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January 2008 Newsletter

Welcome to the Design for Sport newsletter. We hope you enjoy it and feel able to contribute to future editions - our aim is to showcase the role of innovation and great design.


An article in Businessweek notes that small companies are more effective at innovation and leading the pack. That they are quicker to move and lighter on their feet may come as no surprise, but the assertion that it's more to do with smaller teams and a leader with a vision will probably reinforce many people's view of design by committee. As you will know Design for Sport is a small, fast moving firm... QED?


For those of us without the muscle tone left in our legs to do a full days' skiing this new product will be invaluable. Basically a pair of mechanical extra muscles the Mojo ski all day product looks to revolutionise the hours spent on the slope. We look forward to testing it out!

Research and Development

For those interested in the nitty-gritty of design and development Sport England has launched an online alert service aimed at those interested in recent and forthcoming research developments: The Sport England Research eBulletin. The bulletin is part of their "continuing commitment to find improved ways to disseminate research findings". The information in the bulletin is grouped into research themes.

Green Sport

Changing a child’s life.

Project Good - a joint venture between World of Good and eBay - is donating 40 Fair Trade footballs to Africa. The eco-certified Fair Trade footballs are going to the Better World Cup, an organization founded by James Rose.

The thinking behind the project is that every ball given to a child is one ball that another child has not been forced to hand stitch.

Olympic News

The London Borough of Hillingdon will have the first 50m Olympic-sized pool to be built in West London for over 40 years.

Hillingdon Council is investing £22 million into the sports and leisure complex and has finalised additional funding to enable a 50m pool to be built as part of the complex, which includes an athletics stadium, sports hall and fitness centre.

The funding of £2.025 million from the London Development Agency will be supplemented by £1.5 million National Lottery funding from Sport England.

The development is being built next to the 1930’s Uxbridge open-air pool, a grade II listed building, which is also being refurbished. The new pool will include a movable floor, allowing for the space to be used as two 25metre pools for different uses as well as altering the depths according to use.


As Kirk Shepherd entered the Alexandra Palace on New Year's Day to the deafening sound of music by T-Rex and delirious hero-worship from 2,500 noisy fans, the broad smile on the face of Barry Hearn told its own story.

Not only was he revelling in a choreographed moment of pure theatre, but he was also seeing further confirmation of darts' arrival in the nation's consciousness.

Since becoming chairman of the Professional Darts Corporation in 2001, Hearn has been telling anybody who cared to listen that this was a sport with the potential to match or even exceed the extraordinary popularity of snooker during the Eighties. The past two weeks have supported that claim.

More than 35,000 tickets were sold for the PDC Championship and, according to Hearn, darts has become the second most-watched sport on Sky after Premier League football.

Source: Jeremy Wilson, the Guardian

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