28 January 2010

Running barefoot is gaining ground

Running barefoot is gaining ground@Philly

Barefoot runners tend to land on the balls of their feet, rather than smacking the ground heel-first, generating an impact that may be less harmful to the body, a team of researchers is reporting today in the journal Nature.

Last month another study found that runners wearing shoes experienced greater torque in the knee and hip. While neither study looked at rates of injury, the authors of the Nature paper say the forefoot-first style may reduce tibial stress fractures and a painful condition called plantar fasciitis.

Still, the authors of the Nature paper cautioned that if people want to run forefeet-first - whether they are barefoot or wearing minimal shoes - they should proceed gradually.

27 January 2010

Customised sports diploma offered to Singapore Sports School students

Customised sports diploma offered to Singapore Sports School students@CNA

SINGAPORE : Students at the Singapore Sports School (SSP) will soon be able to take up a customised Diploma in Sports and Leisure Management.

The diploma is being offered by Republic Polytechnic, in collaboration with SSP.

The target is to have a minimum of 18 to 20 students for the first intake in 2011.

Students will be admitted based on their sporting achievements and academic results at the Sports School.

Deborah Tan, principal, Singapore Sports School, said: "We are really responding to the need for us to consider our graduates who are in the post-secondary pathway in our school, to really get into an industry, the sports and leisure industry."

The diploma prepares students for work in the sports and leisure industry in areas such as sports facilities management and programming.

Dr Michael Koh, director, School of Sports, Health and Leisure, Republic Polytechnic, said: "We have customised it to enable the developmental athletes in the Sports School to both balance academic pursuits and sporting pursuit...the main difference is in the time table planning; it allows them the flexibility to go for competitions and meet their training requirements."

The Diploma in Sports and Leisure Management is offered to students who have enrolled under the SSP's six-year through train programme.

25 January 2010

YOG scholarship to train and study in Singapore

Six scholarships for world's young athletes to train & study in S'pore@CNA

SINGAPORE : Organisers of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) on Sunday revealed details of a sports scholarship programme for the world's young athletes.

The six scholarships are for study and training at the Singapore Sports School.

They will be awarded at every YOG to a deserving young athlete, aged between 13 and 15, from Singapore and each of the five continents.

The first batch of six scholarships will be awarded during the first YOG, which will be held from August 14-26.

They are fully funded by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, and targeted at seven Olympic sports - aquatics, athletics, badminton, football, golf, sailing and table tennis.

Ng Ser Miang, chairman of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee and vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, said the first batch of successful applicants is scheduled to begin their four-year term at the Sports School in January next year.

He said it will include another two years of the school's International Baccalaureate programme for those who can go further.

Mr Ng was speaking to journalists at the Singapore Cadet Fencing World Cup 2010, which is part of the on-going Friendship Games, at the Suntec International Convention Centre.

"This is going to be one of the legacies of the games in Singapore," said Mr Ng. "The YOG is about sports, culture and education, and it is something Singapore believes in.

"So the scholarships will continue to link Singapore to the Olympic movement and the youth of the world by bringing them here to learn, train and to take part in sports."

The scholarships will cover the athletes' school fees, accommodation, training and airfare to their home countries after the first two years.

Applications, which are not restricted to YOG athletes, opened on Sunday and will close on April 16.

24 January 2010

Aerobic exercise triggers new brain cell growth

Start running and watch your brain grow, say scientists@Guardian

Neuroscientists at Cambridge University have shown that running stimulates the brain to grow fresh grey matter and it has a big impact on mental ability.

A few days of running led to the growth of hundreds of thousands of new brain cells that improved the ability to recall memories without confusing them, a skill that is crucial for learning and other cognitive tasks, researchers said.

The new brain cells appeared in a region that is linked to the formation and recollection of memories. The work reveals why jogging and other aerobic exercise can improve memory and learning, and potentially slow down the deterioration of mental ability that happens with old age.

Scientists are unsure why exercise triggers the growth of grey matter, but it may be linked to increased blood flow or higher levels of hormones that are released while exercising. Exercise might also reduce stress, which inhibits new brain cells through a hormone called cortisol.

10 January 2010

Singapore's Asian Games target

S'pore aiming for 11 gold medals at 2010 Asian Games@CNA

The 2001 Committee on Sporting Singapore blueprint set many targets - including becoming a Top 10 sporting nation in Asia by 2010.

The benchmark is the Asian Games.

In Doha 2006, Singapore finished in 12th spot - with 27 medals, eight of them gold.

For November's Asian Games in China, the target is 11 gold medals.

Low Teo Ping, Chef de Mission, Team Singapore, 2010 Asian Games, said: "We have already begun identifying 12 sports and we have classified them under what we call the M12, that will deliver the medals. We then would identify five, six, which we will call the G5 or G6, and these will be the five or six sports that will deliver the gold medals."

08 January 2010

YOG Friendship Games

YOG using Friendship Games to try out processes and facilities@CNA

SINGAPORE: Preparations for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) are intensifying as they are just seven months away.

As part of the preparations, the Friendship Games will see 600 athletes from 20 National Olympic Committees compete in Singapore from January 7 to 28.

The 2010 Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championships will be one of six events that form part of the Friendship Games.

Five other sports - Taekwondo, Boxing, Judo, Fencing and Handball - will also be staged this month at the Suntec International Convention Centre.

The venues used to host the Friendship Games will also be used for YOG in August. And so this is a good opportunity for the organisers to test out the systems and improve on any shortcomings.

03 January 2010

NZ Coach Accelerator development programme

Coach Accelerator development programme@SPARC

The aim of Coach Accelerator is to provide new skills and challenge them further to ensure they are capable of producing World, Olympic or Paralymic champions

The three-year Coach Accelerator initiative provides financial support and professional development training. Over the three years, the participants receive individually-tailored professional development, attend residential camps, and get sport-specific and generic coach training.