A VIEW FROM THE SIDELINES
The very personal opinions of David Shuttleworth
We are trying to upgrade and update how we communicate with the Timperley family.
Last year I extended the Newsletter to include a News and Views section which covered matters of interest in Lacrosse and the world at large. It was basically a matter of personal indulgence and I am sure that it was not everyone’s cup of tea, though I received very few complaints and even some favourable reactions from Timperley and from the other side of the Atlantic.
I have already decided that to produce a piece less frequently which will be a relief to me and I am sure to many other people.
When we have decided what shape the changes will take we can reassess the situation.
The Summer of ‘17
The summer of 17 was certainly memorable. It was shocking, emotional, exciting, inspirational, despairing and historic. It will be the summer in history which saw the end of Britain’s position as an important nation.
For Lacrosse it was the end of the role of England as an important leading nation in the expansion of Lacrosse.
For the majority of the UK population it will be the summer which was the start of their decline into poverty.
Will Manchester survive? The city certainly has resilience. There are currently more cranes in Manchester than there have been in my lifetime. (Deloitte count cranes so why shouldn’t I do it too!!)
The Bomb at the Manchester Arena.
When you think back in your life you often (or at least I do!) think about major events and where you were when you first heard about them.
The Munich Disaster; I was a passenger in my father’s car driving past Jackson and Edwards in Timperley reading the Evening Chronicle when I saw in the stop press an item which said, “Utd team plane crashes in Munich.”
The assassination of JFK; I was driving round the roundabout in Stretford when the assassination news came over my car radio as I drove to Chorlton.
The death of Princess Diana; Not an issue that I was greatly moved by but I certainly remember that I was having breakfast in the garden of a beautiful hotel just outside Avignon when we were informed of her death.
The bomb attack on the Manchester Arena; Got home after a meeting at Timperley Lacrosse to turn on the BBC news to hear of an incident at the Arena following an Ariana Grande concert and there were casualities. The next morning I awoke to learn about the true extent of the tragedy:
23 people were killed and 250 injured.
On the Tuesday the City Council initiated a vigil in the centre of Manchester in Albert Square. It was my intention to attend but following baby sitting in Altrincham driving into Manchester was a challenge. The vigil was broadcast over the radio and the high spot was Manchester poet Tony Walsh delivering a very emotional rendition of his Manchester poem “This is the Place. Driving was difficult because of my tears!
When we got into the city I headed straight to Albert Square. Getting anywhere near was impossible with the Square and the streets leading into it absolutely jammed with people. All wanting to demonstrate that they would not be cowed by the terrorist attack. Manchester would continue defiantly. In the days that followed Albert Square was covered by floral tributes (eventually these were moved to St Anne’s Square). At one of the impromptu gatherings which occurred in the days following the atrocity a solitary voice (Mike Shafts daughter?) led the singing of the Oasis song “Don’t look back in Anger,” which became an anthem for the response by Manchester. Over the days following the attack the response from Mancunians was to carry on as normally as possible.
The response culminated in the return to Manchester of Ariane Grande on 4th June, less than two weeks after the bomb attack, for the star studded “One Love Concert“ at Old Trafford cricket ground. It was a star studded event with Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Niall Horan, Liam Gallagher, Robbie Williams and Pharrell Williams and many others.
The concert was an important part of the healing process. Manchester would only respond to the attack on their city with defiance.
The experience of Manchester citizens was to reflect the attitude which had formed one of the world’s idiosyncratic cities. It was historically radical and the world’s first industrial city, the shock city of the 19th century continues to be special and unique.
The victims of the arena will never be forgotten but the resident of Greater Manchester came together refusing to be cowed, choosing hope not despair and love not hate.
This is the place; Choose love, Manchester.
The weeks following the 22nd May changed many lives including mine.
Women’s World Cup 2017
England has been a successful host of many world lacrosse events. Men’s World Championships in 1978, 1994 and 2010, Women’s World Cup in 1982 and 2001 and a joint Men’s and Women’s European Championship in 1999. All have been great successes.
The reasons for hosting have been:
It is England’s turn
A desire to promote Lacrosse domestically and internationally.
A desire to provide a positive experience for players and supporters.
To provide finance to plough back into English Lacrosse.
In July 2017 English Lacrosse hosted the World Cup in Guildford. It too was a huge success. The venue was excellent with accommodation for the teams on site. Everyone I have spoken to who attended was extremely positive about their experience.
The event attracted more competing nations that any previous Cup. The event was superbly organised and attracted the largest crowds ever for a Cup outside the USA.
There was a successful and well attended Festival. I think that a Festival has become an essential part of World Cups and Championships. They connect young people to the elite side of the sport and allow teams to play against people they would never usually meet and stimulate participation.
To top it all, England, under the leadership of Coach Phil Collier, beat Australia in a pulsating game to take a bronze medal in overtime. England deserved their achievement for their skill and determination and Phil, who has been one of England’s top coaches for many years, deserved to have a World Cup medal on his CV.
The icing on the cake would be to find that when the dust has settled the event produced a financial surplus to invest back into the game.
Timperley Sports Club Pitch investment
The huge improvement in the pitches which has hopefully been achieved certainly on the evidence of a very rainy Saturday last week has been touched on in other places in this week’s Newsletter.
For many years Timperley have had a reputation for some of the worst drained pitches in Lacrosse, competing with places like Poynton and the infamous Waconians pitch at Outwood Road. Not even the cinder treatment favoured by our old groundsman Billy Feick was able to greatly improve the situation.
The success of a club like Timperley depends on many factors but mainly on the quality of the people involved in the organisation and administration.
In recent years we have been fortunate to have a strong and capable Executive Committee led by Lacrosse’s Alan Holdsworth and a capable and dynamic Club Manager in Colin Taylor.
We were successful in obtaining a grant of some £130,000 from Sport England and have carried out extensive work to improve the drainage. The work did not go as smoothly as we would have like because of some very unusual early summer Manchester weather.
However, on the evidence of last Saturday, we now have top class surfaces to play lacrosse on.
It would seem to me that we now have to be willing to continue to invest in this work with regular verti-draining. Am I alone in being horrified that it is intended to hold Car Boot Sales which are admittedly lucrative, parking cars on our “new” pitches. It would be preferable, it seems to me, to park cars on the ATPs which are in fact car parks with a carpet on top. I cannot believe that the contract with the ground improvement company and even the agreement with Sport England would not be affected by such action.
Timperley Lacrosse Pub Crawl
There are many things which make a successful club and one of those is providing a positive social life for its members.
A couple of weeks ago there was a Pub Crawl around Altrincham and it was great to have over 30 Timperley Lacrosse people turnout.
It was particularly great to see the Sandy Clan well represented. Sandy is a name that will always be important. 3 brothers, Julian, Knock (Marcus) and Will were brought up in Hale and were introduced to Lacrosse at William Hulme’s GS. They all went on to play many games for Timperley and (I think uniquely) went on to play for England.
Julian now lives in California so clearly would have found it difficult to make it to Altrincham for a beer, but it was great to see Knock and Will and the next generation in Max and Greg.
Updated 10:31 - 12 Oct 2017 by Tom Slater
Congratulations and thanks to Tim Blower for organising a successful event. Hopefully many more in the future.