Category: Sport (page 2 of 6)

Park Run – a healthy passion or an unhealthy obsession?

I’ve got a mixed relationship with park run.

As a concept, it’s brilliant. The Olympics 2012 get inspired legacy may not have met with a huge amount of success but Park Run does a phenomenal job of mobilising people to do exercise.

(The last time I ran in a park was either doing reluctant cross country at primary school or chasing after Sophie when  she legged it after a duck!)

However, ever since my wife’s great friend Sarah introduced her to it a few years ago, she has become utterly hooked.

And that’s where I’m going with this post…

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Turning 30

In many ways, it’s been a pretty momentous week.

But, after some frustrating news on the Brexit and personal front (all in the space of 12 hours!), my 30th birthday weekend has been absolutely wonderful and I am in awe of my wife’s amazing organisational skills and incredible love.

It all started with a little girl waking me up singing “Happy Birthday Daddy!”, tunefully and happily. Lovely!

Then, the surprises began…

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Why this derby defeat hurts the most

As a Blackburn Rovers fan, I’ve got used to losing derby matches.

This season, I’ve watched on as Burnley twice beat Rovers, both times after being outplayed.

I also saw the shambles at the Macron straight after Christmas when a much fresher Rovers team were destroyed by a hungrier and, on that evidence better, Bolton side.

Look how that one turned out.

And yet, with Rovers pressing the self-destruct button to lose 2-1 at home to neighbours Preston North End today, for me, it’s the most painful derby defeat of the season.

Ewood_Park_-_Jack_Walker_stand

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Speed Demon

Forget Lewis Hamilton and the start of the brand new F1 season.

The fastest thing on four wheels is our little girl and she shows no sign of slowing down.

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#5liveaside – a toddler’s touchline view!

You may be aware that over the past three days, the piazza outside BBC Sport has seen 57 hours of non-stop five aside football in aid of Sport Relief.

Blackburn Rovers legends Alan Shearer and Robbie Savage (did they play for anyone else?!) laid down the gauntlet to each other to match a Premier League season and then promptly drafted in a host of ringers to help them get through the epic duel.

By the end of play, it had raised almost £400,000 for the Sport Relief cause and the funds were still coming in. What an achievement.

We took Sophie down to check it out on Thursday night, when the sun was beginning to set, and Savage had given up moving – already!

Here’s her take on events.

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Jess vs FIFA 16

A beautiful girl took on the beautiful game.

How did she get on?

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New signings new start? (Or same old for Paul Lambert)

Rovers have been busy in the transfer market today, securing a double deal of Premier League cast-offs.

The performances had got progressively worse – saying something! – and they are slipping dangerously close to the bottom three.

With that appalling run of no wins in six and only one goal scored (before the FA Cup on Monday) something had to give.

And besides, with Paul Lambert getting his first chance to change the outlook of the squad, the stakes are high to try and turn around Rovers’ form.

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Little Kickers

I’ve been dreaming about it for a long time.

Our little girl taking to the football field, dribbling round a host of stranded opponents before burying the ball past a despairing goalkeeper and wheeling off to celebrate winning the World Cup Final.

And, if you rewrite the sentence as “taking to the school hall, dribbling through some cones and toepoking into an unguarded net” then you have some idea of the joys of Little Kickers!

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Arsenal the real deal?

This time last year I wrote a rather surprising post about my secret love of Arsenal,

It didn’t quite go viral (!); however, it certainly raised a few eyebrows amongst my friends as well as giving me confidence to follow them more obviously in public.

Twelve months on, fresh from a convincing victory over title rivals Man City, is it possible that seasons of unfulfilled promises are finally being fulfilled?

And, if they are, then why?

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The Lambert Years – Reflections at the start of a new era

I’m not quite sure I recognise this feeling.

It’s one of cautious optimism inspired by a managerial appointment based on sound logic (from Venkys as well!) which could be promising for Blackburn Rovers.

Over the last five seasons, Rovers have lurched downwards, barely pausing for breath as their proud Premier League pedigree was frittered away in a combination of dreadful spending, terribly poor boardroom leadership and inadequate management.

Not since Sam Allardyce have they had a manager who other clubs recognised and respected. Not since Sam Allardyce have they had a manager whose past achievements could be highlighted on a chunky CV.

Not that it bought him much time or affection from the Rovers faithful however!

And yet it would be unfair to argue that Gary Bowyer failed. He brought stability, security and some good times during what we mustn’t forget was his first managerial post.

He kept his head in the midst of crazy boardroom politics and his calm and careful stewardship put paid to the madness of Shebby Singh.

Who knows what depths to which Rovers would have plummeted had he not performed his emergency salvo mission back in 2013.

And his calm dignity and ability to spot a bargain signing has been vital in the last two seasons. Who else would have steered us through the troubled waters of Financial Fair Play and kept players such as Jordan Rhodes at the club? Compared to the frustrations and difficulties experienced by the likes of Forest and Leeds they’ve done OK.

And it’s not a level playing field when QPR can get away with awful misspending and bad budgeting.

There were some disappointments though. When Wigan won the FA Cup that year, Rovers were a home replay against a poor Millwall team from a Wembley semi finals. They barely had a shot and went out.

Far too many times did his Rovers side fail to take their chances and allow the other team to equalise with their only chance or lose entirely.

When you’ve got prolific strikers Rhodes and Gestede in your team, you simply have to be winning more games.

He’ll also be remembered for losing to Burnley, twice, and allowing their rivals to party at Ewood Park. Unacceptable in most Rovers fans eyes.

So, after a disappointing start, he’s lost his job and in has swept a double promotion achiever,  a Champions League winner and an experienced Premier League manager in Paul Lambert.

A bit of cautious optimism never hurt anybody!

And yesterday may have been a win secured by an own goal and a penalty but a win is a win.

The new era has begun!

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