We were particularly interested to see the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire route revealed last week. As we hold an extremely proud Yorkshire-woman among our ranks, Crunch consider the race to be a significant sporting highlight for next year. The county’s impressive and diverse landscape offers the perfect setting for a road race that has “really catapulted itself into the public consciousness,” last year attracting 2 million spectators and generating £60 million for the local economy. Stage 3 looks set to be the most challenging for competitors; dubbed the “Yorkshire Terrier,” the route ends on a 22km finishing circuit with an unprecedented four categorised climbs. We can only assume the canine comparison derives from behavioural rather than physical characteristics.
Away from the road and onto the track, the new multi-year partnership between ASICS and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has also caught our attention. The brand replaced former partner Adidas and will now hope to play a part in ‘cleaning up’ the image of an association so tarnished in recent years by doping controversy. Sebastian Coe, president of the IAAF commented: “Global athletics starts a new chapter today based upon solid foundations of modern governance and a renewed determination to protect and promote clean athletes. We are delighted to have attracted ASICS our latest official partner, to share this new journey with us.” Let’s hope the partnership will help start a new scandal-free chapter for the federation.
As per the Sheffield Sharks head coach Atiba Lyons, an industry that is also adept at ‘keeping secrets’ is British basketball. Responding to the news that the BBC will begin broadcasting The British Basketball League (BBL) and Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL), Lyons hailed the sport to be the “best kept secret in the UK.” He believes the key to increasing awareness of a sport so popular across the pond is the younger generation, since figures show that it is “one of the most popular team sports in under-25s,” with a large number of youngsters “gravitating towards basketball.” Be sure to tune into coverage on the BBC red button on 15th January, as either Newcastle Eagles or London Lions will take on the mighty Glasgow Rocks in the British Basketball League Cup final.
Lastly we had to comment on what must be one of the most poorly managed social media ideas in the short history of social media. As woeful as England’s series whitewash at the hands of India was, it was by no means an excuse for the ‘Barmy Army’ to broadcast a barrage of truly disgusting jokes on the fan messaging board during the fourth test. The ‘banter’ broached such contentious topics as Adam Johnson’s sexting case and the tragic disappearance of Madeleine McCann, after fans took advantage of the opportunity to send in offerings of support for the players on the pitch. Perhaps the most questionable aspect of all, was the alarming lack of censorship from those coordinating this well intentioned and fundamentally innocent social media support forum. One assumes that employing a team to filter content destined for the most public of public platforms, would be an important agenda point for the planning meeting we presume took place. Evidently not. We can’t imagine the MA Chidambaram Stadium will be surrendering control of their billboard anytime in the foreseeable future, or most likely, never ever again.