“Wrong, wrong and wrong again. Was there ever a more crassly inept politician than Jeremy Corbyn whose every impulse is to make the wrong call on everything.”
I was very much in two minds about doing a newsletter this week with so little lacrosse action. However, there were clearly a few issues around which deserved a mention. So here we go.
WELCOME TO TIMPERLEY
Next season Timperley will be strengthened by the arrival of two members of the Ireland squad.
Taylor Wallace from New Hampshire and Brendan Farrell from Vancouver will be joining the club as player/coaches (used to be called LDOs) at the beginning of next season.
They will strengthen or playing and coaching team.
Welcome to Timperley.
STOCKPORT EASTER 8S
The world is a changed place since I started playing lacrosse.
We had strong leagues with some add ons. The league structure seems to me to be stuttering. We are told that people want more tournaments and events without being tied down to the discipline of a weekly league programme. In the olden days we had the Heaton Mersey 6s on New Year’s Day and Stockport 8s on Easter Sunday.
Heaton Mersey 6s have long been part of history but over the years Stockport have organised a great day of Easter Lacrosse. However, in recent years there seems to have been a declining interest in the event. Most Manchester clubs failed to send teams (although Hamburg managed to make a slightly longer trip).
If there is no appetite for Easter Lacrosse then perhaps the role of one off tournaments needs to be revisited.
IS THERESA MAY A CHRISTIAN?
I am not a religious person. The history of religion is a history of persecution, cruelty, intolerance and bigotry.
I am perhaps a bit naive but I have a sort of belief that the central tenets of a religion should be to make the world a better place. The saving grace for Christianity is that it would seem to embrace truth, honesty, concern and for the weaker less able members of society, and a view that all human beings of whatever race, colour, creed or gender should be treated equally. I think the same could be said of Islam.
Theresa May has made much of her professed Christianity. For her it seems to depend on attending church on a Sunday, making much of being the daughter of a vicar and being concerned about whether “Easter” precedes “Egg”
What she does not seem to be concerned about is honesty, (I would remind you that she was a “Remainer” and that she would not call a General Election), equality and humanity.
She also professes to be governing in the interests of the whole of society, particularly the people struggling to manage .Clearly this is not true as we see all areas of life being run in the interests of the privileged and (relatively) wealthy, and the old rather than the young. She is dismantling the legacy of the NHS, Welfare State and education system that we were bequeathed by our parents and grand parents. God knows what sort of a world we are going to leave for our children and grand children. It certainly will not be a truly Christian one.
ANOTHER VIEW OF EUROPE
Those who have the patience to read the stuff I churn out every will have probably guessed that I am a fervent European , will hopefully in the future be a proud European but feel little affiliation to the squalid , racist country England has become.
One of the joys of the last 40 years has been to be able to travel freely and easily around Europe and to feel that you are a part of a noble project.
To every one of the 27 countries who are now Europe the EU is not just an economic area but also a political union which provides political stability, greater security and mutual progress in trying to advance human rights. Additional a supra national organisation can start to try and solve the problems which are going to have to be faced by if not our children then certainly out grand children such as renewable energy, finite resources, climate change and terrorism.
Having recently spent an enjoyable few days in France I now know that Bordeaux is a beautiful city and that its region produces inarguably the best wines in the world. They are concerned about le Pen but committed to Europe. Basically, they have always seen us as whinging trouble makers and feel that the sooner we leave the better and let PSA move all the UK General Motors plants to France where they should be.
Next week Christine and I are having a week in the Baltic States. Having done all my background reading I am fully aware of the history and particularly the very fraught relationship with Russia. I, like most people have tended to put all the states together but now know that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are 3 very separate countries with their own identities, cultures and languages. For many, many years they have been dominated by other nations particularly the Germans and the Russians but since the collapse of the Soviet bloc in the 1980s they have struggled, with varying degrees of success to forge their way in the world.
My guide book spends sometime outlining in particular the history since the Second WW and sums up the situation as follows.
“The fact is that the three countries had invested their hopes in the European Union. The vote to become members of the EU in 2004 had an enormous effect on national pride. It was final proof that they had surfaced from the great crushing boulder of the Soviet Union into the light of the democratic west. Personal self-confidence and self esteem were restored.
For those people who have much to do then ignore the piece that follows.
For others, the attached below was in my files from 2014 when England had been awarded the 2018 Men’s World Championship. It is a paper prepared for Manchester City Council setting out the case for a National Centre of Lacrosse in Manchester on the back of the Championship.
As the weeks pass by it seems increasingly likely that not only will the vision set out below not be delivered but the Championship itself will not take place , at least not in England.
English Lacrosse does not seem to have the leadership, competence and more importantly the will to deliver.
Establishing a National Centre for Lacrosse in Manchester
This paper sets out the potential to establish a National Centre for Lacrosse in Manchester which would:
• Act as a base for elite sports development, a venue for national and international tournaments and events, and provide a headquarters for English Lacrosse.
• Increase university student participation, indirectly improving the student experience in Manchester.
• Reinforce Manchester as the leading centre for sports related National Governing Bodies.
• Increase sports participation by young people, particularly school students.
This paper sets out the role of the city’s economy in driving economic growth at the core of the conurbation; the role which sports plays in the city; the importance of the student population and its connection to the young, skilled labour force which is underpinning a more diverse and modern economy.
The second part of the paper sets out the economic impact of the forthcoming World Lacrosse Championships in 2018 as an example of the impact of sport events. It then sets out an investment proposition linked to the modernisation of the facilities at the University of Manchester’s Fallowfield Campus.
Manchester - a Lacrosse City
Manchester University is one of the oldest Lacrosse playing universities along with Oxford and Cambridge. Lacrosse was one of the original 5 sports who set up the Athletic Union at Manchester University when it was Owens College (Football, Cricket, Hockey, Athletics and Lacrosse). The Lacrosse Club were involved in the development of the early rules including the introduction of the cross bar and nets.
Historically, lacrosse was a high profile sport in Manchester, with clubs in Chorlton, Blakely, Crumpsall, Cheetham Hill, Didsbury, Albert Park and Wythenshawe (one of the most influential clubs in the sport). At the turn of the century over 6,000 spectators watched England play Canada, and 10,000 turned out for a similar event in Stockport.
In the Lacrosse world there are Lacrosse cities, many of which are linked to high profile Universities. These are:
USA - Baltimore, Philadelphia , New York , Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles
Canada - Toronto, Vancouver
Australia - Perth , Melbourne , Adelaide
Japan - Tokyo
Germany - Berlin , Dusseldorf, Munich , Hamburg
Czech Republic - Prague
Netherlands - Amsterdam
England - Manchester
There have been Lacrosse Clubs in Greater Manchester since 1868, and when the World Championships are held in Manchester in 2018, there will be a celebration of 150 years of lacrosse.
Manchester is a large, dynamic city, with a significant population of students and young people, many now working in sectors with high growth potential. It is the fastest growing city in the UK – the 2011 census established the city’s population as 503,000 – a 19% increase from 2001 - with the city centre increasing its population from a few thousand in the late 1990s to circa 24,000 by 2011. Since then, the city centre population has increased further.
There have been two key drivers for the city centre population growth – students, particularly international students – and employment, which has increased the attractiveness of the city as a place to live and work. The city has identified a series of city centre and city centre fringe areas for new housing development, including a significant increase in high quality accommodation for rent. These areas include Ancoats, New Islington, NOMA and New Cross.
The large and growing student population, development plans for two High Speed 2 stations and recent investments in the tram network provide a platform for further growth of the city economy, based on sectors such as business services, technology, media and telecoms companies.
Over 46,000 jobs will be added in Manchester between 2012 and 2022, and more than half of these will be in the business services sector, characterised by a young and skilled workforce. The large graduate and post graduate population and growth of business services and new economy businesses have made Manchester a magnet for young people keen to embrace an urban lifestyle.
The latest intelligence suggests that strong employment growth has been established early in the new economic cycle, and business services, technology, media and telecoms businesses are expected to expand at a high rate over the next five years.
The economic forecasts indicate that a large and growing workforce will drive the Manchester economy, and many will be the former graduates of the Manchester universities or attracted by the lifestyle, and the image of the city projected through its sports and cultural heritage, including popular music.
The recently agreed Residential Strategy aims to provide the housing needed to support economic growth, with an emphasis on increasing the population in and around the city centre, keen to live close to where they work. Many of those keen to work in the city are graduates of the City’s two universities.
Sport in Manchester
Manchester has a diverse and modern economy, increasingly characterised by knowledge based business sectors. It has a strong professional services sector and a much larger, and growing business services sector. The city’s distinguishing characteristics are focused on a number of areas – a large undergraduate and post graduate population; a small (in economic terms) but high profile science and technology base; an exceptional creative and digital industries sector, and sport, where it is one of the leading centres in the UK, and entertainment, both in terms of music and sport.
Manchester has a long and proud sporting history and is home to two of the most successful and well-supported football clubs in Europe. It also has one of the oldest and most prestigious cricket grounds in the world. The city boasts an array of world-class sporting facilities and stadia, which has allowed it to frequently host a wide range of top-level sporting events, particularly since holding the Commonwealth Games in 2002.
Manchester has in the last six years hosted prestigious world-class events across a number of sports including: swimming, boxing, water polo, netball, track cycling, BMX, taekwondo and badminton. It was also one of the host cities for the 2012 Olympic football tournament and successfully hosted the 2010 FIL World Lacrosse Championships. The City has used a well established model to develop an events programme which makes use of the facilities and the large accommodation stock, including student accommodation.
Manchester Sport Assets
National BMX Centre
Regional Tennis Centre
Manchester Arena Etihad Stadium and Campus
Belle Vue Sports village National Speedway Stadium1
Belle Vue Sports Basketball Centre
English Institute of Sport
National Squash Centre
1 New stadium opens in 2015
The city has a continually developing image as a national and global centre for sporting excellence, which has been bolstered by the BBC’s recent relocation of its prestigious sports broadcasting arm to Manchester. The current development of a National Speedway Stadium in Manchester has further raised its profile as a dynamic sporting city. In addition, a number of sports have the headquarters of their UK governing bodies in the city, recognising Manchester as a sporting centre of excellence in the country.
A number of National Governing Bodies are now based in Manchester, of which the largest, British Cycling, employ some 140 staff.
Sports Bodies Based in Manchester
England Squash World Netball
Tae Kwon Do
Regional Sports England
British Mountaineering Coucil
The City has benefitted through its work in developing the legacy from the Commonwealth Games, and a close, long term relationship with Sports England. New investment has continued, supported by the public and the private sector, with new facilities at Grey Mare Lane including a new swimming pool, complementing over £100m of investment by Manchester City Football Club in a new state of the art training complex.
Manchester City Council has used new facilities and the presence of National Governing Bodies in the city to increase participation across a range of sports. It has extensive programmes of support for young people and school students in particular, complementing its support for elite programmes.
The Universities and University Sport
The merger of the University of Manchester with UMIST (the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology) has created one of the largest and most important universities in the UK. The University of Manchester is currently 41st in the world, 8th in Europe and 5th in the UK according to Shanghai Jiao Tong rankings of teaching and learning, and has a stated aim to be in the top 25 by 2020.
With 27,085 undergraduates, 11,345 postgraduates and 5,970 academic and research staff, the University constitutes a significant proportion of the city centre economy. It is one of the largest employers in the city and monies spent on the supply chain benefit many local companies. As importantly, it is the leading supplier of skilled labour in the city.
The University of Manchester is in the midst of a £1.7bn investment programme which has already led to the improvement of the student accommodation, and a number of new facilities and centres, including the National Graphene Institute.
The scale of the new investment by the University recognises the increased competition for undergraduate students, both within the UK and internationally. While teaching and research is a pre-requisite, the quality of student accommodation and the student experience is an important factor in attracting students to the city.
Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) is the largest campus based university in the UK and has over 37,000 students. MMU is midway through a campus rationalisation process, moving from seven to two locations, the most important of which is within the Oxford Road Corridor. Recent investment at the newly built Birley Campus near Hulme provides facilities and accommodation for over 6,000 students in the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care.
MMU is one of the leading providers of science, engineering and technology education in the UK, and has a large creative community with over 8,000 students and staff involved in cultural production in the UK. MMU provides higher education opportunities to a large proportion of young people from low income households, and some 70% of graduates stay and work in the North West.
Sport at university gives young people an array of opportunities that would not otherwise have been offered to them, providing affordable access to high-class training and playing facilities, and allowing them to play minority sports to an elite level.
Sports such as lacrosse that are not played at the majority of schools (particularly state schools) benefit from increased participation at a university level by offering affordable equipment, facilities and coaching.
The strength of university lacrosse in the UK is shown by the Men’s Universities British team finishing 9th at the national championships last year. The University of Manchester is one of the leading universities in the UK for lacrosse, fielding two men’s and two women’s teams in British Universities and Colleges Sport competitions. It is one of only seven universities whose men’s and women’s teams competed in the Premier Division of their respective competitions in the 2013/14 season.
There is now increasing competition to provide students with a complete experience through their undergraduate period, with a greater emphasis on the quality of accommodation, sports and cultural opportunities, in addition to the quality of the teaching.
Many of Manchester’s future workforce arrive in the city as students, and it is important that the student experience matches and exceeds that of rival cities. Even those students who leave after graduation, are in effect advocates and ambassadors for the Manchester experience. Increasingly, Universities have to offer a full package of academic excellence, first class accommodation and a full student experience to be competitive internationally.
Lacrosse World Championships
The Lacrosse World Championships were held in Manchester in 2010, with 29 nations competing for the championship over 145 matches, and was eventually won by the United States, their ninth success from the eleven world championships that have been played to date.
It is estimated that this event contributed £5.2 million of economic value to Manchester, with around 1,000 athletes, 280 volunteers, 300 other officials and 2,500 spectators visiting the Fallowfield area over the two week period. The Championships also ran alongside an international festival for developing lacrosse nations, which bolstered the impact of the event. A report on the Championship stated that there was a failure to maximise spectator numbers through issues with ticketing, pricing and transport, which will be corrected ahead of the 2018 event.
The size of the quadrennial tournament has grown rapidly over the past twenty years and the 2014 World Championships – to be held in Denver, USA – will be contested by 38 nations over 142 matches, both records.
It is expected that when the World Championships return to Manchester in 2018, there will be some 50 competing nations, comprising more than 1,500 athletes and coaches and with more than 30,000 spectators in attendance. With over 300 competitive matches the number of officials and support staff required is considerable.
The total expenditure by athletes and offices is estimated at over £2.3m.
FIL World Championship 2018
Teams 50 Officials
Squad size 30 Total officials 200
Nights 17 Nights 17
Average daily spend £95 Average daily spend £55
Total participant spend £2,422,500 Total official spend £255,000
The experience and success of the 2010 Championship will allow the 2018 events to increase the numbers of spectators. The success of the Festival element and the lessons learnt with regard to ticket sales and distribution are likely to lead to more visitors in 2018.
Manchester is an affordable location for many team supporters (friends, family and Lacrosse enthusiasts), with flights to Manchester Airport from around the globe. Assuming each team is supported by some 40 supporters, staying 12 nights in total, significantly increases the economic impact considerably.
FIL World Championship 2018
Total bed nights 24,000 Total day spectators 28,000
Average overnight spend £95 Average day spend £35
Total overnight spend £2,280,000 Total day spend £980,000
The forecast expenditure of almost £6m only represents a part of the full economic benefit. Some of the visiting teams are likely to arrive earlier and stay longer than the 17 days, while expenditure by the organising committee will further boost the economic impact. The University of Manchester will receive a significant payment for the use of its Halls of Residence, as will may of the city’s budget and mid-priced hotels during the 17 days Championships.
The 2018 Championships are likely to be broadcast on TV and through internet streaming, raising the profile of the city. Other new channels, such as social media, will also help to raise the profile of both Manchester and Lacrosse.
A National Centre for Lacrosse at Fallowfield
There are currently plans for a major redevelopment at Manchester University’s Fallowfield Campus. Around 2,200 out-dated student rooms are to be demolished to make way for 3,000 new beds and a state-of-the-art student hub. This represents a significant overhaul in the context of the university’s student housing stock of 8,500 rooms. This redevelopment forms part of the university’s ongoing £1.7 billion investment in facilities, the largest of its kind ever in the UK.
The current facilities include a number of hockey pitches and (grass) rugby pitches, tennis courts, 3G five a aside football pitches and squash court, as well as indoor facilities at the Armitage Centre. As such, it is one of the most important multi sport centres in Manchester.
Part of this development will see the university working in partnership with English Lacrosse to construct a permanent venue for major lacrosse events on the ATP facility at the Armitage Centre. This would incorporate a stadium with 3,000 permanent seats to create the potential for staging viable major events over a prolonged period. It would also create additional facilities relevant to other sports, and offer the potential to increase participation by young people and communities in Manchester.
There is an opportunity as part of the up-grading of facilities to provide:
• Two floodlit 4G pitches, including one pitch surrounded by 3,000 seats to create a stadium (which could be used by Lacrosse, Football, Rugby Union and Rugby League).
• An outdoor floodlit box (for use by Lacrosse elite players and squads).
• Office accommodation for English Lacrosse, coaching and technical staff, with an adjoining coaching, meeting and conference space.
The new facilities will have a significant positive impact on student and community participation, as well as elite performance. The provision of international-standard facilities is critical to Lacrosse capitalising on its recent and forecast growth in the UK. Lacrosse has expanded rapidly, particularly in the last ten years, and since 2009 the membership of English Lacrosse has grown from 16,913 to 26,457 in 2013. The growth in higher education where there has been a 100% growth in the last five years has been particularly important. Men’s lacrosse has grown by 133% since its introduction as a BUCS sport 5 years ago and by 800% over the last decade.
For the 2013-14 seasons 5 new universities have entered teams in BUCS and there have been 15 additional teams. The club game is also expanding with new clubs Bournemouth, Exeter and Falmouth entering the Leagues and Salisbury and Taunton expected next year. Over 30 schools in Manchester receive lacrosse coaching and more than 300 in the Greater Manchester area. It is crucial that the facilities are provided to facilitate growth in participation. The creation of new international-standard playing facilities at the University of Manchester will increase the profile of flagship events, such as the BUCS Championship, and allow greater community participation in the Greater Manchester area.
The two 4 G pitches could also accommodate representative and competitive games, and tournaments in Football, Rugby Union and Rugby League.
The English Lacrosse Association (ELA) has been based in four locations in Manchester over the last ten years. The foundation of a permanent headquarters at the Armitage Centre would allow the ELA to transfer its administrative staff from its current temporary location. Many sports in the UK house its administrative staff at its primary sporting facility, which significantly increases the governing body’s efficiency. Providing the sport with a permanent headquarters at its permanent playing and training facility would significantly raise the profile of the sport and give lacrosse the platform to become a majority sport.
The creation of a permanent facility for major lacrosse events would help to accelerate progress towards English Lacrosse’s goal of becoming a major sport within the UK. It would facilitate the growth of an annual National Championships and allow more international tournaments to be played in the UK, such as the men’s and women’s European and World Championships. This would significantly increase the profile of the sport within the UK and have a major effect on participation at all levels. This would be similar of the impact of participation in North America in the 10-15 years following the World Championships being held in Baltimore in 1998.
The development of the Armitage Centre will also include the foundation of a Lacrosse National Performance Centre for the Men’s National Squad and a Regional Centre for men’s and women’s academies. As well as raising the profile of the sport within the UK, this will aim to significantly improve the performance of the England Men’s team. It has been demonstrated across almost all sports that the international success of athletes has a strong direct correlation with grassroots participation in their home country. In the UK, England’s Ashes victory in 2005, World Cup title in 2003 and Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France victory in 2012 have all resulted in major increases in participation in cricket, rugby union and cycling respectively. It is hoped that the success of the national teams can drive the same increase in UK participation in lacrosse.
Lacrosse as a sport has grown rapidly in the UK in recent years and has a critical opportunity to capitalise on and further this growth in the coming decade to become a major sport in this country. The creation of a flagship facility, governing body headquarters and a National Performance Centre at the Armitage Centre will give a significant boost to the profile of the sport, allowing it to host major national and international tournaments, and then foster and drive the participation growth that will result through the provision of high-quality facilities for community, student and elite usage.
The proposed National Centre for Lacrosse would contribute to the objectives of a number of organisations in the city, including:
• Manchester City Council:
o Reinforcing Manchester as one the leading centre for sports related National Governing Bodies and elite squad development,
o Strengthening the City’s national and international Sports Events Programme, and
o Increasing sports participation amongst young people and communities in Lacrosse and other sports, notably rugby union and league, hockey and football.
• The University of Manchester:
o Increasing student sports participation in Lacrosse and other sports, notably rugby union and league, hockey and football,
o Adding to the quality of the student experience, including international students from countries where Lacrosse is strong,
o Providing a very attractive out of term sports venue with affordable accommodation, for sports camps, competitions and tournaments, particularly in the summer months.
• English Lacrosse
o Acting as a base for elite sports development,
o A venue for national and international tournaments and events, with English Lacrosse building a calendar of local, regional, national and international events over the next ten years, and
o Providing a headquarters for English Lacrosse.
The proposed modernisation of the facilities at the University of Manchester’s Fallowfield Campus presents a major opportunity for stakeholders to reinforce the role which sports plays in the city and the importance of the student population and its connection to the young, skilled labour force which is underpinning a more diverse and modern economy.
The nature of the Lacrosse demographic will support the University’s work in building an alumni constituency. Lacrosse as a sport has a strong networking tradition, built on the sports profile in a number of prominent US universities. There is an opportunity to use Lacrosse to attract undergraduates and post graduates from various countries, and to tap into existing Lacrosse networks to promote the University of Manchester.
Updated 14:39 - 20 Apr 2017 by David Loveland