Monday, November 07, 2016
With only one game left in 2016 and preparations for next year’s 2017 European championship well underway, we are starting to get an idea of the philosophy and style that England will play with at the tournament if not the personnel that will wear the white shirt of England in the Netherlands at Euro 2017. Read more...
Monday, October 17, 2016
Mark Sampson has named his 23-player England Women squad who will play two international matches this month as part of their Euro 2017 preparations. In addition to next Fridays game against France that was announced several weeks ago England have also announded that they will travel to to Guadalajara where they will face Spain on Tuesday 25 October (5pm BST KO). Read more...
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
England wrapped up their home qualifiers for Euro 2017 with a convincing 5-0 win over Estonia at Meadow Lane on Thursday night in front of over 7,000 fans. This was always going to be as straight forward as it gets for the Lionesses. England had won the away match against their opponents 8-0 and Estonia are yet to pick up a point in this group. Read more...
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
There may only be a few days left of the 2016 Rio Olympics, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still plenty of opportunities for medals to be won and we still have the extravagance of the closing ceremony to enjoy. Read more...
Saturday, August 27, 2016
It’s been a quite week in the FAWSL with just a single game being playing in FAWSL one; it was a game that affected both ends of the table as leaders Manchester City women extended their lead at the top to ten points with a 4-0 away win at bottom side Doncaster.
Wednesday, August 03, 2016
The earliset record of Waterpolo being played is from Bournemouth Rowing Club in England, when on the 13 July 1876 a game was played with great success (according to Bournemouth visitors directory). It was seen as a mix of Rugby and swimming, a popular idea at the time to blend sports to increase swimming activity. Although Waterpolo has been in the Olympics since 1900 and was infact the first team competition to become part of the Olympic program, it is only since the Sydney 2000 Olympics that women have been included. There are only three countries that have competed in the women's Waterpolo since it became an Olympic sport, Russia, Australia and the USA, who are the most successful on the medal count table. Other than a smaller ball the rules are the same for men and women, with each game being split into four quarter of eight minutes.
What I find remarkable about this sport having interviewed a number of Waterpolo players for the magazine over the years is that you are not allowed to touch the bottom of the pool with your feet during the game. Not only this but “anything” goes under the water from kicking to tugging of swimwear etc it is far more brutal and tough a sport than it may apart above water that’s for sure! Add to all of this that each player will swim as much as 6km per match, this is a high cardio sport and one very much worth watching.
Eight womens teams with a total of one hundred and four athletes will compete at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre and Olympic Aquatics Stadium for Olympic glory with the Team Pools as follows:
Italy, Brazil, Russia, Australia
China, Hungary, Spain, United StatesRead more...
Tuesday, August 02, 2016
There are some conflicting suggestions as to when and where beach volleyball started but there is significant documentation to suggest that it started on the beaches of Waikiki Beach in Hawaii, at the Outrigger Canoe Club around 1915. Since then the sport has grown rapidly around the world with the first official World Championship happening in 1987, in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro. Many see Brazil as the spiritual home of beach volleyball and it’s definitely a sport that they excel in.
Beach volleyball became a part of the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 and has been in the Olympics ever since with the number of countries playing increasing each time. The most unusual setting was last Olympics in London 2012 when 2,274 tonnes of sand was loaded onto horse guards parade in central London. It is not however without its controversy as a sport though facing significant opposition to the kit worn by the female athletes. This often takes up more column inches than the sport itself but in talking to the players I have yet to find one that has an issue with it and in fact they think it’s a positive thing as Zara Dampney (Team GB London) said “I think that it was really beneficial for the sport it got people into the stadium, it got people watching it on television to find out what it was all about. It worked in our favour.”
By far the most successful beach volleyballers are Kerri Walsh and Misty May who are the only pair to never lose a match in the Olympic Games. Their career saw them win gold in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012! The two favourite countries to win hold the records for most medal placements in beach volleyball with the USA being the only country to win gold in either the men’s of women’s in every Olympiad and not far behind them, Brazil who have won gold or silver in every Olympics. Given that this is Brazil’s home games the advantage sits with them I think.
Twenty-four team with forty-eight athletes will be competing for glory in Rio with a total of 54 matches being played across the competition format. Taking place between the 6th and the 18th of August at the world famous Copacabana Beach, amazingly it is only the third time that it will be played on an actual beach.Read more...
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
From 2017 The FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL) will move to a new calendar; starting in autumn. The league will be played alongside the traditional football calendar; from September until May each season. Next year, to bridge the gap between the seasons, there will be a one-off competition; The FA WSL Spring Series, which will be played from February to May. Each team will play each other once as they compete for their division’s Spring Series trophy.
FA director of football participation and development Kelly Simmons said: “When we launched the FA WSL in 2011 it was the right decision to play it as a summer league, which has been demonstrated by the competitive, exciting football, growing attendances and player development. “However, there are still a number of issues holding the league back, such as fixture scheduling and ground availability. We want to keep building on the momentum and growth of the league and we believe now is the right time to change the calendar”.
“The FA is committed to investing in women’s football and aims to double participation and attendances by 2020, as well as creating the right environment for England to have the best chance of winning the 2023 World Cup and we believe that these changes will help us to further achieve these aims”.
“This is a really exciting time for the women’s game and we will work alongside our clubs to ensure we support them in the transition, across areas such as contracts, marketing and fixtures to make sure that it proves a big success.”
This is all obviously huge news that has taken a few days to fully sink in and there are of course pros and cons to moving to a winter season.
The main beneficiaries should be the national team. At the moment the major tournaments take place during the middle of the season. With this new schedule the tournaments will take place at the end of the season in line with men’s football. Germany and France are traditionally the two powerhouses in European women’s football and they do run a September to May schedule. So this move would bring the Super league in line with our nearest neighbours. To balance it out though the USA are the most successful woman’s national team on the planet and they run a summer season with a break in the season for the World Cups and Olympic games.
This set up should also help sides in the UWCL. At the moment teams from England play the first two rounds after the start of the FAWSL season in the autumn, before the tournament takes a break till the spring. This means that teams who make it this far have a good chance of facing a top class team in the later stages in the spring with very little game time under their belts, or in their pre season, whereas their opponents are in midseason form. It’s hard enough as it is taking on the likes of Lyon and Wolfsburg without having to play them as your first game of the season when they have already been in action together for a few months.
When you look at these two footballing reasons the switch seems obvious, but there is more to it than that. There are other factors which show the case for a switch isn’t necessarily a straight forward one nor is it just about what happens on the pitch.
One of the huge plus points of a summer season is that there isn’t any men’s club football to compete with it. Thus it’s easier to attract fans to games and for media coverage. Over the past couple of years we have seen more FAWSL on television though BT Sports, and with no men’s action throughout much of the season it has been easy to slot in the TV Schedule. This will obviously become much harder now as men’s football is on TV in one form or another 7 days/nights a week during the season be it Premier league, Championship, League 1,2 or the National league. That’s without all the European competitions and overseas leagues that are beamed into our homes. One potential solution would be for FAWSL games to kickoff at 6.00pm in the evening. However this would be awful for fans who actually want to attend the game in person due to work commitments and travel issues, it would make some games a complete for away fans. From a fans perspective and the need to gain more media coverage, it’s hard to see how this move helps.
One idea that has been circulated is the potential to do “Double headers” with men’s sides; this could be a huge boost for the women’s teams IF the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal got involved in this. A women’s match at one of English football’s best known stadiums would be huge for the game especially if it was played before the men’s game.
So all in all the pros should outweigh the cons though the move may be tough to begin with. However the move to winter will not affect the coverage given to it by Sports International Magazine.Read more...
Friday, July 15, 2016
Tuesday, July 05, 2016
We love Hockey or field Hockey as it is often referred to. Its fast, very physical and end to end. Over the years we have interviewed, spent time with and watched many international teams and they are amongst the friendliest and most down to earth of all the athletes. Read more...