Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ping-Pong Is Coming Home

Much has been said about the amazing success of Team GB at the Beijing Olympics. I rediscovered a quadrennial passion for Yngling sailing and the Keirin (greyhound racing on bikes where instead of chasing a hare, the cyclists chase what looks like a pizza delivery bike), as well as the more commonly known sports.

I was caught up in the moment cheering on every one of our medallists and look forward to the sport in four years time. There is a long way to go and I suspect that I won't look forward to the bill for the games but that is for another post. In the meantime, have a look at the video and watch Boris at the handover party looking forward to London 2012 as only he can. Now where is my ox?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sutton hosts European Carrom Championship

Now my computer is just about back to normal, I ought to catch up with the events of the last week or so.

I was invited to the attend the final and closing ceremony of the Carroms European Championships held at Sutton High School. If you haven't heard of the game before, have a look at the Wikipedia entry and this simple summary of the rules. Essentially it is similar to pool but played on a board with counters which are potted by flicking a 'striker' instead of hitting a cue ball.

The great thing about the game is that it is easy to get into, costs very little to start and can be played by young and old, male or female, fit and unfit. My grandfather made my father a board over half a century ago, which my family still pull out and play on every now and again. Being accessible is only one test of a great game. Longevity is the other. The final was three hours of enthralling play. The skill and concentration shown by the two finalists, both from the UK was remarkable and the time flew by.

Vijay Sharma of the UK Carrom Federation was a terrific host with contestants from Italy, Holland, France, Germany and Poland amongst others. It occurs to me that with a bit of a helping hand from the Council, Vijay and his colleagues could organise some demonstrations of this compelling game in Sutton schools and encourage a few young people to take up the game. Young people often talk about not having anything to do. We respond with youth provision without truly understanding whether youths are interested in what is provided or not. Offering a choice can only be a good thing and carrom is easy, cheap and different. Well worth a crack in my book.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

New Deadline for Top Blog Vote

Iain Dale reports that he is having to bring the deadline forward for voting in the blogging awards to this Friday. I've covered how to vote and what it is all about here.

If you're feeling generous and would like to help me reach even loftier heights than 155th, please send your top 10 blogs (preferably with me in it) to

Apologies for the lack of posts. My hard drive has died and it is taking sometime to get my data back. More soon.