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Off to Stoke

The S’PORT played its first ever adults volleyball match this Weekend.  What a place to start with an away fixture against Newcastle Staffs – a Club established in 1980 and one of the Country’s leading organisations.  Whats more, the Match was against a Division 1 side and Stockport Volleyball Club has started in Division 3 North.  So the background was set.

The Day didn’t start well with a Rail strike affecting transport and one player didn’t make it to the Venue.  Nevertheless, the players did the S’PORT proud.  The final result was a defeat but with Stockport showing real promise and winning 15, 21 and 22 points respectively in each game. Indeed, in the second Game, the S’PORT were winning 16-10 at one point!

We thank Newcastle Staffs for its hospitality and welcoming and wish them future success in the forthcoming rounds of this National Cup.

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Get Your Kit On

Even choosing a kit shouldn’t be left to a whim.  It is another commercial discipline in running a sports enterprise, where ‘beauty parades’ and bench-marking are prudent.

We have been involved in several competitive tenders for kit suppliers, with that of Manchester Rugby Club the latest.

Following last season’s promotion, this Club is honoured to have been named recently Rugby World Club of the Year. It is the second oldest rugby union club in the World. A 24-acre site with a mix of sporting and social facilities. The Club has some amazing memorabilia that would be prime in any rugby exhibition. Why not see for yourself by visiting?

It thrives on its strong community commitment with teams from Under 7s to Senior Rugby, for men, women, girls and boys. The Club has the whole range of teams that not many clubs can boast.  The Mini and Junior (M&J) section has recently produced some amazing talent with 4 Premiership rugby players (more than any other club in England) and 6 England players in the last 5 years.

ACROBAT | FCSM approached ten suppliers and received ten tenders.  The quality was high and infact all were credible brands in the marketplace, though some more established in Northern Hemisphere than others, but all were suited.

The shortlisting was conducted in accordance with the Club and although two suppliers were favoured in terms of benefit-in-kind, quality, reliability and pricing – only one made the final cut and O’Neills were awarded a 3 year deal taking us to the end of the 2019/20 season.

O’Neills, combined leading edge sportswear design with competitive delivery times. It is Ireland’s leading sportswear manufacturer. A Company steeped in heritage like Manchester Rugby, it was founded in 1918, now trading as O’Neills International Sports Company Ltd and employing over 600 people.

Manchester Rugby Club is currently actively looking for sponsors and can offer both positions on shirts and partnership opportunities that can deliver tangible returns-on-investment.  Please contact Adrian Stores at manchesterrugby@acrobatfcsm.com for informal, no obligation communication on how working together can help a company or brand.

Go Pokémon Go

The latest trend to hit the vision and minds of digital and mobile gamers is ‘Pokémon Go’.

To many, another innovation worthy of disdain from the parents and authorities with children transfixed by Wii, XBox, Playstation, tablets and mobiles.

I must be just another in an army of parents that recite the monotonous and predictable lines about an upbringing without technology – where leisure time and weekends meant playing outdoors at the local ‘rec’ (recreation ground) unsupervised. How times have changed with more ‘cotton wool’ protocols in approaches to childcare and interaction meaning chats via headsets between friends – if not in the same room.

The Company announces: “Travel between the real world and the virtual world of Pokémon with Pokémon GO for iPhone and Android devices. With Pokémon GO, you’ll discover Pokémon in a whole new world—your own!” It says that ‘Pokémon Go’ was downloaded more times in its first week than any other iPhone app in history.

But those awaiting my displeasure will be kept waiting. Today, I let my Son out of my sight for the first real time to go with five trusted friends hunting for Pokémons. The reason I’m actually defending this innovation is that this Game actually took the boys outdoors and they enjoyed camaraderie, banter, relationships and most of all a plus for me, exercise. Thankfully the boys in question all partake in regular sport, be that rugby, football, lacrosse or swimming. I do believe (even though I’ve never played it) the coding of Pokémon offers potential for projects linking to Pokémon or similar technology which could fit with new exercise regimes and/or fan engagement.  Vancouver Whitecaps have broken news of their recent signings this Season 2016/2017, by recreating their own version of Pokémon GO. The options are endless and limited only by the creativity of developers.

The Youth Sports Trust claims: “One in four kids thinks playing computer games is ‘exercise’“. Well kiddywinks, I’ve got news for you it isn’t!  But with Pokémon maybe there’s hope? The Findings appear in a Study, entitled the “Class of 2035”, which warns “that sport in schools is at a “critical crossroads” and must remain a priority “to avoid a physically and socially disengaged future generation, over dependent on technology”.

My Brother-in-Law who has undertaken research into technology and effects on perceptions and reactions at University of Portsmouth – appears to back the idea up to an hour a day of sedentary game playing may actually do good and sharpen responses. But this idea of taking technology as a platform to facilitate exercise could surely get a thumbs up. Modern day pastimes and trends linked to every day needs, namely: exercise – and the combat of unhealthy lifestyles and obesity.

The World Health Organization (WHO) regards childhood obesity as a major challenge for public health this Century. Obese children and adolescents are at an increased risk of developing various health problems, and are also more likely to become obese adults themselves in turn.

So my message is clear, if the likes of Donald Trump can convince the populous to vote for him as a US Presidential Candidate – I think a more plausible manifesto or mission is to take Pokémonand either via the CSR of the inventing company and/or a credible sporting practitioner, take Pokémon, or an equally compelling character and platform, and redress the balance.  The Game is making circa $1.6 million per day with an estimated 7.5 million U.S downloads.

I say “Go Pokemon Go” show the World the good that technology and exercise can bring to children’s lives and futures.

 

 

Refreshing change

With the constant bombarding of negative life events around the World – Brexit, Nice, Brussels, Istanbul, Turkey etc – what a refreshing change in seeing a politician who merely wanted to celebrate his own Country’s Euro success.  Watch Mário Centeno  turning up to the Eurozone meeting in Brussels. See: http://www.newstalk.com/WATCH:-Portugals-finance-minister-shows-up-to-Eurozone-meeting-in-football-scarf