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Our Sporting Life initiative launches

Scheme to celebrate the UK's sporting heritage to run until London 2012 Games

By Pete Hayman

Our Sporting Life – a nation- wide programme of 100 events designed to explore the UK's sporting heritage – has launched with the unveiling of a new exhibition in Henley-on- Thames, Oxfordshire. Jonny Wilkinson's Rugby

World Cup-winning ball, a football used in the first Olympic final and 1930s football etiquette are among artefacts that have been put on display as part of Our Sporting Life Henley. Located at the town's River

and Rowing Museum, other exhibits include items related to the history of Henley Town Football Club and an account of Atlantic rowers. Both the British Olympic Association and the

ECB issues free- to-air warning

Domestic cricket could be severely affected if home Ashes Test matches are listed for free-to-air television, according to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). In its response to a

government consultation on the review of free-to- air sporting events, the ECB warned of a

"devastating collapse in the entire fabric" of the domestic game from grassroots to elite level. An independent

economic assessment of the proposals, which will also see all other cricket matches removed from the B list, estimates the sport would lose £137.4m from the 2014-2017 domestic broadcast contract.

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The stand has boosted The Shay's capacity to more than 10,000

By Pete Hayman

A new £4.5m east stand has officially opened to the public The Shay stadium in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Hall Construction Services

has carried out the design and build of the 3,500-seat stand at the venue – home to FC Halifax Town and Halifax Rugby League Football Club (HRLFC). The stand will take The

Shay's total capacity to more

than 10,000 for the first time in more than 30 years and will provide one of the largest conference facilities in the area. HRLFC's fixture with Leigh

Rugby League Football Club on 28 March was the first event to take place in front of the new stand, while changing facilites and catering areas also opened. The East Stand, which boasts

11 function rooms, also houses retail outlets for the local football and rugby teams.


Labour to unveil fan ownership pledge

Football supporters could be

Museum curator Suzie Tilbury with two of the sporting exhibits

British Paralympic Association have contributed objects to the exhibition, which forms part of the wider Museums, Libraries and Archives Council initiative. Highlights from each of the

UK-wide exhibitions will help to form one of the largest ever collections of sporting memora-

bilia, which will be held in London for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The People's Record, which

aims to bring the UK's museums, libraries and archives together to connect with eyewitness stories ahead of the 2012 Games, is also involved.

The Shay's new East stand opens

handed the right to purchase a 25 per cent share in their club under new proposals being developed by the government. According to the Guardian, the Labour manifesto for the forthcoming General Election is set to include a pledge that will radically shake-up the ownership structure of English clubs. The plans come amid a number of clubs running into financial difficulties – most notably Portsmouth Football Club, which has become the first Premier League club in history to enter administration.

New sports campus planned for Derry

A new sports centre is being

planned for Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The plans for the North West Regional Sports Campus include a performance development centre, a multi-use sports hall, a fitness suite, a 3rd generation floodlit football pitch and offices for Sport Northern Ireland and Coaching Ireland. The scheme is estimated to cost £759,815, with the majority to be funded by the International Fund for Ireland (£650,000) and the remainder from the Department of Social Development (£109,815).

New inner-city rugby scheme for London

A new rugby programme aimed

at inner-city communities where young people are felt to be at risk from anti-social behaviour has launched in London. The Hitz project will run across six London boroughs – Hackney; Islington; Hounslow; Croydon; Ealing and Southwark – and will help to build self-confidence by introducing young people to tag, touch and contact rugby. Premier Rugby, the Rugby Football Union, the Metropolitan Police and rugby union charity Wooden Spoon.

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