A primary school in Liverpool has banned leather footballs in the playground, as they fear they're a health and safety risk for the kids. The school will however allow kids to play with foam balls.
In a time when childhood obesity levels are at an all time high, this sort of move can't really be a good thing. The ironic thing is, Malvern Primary School in Huyton is actually famed for producing footballers like Steven Gerrard.
Surely the health benefits of running around playing football outweigh the minor risk of injury playing the game? Although they can still play the game, a foam ball doesn't quite cut the mustard.
What do you think? Health and safety taken too far or a school simply being protective?
I've started making a list of all the new things I want to try in the New Year - it's scary how soon January 1st is going to be here! The usual stuff is on there: exercise more, learn a new language, read more books - but number one on my list is to become a London Rollergirl.
I first heard about roller derby a year and a half ago. I was toying with the idea of buying some rollerblades and getting some lessons, and through my incessant Googling of the words London + skating + roller came across the website for the LRG. They skate on quads (four wheels), and as I loved my rollerskates as a kid I thought it would be easier to pick up than blading, plus I liked the dressing up element. Reading the forum the LRG's seemed like a friendly bunch and it sounded like a great way of getting out and socialising with more women.
As a headline, this takes some beating - even in a week like this one, which has been brain-meltingly good for mahoosive news. Over on Lipster this week, we reported that Bon Jovi had been 'sued for running over woman with golf buggy' which was pretty LOLzular in itself. But on a lady-based theme, this headline's up there. Now, we don't know if Bon Jovi really is a boyracing golf buggy menace to society, but we do know this story is true. It is on the BBC and everything, readers...
It's a geekily beautiful thing is this Cycle Chic site. It's divided into five areas, Cycle Fashion guides you on practical pretty things that'll ensure you cut a dash next time you pop round the North Circular to Tescos. And there's a shop where you can buy actually-cute helmets that will keep you safe without the humiliation of having children point at your head when you ride past, saying "that's where the tennis ball went, daddy." Hey, it happened to me. Plus it tells you how to go about buying one of those awesome shopper bikes with a basket on the front.
Two women of the week, because we've had two golds for British women already and I couldn't possibly choose between them. Honestly, it's enough to make you think women's sports are worth covering in the press occasionally. OK, let's hear it for freestyle champion Rebecca Adlington, first. Interview with road-racing gold winner Nicole Cooke over the page.
Excellent article on mamapop.com about allegedly underage Chinese gymnasts. Like Mamapop, Dollymix - rightly or wrongly - can't help feeling very maternal and protective towards these kids.
On the other hand, the excellent Kira Cochrane over at the Guardian thinks the Olympics might be good for women, if only because it's one of the only times that female athletes can enjoy any media coverage. "Olympic events have always been important to female spectators, partly because we see so little women's sport the rest of the time. As we went to press, the only Team GB competitors to have won medals were women, and yet women's sporting achievements are usually entirely overlooked [...] an analysis of all the national daily newspapers over the course of three days in March found that "just 2% of articles and 1% of images in the sports pages of national newspapers are devoted to female athletes and women's sports."
...and there's an excitable but very nice report on Rebecca Adlington's 400m freestyle gold in the Times here.
Sex testing is to be reintroduced on sportswomen who look or perform like they might, in fact, be men. According to The Times, 'suspect athletes' will have their external appearance assessed by experts who will then 'examine their sex hormones, genes and chromosomes'. All these tests (particularly as The F Word describes them) sound pretty humiliating to say the least, but it does raise the question: how can it be so hard to tell?
According to a new poll by iVillage, 58% of us do. They even have a gallery of lycra-clad 'hunks' for us to post-feministically ogle. "Whether it is the supple swimmer's physique that gets you hot under the collar or the mammoth shot putter with his boulder-shoulders and Neanderthal grunts, you can be sure that they'll be someone to get your pulse racing." Honestly! Are we really that shallow? It's not that we can't appreciate a well-sculpted adonis. It's just that we can appreciate mindless competitiveness and nonsensically out-moded borderline racist nationalism just as much! Hooray for the Olympics. And all sport.