Day 19 – Tour de France Fever in Yorkshire

On the weekend the famous ‘Tour de France’ passed through my home town in Yorkshire. It was incredible. I had never really been into it before I watched it. My town really got enthusiastic putting up bunting, painting bikes to display everywhere and selling merchandise. When the Tour de France finally came it was a really hot, sunny day. Me and my family stood at the top of a steep hill to watch them come up and go along the straight. The atmosphere was incredible. There was a huge procession before the riders came. Freebies were thrown out, different music blared from each passing van and police motorbikes wizzed past. When the riders came everyone cheered, wooped and spurred them on. It was a really exciting event to witness and great for Yorkshire to be a part of. Yorkshire were up against big cities like Barcelona and Berlin to host the depart and won it, so it is great for the rest of the world to see how picturesque and beautiful Yorkshire is.


Day 16 – Are ‘Fitspirations’ a bad thing?

I have been wanting to write this article for a while. There is so much controversy in the media as to whether ‘Fitspiration’ images are encouraging or a negative influence on people. You’ll have probably noticed I have a Fitspiration section on my blog, where I post influential quotes for encouragement to people. However in my opinion there are two kinds of Fitspiration posts. 

The negative kind makes women strive to unhealthy goals. 1 Most photos are heavily photoshopped to make women feel insecure about their weight (even though they are a healthy weight). Images in the media are extremely influential to women all over whether it be a teenager or a woman who is in her forties. Seeing the image above (what can only be dubbed as ‘thinspiration)’ is an unrealistic goal for anybody. Women have hips and curves and should embrace them instead of thinking they should lose them to look like the photoshopped women in these photos. I think these kinds of Fitspirations make women feel bad about themselves. Instead Fitspiration should be used to encourage women that working out is healthy but in moderation. Women shouldn’t feel guilty about eating certain foods or taking the escalator instead of the stairs. Which brings me onto the positive Fitspo.

I’m all for a good motivational quote which is why I post them. It encourages and motivates people. However when choosing which Fitspiration posts you decide to read, stay away from the ‘Thinspirations’ and focus on inspirational kind. The kind that actually makes you feel pumped to go to the gym or for a run or whatever, instead of making you feel bad and guilty you ate chocolate. 



David Moyes has been sacked from Manchester United Football Club

David Moyes has officially been sacked from Manchester United football club after only ten months. On 22nd April 8:30am the Manchester United official twitter feed announced that Moyes would be leaving the club saying, “the club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role”. Due to the bad season United have had this did not come as a surprise to many.  Personally, I feel sorry for him as he built up a solid ten year reputation at Everton football club and he finally makes it as manager to a ‘top’ club and then is sacked. This has debatably ruined his reputation, and has definitely tainted it. However it is fair to say that anybody following the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson (who managed United for an astounding twenty eight years) would struggle. Although Moyes was personally selected by Ferguson himself, he lost the vital support of United’s owners, the Glazer family. Simon Stone from BBC Sport said that, “the sacking of Moyes was inevitable after Sunday’s awful performance at Everton” where they lost 2-0.

It has been announced that former United player, Ryan Giggs will step in as acting manager for the last four games of the season. However whilst he has a vast knowledge of the club he has hardly any management experience whatsoever, so it will be interesting to see how the next few games pan out. Although because he has been managed by Ferguson he can draw upon advice he taught him as a player and use it for his managerial role.

There are many things the media have critiqued him on such as the dramatic fall in the league table for United. They have failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1995. They will end their season with their lowest points total in Premier League history, and their home record this season is the worst it has been since 1978. At present they are seventh in the Premier League with four matches still to play, however this time last year they were first with eleven points ahead. They have also lost six league games at home.

Another mistake he made was not playing the same team all season. There have not been two games where the players on the pitch have been the same. He has not given time for the players to gel together and work as a team. There is little desire and passion for them to win. Related to this is the fact that the players he has bought he has been playing out of position, such as playing Mata on the right wing. It has been debated that he is trying to implement the same style he used with Everton for ten years, turning United into a standard mid-table team. On the other hand, the current playing squad are arguably the weakest it has been for many years.

He has made some bad transfer decisions too. He bought Marouane Fellaini for twenty seven and a half million when if they had acted quicker, could have bought him for four million less. This made officials lack confidence in him, they had to be sure he was the right person to make these decisions. With the mistakes he has made thus far he cannot be trusted to make the 100-150 million investment decisions over the summer.

However in my opinion he has been unlucky and been treated too harshly. United have not had a new manager in twenty eight years so they should have let Moyes settle and have more time to gel with the players and adapt to his new role. It is unfortunate that has been sacked. But it was always inevitable that the manager after Ferguson would always have been compared to him. Overall he should have been given more of a chance to prove how good of a manager he is.


Big Money Transfers in Football and Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale signed for Tottenham Hotspur football club in 2007 who originally paid seven million pounds for him. He then transferred to Spanish team, Real Madrid 1st September 2013 for a world record transfer fee of eighty five point three million. There is a debate as to whether he was worth that amount of money. For the first part of his season he was sat out or substituted originally due to a reoccurring thigh injury. However later on in the season he has really shown his true potential. Bale has demonstrated he is a world class player and a real game changer for Real Madrid.

On the 16th April, he scored the winning goal for Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final, his 20th goal of the season, notably against their predominant rival, Barcelona. It is arguably his best goal of his career thus far. Real Madrid’s assistant coach Paul Clement said that, “I’m not sure I have ever seen a goal like that.” Before this match Bale had scored nineteen goals in thirty eight games. He proved in this moment that he was worth the vast amount he was bought for by the Spanish club.

Another example of a big money signing but in the Premier League involves the Spanish player, Fernando Torres, who is arguably one of the biggest flops. He left Liverpool for Chelsea in January 2011. He joined for a record British transfer fee of fifty million, making him the most expensive Spanish player thus far. Out of his ninety one appearances at Liverpool he scored sixty five goals in the league. This is contrasted to his career at Chelsea, where he was played seventy one times and he has scored only nineteen goals. This shows that a player’s success at one team does not guarantee a definite success at another team. This is due to confidence, injuries and whether they play to their strengths.

One of Manchester City’s biggest transfer flops was Robson de Souza also known as Robinho. He transferred to City 1st October 2008 from Real Madrid. He was transferred for thirty two million and a half, which at the time was the club’s second highest ever transfer, and was a British record for the most amount paid for a player. However he was not as successful as hoped because he only played forty one games for City, in two seasons. Robinho was then transferred to Milan for half the fee Manchester City had paid for him (sixteen million pounds).

On the other hand, twenty five year old Sergio Aguero who transferred to Manchester City from Athletico Madrid for thirty eight million has been a great success. He has been played in eighty two games, scoring a phenomenal fifty goals. He has also had fifteen assists, demonstrating that he can not only score goals but create goals, making him an all-round fantastic buy for City.

Due to Bale’s transfer money, Spurs have bought several players. However this has caused problems as the players have not gelled together or had time to settle in the club. For example Centre Forward, Roberto Soldado transferred from Valencia CF and was bought for twenty six million, four hundred thousand pounds. He has been a huge flop for Spurs. Soldado has recently had a hamstring injury. Out of the twenty seven games he has played for Spurs, he has scored only six goals. He has been brought on as a substitute five times and taken off on ten occasions.

Big money signings sometimes bring the team buying instant success however it is not always a guarantee. The risk involved is very high, however players such as Bale make it worth it.


Interview with Basketball Player, Scott Johnson from Loughborough University

Scott Johnson is a second year student, studying International Relations at Loughborough University. He plays Basketball for the 3rds and 4ths (playing BUCS and local league).

1) How long have you been playing basketball for?

I’ve been playing it since i was about five or six so for fifteen years. I first started playing it because I saw Space Jam with Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan and I thought that it looked fun. So then my dad looked up local junior teams and I went to train at one every Saturday for three hours.

2) What is it like to compete for Loughborough University?

It’s great. The good things for me personally are that it is a higher level than what I have played, so feels like I’m really improving as it’s a challenge.

3) What has your season been like?

It has been personally good. I have had some bad games but feel like I am getting better. As a team we have won six in a row now so I’m pleased.

4) Which position do you play?

I play in a position called centre. I guess it is comparable in Netball to GS or GK.

5) Have you got any big games coming up?

The 3s season in BUCS has finished so I am playing in the 4s now. We are still in the cup and in a few weeks we play the Leicester police team.

6) What is a training week like for you?

We have two slots in SDW per week, one two hour training on Wednesdays then normally a match or two hour training on Fridays. But we can book court time personally as well.

7) What is your favourite thing about playing Basketball?

I  feel like it is an incredibly tough sport, as it’s very physical and athletic as well as needing good skills. When I play well I feel like I have acheived something and really pushed myself.

8) Do you have anyone in Basketball who inspires you?

My brother played well here (at Loughborough University) for three years and has gone on to play at a high level in London so he inspires me. It is easy to be inspired by people at Loughborough as well who have really improved.

9) Do you wish to continue to play at a high level after university?

Well I know for sure that I will continue to play, as playing here has only made me love it more. I hope to but it all depends on how much I develop.

Interview with Zen Lee, a Kickboxer at Loughborough University

Zen Lee is a second year student studying Economics at Loughborough University. He started kickboxing just under three years ago, and is now three times Ecka National Kickboxing Champion, 2013 University National Kickboxing champion, and 2014 British Champion.

1)    What motivates you?

 Training motivates me, I love training. I love the stretching, the kicking, the combinations you learn, the atmosphere, and the people. That’s what motivates me.

2)    How often do you train?

I train three times a week with two hour sessions. Occasionally I do extra training in my room or with my friend.

3)    Do you have a particular focus in training?

I mainly focussing on improving my kicking, and my fitness, those two are my main focuses when I train.

4)    So you have a special diet you follow?

Not really, because I only thought of kickboxing as a hobby, I didn’t really take it seriously. But now that I’ve got a chance of achieving something big I will start eating healthier.

5)    What is it like coaching?

Interesting because I’ve had students walk through the door who have never done anything physical in their life and others who have trained longer than I have, so I’ve had to find that balance that keeps everyone going to that next level without others feeling left behind. It really shows me how much I think I know against how much I actually know.

6)    Do you have any advice for people wanting to get into kick boxing?

Just get involved as it’s so rewarding both physical and mentally.

7)    What is it like competing for Loughborough University?

It’s exciting, being team captain I’ve always got to lead by example, and I’ve being doing a good job of that so far.

8)    What is your favourite thing about the fight nights?

My favourite thing is not knowing the outcome.

9)    Have you any competitions coming up?

I’ve got the university championship in three weeks, and a few others but the big one is the Europeans in Spain where I’ll be fighting for GB. Because I won the British championship, I got invited to the GB squad sessions

10)  Are you excited?

Yeah I’ve been looking forward to it since I heard about it a few months ago.

11)  What is training with GB like?

It starts next week, but I’m sure it’s going to be intense.

Thank you Zen, and best of luck in your competitions!

Interview with Dancer and Loughborough University’s Dance Show Coordinator, Hannah Redfern

Hannah is currently in her third year of studying Sport and Exercise Science. She has been dancing since she was four years old. Hannah has done a variety of dance styles including ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary along with some others!

1)      What is your favourite type of dance and why?

Ballet is without a doubt my favourite style of dance to both watch and perform. I think ballet dancers are incredible athletes and it’s such a beautiful art form.

2)      What do you love most about dancing and why?

Shows!! I absolutely love performing on stage, hence why I took on the role of show co-ordinator- I really wanted to have a go at creating my own! I am a really arty person so loved getting creative when producing the show- not something I usually get to do on a science course!

3)      As the shows coordinator what did your role entail? Was it challenging?

My role included designing and producing all the promotional aspects of the performance so things like posters, programmes and T-shirts as well as choreographing the opening and closing routines for the whole club. I also had to hire venues and staff, create a theme, liaise with teachers and random other bits of organising such as DVDs and tickets! It was definitely more fun than stressful (except the last week!). The amazing people I had supporting me certainly made my life alot easier! The staff from LSU Media and the LSU Tech Crew have been particularly great so a massive thank you to those guys!

4)      What was your favourite part of the dance show?

From an organisational point of view I loved seeing all of my ideas and designs coming together in the flesh, which was so rewarding! The fact that we sold out twice and were almost full on the remaining night was really great to see and all the hype and support on social media was overwhelming- nice to see people appreciating all the effort everyone from LSUDC put into the show!

5)      How were the rehearsals?

Rehearsals were long and tiring! I worked out I did 48 hours of dance the week before/of the show and I would just like to thank all the dancers again for the time and hard work they put in! The teachers and committee also deserve a massive thank you for their dedication all year round and to making the club as successful as it is!

6)      What is your favourite thing about being in LSU Dance?

The people without a doubt, everyone is so lovely and friendly- we are a very sociable club! I have also loved having the opportunity to teach and be a part of the committee. From organising the show I have learnt just how lucky we are to have such an amazing Students Union here in Loughborough and it is lovely to have gained more insight into areas which I didn’t know much about before!

7)      Now it is over what is next in store? The competition coming up?

Yes we have our competition soon! If you enjoyed ‘Let’s go to the Movies!’ and want to see your favourite dances again, make sure you come along to our LSU Dance Competition in Sir David Wallace on Sat 8th and Sunday 9th March. It is the biggest university Dance competition in Britain and its always such a great weekend, there is a big social in Room 1 on Saturday night too which is open to all!

8)      What was your favourite dance on the night and why?

Matilda was my favourite one to dance in as I loved acting like a child every night! However I also loved watching the ‘Happy Feet’ Penguin tappers choreographed by our award winning tap teacher and vice chair Faye!

9)      How was it on the night and being on stage?

The show nights ran really smoothly actually which was nice as it meant I wasn’t panicking before going on stage! Dancing was so much fun but the weekend just went way too quickly! Again, a HUGE thank you to anyone involved in any way, it has been an incredible experience and I have loved every second of it! Anyone thinking of joining LSUDC next year, you would be MAD not too!