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Boris Johnson Refuses To Bid For Tour de France ..
Boris Johnson has been accused of blowing a £90million boost to the economy by not bidding for London to stage the start of the 2017 Tour de France. The London Mayor ruled the capital could not spare the £35million cost, despite forecasts of nearly five million spectators, a £110.5million ‘economic impact’ and transport revenue of £14.7million. The decision not to bid was slammed by race organisers, fans, politicians and Tour champion Chris Froome. Labour’s mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan said: “David Cameron and Boris Johnson have serious questions to answer.”
( Jonathan Corke, 14.02.2016 )

Thousands Of Kids Lost Out When Michael Gove And The Tories Pulled The Plug On Funding The School Sport Partnership Programme ..
Gymnastics was my real talent. There were two of us at my school who excelled in it.
We started out at the same level, but the other girl attended all the after-school clubs, and her parents paid for extra coaching, because they could afford to. Soon, she was taking part in competitions around the country while I was still doing handstands in the school hall. I could have done what she did. But my parents not only didn’t have the money, they were never told about the after-school clubs.
None of my teachers ever took the time to encourage them to recognise my skill in gymnastics or to explain to them what I might achieve with a career in sport.
We’re now 30 years on and very little has changed. Kids who are part of the “have not” group are still missing out, thanks to Tory cuts to the School Sport Partnerships programme. When Michael Gove was Education Secretary he pulled the plug on its funding – and 450 groups delivering a whole host of specialist sport programmes and facilities lost out. Gove’s reason was that he felt it was not “the best way to help schools achieve their potential in improving competitive sport”. How wrong could he be?
The effects of his all too short-sighted decision are still being felt years down the line.
Take the example of Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived inner city areas in London.
More than 25,000 children in the borough are defined as coming from poor backgrounds in an area where there are very few green spaces for them to play in and virtually no sports clubs. As I write, the Tower Hamlets Youth Sports Foundation – which works to turn these young lives around – is fighting hard to keep its own funding.
Since it was set up in 2004, the foundation has achieved some outstanding results.
It has produced county cricketers, despite having no local pitch, has set up a local residents’ hockey team and introduced the first judo club to the area. Its sport leadership programme has trained hundreds of youngsters to assist as PE teachers in local schools and to lead after-school clubs.
You have to ask, whatever happened to the legacy of the 2012 London Olympics and all the big promises politicians made about building a nation of Olympians?
How can they talk about creating a legacy and then cut the essential funding needed to develop our sport stars of the future?
It’s easy to say get on and do it yourself – but how can a child do that if there is no hope, opportunity or mentoring to show them what “getting on” actually looks and feels like?
We cannot always allow a lack of money to shatter the dreams of the young.
Because the investment we make now will be paid back many times over.
And we’ll see it in healthier, happier, better-behaved kids with the self-esteem and self-discipline to make Britain better for us all.

( Saira Khan, 08.10.2017 )

How Do They Do It? ..
New Zealand has a population smaller than Yorkshire, but they field a cricket team better than England, 15 times larger. I know they won the latest Test series on home ground, but success can’t be down to just that. It must be the will to win.
Maybe the Kiwis have been tampering with the morale of the tourists. But spare us the Aussie-style TV tears, please. Meanwhile, cricket fan Theresa May looks likely to jump the queue for membership of the MCC, as Sir John Major did.
There must be better ways of improving England’s performance on the pitch than putting them under her baleful glare from the members’ pavilion at Lords.

( Paul Routledge, 07.04.2018 )

Desperate For A Knighthood And Longing To Be Called “Sir” ..
Former footballer David Beckham was furious after he was targeted by hackers who leaked emails which alleged he used his charity work as part of a campaign to win a knighthood. He was accused of calling the honours committee “unappreciative c***s” for its failure to make him Sir David.
The damning emails were released in February 2017 by Football Leaks.
The emails include allegations that Beckham, an ambassador for Unicef, demanded £6,685 from the charity for a business class flight for him to attend an event in Asia, even though his sponsors had provided a private jet.
Football Leaks claimed Beckham admitted in emails that his charity work was part of a conscious effort to win an honour. Football Leaks also claimed that Beckham reacted angrily when friend and PR advisor Simon Oliveira suggested he put one million dollars into a prize-giving Unicef dinner in Shanghai.
Beckham allegedly replied: “I don’t want to put my personal money into this cause. To pour this million into the fund, is like putting my own money in. If there was no fund, the money would be for me. This f*****g money is mine.”
Beckham, who has an estimated net worth of £280million, allegedly wrote an email to Mr Oliveira saying he was furious that classical singing star Katherine Jenkins had been handed an OBE after he missed out on a knighthood in 2013.
Beckham allegedly wrote: “Katherine Jenkins OBE for what? Singing at the rugby and going to see the troops plus taking coke. F*****g joke.”
Simon Oliveira allegedly wrote to the producers of The Jonathan Ross Show: “Maybe Jonathan should ask about the knighthood and say he should get it. What do you think? David is up for it.”  He was subsequently recommended for one on the show by Ross.

Nothing made me howl louder than David Beckham’s safely nurtured angelic image being shattered after leaked emails showed he’d grovelled around the Queen angling for a knighthood, slagged off Katherine Jenkins for being ahead of him in the queue and called the Honours Committee a “bunch of c***s” for overlooking him.
( Brian Reade, 30.12.2017 )

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