has a population of 7.5m, a fraction greater than Singapore’s. They also have compulsory military service because of their security concerns. How many Olympic Gold Medals have they won? One. Are they prominent in other international sports? Not quite yet. Israel like Singapore has also been actively sending contingents for major competitions, but successes are far and few. The question is ‘has compulsory military service somehow affected their sporting achievements?’ If we look at the evidence presented here, we cannot deny the fact that NS does have a part to play in limiting peak performance in sports.

NS takes away the prime period of an athlete’s development. At 17-20 years of age, our body is reaching their full sporting potential. This is the time whereby, sports talents need to be continuously nurtured. The disruption caused by NS will break this important cycle and de-motivate our athletes to stop sports development in their lives. How many of our national school record breakers continue on to run and swim beyond their school and NS years? Hardly. Imagine how much achievement is possible if these athletes are supported and encouraged to continue on training in their sports. The sporting achievement for Singapore can be so much more than what we have achieved so far.

There are of course opponents to freeing these athletes up for full time sports development. Many argue that not doing NS will break the social fabric of Singapore. Many parents of servicemen feel that it is unfair for their sons to serve NS while sportsmen ‘take the easy way out’. There is no denying that NS is important. We must never take that away. Our very security and prosperity depends on it. But we are also at an age of dynamic change whereby different peaks of excellence are important in nation building. We need to add on to our social fabric by sewing on peak performance in sports and other areas. And people who contribute to these areas are far and few. Hence, if we are to achieve more sporting success, we must have policies that support these talented people; otherwise they will never reach their full potential because we as a nation have snuffed out the passion for these areas. What of those who feel that sports an easy way is out compared to serving NS? My answer to these critics is that they have never gone through what a true top class sports person has gone through. In many ways, the training regime of a top class athlete is more demanding than a typical NSF in Singapore. If you do not believe, try training twice a day, seven days a week. Try, eating sports diets seven days a week. Try foregoing social life for a few years to train for a competition. It is a tough job to try and win a Gold Medal.

Jimmy Tong has been a Physical Educator for 13 Years in Singapore, with degree in sports science and physical education from Loughborough University in UK. He has extensive coaching experience in soccer, floorball and rugby teams in Singapore Schools.He is currently a sports development officer in Singapore schools as well as an active contributor of sports training articles to improve sports performance in athletes. He hopes to enable people’s success to come by inspiring them with true sports motivational and inspirational stories.