What Happened In The UK In 1996?

Breaking 1996 down into the biggest news, sports and entertainment events; here’s what happened…

Two tragedies hit the hearts of Britons in 1996, the nation’s sympathies going out to the people of Dunblane and Manchester. In Dunblane, a crazed gunman went on a shooting spree in at a local infant school, killing an entire class and their teacher. Later in the year, as a direct response to those ill-fated events, the Government announced that it would be outlawing almost all handguns in the UK.

In Manchester, a huge bomb devastated its busy central shopping area just as it was filling up with eager Saturday shoppers. Police managed to start an evacuation before it blew up but scores of people were still killed or injured in the blast. Such was the damage caused, that the episode led to a total regeneration of Manchester city centre.

Also hitting the news in ’96 was the introduction of the first genetically modified (or GM) food to go on sale in British supermarkets. Modified tomato puree was the cause of all the fuss with some critics dubbing it a “Frankenstein food”.

The world of sport was dominated by England’s hosting of the European football championships (Euro ’96). The England v Scotland group stage match drew much attention with Gazza’s wonder goal eventually stealing the win for the home team. Cheered on by home support, the ‘Three Lions’ made it all the way to the semi-finals, the nation going football crazy as it looked as if England were really going to win a major tournament for the first time since ’66, then, as really should have been expected, they lost on penalties to Germany.

Entertainment wise, carrot topped Chris Evans re-invented the chat show format with his hit show ‘TFI Friday’.Presenting celebrity gossip, the hippest bands and lad friendly guests, this unscripted, chaotic program briefly made Evans the most sought after man on TV. Over on the BBC, a group of thirty-something lawyers were gaining huge ratings; ‘This Life’ being a bit like the American ‘Friends’ but with much more ‘bad’ behaviour and saucy goings on.

The big screen was blessed with one of the jewels of the British film-making crown, ‘Trainspotting’. Despite featuring heroin, needles, vomit and disgusting toilet bowls, this was the coolest thing of the year and took Ewan McGregor from nowhere to ‘Star Wars’. The more family friendly film of 1996 was ‘Toy Story’; it being the first feature length movie ever to be animated entirely by computer. The results were quite stunning and people flocked to see ‘Woody’ (a pull-string cowboy) and ‘Buzz Lightyear’ (a high-tech space ranger) battle it out to become little Andy’s favourite toy.…

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History of Strength and Conditioning Science

Early records of strength training date back to 3600 BC when Chinese emperors made their subjects exercise daily (Webster 1976). During the Chou Dynasty subjects were required to pass weight- lifting tests before entering the military. There is large amount of evidence that indicates weight training was part of life in ancient Greece and India. In fact, the Greeks built numerous sculptures of people lifting stone weights.

Numerous systems of training have been proposed over the years. The accumulation of experience and different philosophies has led us to the current training methods utilized today. Keep in mind; many authorities have varied greatly from the original purpose of strength and conditioning. Hard work and dedication formed the foundation of earlier training methods. Today the opposite has occurred in numerous settings as easy work and quick fixes form the foundation of most people’s regimens.

During the 16th century in Europe books on weight training began to surface. Sir Thomas Elyot’s book on the topic was published in England in 1531. Joachim Camerius, a lecturer at Leipzig University, wrote several books in 1544 recommending that weight training should be a key activity offered in the model school. John Paugh published a book in 1728 titled A Physiological, Theoretic and Practical Treatise on the Utility of Muscular Exercise for Restoring the Power to the limbs, which pointed out the benefits offered by weight training for rehab purposes. In the 1860’s, Archibald Maclaren, devised the first formal system of physical training with dumbbells and barbells for the British Army.

The showmen and strongman entertainers of the 19th Century heavily contributed to methods used today in the fitness and Sports Conditioning industry. From extensive research iron game historian David Webster credits Italian circus and fairground performer, Felice Napoli as the one who popularized strongman performances on an international scale. Disciples of Napoli include Professor Attila (Louis Durlacher) and Eugen Sandow (Frederick Muller). Attila became well known and he attracted some of the world’s most well known physical culturists and many rulers of Europe. His list of students included King George of Greece, King Edward of England, Crown Prince Frederick who became King Haakon of Norway, the six children of King Christian of Denmark, the Queen Mother Alexandra of England, Princess Dagmar (Empress of Russia and mother of Tsar Nicholas), and the Duchess of Cumberland.

At the time training the wealthy was a much respected occupation. We have what we call personal trainers today. The current protocols used by the majority of today’s trainers are a far cry from the original teachings and benefits provided by trainers. The fame and notoriety of trainers of those days was a result of the public displays of extraordinary physical feats. These events were often attended by royalty and were highly acclaimed for their promotion of physical well-being.

Eugen Sandow, born in Koningsberg in East Russia in 1867, was recruited for his teachings by presidents and rulers from around the world. Nine kings and queens and many princes of Europe, as …

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Inline Skating For Your Health

Each day, there are more and more ways for you to get and stay in shape. Sports of all types keep popping up and cities and towns are making it easier for their inhabitants by providing a place for them to play and work out. One of these fun and exciting sports is inline skating or roller blading.

Skating has come a long way from the indoor roller skating of the 70’s and 80’s. More and more adults are finding out the numerous health benefits of inline skating, and heading outside to soak up some sun and improve their health. Rollerblading is fantastic exercise, and depending on the climate in which you live, you may be able to do it all year round.

Inline skating works your body in several ways. The first is the cardiovascular benefit. Skating, even for short periods of time, gets your heart pumping and can improve blood circulation, increase your stamina over time, and make every day activities easier as your lungs and heart begin to operate more efficiently. In addition, it is better than jogging or running because it is low impact. This means that your joints are not undergoing the same amount of pressure exerted on them, so there is a smaller chance of injuring yourself over time.

The next benefit you will get is strengthening your lower body. The movements that your body makes during skating work your thighs, gluteus, calves and hamstrings, making them stronger and toned. You will begin to see changes in your muscles within just a few sessions and after a few months, you will barely recognize your new strong, lean body. Skating gives you some of the great benefits of lunges and squats without actually doing this boring and tedious exercise.

There are a few things that you should do along with inline skating to garner the maximum benefit. One of those things is stretching before heading out. Stretching warms up your muscles, lengthening them and helping to prevent injury. Another way to increase your health is to combine skating with some lower body weight lifting. You do not need to pump major iron, but doing some leg extensions, leg presses and calf raises, will help you see better results, faster.

Once you start inline skating, you will fall in love with this entertaining and fun sport. The more stretching and weight training you do along with it, the better you will feel and the more fun you will have while you are skating.…

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Things You May Need For Your Child's Summer Football Camp

Summer is drawing closer and that means summer camps for your kids. If you are planning on putting your child in a football camp, there are a few things that you might want to make sure your child has before it starts.

Special athletic clothing such as Under Armor is useful for your little athlete. Under Armor makes shirts and pants that are specially designed for athletic activities. They are stretchy and allow for free movement while also keeping the person as dry as possible.

Football cleats are shoes specially designed for playing football in. Cleats have either metal or hard plastic spokes that come out of the sole of the shoe to help with gripping on the grass when in the field. Cleats also come in a variety of styles with some made with high ankle support and others with special lacing for maximum coverage.

Football helmets can be purchased in many different sizes and styles. Sizing can be somewhat tricky so be sure to check with a sports store employee and have your child try on a couple of sizes before choosing just one. Mouth guards, which are hard plastic pieces placed in the child's mouth for protection, can be attached to the front of football helmets. Mouth guards that attach to the helmets tend to make keeping track of it much easier.

Other football accessories such as wrist guards, knee braces and special socks are also available at sportsman stores all over. Communicate with your child's coach to find out what sorts of accessories you are responsible for buying and which ones will be available through the program. …

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For the Love of NFL Football Helmets

What can be cooler than wearing NFL football helmets? NFL football helmets just seem to have that extra oomph. The bright colors and elaborate, sometimes whimsical designs are guaranteed to win looks of admiration. They make great ice breakers and can come in handy when you are trying to score the phone number of a pretty lady.

Football fans want to wear the helmet of the teams they root for – right? For the most part yes; they will wear the helmet of the team or teams they root for. But there are a good number of fans who wear the NFL football helmets of teams they do not necessarily root for. Heck, there are a good number of non-football fans who will wear NFL football helmets for the sake of fashion.

It may all sound superficial but let us be honest with ourselves. Do you remember rooting for a team not because they were good but because they had the coolest looking uniforms? Ladies, do you remember screaming your lungs out to cheer the star quarterback not because he has skills but because he looks hot? The same thing goes for football helmets; if the design looks good, no matter how much the team sucks, people still gravitate towards the team's helmets. Of course, it would not hurt if the team ruled over Super Bowl. Still, a good design is a good design and it will appeal to people from all walks of life – NFL fan or not.

Fans can choose between authentic and replica helmets. Authentic helmets are, as the name suggests, the same helmets worn by professional players. The face masks are made of steel and the thickness of the padding conforms to league standards. In contrast, the face masks of replica helmets are made of plastic and the padding is made of Styrofoam.

There are a several major manufactures of NFL football helmets. The leading manufacturers of professional football helmets include Bike and Schutt.

Football is probably the only game that looks more painful than professional wrestling. Ironically professional football players were not required to wear protective helmets until the 1930s. Compared to the helmets of today, the early prototypes did not provide much protection.

The early football helmets were made of leather. Eventually the leather helmets were replaced with harness style helmets. Head related injuries prompted sports scientists and helmet manufacturers to improve the helmets further and the result is the NFL football helmets players proudly wear today.

The designs of the helmets do more than make a fashion statement; any design or logo change mirrors the growth and evolution of the teams. In the spirit of change, the NFL made it mandatory for all teams to have alternate or throwback uniforms. These uniforms should bear designs different from their primary team logo and designs. …

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Basketball Fitness Training – Why Every Hooper Should Hill Sprint

Serious basketball coaches are always looking for ways to get an edge on the competition – to gain an advantage. It’s why you spend so much time researching methods of training that will make your players faster and stronger – and jump higher – without taking up too much time to get results.

That’s why I believe that running hill sprints (which includes running bleachers and stairs) is a must for any basketball player.

This is because hill sprints provide a number of benefits to the basketball athlete. Here are the Top 6:

1. Hill sprints provide the perfect combination of strength and speed training.

It’s like lifting weights and sprinting at the same time. The hill gives resistance to your athlete’s sprints, making them more difficult while being shorter in distance and duration. Including hill sprints in your training program can bring great results in as little as 15 minutes 1 or 2 times per week.

2. Hill sprints build stamina.

Endurance is something that every basketball player needs – but it is a special kind of endurance. If you want your athletes to perform at their peak, then low, slow distance types of cardio just won’t work. Their endurance training needs to mimic the demands of the game. Those needs being – short bouts of intense exertion broken up by periods of lower intensities.

Hill sprints provide just this type of interval training. They will take your players’ hearts and lungs to intensities far greater than those found in jogging or traditional types of endurance training. Their body will become used to reaching these higher levels, and recovering quickly in between the “sprints.”

More and more scientific studies are showing that VO2 Max (the traditional measure of aerobic endurance) is improved as much – or more- by using high intensity interval-type exercise like hill sprinting.

Want your team to have their “wind” at the end of the game? Hill sprint.

3. Hill sprints increase ankle strength – helping to prevent one of the most common injuries in sports – the ankle sprain.

Ankles are made stronger due to the need to push off harder when sprinting up the hill. Because of the incline, more drive is needed than when sprinting on a flat surface. Improved ankle strength also leads to the ability to push off harder during the game – benefiting a player’s important “first step” and lengthening their stride when sprinting in a breakaway on the court.

4. Hill sprints increase basketball players’ speed and explosiveness.

This is because hill training promotes two key factors in running faster and jumping higher. First, it forces proper knee lift – essential for driving the legs downward and back for more force. Second, hill sprinting makes the sprinter dorsi-flex their foot while running. The closer the toes are brought to the shin, the more force they can apply on ground contact. Think of dorsi-flexing as loading your foot – then unloading it into the ground – pushing you forward.

Explosiveness …

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The World’s Five Worst Olympic Countries

1. Cuba- Drugs & Scandals

Unfortunately, Cuba is already a nightmare in the Olympic Movement. Why? Since 1964, Cuba has produced athletes with a huge superiority complex and strong anti-American feeling. They have showed this anti-Olympic feeling many times. Angel Volodia Matos Fuentes, a Cuban taekwondo athlete, is the only athlete in the Olympic history that has hit a referee. This sportsman kicked a referee in the face after he lost a match at the 2008 Olympics. “We didn’t expect anything like what you have witnessed to occur. I’m at a loss for words. This is an insult to the Olympic vision, an insult to the spirit of taekwondo and, in my opinion, an insult to mankind”, said Yang Jin-suk (World Taekwondo Federation secretary). Angel won a gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games in 2000.

In Atlanta in 1996, the Cuban’s women’s volleyball team quarreled with the Brazilian team during the semi-finals. This is why Regla Radameris Torres Herrera, who has received several offers to become a top fashion model in Italy, was suspended and could not play for several months. Cuban players of women’s volleyball are famous for their aggressiveness against rivals.

Cuba’s Javier Sotomayor Sanabria will be remembered as one of the worst examples in the world sports community. In 1988, Prensa Latina -Cuban news agency- announced that in its annual poll of sportswriters Javier Sotomayor was named “Cuban Athlete of the Year”. He beat out Felix Savon (boxing), Jorge Fis (Judo), and Ana Fidelia Quirot (track & field). Javier, known as “Soto”, was one of the most successful athletes in the history of the Cuban Revolution.

On September 8, 1988, Javier -whose country had boycotted the Summer Olympics in 1988- set a world record in the high jump. A year later he set another world record (2.45 m / 8′ 1/2″). Under the direction of Jose Godoy, a Soviet-educated professor, he won almost all his competitions in the 1990s.

In 2001, Javier Sotomayor, in one of a series of exhibitions tournaments, tested positive for a muscle-building steroid. “The decision to let him compete again is like a hit in my face”, said Arne Ljungqvist (vice president of the IAAF).Two years ago, Javier also had tested positive for drugs at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg (Canada). However, he had been exonerated by the Cuban Olympic Committee. Furthermore, Fidel Castro Ruz -Cuba’s dictator- denied that Javier had taken cocaine. In an article in Granma (Communist party daily), Javier said ” I’m innocent. I have only seen that substance in the movies. I´m the victim of maneuver, a dirty trick”.

Unlike Ben Johnson and Linford Christie, Javier received a special treatment by the IAAF. He was banned by the IAAF for only 11 months. Thanks to this, Javier Sotomayor could compete at the 2000 Olympics, where he won a silver medal. Three European countries, Norway, Finland and Denmark, criticized this controversial decision. “If you test positive and get suspended, you shouldn’t get a reduced sentence just because …

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Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management

One of the major factors militating against the development of sports in Nigeria today is lack of effective management. A lot of solutions are being proffered by concerned and patriotic Nigerians daily to bail us out the quagmire. One of such solutions is this text entitled “Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management”. It is written by Dr. Joseph Awoyinfa, a lecturer in the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Nigeria; a researcher and educational consultant. I was the person invited by the author and the university to review the book when it was presented to the public on December 4, 2008 in Nigeria.

According to Awoyinfa, it is a truism all over the world that sport is now a reference issue which can no longer be ignored at various sectors of the economy and spheres of life. The author adds that this text thus takes a critical look at topical issues in sports administration and management, dwelling on theories and principles of modern trends in sports administration and management such as leadership, organisation, planning, motivation, etc.

The text contains 16 chapters. Chapter one is christened “the concept of sports management”. Here, Awoyinfa says management is a concept that implies different things to different people at different times, thus leading to its multiplicity of definitions. He explains that management has been variously described as an art, a science, a person or people, a discipline and a process.

This author expatiates that as an art, sports management is all about carrying out sports organisational functions and tasks through people; while as a science, sports management is about establishing sports philosophy, laws, theories, principles, processes and practices. As an organisation, according to him, sports management is defined as a means of creating formal structures and an establishment based on a mission, objectives, targets, functions and tasks.

Awoyinfa says as a person or group of people, sports management may refer to the head alone or to all the senior staff, committee, etc.; while as a discipline, management is a field of study with various subjects and topics. The author illuminates that sports management as a process is about a systematic way of doing things. Awoyinfa highlights management functions in sports administration as planning, organising, staffing, directing/leading, controlling, coordination, budgeting and evaluation. On whom a sports manager is, this author educates that a sports manager is anyone at any level of sport organisation who directs

the efforts of other people towards the achievement of organisational goals sport-wise.

Chapter two is based on the subject matter of evolution and trends of sports management thought. Here, Awoyinfa discloses that the development of thoughts on sports management dates back to the days when people first attempted to accomplish goals by working together in a group. In his words, “There was serious thinking and theorising about managing many years before the dawn of the twentieth (20th) century, which marked the beginning of modern sports management thought. Major efforts to develop theories …

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Sports and Hobbies in Portugal

Called The Beautiful Game, the Portuguese are ardent futebol fans. From club matches to the national team, everyone has a favorite player and team that they follow with great devotion.

Futebol

The game requires speed, dexterity, endurance and strategy. Portugal’s Cristiano Renaldo is arguably the best player in the world and José Marinho is widely recognized as a gifted manager.

For pro players, making the national team is the pinnacle of success. Many professional footballers play internationally for other teams; for example Renaldo plays for Real Madrid. As qualifying for the quadrennial World Cup approaches, players are named for the national team. Below the national team is club play. Premeira Liga, with 14 teams, is the premier league and the Segunda Ligafields 22 teams.

Every town and region has a host of amateur leagues, as well as college and school teams ranging from five-a-side to full teams. Naturally you can find a group of kids (or adults) kicking the ball around wherever there’s a bit of open space.

Futsal

Futsal, 5-a-side indoor football, is played on a hard surface. There are several leagues divided into divisions. 1a Divisão is the top league.

All the rest

  • Athletics: Portugal has a number of top long-distance runners and has done well at recent Olympic Games in London and Beijing; there are also a number of top cross-country runners from Portugal
  • Canoeing: Portugal has many top Olympians in this sport; kayaking and canoeing are popular sports for tourists and locals alike
  • Cycling: Volta a Portugal is the annual professional long-distance race; cycling tours and mountain bike trails are widely available in all regions
  • Martial arts: Jogo do Pau is a traditional stick fighting martial art dating from the Middle Ages (fencing and judo are also popular)
  • Motorsports: Rallying, motorcycle racing and A1 Grand Prix are popular spectator sports with some races (Rally Madeira and Lisboa-Dakar) receiving international attention
  • Bullfights: Portuguese bullfights differ in style from the Spanish customs, notably the bull is not killed in the ring; running with the bulls, as in Pamplona, Spain, is popular in the Azores
  • Golf: the Algarve has great courses and many of Portugal’s top pros play in the region
  • Airsoft: known as paint ball in the U.S., the game is popular around the country
  • Watersports: surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing and sailing are all popular, especially in the Algarve
  • Portugal is considered to have some of the best waves in Europe, most notably around the central coastal town of Peniche. Recently, the largest wave ever surfed was recorded in Nazaré, about 30 minutes north of Peniche.

Hobbies

Textiles

Portugal’s traditional needlework and fiber arts began in nunneries and as cottage industries. The fine linens, rugs, lacework provided a livelihood for many families and grew to be celebrated for craftsmanship. Portuguese textiles are well known the world over.

  • Embroidery: Portuguese embroidery is highly sought after with its intricate stiches and rich colors; styles vary by region, with the best known examples coming from Madeira and

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Pankration Facts

When the Olympic games were revived in 1896, many ancient sports were brought again to life, except for one glaring omission. That sport was called pankration. In English, it meant all-power. It was the ancient Greek version of Mixed Martial Arts.

It was introduced in 648 BC and it became the most well documented western martial art. It was one of the most violent sports ever. The rules were also brutally simple. No biting. No eye gouging. Anything goes. And anything went on a rampage.

To mitigate the harshness of the rules, pankration was never fought to the death. In fact, if you killed your opponent, you lost. The goal was not the opponent’s death. It was his submission. If you killed a person that meant he never submitted at all. His spirit lies undefeated and that meant your spirit must be the one that lost.

Pankration can last indefinitely. If it takes the whole day to make your opponent scream uncle then you definitely must take your time. There are no breaks. You can use any barehanded means at your disposal. It doesn’t matter how deadly it is. Kicking anywhere, punching everywhere and various death grips are all part of this brutal sport. Fighters were divided by age and not by weight divisions. The Greek poet Xenophanes called it “a terrible contest… of all holds.”

Because this was ancient Greece, no protection was ever used in the boats. At most the fighters had himantes. These were strips of leather that were wrapped around the hands. They did not really protect anything. This was the only covering in this ancient Greek sport.

The sport was gleefully adopted by the Romans. However, they wanted more blood. Combatants were forced to fight with spiked gloves. When such barbarity was finally disallowed by the Christian Byzantine Emperor Theodosius, pankration died out too.

There were many examples of incredible feats by great Greek pankration fighters. One of the most amazing stories involved Arrachion. He won the Olympic pankration three consecutive times. During the third time he won, he faced a particularly fearsome opponent. In order to get away from a stranglehold, he unleashed a kick that dislocated his opponent’s ankle. The injury caused his opponent to submit and Arrachion was declared the winner. However, he was already dead. Kicking while in a stranglehold also caused his neck to snap.

While the Olympics were reborn anew, pankration did not revive along with it. However, many still called for it to be brought again. The Olympic committee still refuses but until it is welcomed again to its old home, pankration fans can watch MMA.…

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