Colors: Yellow Color

Sports clubs in Sandwell can once again apply for grants from Sandwell Council as part of their Cash for Sports Clubs scheme.
This is the third round of the scheme which was first launched in 2014.

Nearly £50,000 has been handed out as part of Cash for Sports Clubs with around 60 sports clubs benefiting. Grants have been used by clubs to help fund new kits and equipment as well as coaching courses and improving the quality of sessions.

Clubs can apply for funding of up to £500 to help with kits and equipment and up to £1,500 to help grow membership and increase the number of Sandwell residents being active. There's also funding available for specialist coaching.

The scheme was officially launched by cabinet member Councillor Paul Moore with Baggies player Jay Rodriguez and The Albion Foundation.

Councillor Moore said: “We’re really pleased to be able to offer these grants again this year to help out Sandwell sports clubs. These grants can make all the difference for local clubs and this scheme encourage people to get active and enjoy taking part in sport.”

The scheme is open from 26 February 2018 until 27 April 2018.

To apply, go to www.sandwell.gov.uk/cashforsportsclubs

Alongside World Rugby, Gilbert have launched the official ball for the 2018 men's and women's Rugby World Cups Sevens in San Francisco.

The industry-leading rugby ball manufacturer, Gilbert are a prominent supporter of global rugby development and innovation. The launch of this latest major tournament ball range further underlines Gilbert's technical expertise to the elite game, and rugby fans globally.

The match ball used in San Francisco will be the Synergie XV-6, the only dedicated Sevens match ball produced in World Rugby; and used throughout the HSBC World Rugby 7s Series for the past two series'. Developed exclusively for Sevens rugby, the patented Synergie XV-6 grip offers an enhanced grip ideally suited to the fast paced nature and handling of Sevens rugby.

The RWC 7s 2018 tournament look and feel has inspired the design of the official match ball and its replica. Reflecting the official RWC 7s brand bible these balls showcase the star visual along with the official blue, white and orange colours. At the centre of the design is the official tournament mark, showcasing the globally recognised Golden Gate Bridge. The star visual signifies the many world-class male and female players coming together in California's Bay Area.

On July 20th San Francisco will become a brand new venue for the excitement and exhilaration that rugby 7s brings. Being hosted at the iconic AT & T Park in the San Francisco Bay Area, excitement for the Rugby World Cup 7s 2018 - this year's showpiece event - continues to build as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series heads to Las Vegas 7 on 2nd March.

Richard Gray, Sales and Marketing Director, Gilbert Rugby, said: “For many years Gilbert have supported the growth of the game in the US and, as Rugby Football grows in popularity from East to West coast, we are delighted to continue the journey with our American friends. The hosting of the RWC 7's 2018 in San Francisco is a major step forward for the game in the US and we are proud to have been selected as the Official Ball supplier.

Gilbert, who are also official suppliers to a number of national member unions, have been suppliers for five of the six Rugby World Cup Sevens tournaments.

Team England has today named 10 artistic gymnasts to compete for Team and Country at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The squad includes triple Commonwealth and double Olympic Champion Max Whitlock MBE and Claudia Fragapane, who will defend the four Commonwealth titles she won at Glasgow 2014.

Max and Claudia are joined on the 2018 Commonwealth Games team by Olympic bronze medalists Amy Tinkler and Nile Wilson.

At Glasgow 2014, Team England topped the gymnastics medal table with a total of 19 medals. Four of the athletes who were part of the successful team at Glasgow will be returning to the Commonwealth Games stage while six of the athletes will be making their Games debut.

The artistic gymnastics competition will take place at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre from 5 to 9 April.

Claudia Fragapane came to prominence at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where she was the first English woman to win four gold medals since 1930. She said:

“Competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was one of the best and most memorable experiences of my life. I’m so happy to have been selected for Team England again and I’m really excited to be going to Australia.

“Four years on from Glasgow I have a lot more experience and I’m looking forward to supporting my teammates and hopefully repeating the success of last time. We have a really strong group of girls in the team with a mix of experience and some newer girls and I’m confident we can all put in good performances and win medals for England.”

Max Whitlock MBE will be appearing at his third Commonwealth Games having already won eight medals previously. He said:

“I’m delighted to be going to my third Commonwealth Games for Team England and can’t wait to get out to the Gold Coast and begin competition. My Commonwealth Games experiences so far have been incredible and I’m looking forward to being a part of Team England again, aiming to win medals for my nation.

“The gymnastics competition, particularly between the Home Nations, is going to be intense and I know the whole team are working hard to be in the best shape to produce medal winning routines.”

Team England’s gymnastics team leader, Mike Weinstock, said:

“We had some really strong competition for places on the England team. The team we have selected has a really good balance between youth and experience. I’m really excited to see what we can achieve on the Gold Coast in April.”

Team England Chef de Mission, Sarah Winckless, said:

“I’m delighted to welcome the artistic gymnasts to Team England and I would like to offer my congratulations to the athletes selected. We have an extremely strong recent track record in artistic gymnastics which led to the amazing Team GB performance at the Rio Olympics. I look forward to working with everyone as they compete for Team and Country in April.”

Mimi Cesar, Stephani Sherlock and Hannah Martin have been selected to compete for Team England at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in April.

With 50 days to go until the Games in Australia, the three athletes will make up Team England’s rhythmic gymnastics squad that will compete at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre.

Mimi Cesar and Stephani Sherlock will be returning to the Commonwealth Games stage after competing at Glasgow 2014, while Hannah Martin will be making her Team England debut in April.

Team England ambassador, Birmingham 2022 supporter and three-time British senior all-around champion, Mimi Cesar, said:

“It’s so exciting to be able to tell everyone I have made the Gold Coast team and I can’t wait to get out there and compete for Team England. I’ve been training really hard over the last 18 months with Gold Coast completely in the focus. I know that my time is now in my gymnastics career, it’s been the best it’s ever been and I know that I have the potential to bring home that medal.”

Stephani Sherlock made her Team England debut at Glasgow 2014 and made the finals in all-around, hoop and ball. The 21-year-old, who trains at Espirit Rhythmic in Swindon, is a multiple British champion and medallist.

Sherlock said:  “I’m so excited, I can’t wait to go out to Australia especially as I’ve always wanted to go to Australia so it’s amazing to go as part of Team England and hopefully we can do really well and make everyone proud. I enjoyed Glasgow very much, I was very young, only 17 years old, it was my very first major competition and I can tell that Australia will be an amazing Games that will give me a lot of experience.”

Hannah Martin, who trains at iStar Academy in West Sussex, is a British junior champion who is just beginning her senior career. The 15-year-old is the youngest gymnast on the team and one of the youngest athletes competing for Team England.

She said:

“It’s a real dream come true, it’s something I’ve been dreaming for for a long time and I’ve worked so hard for it and I can’t believe it’s happened for me. I’ve learnt so much from Mimi and Stephani and I watched them in the Commonwealth Games last time and I was like that’s where I want to go so I’m so happy I’m on the team with them because they are my inspiration.

“I just need to work really hard now and when I’m there it’s all about showing my best and doing my country proud. I can’t wait to experience the atmosphere and the pride of competing for my country is something I can’t describe.”

Team England last won a Commonwealth Games medal in rhythmic at Delhi 2010 with a team all-around bronze.

The three gymnasts will be competing across the four rhythmic disciplines on the 11th, 12th and 13th April.

Team England will send a team of around 600 athletes and staff in what will be England’s largest ever team to represent the nation in an overseas sporting event. The team will compete in 18 sports, including 38 para medal events.

Sarah Winckless, Chef de Mission for Commonwealth Games England, said:

“To welcome our rhythmic gymnastics team today gives me great pleasure. They make up an important part of our gymnastics squad at Team England, and I look forward to working with them at Games time. Mimi-Isabella Cesar has been one of Team England’s ambassadors going into the Games and look forward to support her, Stephani Sherlock and Hannah Martin at Games time.”

Team England’s gymnastics team leader, Mike Weinstock, said:

“I’m really excited to see our rhythmic gymnasts compete on the Gold Coast and I know they can’t wait. They’re a very talented group of gymnasts and have been working very hard on their performance. Mimi and Stephani had the experience of competing in Glasgow and Hannah will be making her Games debut at the age of just 15.

“We know that the Games will be extremely well organised and the whole team is really looking forward to going out at flying the flag for England.”

Premiership Champions Exeter Chiefs recently swapped their training ground at Sandy Park, Exeter for the award-winning Salcombe Distilling Co. in the beautiful seaside town of Salcombe. These highly skilled team players used their charisma and flair to raise the bar creating delicious Salcombe Gin cocktails.

It was then head to head in a play-off to design and develop their very own bottle of gin at the Salcombe Gin School accompanied by Exeter Rugby Club Chairman and Chief Executive, Tony Rowe OBE.

Tony said: “Salcombe Gin is very popular amongst those who visit Sandy Park for match-days as well as the many functions, dinners and events we host. We have a new Gin & Fizz Bar and it's great that we have such a fantastic product available right here on our doorstep."

He continued, “As someone who is partial to the odd drop of gin, it was fantastic for myself and the players to get a real insight into how they make Salcombe Gin. Not only did we find the trip hugely informative, but to then get the chance to distill our own was great fun."

Howard Davies, co-founder, said, “We were delighted to host Tony and the players at our waterside distillery. They were intrigued about how we make our award-winning gin and were soon shaking some cocktails behind the bar before heading over to our Gin School. They each took charge of a mini-copper still in our distilling laboratory, choosing from over 100 botanicals to create their unique gin recipe.”

Salcombe Gin head distiller, Jason Nickels continued, “As you would expect, they were all highly competitive, seeking perfection at every stage of the process but we also had a lot of fun along the way. Walnuts were a dominant flavour in Tony's gin and Jack used coffee in his, resulting in some awesome espresso martinis shaken in the distillery bar afterwards”.

It was the perfect match between two award-winning teams in Devon.

Team England will send a 12 strong boxing team to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia which starts on 4 April.  In total 8 men and 4 women will travel to the Gold Coast to compete for team and country.

Welterweight, Pat McCormack, competed for England at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and Team GB at Rio 2016 and is a two-time European Championships silver medalist.

He said: “It’s great to be selected for the Commonwealth Games.  I competed at the one in Glasgow but I was young and inexperienced then and did not win a medal.  Since then I have been to the world championships twice, won two silver medals the Europeans and been to an Olympic Games so I will have a lot more confidence and experience going into the competition this time.

“I have always wanted to go travelling to Australia, so to be able to go there through boxing is even better.  I know it will be a tough tournament but I have trained hard and I am going there to win gold.

“Competing alongside my twin brother (Luke McCormack, who has been selected at light-welterweight) will make the tournament event more exciting, and if we both come home with gold, it will definitely put us out there.  We just need to make sure that we perform on the day.”

2014 flyweight world championship silver medalist and 2016 European Championship bronze medalist, Lisa Whiteside said: “It is absolutely fantastic to be selected for the Commonwealth Games, it will be my first multisport event and to represent England on the Gold Coast feels unreal. Boxing’s major tournaments don’t always get covered on TV, so to be competing and knowing that my friends and family back home will be able to watch is going to be out of this world.  I am feeling confident, my ultimate goal is to go out there and win that gold medal. I have a few tournaments coming up in preparation, and I will make sure that when I arrive on the Gold Coast that I’m the fittest and strongest that I’ve ever been.”

Commonwealth Games boxing medals have helped to launch the career of some of England’s best ever boxers including Richie Woodhall, Nicola Adams and James DeGale.

Team Leader Darren Chapple said: Team Leader Darren Chapple said: “I’m pleased that we’ve announced a strong team of 12 athletes. This team has two Olympians and a wealth of experience between them however for the majority of the team this will be their first taste of the Commonwealth Games.

“I know that they are all excited and they are all going to be focused on performing at their best. We know there will be tough competition during the Games especially with strong teams from our other home Nations like Scotland, Wales and Ireland and not forgetting of course our host nation Australia too who will have a huge home following.”

Team England Chef de Mission Sarah Winckless said English boxing is in an extremely strong position and to be able to welcome 12 boxers to the team this week give me great pleasure. The Women’s side of the sport goes from strength to strength and I look forward to working with our 4 talented female athletes. Our male team is also strong and notably contains two brothers, Pat and Luke McCormack, and 2 Olympians alongside 10 debutants. It is an exciting mix and one I look forward to supporting at the Games.”

Sandwell fitness enthusiasts can get on their bikes (literally!) for the latest immersive cycling experience with the opening of a £160,000 state-of-the-art spin studio at Portway Lifestyle Centre in Oldbury.

The new Sandwell Leisure Trust (SLT) offering, which will also double up as a top quality dance fitness studio, features 24 top-of- the-range Life Fitness Spin Bikes with an exciting colour coded system to maximise output – a virtual indoor cycling system that allows first timers and experienced spinners alike to experience world level classes with and without an instructor.

Apart from being fully immersive, the sessions at the Newbury Lane centre will also be fully inclusive with wheelchair accessible features provided too.

Ash Rai, CEO of Sandwell Leisure Trust, says:  “This innovative technology puts Portway a step ahead of its competitors and with over 20 additional fitness classes each week and  flexibility in attracting additional bookings to the centre, this provides further opportunities to grow our membership base. The project has pulled together all of the stakeholders within the centre, including Adult Services, the Local Authority and Sandwell Liftco, who have provided both financial and technical support to ensure the scheme is delivered within budget and on time, presenting excellent value for money for the Leisure Trust.”  

Cabinet Member for Leisure Cllr Paul Moore commented: “I’m delighted to see this new facility opening at Portway Lifestyle Centre. It provides yet another fantastic opportunity for residents to get active and healthy within a first-rate facility. Portway has gained national and international recognition for its innovative and inclusive approach and I’m particularly pleased that this ethos will continue with the spin studio.” 

 

This latest facility at Portway Lifestyle Centre is called ‘The Wall’ because management wanted to recognise and remember the room’s previous use as an indoor climbing wall, which closed in September 2016 after becoming unsustainable. Extensive customer and local research confirmed that a spin/dance studio was the preferred new option.

The indoor cycling experience at Portway follows recent and similar spin facilities being introduced at three other SLT centres - Haden Hill Leisure Centre on Barrs Road, Cradley Heath, Wednesbury Leisure Centre on High Bullen and Smethwick Swimming Centre on Thimblemill Road.

Tributes will be paid to legendary Coventry City striker and FA Cup winning hero Cyrille Regis at their home game against Swindon Town on Saturday.

There will be a minute’s applause ahead of kick-off on Saturday, while Regis will adorn the front cover of the match-day programme.

Inside, there will also be an obituary for him, with photos from his time at the club and messages from the world of football in a six page tribute.

Players will wear black armbands, while there will be a tribute video played on the big screen at half-time.

A Memory Book will be available for fans to sign & share their memories of Cyrille Regis in the Family Zone.

This year’s Legends Day on Saturday March 3 against Lincoln City, held in association with the Coventry City Former Players Association, will be dedicated to Regis, who played 238 games for the club, passed away at the age pf only 59.

 

There is a buzz around British Basketball right now and one of its biggest events is returning back to Arena Birmingham for 2019.

Now the home of the British Basketball Cup Finals, the 2019 edition will see another spectacular event and fans are being urged to grab their tickets and be one of the first to guarantee they get closer to the action.

Set to take place on Sunday 27 January 2019, the exhilarating menu will offer a pair of showpiece games, with the WBBL Cup tipping of the day and the BBL Cup Final taking centre stage after the 2019 Dunk Contest.

With all the usual courtside fun and entertainment in addition to the on-court action, it will be a day you really can’t miss. Tickets are on sale from 9am 11 February 2018.

Legendary Cricketer Sh. Kapil Dev inaugurated India’s first ever Adventure Sports Expo Asia 2018 – the biggest adventure sports event in the country at the Four Points by Sheraton, New Delhi on January 27. This unique and first of its kind expo is expected to witness the participation from over 60+ brands and 15000+ visitors over the 3-day long adventure extravaganza.

The expo has received strong support by various Ministries & forums- Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Air India – the official Airline partner, ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association), UIAA (International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation), OTOAI (Outbound Tour Operators Association of India), IATO (The Indian Association of Tour Operators), ATOAI (Adventure Tour Operators of India), ADTOI (Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India), ESOI (Ecotourism Society of India), WAS (World Adventure Society).

Sh. Kapil Dev at Adventure Sports Expo Asia 2018’s platform said: “I am in favor of encouraging all kinds of sports but adventure sports is particularly good because it gets you close to nature and into clean fresh places which calms the body and mind. It is heartening to see so many adventure sports enthusiasts assemble here in Delhi from all over India and the world at Adventure Sports Expo Asia and I am sure in years to come more people will discover the joys of participating in Adventure Sports. I wish the organizers and visitors all the best for the next three days.”

Various eminent dignitaries, like Mr. Suman Billa, IAS – Joint Secretary of (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Mr. Tejbir Singh Anand – Vice President – Adventure Tour Operators Association of India, Mr. Ajeet Bajaj – Padma Shree Awardee & MD – Snow Leopard Adventures Pvt. Ltd and Mr. Rishi Narain – Asian Games Gold Medalist, Founder & MD, RN Sports Marketing Pvt. Ltd. Ms. Aanchal Thakur-first Indian to win a medal at an international skiing event , Ms. Malvath Poorna- Youngest Woman to climb Mount Everest and Mr. Shekhar Babu-First Indian Mountaineer to climb Mount Everest as an individual of Adventure Sports industry will be gracing the occasion.

Mr. Ajeet Bajaj, Padma Shree Awardee & MD – Snow Leopard Adventures Pvt. Ltd, said: “I am thankful to Mr. Kapil Dev for giving us his time and sharing his views on Adventure Sports industry. We are elated to see such amazing beginning of the first edition of ASEA 2018 and we already planning for a bigger ASEA 2019 as well.”

He further added: “India already has huge potential as an Adventure Sports destination with so much diversity from mountains to rivers and desserts. ASEA 2018 will be marketing India as an iconic destination for Adventure Sports to the world with the support of ATOAI. Adventure Sports Expo Asia 2018 would also be recognizing individual/groups and companies in the field of adventure on the opening night of the show.”

Mr. Shannon Stowell, CEO-Adventure Travel Trade Association, said: “ India has so much to offer the world when it comes to Adventure Sports and Adventure Tourism. This is my first trip to India which has been planned for past 14 years and I thank the Adventure Sports Expo Asia for making the visit happen. I certainly look forward to taking the message of what India has to offer back to America and my network of Tour Companies and we look forward to working with the Adventure community that has gathered here for this show and putting India on the world map of Adventure Tourism.”

The three-day expo will be presenting exhibition, speaker sessions, adventure activities, workshops and award night that will act as a one-stop destination for adventure sports fraternity. Adventure Sports Expo Asia is aimed to catalyze the growth of adventure sports & responsible tourism by bringing in world-class gear equipment makers, expert trainers, best practices, and technology advancement.

Capt Swadesh Kumar, President- Adventure Tour Operators Association of India, said: “ I have been working in Adventure Travel for over 20 years and this is the first time such a gathering is happening among all stakeholders in Adventure Sports. I encourage everyone to visit the show in the next three days whether you are connected to or aspiring to participate in Adventure Sports. I am sure the success of this show will create many opportunities for growth in this industry and I hope the show grows from strength to strength. We at ATOAI will continue to support such efforts.”

ASEA 2018 has also exhibited a vivid collage of Exhibitors and Buyers. While the Exhibitor profiles will deal with all adventure gear manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers along with adventure and eco-tourism tour operators all over Asia; the Buyer profiles will consist of government bodies such as Army, Navy Force, Para-Military Organizations, Travel enthusiast, potential investors from hospitality and also countries like US, UK, Australia, South America, Asia and Europe. The expo has exhibited the norms of what new trends are running the adventure sports and tourism industry.

The main focus of Adventure Sports Expo Asia 2018 is to provide a unified global networking platform to facilitate the growth of adventure sports & responsible tourism vis-à-vis products and services. This will not only help them in exploring new business opportunities but also will act as a body where they can voice their opinions and grievances and find a solution through dialogue with the exhibitors.

The fifth installment of Thailand’s biggest and most enjoyed tournament for club golfers, the Centara World Masters Golf Championship, returns to the popular beach-side resort town on Hua Hin in Thailand from 10 to 16 June 2018.

Such is the event’s popularity, more than 300 golfers have signed up for the tournament since registrations opened 3 months ago. Testimony to the events worldwide appeal, golfers from Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, USA, Canada, Great Britain, South Africa, India, Pakistan, France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea and host country Thailand have already confirmed their participation.

Centara Grand Hua Hin Beach Resort & Villas hosts spectacular welcome and presentation dinners as well Asia’s biggest 19th hole with entertainment events every night of the week-long tournament. Centara Hua Hin’s old world charm, beachfront location, modern facilities and Thai hospitality makes it a popular place to stay. The hotel is 90% sold-out, with a number of room types already on waitlist.

Open to golfers aged 35 and over, the Centara World Masters is played in age and handicap divisions for both men and women. Playing and competing with golfers of a similar age and standard is part of the tournaments winning formula.

Golfers will play Hua Hin’s four premier golfing resorts for this year’s 72 hole championship. Asia’s number one ranked course, Black Mountain will headline the tournament along with perennial favorite Banyan will headline the course rotation. With a major new pipeline now delivering unlimited water to neighboring Springfield Country Club and Lake View golf courses, these impressive layouts now boast lush, emerald-green fairways where you never get a bad lie.

“Severe drought over the past couple of years had really impacted these two courses that were dependent on mother nature for watering. It’s amazing how lush both the courses are now that they have regular water supply. Last time I inspected Lake View the fairways had major cracks down the middle of them and we had to play ‘tee-up’ at Springfield. Now these courses have the lushest fairways and your ball sits up perfect. The transformation in course conditioning is amazing and I just know golfers will really enjoy playing these courses.” Mark Siegel, Managing Director, Golfasian.

Tournament veteran Daryn Kitchener from Brisbane Australia is among the first to register every year. “I travel to a lot of tournaments around the world and it just doesn’t get any better than the Centara World Masters. Organizers look after absolutely everything for you. Buses take you to and from the courses, you finish your round and leave your clubs on your cart and they just appear on your cart at the next course – cleaned!

The courses are much better than Australia’s golf resorts and I’ve never been so spoiled on a golf course like I am at the Centara Masters. There’s cold towels, unlimited water and sports drinks and even a free beer when you finish. The caddies are well-trained, join in the fun and banter and playing 4 rounds without filling a divot, repairing a pitch mark or raking a bunker is just bliss. Just like the PGA Tour, caddies wear a bib with your name and country flag on it. The caddies are awesome and found my ball no matter how wayward my shots and having my putts lined up for me, it’s a real advantage on courses I’ve never played before. I went on my own the first year and you just meet all these wonderful people from all over. It’s great catching up each year and making more friends. To say I’m excited is an understatement. The screensaver on my phone has a countdown to the start of the tournament.”

According to Go Golfing founder Peter McCarthy, we love spoiling golfers at the Centara World Masters. “I don’t know any other tournament where you get a one-hour massage on arrival. We have 30 hospitality staff who look after everything for the golfers and the non-playing partners. You don’t carry a bag or line up for a drink all week. Our sponsors love the event so much they are coming up with more and more things to make the event more amazing. The whole town of Hua Hin has signs welcoming golfers and special offers for the players. It’s humbling to have this kind of support and hospitality.”

The tournament is a collaboration between Australian based Go Golfing and Thailand based Golfasian. Go Golfing pioneered World Masters tournaments 23 years ago in Australia and now take more than 13,000 golfers each year to 24 countries for their tournaments and hosted group golf tours. Golfasian have forged an enviable reputation as the trusted company for golfers to book with when travelling to Thailand, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Each year both companies are awarded as the best golf tour operators in the Asia Pacific region at the World Golf Awards.

With Easter fast approaching idyllic island Amilla Fushi has raised the game for family holidays in the Maldives. The laidback resort will be hosting their first ever football training camp exclusively for kids in partnership with FUTBOLTEC. The Sydney-based football program owned by Asian Champions League winner Jason Trifiro and his brother, current Sydney United 58 player Glen Trifiro, is inviting young guests to train and perfect their skills through elite coaching on the island's very own full-sized pitch.

Passionate about the increasing importance of technique and skill in Australian football, Jason and Glen established their own academy 'FUTBOLTEC'. Bringing their passion to the Maldives, the extraordinary three-day football camp focuses on teamwork tactics and individual techniques, including dribbling, footwork, passing and receiving.  At the end of the three days, players will go head to head in a fun-filled match before a crowd of their loyal fans. Each player will be fully kitted with an exclusive training shirt, shorts and socks from premium athletic clothing brand ALPHA Gear to ensure they are fully equipped – and look the part.

The three-day camp is available just for Easter from 31st March to 2nd April 2018 and invites all levels of skill from beginners to budding professionals. The Junior Camp welcomes players aged from 5-11 years, whilst the Senior Camp is open to those aged 12-16 years.

Translating to 'My Island Home', the luxury resort offers spacious accommodation in a broad range of family accommodation, all with large freshwater pools and outside areas for al fresco dining. Families can choose from four to eight bedroom houses designed to be self contained and equipped with a full kitchen for a true 'home from home' experience. Relaxed dining options allow families to indulge in diverse culinary offerings from around the world whilst the Javvu Spa offers a holistic retreat in stunning surrounds.

Birmingham rugby fans are being challenged to complete a 10-mile sponsored walk, ahead of watching the highly-anticipated England Vs Wales match next month.

‘Rugby Ramble’ – which is organised by local charity, Birmingham St Mary’s – will see participants walk a scenic route through parks and canals, before finishing at Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club where they will be able to watch the game with local players.

Taking place on Saturday 10 February, ramblers will be treated to a free pie, chips and pint, to reward them for their walking efforts and to help set them up for the excitement of the popular Six Nations match.

Starting at the Hospice in Selly Park, the walk will help raise crucial funds for the charity, which provides vital care and support to local families living with terminal illness.

Lucy Watkins, events manager at Birmingham St Mary’s, said: “The England Vs Wales game is always one of the most eagerly anticipated Six Nations matches, so what better way to enjoy the game than surrounded by local players and other fans. Rugby Ramble is a fantastic event that the whole family can enjoy and although the 10-mile walk may be challenging, it really does make watching the game and tucking into a pie and pint that little bit more rewarding.”

Every day, Birmingham St Mary’s supports 350 individuals across Birmingham and Sandwell – whether that’s at the Hospice, in people’s own homes or in the local community. It costs £8million every year to run its critical services and over half of its funding is required from voluntary income.

Lucy added: “All of our services are free of charge to individuals, family members, carers and loved ones, so events like this are crucial in helping us to keep providing our expert care to everyone who needs it, wherever and whenever they need it."

The Roller Derby World Cup is coming to British shores for the first time and a team of women representing the West Indies are looking to make their mark.

Roller derby is an extremely physical, full contact sport and from February 1st - 4th teams of women from all over the world will descend on Manchester to represent their respective nations. Team West Indies will be one of the 38 nations competing for glory on the roller derby track. The team consisting of women based in the UK and US are representing the islands of St Kitts, Guyana, Trinidad, St Vincent and Jamaica and they’re looking to bring the fiyah once again.

Birmingham athletes make up a large portion of this national team, with 5 of the skaters being members of the Birmingham Blitz Dames, the number 1 team in Birmingham. Blitz Dame and captain of the Windies Simone Radway, AKA Violet Attack, an 11 year veteran of the sport said “We’ve been training very hard over the past year and the team has gone from strength to strength. We’re stronger and more skilled than last time around and we’ll be going into this tournament ready for all the challenges it will bring.”

“We’re proud not only to be representing the West Indies and our respective islands, but also black female athletes, who are underrepresented in our sport. I can’t wait to lead this team at the World Cup and show the world what West Indian women are made of.”

Million Dollar Hole In One (MDHIO) and Tee It Up have joined forces to deliver the perfect night out for golfers – the chance to sink an ice-cold beer and tuck into a burger before walking away with a whopping $1million.

MDHIO is the hugely popular par-three hole-in-one challenge that is run throughout the year at its 40 associated courses across Europe, with competitors who bag an ace going through to a thrilling $1m shootout.

And following on from its successful partnership with American Golf in September, when more than 5,000 competitors took advantage of a similar deal to try to qualify for a separate life-changing jackpot at the world-renowned Belfry, MDHIO is set to expand its growing operation even further thanks to its tie-up with Tee It Up.

Tee It Up, based in the heart of Cardiff Bay and co-owned by Gocompare.com founder Lee Griffin and PGA golf professional Rob Johnson, is the first dedicated indoor golf simulation centre in Wales with access to 45 world-famous courses.

So, players don't even have to worry about the temperamental Welsh weather as the state-of-the-art golf centre, which boasts three hi-tech simulators, live sport on the giant screens, fully-licensed bar serving food all day and top-of-the-range equipment, is the perfect venue to shoot for the huge jackpot.

Million Dollar Hole In One director Martin Tyrrell said: “MDHIO has been hugely popular in mainland Europe with thousands taking part since we started operations in 2000. And we saw a few months ago, through our partnership with American Golf that there is a huge appetite to play the game here in the UK.

“MDHIO and Tee It Up is the perfect partnership as we can offer golfers of all abilities an incredible experience in a great setting. The MDHIO game can be played all-year round in a relaxed and fun environment with the added bonus of being able to enjoy a drink and a burger.

“Whether you are playing with large or small groups of friends, family, or on your own, it is great entertainment. Three shots costs just £10 and anyone who lands a hole-in-one qualifies for the final later this year where they shoot for the $1m.

“We are also planning to bring in regular monthly and quarterly prizes for nearest the pin and we hope to take it to other venues around the country in the near future.”

MDHIO, which has been running since 1990 in USA and since 2000 in Europe, has steadily grown in popularity over the years and more than 50,000 people each year try their luck at the various courses across Portugal, mainland Spain, Mallorca and the UK.

The annual MDHIO final will be held alternate years in USA and other top European venues with the 2018 showdown set to be hosted in the glamorous setting of Las Vegas.

This year's final was held at the stunning mountain setting of the Golf & Spa Grand Tirolia Kitzbühel, Austria and was attended by former England and Newcastle strike ace Alan Shearer, who is an ambassador for MDHIO's sister company Million Dollar Club.

For More information visit: https://www.americangolf.co.uk/services/about-us.html

Plans have been announced for more fun football sessions across Sandwell in 2018 to help people get more active.

This will build on the success of a fun football scheme set up last year in Friar Park, Wednesbury, which is helping local people to get fit and lose weight.

Football Association Just Play schemes will run in each of Sandwell’s six towns and will be set up by the spring.

These will include sessions for lads and dads, men who want to lose weight and women and girls aged 14-plus.

Sandwell Council and the Birmingham FA are working together to identify areas where activities are needed to boost fitness.

Sandwell Council cabinet member Councillor Paul Moore said: "This is a great opportunity for people to have fun and get active.

"I am pleased we will be setting up football sessions in each of our six towns this year.

"People may not have the time, money or interest to be part of affiliated football. With Just Play, they can have fun, improve confidence, boost their fitness and see where it takes them."

Footie for Fitness at Pulse Wednesbury in Friar Park Road started in June last year and has proved very popular with those who want lose weight and get active.

The Friar Park project is supported by community health worker Lauren Cheshire from Sandwell Consortium, weight management development officer Lewis Pountney from Sandwell’s public health team and community activity network development officer Katie Deeley. An Albion Foundation coach runs a football session and boot camp-style fitness and gives advice on weight management.

The idea of Just Play – a national initiative – is to encourage jumpers for goalposts and to play when, wherever and with various formats of the game, including walking football, five-a-side and causal kickabouts.