Colors: Yellow Color

The FIFA Women's World Cup, held in France, starts tomorrow so whether you're new to the world of women's football, on the hunt for a second team, the tournament, held in nine cities, in nine different venues, runs to July 7 with England and Scotland among the 24 teams aiming to reach Final in Lyon.

The hosts – who have never gone beyond the semi-finals of the World Cup and have only reached the last eight at the European Championship - get the competition under way with their opening group match against South Korea in Paris, while Scotland, who are making their first appearance at the World Cup, will meet England, who are much-fancied, in Nice on June 9 in what is the opening game for both countries.

Defending champions are the United States - who are seeking a fourth title.

They have a squad bursting with talent and experience with the likes of Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. It is also expected to be 36-year-old Carli Lloyd's last tournament - the former Manchester City midfielder was Fifa World Player of the Year and the Golden Ball winner at the World Cup in 2015.

The US will begin the defence of their title against Thailand June in Reims on June 11.

Olympic champions Germany are, along with England, a main threat - the side having been knocked out in the semi-finals in 2015 - and in the quarter-finals of the European Championship in 2017.

They remain ranked No.2 in the world.

Ballon d'Or winner Ada Hegerberg has not been included in Norway's squad but a few of her European Champions League winning Lyon team-mates are likely to be on show, including England's Lucy Bronze and the newly-signed Nikita Parris, plus Japan defender Saki Kumagai.

Speaking of Japan - as an outside bet the world number seven ranked team were World Cup winners in 2011 and runners-up in 2015.

European champions the Netherlands, with PFA Player of the Year Vivianne Miedema a leading figure, could also challenge for the title.

Australia captain and forward Sam Kerr guided her country to their first Cup of Nations in March.

Orlando Pride forward, the 6-times FIFA World Player of the Year Marta - who won the Best Female Player Award in September, is the driving force behind an ageing Brazilian team.

Just some to watch out for as the FIFA Woman’s World Cup takes centre stage.

The region’s new congestion-busting transport co-ordination centre will step into action this summer as Birmingham plays host to the Cricket World Cup.

Birmingham’s Edgbaston Cricket Stadium is set to host five international matches during June and July with thousands of fans expected to add to the already pressurised road network during the morning rush hour. But transport bosses are working together through the new Regional Transport Co-ordination Centre (RTCC) to manage journeys and keep people moving.

Bringing together industry experts from rail, bus and Metro, transport bosses will monitor the whole transport system during the Cricket World Cup, including roads, 6am-9pm.

It will mean passengers, residents and businesses will have access to a consistent ‘live’ stream of information and travel advice to help them plan their journeys.

The plan is made possible by a £19.5m pot of funding from the Department of Transport and Transforming Cities Fund, which is set to be approved by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Board on May 24. The money gives the green light to the first phase of the RTCC which will be in place by December 2019, monitoring roads and public transport 15 hours a day, six days a week with a duty manager available 24/7 and co-ordinating the entire network's response to congestion.

It will be the first time the West Midlands will be monitored at such a scale. The trial runs will take place following the closure of the Five Ways underpass on June 3 and during the Cricket World Cup.

Data monitored and collected by the centre will be used to help shape future improvements to the road network by highlighting congestion hotspots.

The investment will also see better co-ordination of multi-agency construction projects including HS2, Metro extensions and Sprint. Giving people access to more accurate travel information, better alternative options during disruption, more reliable journey times and ultimately, less time sitting in traffic especially during major events.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Birmingham and the West Midlands is on a global stage for the Cricket World Cup and during that time we need to make sure fans have the best possible experience, which includes getting to and from matches in good time. “Whether people are attending the cricket matches or just going about their day-to-day journeys, it is imperative there are no major disruptions and the region continues to run smoothly. I believe the RTCC, incorporating all the major transport operators in one room monitoring the network, can help achieve this.”

Councillor Roger Lawrence, WMCA portfolio holder for transport said: “Our congestion management plan sets out a commitment to improving journeys in the West Midlands. "A Regional Transport Co-ordination Centre with one view of the whole transport network is key to managing manage major disruption and events and delivering more reliable journeys.”

Ahead of the clash between Afghanistan and Australia the Bristol community was invited to the grand unveil of the ‘Take Part in Giant Art’ project that took place at Bristol’s Millennium Square over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The event marked the commencement of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 in the city, as it prepared to host three games, with the first game between Afghanistan and Australia.

To celebrate the world’s greatest cricket celebration coming to Bristol, an impressive 4-metre batsman has been painted to represent each of the ten competing #CWC19 nations, standing proudly in the city’s Millennium Square.

Bristol County Ground, home of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, will host three fixtures at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, doubling the number of Men’s World Cup games the ground has held, following one in 1983 and two in 1999.

On June 1, the community was invited to Millennium Square to join in the unveil of the cricketer that was hand painted by children, adults, artists and cricket stars, over three fun-filled days where the Bristol community came together.

The unveil was supported by ambassadors Jemel One Five, a born and raised Bristolian YouTube star, who unveiled the statue and comedian Mark Watson who also attended to partake in the day's activities.

The live #CWC19 day-night match between Afghanistan and Australia was screened during the day on Millennium Square, in addition to cricket games and activities, adding to the fantastic community event taking place in the square.

Director of City & Spectator Experience, ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, Paul Smith, said: “The Giant Art installation is the culmination of a brilliant community effort of painting from Bank Holiday weekend.

We are delighted to bring the colour and creativity of the city to life in this way, hopefully giving the people of Bristol another reason to cheer on the tournament while it takes place here. The live screening in Millennium Square also gave those that couldn’t be at the game a chance to watch some of the action at Bristol’s County Ground.”

Captain David Warner led holders Australia (209-3 in 34.5 overs) to a routine seven-wicket win against Afghanistan (209-3 in 34.5 overs) with an unbeaten 89 at the start of their World Cup defence.

Cheshire Phoenix have announced that Disraeli Lufadeju will be returning for a second season with the Nix for the 2019-20 BBL Season.

The 6'2 guard established himself as a standout defensive player, whilst averaging just under four points along with 2 rebounds per game in 14 minutes of play.

Coach Ben Thomas said: "I'm really happy that we have secured Dizzy for next season. He's a team first player and his work rate on the court is second to none.

"It's great that we have multiple guys coming back next year as we hope that builds on the success that we have had this season."

Lufadeju added: "I would just like to start off by saying I've had an amazing year being a part of the Cheshire Phoenix. The support throughout the year from the fans and people within the organisation has been consistently great.

"Therefore the decision to come back to Phoenix for the next season was an easy one. I can't wait to see what next season brings Go Nix!"

Lufadeju joins the returning Louis Sayers on the roster for the 2019-20 season.

Three top-four spots remain up for grabs as a thrilling Vitality Superleague season reaches its climax today.

As the Superleague enters its final round, five teams remain in with a chance of a place in the semi-finals, with only Wasps guaranteed a spot. Fittingly in a season full of twists and turns, four of the five matches have something riding on them.

Bath, Thunder and Lightning are all on 36 points and currently occupy second place to fourth place in the standings, so they have their destiny in their own hands as a win would be enough to secure a semi-final.

However, Mavericks - on 33 points and with a superior goal difference to Loughborough and Bath - lurk ominously and ready to take advantage. They will know that for another week they can afford no slip-up if they are to bounce on any from their rivals.

With all five matches taking place at the same time, the teams will not know until after their match has ended what shape the top-four will finally take.

Bath will be looking to replicate their stellar performance against Thunder when they take on bottom-of-the-table London Pulse.

Delivering another twist in our Netball Superleague tale, the Blue and Gold beat second-place Thunder on the road in what was a must-win match to keep their semi-final dreams on track.

Speaking about her side's performance, Team Bath head coach Jess Thirlby acknowledged the significance of the victory: "Saturday's result at Thunder was obviously incredibly pleasing and has kept our destiny in our own hands.

"But we are all aware that it will mean nothing if we don't back it up against Pulse."

Thirlby's warning recognises the way in which Pulse continue to push teams to the very edge without quite putting together four consistent quarters. When at their most consistent they are capable of real damage, having beaten Mavericks in Round 13.

The last time these two met Bath only just edged out Pulse 64-60, and in their first-ever season Pulse will be keen to pick up a third victory to finish their debut campaign on a high.

Dragons kept Storm at bay in what was their last home game of the season, as well as the added dynamic of being an emotional occasion for Dragons and Wales centre Kyra Jones who was competing in her final home fixture for the club ahead of retirement.

There is no doubt Dragons would have felt this victory was befitting of the Dragons legend and they will hope to carry their winning momentum forward against Lightning with sixth place still a possibility.

Lightning need a victory to get into the semi-finals and will look to quell any sort of upset the Welsh side may hope to cause. After overcoming a first-quarter deficit, Lightning rarely put a foot wrong last time out, and their minimal error count ultimately prevented Pulse from getting back into the game. A similar performance will keep them in the chase for a third successive Grand Final appearance.

This fixture is the only one this weekend with no top-four stakes attached as Wasps sit six points clear at the top and have already sealed a home semi-final, which will be played at the University of Warwick's new Sports and Wellness Hub.

The two-time Superleague champions showed the impressive depth of their squad against Sirens in Round 17 with Sam May, Chloe Essam and Tamsin Moala all featuring in the team that took the win in Glasgow.

Whilst Wasps had the luxury of exploring options, Stars endured a tough encounter against fifth-placed Mavericks, a team desperate to keep up with other top-four contenders.

Despite starting strongly, Stars were unable to adjust to the increasing Mavs pressure and ultimately came up short.

The last time these two sides met Wasps won 54-47 which should give Stars some sense of belief going into their last game of the season.

A bruised Thunder will be hoping to right the wrongs of defeat last time out when they face Storm knowing a win will secure a home semi-final.

Outclassed by Bath, who offered more composure and resilience, Thunder struggled with held ball and the way in which Bath isolated certain players to disrupt Thunder's attacking play.

Defeat for Thunder may not be disastrous as their goal difference is likely to be enough to secure their place even if they slip up against a Storm side who continued their losing streak against Dragons.

Since a stunning victory against Lightning back in Round 13, Storm have been unable to replicate that performance and with Thunder looking particularly threatening off the back of their loss against Bath, they will have to dig deep if they are to spring a surprise.

Mavericks have no other option than to beat Sirens this weekend if they want to force their way into the post-season scramble for the title.

Whilst Sirens put in a brave performance against league leaders Wasps, they were unable to stop the rolling champions taking the win in Glasgow.

The Scottish side will take solace in the first-half performance which saw them stay in contention with a side who have title-winning ambitions.

However, inconsistencies throughout the regular season mean their top-four ambitions will be decided outside of this fixture; all they can do now is win and hope for the best elsewhere.

The 2019 NFL Draft is in the books and has set new records in media consumption and fan attendance. With a combined 3.9 HH TV rating and average of 6.1M viewers across NFL, ESPN and ABC TV and digital channels, the 2019 NFL Draft is the highest-rated and most-watched Draft ever, breaking records established just a year ago. In total across Nielsen-measured channels, all NFL Draft telecasts combined to reach more than 47.5 million viewers over the three-day event, up +5% vs. 2018.

The 2019 NFL Draft featured the broadest ever distribution of official NFL Draft video with NFL Network, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes in addition to NFL and ESPN digital and social properties. This was the second straight year that all seven rounds of the live, three-day event were aired on broadcast television.

The collaborative distribution approach across NFL Media and The Walt Disney Company helped grow the combined rating and viewership by +11% and +8% respectively over 2018.

In addition to media consumption, the 2019 NFL Draft shattered records for attendance as over 600,000 fans fill the streets of Nashville to celebrate the newest class of NFL rookies, easily establishing a new record (250k in 2017 – Philadelphia). Many of those in Nashville not attending the NFL Draft in-person were watching from home, as the market delivered a combined for a 10.6 HH rating – up +104% versus Nashville last year, and up +74% versus the 2018 host city.

"The 2019 NFL Draft was a tremendous continuation of the celebration of the NFL's 100th season and an opportunity to welcome the next generation of stars," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "Dramatic and emotional storylines played out in cities across the country with the energetic host city of Nashville serving as a breath-taking backdrop to hundreds of thousands of passionate fans who lined the streets and enjoyed a unique NFL Draft Experience. We congratulate our newest players and their families and thank the Tennessee Titans, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., the City of Nashville, the volunteers, and everyone who made the Draft such a memorable, entertaining, and successful experience."

Viewership metrics reflect Nielsen Fast Nationals, Nielsen Fast Total Audience Estimates, and ESPN/NFL digital measurement.

After losing her landmark legal case against athletics’ governing body, the IAAF, South African 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya is considering an appeal against the sporting body, whose decision, it is widely felt, could end her career as an elite athlete.

The ruling by the Court of Arbitration (Cas) for Sport means that Semenya, who has not been beaten over 800m since 2015, will have to take medication to significantly reduce her testosterone if she wants to run internationally at events between 400m and a mile.

Under the regulations she - who has naturally high testosterone levels - would be required to undergo hormone therapy for at least six months before any competition.

Cas agreed that the IAAF’s policy was “discriminatory” to athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) such as Semenya.

Semenya, who has long argued that her unique genetic gifts should be celebrated not regulated, said she would not give up her fight and believed that the DSD regulations would be one day overturned.

“I know that the IAAF’s regulations have always targeted me specifically,” she added. “For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger.” The decision brought widespread reaction

Whilst Britain’s former champion marathon runner, Paula Radcliffe had said that the court ruling involving Caster Semenya could have hand intersex and transgender athletes an unfair advantage, and ultimately bring about the end of women’s sport, the decision brought angry responses elsewhere.

A fuming Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Dalton Grant, said: “Should you then have banned Usain Bolt because of his height advantage over other sprinters, or ban Ethiopian distance runners who live, run and train at high altitude.”

The former board director of the London 2012 Olympic bid team added: “I’m sure there has been, and still, any athlete who takes advantage of any level of ‘God-given’ advance they have over others.”

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova says Caster Semenya verdict is unfair. On her website she said; "The verdict against Semenya is dreadfully unfair to her and wrong in principle.

"She has done nothing wrong and it is awful that she will now have to take drugs to be able to compete. General rules should not be made from exceptional cases, and the question of transgender athletes remains unresolved."

The UN condemned such treatment as an “unnecessary, humiliating and harmful medical procedure.”

“The decision of the Cas,” Semenya said, “will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world.”

Ben Thomas has been handed the Molten Kevin Cadle Coach of the Month award for April after safely guiding Cheshire Phoenix into the benecos BBL Play-Offs.

The north-west side had been far from certainties to punch their ticket after being defeated in their first two games of the period against Riders and Rocks respectively.

But, as the pressure mounted, Thomas then masterminded four straight victories to make it to the post-season - including two road wins in the capital.

Phoenix won the north-west derby in handsome fashion with a 102-80 triumph against Manchester Giants and then inflicted a rare loss on recently crowned BBL Championship winners London Lions via a fine 84-88 win at the Copper Box.

A few days later, Cheshire headed south of the Thames to collect an eye-catching 93-99 success at the London City Royals, prior to wrapping up their Regular Season campaign with a commanding 100-83 victory against Worcester Wolves.

Thomas fought off strong competition from Rob Paternostro of Leicester Riders and Vince Macaulay of London Lions to land the accolade.

UK Athletics has appointed Jockey Club Services (JCS), which offers a range of world-class business services to organisations in professional sports in the UK, to manage its financial processing function. The appointment will see JCS manage transactional processing, treasury, debtor management, expenses and financial reporting for the next three years, providing the sport with an up to date system at best possible value.

Jonathan Orr, Chief Financial and Operations Officer of UK Athletics, said: "We have studied the experiences of a number of NGBs who have effectively outsourced various business services to Jockey Club Services and the feedback has been exceptionally positive. Like all governing bodies we are continually challenging ourselves to have a resilient but cost effective back-office operation in order to drive core investment to the sport of athletics.

“In JCS we have found an organisation that has extensive experience in the NGB sector who will work closely with us to provide the depth of financial management and expertise that we need as we head to Tokyo and beyond.”

Since its inception, JCS has provided a number of different business services to a wide cross-section of professional sports in the UK including Badminton England, Table Tennis England, England Squash and British Fencing.

Rob Quick, Director of Jockey Club Services, said: “It’s a real honour for JCS to be chosen by a governing body with the size, scale and pedigree of UK Athletics to manage their financial operational requirements for the next three years.

“The appointment from our perspective confirms the quality of the JCS offer and the depth of support that we are able to offer.

“We very much look forward to working with the team at UKA to deliver a first-class financial management service.”

Jockey Club Services clients include the provision of Ticketing Services to three first-class County Cricket Clubs, Finance and Accounting for numerous NGBs, Procurement Support for a range of leading sports organisations and Loyalty programmes through the creation of Rewards4Cricket with half of the UK’s professional cricket clubs.

Zak Wells has announced his intention to retire from professional basketball at the end of the current season, after a great career in the BBL, internationally for GB and overseas.

Wells started basketball at 17, where he participated in a scheme called 'Tall and Talented' at Barking Abby. Before turning pro in 2014 with Leeds Force in the BBL, he represented Great Britain at the FIBA Under-20 European Championships, where the team secured promotion from Division B.

Zak spent his first two professional seasons with Leeds with averages of 10+ points per game on both occasions. In the 2016-17 season, following a short stint overseas in Slovenia for Hopsi Polzela, Wells returned to the BBL, joining London Lions.

At the start of the following season, newly appointed Raiders' head coach, Gavin Love, signed Wells and appointed him club captain - a position he has held over the past two seasons.  Returning to the Raiders for a second season, this time under Paul James, Wells is currently playing a crucial role in attempting to bring Play-Offs basketball back to the city for the first time in seven years.

"It was a big decision deciding to retire, especially at the age of 26, but I know it's one I will not regret," Wells said of his retirement.

"I have had the privilege of playing professionally for seven years now, both abroad and domestically, and have had the honour of representing my country with the Great Britain men's team.

"I always knew that playing basketball wasn't something I was looking to do for years and years. I now look forward to starting a new career and facing new challenges pursuing various business ventures.

"It has been a pleasure to end my career here in Plymouth, as they have been so good to me, for which I couldn't be more thankful. I wish them nothing but success in the future and I look forward to following them, and getting to a game to watch next season."

Coach James added: "Zak doesn't get the credit he deserves because the things he does so well don't always show up in the stat lines.

"I know the great things he brought to the table, as do his teammates. Zak has been an integral and valuable member of the team this season, and a great club captain.

"I wish him every success in the next chapter of his life."

Richard Mollard added: "Zak has been a great addition to the team the past two seasons, and a fantastic club Captain.

"Much of Zak's value cannot always be seen on the stats sheet, but his contribution both on and off the court has been invaluable, and he's going to be sorely missed in and around the club.

"Having coached alongside him this past year at the new Whitleigh Warriors CVL sessions, I've seen firsthand what a brilliant role model he is, and how much he enjoys working with the next generation of players, so I truly hope he finds a way to keep this up, despite his professional playing retirement.

"He's become a friend to us all, and on behalf of everyone at the club, I wish Zak all the very best with his future career."

Zak's retirement will come at the end of this season's campaign, and the club thanks him for his dedication over the past two seasons, on and off the court, and wishes him all the best for the future.

Olympic gymnast and University of Wolverhampton student Kristian Thomas put students through their paces as part of National Biomechanics Day.

The bronze medallist from London 2012 led a session on the biomechanics of gymnastics at the University’s Walsall Campus on Wednesday, 10 April 2019.

He was joined by two members of British Judo’s visually impaired squad, Natalie Greenhough and Connah Anders, who also train at the campus.

Students from Birmingham Metropolitan College and Aston Villa Foundation were invited to the special event which involved fun practical activities in the biomechanics laboratory.

Kristian, who is in his final year of a BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning degree, said:

“It was a pleasure to be part of the National Biomechanics Day showcasing the link between biomechanics and elite sport, in this case gymnastics. The students involved were predominantly from a coaching background so to see first-hand uses of biomechanics and its application within coaching was very helpful.”

The event was led by Dr Tina Smith, Senior Lecturer in Biomechanics at the University of Wolverhampton, and supported by undergraduate and Masters students as well as laboratory technicians from the Institute of Human Sciences.

Dr Smith said: “We were delighted to showcase biomechanics and to demonstrate its many applications, such as how it is relevant to everyday activities, sport, health and even computer games. People may not realise how biomechanics is fundamental to our daily lives so this was a great opportunity to promote the subject to college students.”

National Biomechanics Day is a worldwide celebration of Biomechanics in its many forms for secondary school students and teachers. This year’s theme was ‘Science Meets Fun’.

ICC Cricket for Good, in partnership with UNICEF, announced #OneDay4Children at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. #OneDay4Children ambassador Nasser Hussain and England all-rounder Chris Woakes, launched the tournament-wide campaign focussed on bringing the world of cricket together as one team to help build a better world for every child.

There will be #OneDay4Children activity throughout all 48 matches of the event, peaking with a day of celebration during the England v India game on 30 June at Edgbaston. The money raised will support UNICEF’s work in cricket playing nations to help children learn to play and be healthy.

The #OneDay4Children match will be special, with the players, the sell-out crowd and global audience all playing a part in the celebrations. Edgbaston will turn blue whilst players will support the campaign with special one off #OD4C branded kit. Celebrities and legends of the game will join the action with unique activations and fundraising both in stadium and across the live broadcast.

David Richardson of the ICC said: “As part of our continuing work with UNICEF through Cricket for Good, we are delighted to launch #OneDay4Children and use the platform of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 to help more children to play and be healthy. This is our most ambitious charity project to date and we know that cricket’s one billion fans will come together to help build a better world for every child.

“Our partners have got right behind #OneDay4Children, with global broadcast partner Star Sports ensuring it will be seen by hundreds of millions around the world, whilst locally in the UK Sky have also committed to promoting it to their viewers. and Gray Nicolls have committed to a significant donation whilst our other global partners are working on in-venue activations and promotions to drive fundraising ensuring our #OneDay4Children match really captures the imagination of cricket fans.”

ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, Managing Director, Steve Elworthy said: “#OneDay4Children is such an important tournament wide campaign which we are extremely proud to be delivering. We have a unique opportunity while the eyes of the cricketing world, and beyond, are watching, to show how we can harness the power of the fans to help support the wonderful work UNICEF do for children across the globe.”

Mike Penrose, Executive Director at Unicef UK, said: "We are delighted to see the world of cricket unite for #OneDay4Children at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Players, teams and one billion cricket fans will come together for Unicef. The money raised through #OneDay4Children will support Unicef’s work to help children learn, play and be healthy through cricket. It is a shared belief that cricket has an incredible power to raise vital funds and inspire and empower millions of children."

Neil Snowball, Chief Executive of Edgbaston Stadium, said: “Supporting children and helping them to be able to play in a safe and healthy environment is one of the primary aims of our community work here in Birmingham and across Warwickshire, through the Edgbaston Foundation.

“England versus India is one of the biggest games in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and, to use this fixture to raise awareness and important funds that will hopefully bring such positive change is a fantastic initiative.

“We’re thrilled that Edgbaston will play host to such a momentous occasion.”

The world famous Harlem Globetrotters, featuring some of the most electrifying athletes on the planet, will bring their spectacular show to the United Kingdom during their 2018 World Tour.

Only one year after setting seven official Guinness World Records ® titles, the Globetrotters broke a single-day total of nine records in 2016, including the longest basketball hook shot, longest basketball shot blindfolded, most basketball 3-pointers made by a pair in one minute, and longest blindfolded basketball hook-shot.

During their 2018 World Tour, the famed team will feature a star-studded roster that includes Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard and Cheese Chisholm – plus female stars TNT Lister and Ace Jackson*– the Globetrotters’ one-of-a-kind show is unrivalled in the world of family entertainment. Every game will showcase incredible ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, hilarious comedy and unequaled fan interaction.

See the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters at Arena Birmingham on May 2 - After the game, Globetrotter stars will sign autographs and take photos with fans.








Tiger Woods produced a scintillating finish to win a fifth Masters title and end an 11-year wait to claim a 15th major.

There were raucous celebrations around the 18th green as Woods finished with a two-under-par 70 to win on 13 under, one clear of fellow Americans Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka.

Woods, written off by so many so often as he battled back problems in recent years, punched the air in delight, a wide smile across his face, before celebrating with his children at the back of the green.

"I'm a little hoarse from yelling," said the 43-year-old. "I was just trying to plod my way around all day then all of a sudden I had the lead.

"Coming up 18 I was just trying to make a five. When I tapped in I don't know what I did, I know I screamed.

"To have my kids there, it's come full circle. My dad was here in 1997 and now I'm the dad with two kids there.

"It will be up there with one of the hardest I've had to win because of what has transpired in the last couple of years."

Victory caps a remarkable resurgence for Woods, who missed the 2016 and 2017 Masters with back problems before finally undergoing back fusion surgery in April of that year.

A superb 2018 followed where he challenged at The Open before finishing joint sixth and pushed eventual champion Koepka close at the US PGA Championship.

He then capped off the season by winning the Tour Championship for his 80th PGA Tour title and this victory puts him one behind the record of 82 held by Sam Snead.

Overnight leader Francesco Molinari's hopes sunk with two double bogeys on the back nine and he had to settle for a share of fifth on 11 under after a two-over 74.

Over 21,000 swimmers took to the water helping to raise £1.8m for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.

Over £1.8 million in fundraising was raised by the Sunday of the event weekend by swimmers participating across the UK, who had chosen either individual challenges of 400m, 1.5k, 2.5k, 5k or Triple 5k, or team distances of 1.5k or 5k.

The nationwide format of Swimathon started in 1988 and since then over 700,000 participants have dived into more than 1,000 pools across the UK and have up to this point, raised over £51 million for different charities.

With more than 21,000 swimmers taking to pools around the UK for Swimathon this year, the event has seen an incredible increase of over 1,000 swimmers compared to Swimathon 2018. The introduction of a 400m and Triple 5K challenge in recent years has made Swimathon an accessible challenge for all, which has driven increased participation.

Olympic gold-medallist and Swimathon President Duncan Goodhew said: “It has been a real joy to see Swimathon develop into the great event that it is today and raise so much money for so many worthwhile charities. Swimathon really gives people a chance to get active with friends and family, whilst doing some greater good at the same time. I am so proud that Swimathon gives so many people their first chance to enjoy the water.”

In keeping with Swimathon’s swim for all mentality , this year saw a wide variety of Swimathon Ambasadors from all over the UK participating including Wanda Stockdale and Tamsyn Smith, while new recruits such as the youngest ever Ambassador, Paige Gallagher (14), also hit the water achieving the incredible Triple 5k.

Returning swimmer Wanda once again personified the swim for all mentality stepping up from last year’s 5k swim to tackle the brand new Triple 5k challenge. She proved that even with disabilities you can still achieve greatness in the water.

Marie Curie is the UK’s leading charity for people with any terminal illness. The charity helps people living with a terminal illness and their families make the most of the time they have together by providing hands-on nursing care and expert hospice care, emotional support, research and guidance to improve the way care is provided in the UK. Last year, Marie Curie cared for and supported over 50,000 people affected by terminal illnesses across the UK.

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading charity dedicated to to saving lives through research. It supports the work of scientists, doctors and nurses who are dedicated to beating cancer by understanding its causes and finding new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent the disease.

Mark Winton, Head of Community Fundraising at Marie Curie, said: “I’d like to say a massive thank you to all of the 21,000 swimmers who went to great lengths during this year’s Swimathon. We’re absolutely delighted that £1.8m has been raised so far, which will help Marie Curie to provide care and support to more people living with any terminal illness and their families.”

Cancer Research UK’s Head of Events and Sports, Emma Hyatt, said: “I’d like to offer a huge congratulations and a massive thank you to all the 21,000 swimmers who took on the challenge at this year’s Swimathon. It is a privilege for Cancer Research UK to partner with such a special event and we are amazed by all the hard work that has gone in to fundraising the £1.8m so far, which will help to fund lifesaving research and help bring forward the day when all cancers can be cured.”

For the past six years, Swimathon has been partnered by Zoggs, whose goggles, swimsuits, learning aids and training accessories have helped millions of swimmers across the world learn to love swimming.



Exciting new changes to the format of the BBL season can now be revealed for the 2019-20 campaign.

A best-of-3 series format will be introduced next season to the Quarter-Final and Semi-Final stages of the BBL Play-Offs ahead of the post-season Finals at The O2 in May, 2020.

Qualification remains the same with the top eight teams in the BBL Championship standings advancing to the Play-Offs, though the regular season now changes to consist of 22 games with the teams playing each other once home and away.

The 2019-20 season will begin in September with BBL Cup action as the start of the regular Championship season follows the conclusion of a new group stage. The 12 BBL sides will be split into two groups of six to play home and away fixtures before the top four in each group advance to the Quarter-Finals.

The top two in each group will host the one-legged ties in the last eight before the Semi-Finals are played over two legs to decide the two teams heading to Arena Birmingham for the Cup Finals on Sunday 26 January, 2020.

The BBL Trophy will remain the same with the adopted bracket format used for the current 2018-19 season retained. The path to the Finals - at Glasgow's Emirates Arena, in March, 2020 - is mapped out with a First Round draw as the 12 BBL sides will again be joined by four invited non-BBL sides.

Fixtures for next season will be revealed in full during the summer.