category: Sport

October 02, 2006

Steven Gerrard Art Video

steve-gerrard-vid.jpgI saw Steve Gerrard in the World Museum Liverpool this morning!

Not in the flesh sadly but I was honoured to be one of the first people to view this 4 minute video of the Liverpool FC captain touring the Museum and the Walker Art Gallery talking about his love of the cultural side of the city.

Lorraine Rodgers, the Chair of Tranmere Rovers FC was there as she also appeared in the video. In fact, as a trustee of National Museums Liverpool she is particularly keen to encourage more involvement in the arts from sportspeople.

The large group of young schoolchildren enjoyed the film and being filmed by the likes of BBC and Sky Sports too.

The video is showing to coincide with the launch of a new exhibition opening on Saturday October 7th 2006 called LoveSport

LoveSport is a free exhibition that explores how playing sport equals a healthy body, a healthy mind and even contributes to a healthy economy through advances in technology. Gerrard gives an insight into how he sees his own sporting mind: ‘I give everything I’ve got, in every training session, every game. When I come off the pitch I try to have no regrets, you have to work as hard as possible to achieve your dreams.’

LoveSport is everything that sport should be – accessible, fun, challenging and, most of all, for everyone.

LoveSport strives to combine visually all the feelings associated with sporting endeavour – from grass roots to superstardom, from the World Cup to using jumpers for goal posts – feelings Steven Gerrard would identify with.

Sport is for all and by using subtle visual clues LoveSport creates a warm, human, informative environment that makes sport fun and accessible for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

The five main themes of the exhibition are presented in three different zones:

Zone 1: The outer layer of the exhibition is full of sporting challenges and is highly physical with astro-turf and netting. This zone deals with the first three themes The Sporting Body, The Sporting Mind and Fit for Sport.

Zone 2: The middle layer contains six interactive towers and dramatic lighting, using games and graphics to interpret key messages and explain concepts. This zone deals with the theme Sports Technology.

Zone 3: The inner core has a far deeper level of learning, having a softer, quieter feel with a chill-out area for visitors to reflect and consider what they have learned. Visitors consider their experiences from the other two zones, compare them with others and are offered the opportunity to extend their experiences beyond the exhibition. This zone deals with the final theme Over to You.

Visitors are given score cards to record their results as they go around the exhibition.

You can watch the Steven Gerrard video via the NML Blog site:

July 29, 2006

Clipper Race Ends in the Rain

liverpool08 clipper yacht clippers welcomed in the rain

liverpool08 yacht finishes in 4th place

After so many days of baking heat and dry weather it was odds-on it would rain just as thousands of people arrived at the Pier Head and Albert Dock to greet the yachts and crews of the Clipper 05-06 Round The World Yacht Race.

Still it didn't rain all day, the sun shone on the liverpool08 yacht as it sailed past having finished in 4th place overall. won the race, Durban were 2nd and New York finished just ahead of Liverpool08 to claim 3rd place.

There was plenty of other entertainment to keep people amused (lets face it, boats are pretty boring really aren't they) with the Chinese lion dancers, jet-ski demos and an air display.

Lots of great pictures on the BBC Liverpool website.

See the Clipper Ventures website for the full details.

 liverpool chinese lion dance

July 25, 2006

Clipper Race Returns - Saturday, Albert Dock

clipper-boat-06.JPGRiver Mersey, Liverpool, Merseyside.
Date(s): 29/7/2006 - 29/7/2006
[t]:0151 233 2008

Thousands of spectators thronged the Mersey waterfront for the start of the 05-06 Clipper Round-the-World Yacht Race and now you can see it return.

The 10 yachts set sail last September on an 11-month ocean adventure competing for the Clipper Cup and after 35,000 miles they’re almost home.

The excitement will be building as Race 13 is the final, and deciding race of the whole 11-month adventure, counting for half of the points its result could easily determine the overall winner.

Find out if the Liverpool crew which includes local residents Claire Daley, Peter Mulcahy and David Dowling can make it home first on Saturday 29 July, 12.30pm at Albert Dock.

What’s on:

12.10 – Jet Ski demonstrations
12.30 – Clipper yachts finish Liverpool 08 Dash at Duke’s Mast – South side of Albert Dock
13.00 – Air Display by Gold Wing
13.25 – Jet Ski demonstrations
14.20 – Air Display by Gold Wing
16.00 – 17.30 – Prize giving on floating stage at Salt House Dock, adjacent to Albert Dock

As well as all of the maritime entertainment there will be street theatre and bands in and around the dock all day.

Please note times may vary based on prevailing weather conditions

2012 Roadshow in Liverpool - Thursday

The London 2012 Roadshow ends its national tour in Liverpool's Williamson Square with a host of entertainment and sporting stars. The Roadshow marks the 6th anniversary countdown to the official opening of the London Games. The Liverpool Culture Company will also present the city centre heat of Streetwaves

Williamson Square, Liverpool, Merseyside.
Date(s): 27/7/2006 - 27/7/2006
[t]:0151 233 2008

July 07, 2006

Olympic Hero makes a Splash

LIVERPOOL'S Olympic medallist Stephen Parry is helping the city council teach 2,000 school children to swim in just two weeks.

The 29-year-old bronze medallist is supporting the project, which is the biggest scheme of its kind in the country and was initiated by Liverpool's School Sports Partnership.

The Top Up Programme started on July 3rd and is taking place until July 14th at five pools across the city.

The aim is to improve the percentage of youngsters in the area who can swim before they start secondary school. The national average of 11 year olds unable to swim is 17%, but in Liverpool that figure is around 60%.

Council leader Warren Bradley said: "This is a central part of the city council's campaign to try to improve children's health.

"Swimming is an essential life skill and we are determined to ensure all young people in Liverpool can maximise their swimming potential and enjoy the sport for life as a result of this programme.

"The youngsters are also able to get access to all Lifestyles centres thanks to our free leisure passes scheme, and will be able to make full use of the pools when they learn how to swim."

The initiative has been funded by Lifestyles leisure centres and the government and is a partnership between the city council and Stephen Parry's company Total Swimming, which is providing the tuition. Knowsley based YOUR TRAVEL based is providing the transport to the swimming pools for pupils with their fleet of coaches and minibuses.

Stephen Parry said: "A lot of schools go swimming once a week for a term and kids forget a lot of what they have been taught. But this is a 30-minute session every day for two weeks.

"It can save lives and there are knock on effects in terms of tackling asthma and it also opens up sports like wind surfing and water skiing and is a brilliant life skill.

"In terms of fitness, just being able to go down to the pool and do a few lengths is fantastic. I feel it is so important that everyone has the right to learn to swim."

Schools across the city were invited to sign up to the scheme, putting forward youngsters in Year 6 who cannot swim 25 metres.

Over the course of the fortnight, youngsters will receive a 30-minute session each day with one coach for every eight pupils.

Austin Rawlinson, Peter Lloyd, Ellergreen, Everton Park and the large pool at Park Road Lifestyles will be out of use on weekdays from 9-12noon and 1-3pm until Friday July 14th while tuition takes place.

June 19, 2006

08 Gears up to be Tour of Britain Finale

Liverpool's European Capital of Culture year has gone up a gear with the news it is to replace London as the finale for the Tour of Britain in 2008.

The move from UK to Culture Capital will mean Britain's biggest bike race will finish outside London for the first time.

Liverpool's honour to stage the tours showpiece event in 08 is part of a three-year deal between the Liverpool Culture Company and the tour organisers - and will be a major highlight of the city's Capital of Culture sports strategy.

As part of the deal announced today, to launch this year's National Cycle Week, the city will stage the end of the Northwest stage this year on Wednesday, August 30. In 2007 it will host the start of the regional stage during the week of its 800th birthday celebrations.

The Northwest stage of The Tour, which is sponsored by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), attracted 55,000 spectators last year with the route starting in Carlisle and ending in Blackpool. This year it will start in Blackpool.

Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Warren Bradley, said: ''Hosting the finale of the Tour of Britain in 2008 is a huge honour. It will give the city great profile and a chance to showcase the renaissance which has been taking place. And with thousands lining the streets, the day is set to be a memorable highlight of our Capital of Culture year.''

As part of the deal, Liverpool is seeking to build a whole host of events and activities to encourage more local people to take to their bikes.

The 2006 Tour of Britain Route:

* Stage 1 - Scotland
* Glasgow to Castle Douglas 160km

* Stage 2 - Northwest
* Blackpool to Liverpool 152km

* Stage 3 - Yorkshire
* Route to be announced 160km

* Stage 4 - West Midlands
* Wolverhampton to Birmingham 120km

* Stage 5 - Southeast
* Rochester to Canterbury 152km

* Stage 6 - London
* Greenwich to The Mall 80km

June 13, 2006

Alder Hey Kids Net Sporting Treat

Five of Alder Hey's bravest children are to lift the FA and European Cup on a dream tour of Anfield with Liverpool legend Phil Thompson and tennis ace Goran Ivanisevic.

The special sports tour, scheduled for Thursday 15 June, has been arranged by Northern Vision, organisers of the TFS-ICAP 2006 Liverpool International Tennis Tournament.

After Anfield the children will be chauffer driven to Calderstones Park where they and their parents will be treated to a VIP day at the tournament - which starts today Tuesday 13 June - with full corporate hospitality in the Players Lounge and centre court tickets.

At the end of the day they will be presented with signed tennis memorabilia by Goran Ivanisevic and a drawing kit.

The tour has been arranged as the Alder Hey Imagine Appeal, as well as The Radio Merseyside Charitable Trust, is to be the official 2006 Tournament charity.

The Imagine Appeal will be the primary charity, but Wednesday 14 June will be dedicated to The Radio Merseyside Charitable Trust.

Ivanisevic, a former Wimbledon Champion and 2005 Davis Cup winner, is one of the star attractions at the 2006 Liverpool International Tennis Tournament, which runs from 13th - 18th June.

He will be joined by legends such as Pat Cash, Ilie Nastase and Mansour Bahrami as well as ATP players from America, Argentina, Croatia, Norway and Belgium - inlcudign top seed for the men's tournament - Xavier Malisse.

Chris Done, Imagine Appeal Manager said, "We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the beneficiaries of this prestigious event. It's a great opportunity to raise vitally needed funds to support the pioneering work of Europe's largest children's hospital.

''This special sports day is a great idea to get some of our patients involved who often have to spend a lot of time in hospital - it's a fantastic treat for them!"

There are a number of activities planned for the week including an auction on Ladies Day, Friday 16th June, where people can win an England shirt personalised by Wayne Rooney.

Anders Borg, Tournament Director, said: "We are delighted to be working with the Imagine Appeal and supporting the Radio Merseyside Charitable Trust.

''The aim of the tournament is to encourage children to socialise and get involved in sport, so a children's charity is a natural partner for us."

Extended to six days to accommodate a new WTA ladies event - the TFS-ICAP 2006 Liverpool International is now the biggest grass court exhibition tournament in England.

Supported by Liverpool city council and Liverpool Culture Company, it is also one of the major events of the city's European Capital of Culture Sports Strategy.

For further information, full order of play and ticket enquiries, please call 0151 227 5940 or visit

June 12, 2006

Liverpool Tennis Tournament - Order of Play

liverpool-tennis.jpgThe 2006 Liverpool International Tennis Tournament starts tomorrow, Tuesday June 13th in Calderstones Park.
Here is the Order of Play. See for more details.

13th June
11 a.m. start

Centre Court
Preliminary Rounds ATP players
Group A - A. Calleri v K. Skupski
Preliminary Rounds WTA players
Group 1 - A. Harkleroad v Qualifier
Legends Doubles
M.Bahrami/H.Leconte v I.Nastase/P.McNamara
Preliminary Rounds ATP players
Group B - X.Malisse v J. Murray
Preliminary Rounds WTA players
Group 2 - O.Savchuk v V. Azarenka
Preliminary Rounds ATP players
Group A - V. Spadea v Qualifier
Court 1
Preliminary Rounds ATP players
Group B - R. Kendrick v F.Sletting

14th June
11 a.m. start

Centre Court
Preliminary Rounds ATP players
Group A - V.Spadea v K. Skupski
Preliminary Rounds WTA players
Group 2 - V.Azarenka v Qualifier
Legends Doubles
M.Bahrami/P.McNamara v I.Nastase/H.Leconte
Mixed Doubles Exhibition Match
X.Malisse/A.Harkleroad v A.Calleri/O.Savchuk
Preliminary Rounds ATP players
Group B - F.Sletting v J. Murray
Preliminary Rounds WTA players
Group 1 - K.Borgersen v C.Wozniacki

15th June

Centre Court 11a.m. start
Preliminary Rounds ATP players
X.Malisse v R.Kendrick
Preliminary Rounds WTA players
A. Harkleroad v K.Borgersen
Legends Singles
P.Cash v G.Ivanisevic
Legends Doubles
M.Bahrami/I.Nastase v H.Leconte/P.McNamara
Preliminary Rounds ATP players
A.Calleri v V.Spadea
Preliminary Rounds WTA players
O.Savchuk v C.Wozniacki
Court 1 not before 1 p.m.
Preliminary Rounds ATP players
K.Skupski v Qualifier

16th June
11 a.m. start

Centre Court
Preliminary Rounds ATP players
A.Calleri v Qualifier
Finals WTA Players
Winner Group 1 v Winner Group 2
Legends Singles
G, Ivanisevic v P.Cash
Legends Doubles
M.Bahrami/H.Leconte v I.Nastase/P.McNamara
Preliminary Rounds ATP players
X.Malisse v F.Sletting
Exhibition Mens Doubles Match
V.Spadea/R.Kendrick v K.Skupski/J.Murray

17th June
12 noon start

Centre Court

Semi Finals ATP players
1st Group A v 2nd Group B
2nd Group A v 1st Group B
Legends Singles
P.Cash v B.Cowan
Legends Doubles
M.Bahrami/P.McNamara v I.Nastase/H.Leconte

18th June
12 noon start

Centre Court

Finals ATP players
Legends Singles
P. Cash v H.Leconte
Legends Doubles
M.Bahrami, B.Cowan v I.Nastase, P.McNamara

May 29, 2006

Liverpool International Nets Title Sponsor

Liverpool International Nets Title Sponsor

Finance broker TFS-ICAP has announced today that they will be sponsoring the 2006 Liverpool International Tennis Tournament (13 -18 June, 2006).

As with any major sporting event, sponsorship is essential to the growth of the event and its sustainability.

Carl Bradshaw, Tournament Manager, commented, "We're delighted TFS-ICAP is supporting the tournament and for the support to come from a London-based company - it certainly adds calibre to the event.

''Sponsorship allows us to attract bigger players to the tournament such as Goran Ivanisevic. The event itself is growing every year and is now firmly established on the tennis calendar."

David Pinchin, CEO of TFS, commented, "The Liverpool International is one of the great sporting successes and a highlight on the sporting calendar. TFS-ICAP is pleased to sponsor such an event that showcases a host of first-rate tennis players."

Calderstones Park provides a unique venue for the summer event, which attracts over 20,000 spectators.

ATP ace, Xavier Malisse, said, "It's a great event and the round robin set-up guarantees the players lots of valuable grass court practice before Wimbledon."

The event, now in its fifth year, enjoys a global audience of over 20 million thanks to TV coverage from Sky and the American Tennis Channel. As a result, the tournament has elevated in status and is now Europe's largest tennis exhibition tournament.

Organiser, Northern Vision, has already secured a number of world-class players to take part in the tournament including World No 4 Ivan Ljubicic. Headlining the event will be 2001 Wimbledon Champion and 2005 Davis Cup Winner, Goran Ivanisevic, who will play against another '87 Wimbledon Champion, Pat Cash.

Joint partners in organising the six-day event are Liverpool Culture Company and Liverpool City Council.

Sponsors of the 2006 Liverpool International include Lexus, Radisson, Total Fitness and local property developers Magull and Gerrald Murphy.

Northern Vision are delighted this year to announce they have signed rising Belgian star Xavier Malisse, as well as American's Vince Spadea, Robert Kendrick, Bobby Reynolds and Augustin Calleri.

Following the success of Martina Navratilova at the tournament last year, Northern Vision is introducing a WTA event this year, which will include America's Ashley Harkleroad.

One of the events big attractions is the Legends tournament held alongside the ATP and WTA event. This year the tournament will see the return of Ilie Nasatase, Mansour Bahrami, Henri Leconte and Pete McNamara.

For further information and ticket enquiries, please telephone 0151 227 5940 or visit

The 2006 Liverpool International Tennis Tournament runs from 13th - 18th June. For further information about the event and ticket enquiries, telephone 0151 227 5940 or visit

Clipper Crew Dress to Impress

clipperkits.jpgThe crew of the Liverpool 08 Clipper have already proved they are king of the waves.

Now their kit puts them in pole position in the fashion stakes.
The team are sporting trendy new outfits as they sail towards Panama City on the latest leg of the 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race.
The crews left Victoria, Canada, on Tuesday.

Crewman Joe Caddick said: "It is fantastic! We have every bit of kit that we need and it is the right kind of stuff too for ocean racing; we have gear for snow, hail, wind, rain or sunshine.
"We are the best dressed crew in the fleet now and proud to be representing Liverpool 08.

"I will be very proud to come back into Liverpool in our brand new kit. All the crew can't believe we have such great quality gear."

The Liverpool Culture Company have sent out T-shirts, polo shirts, long waterproof trousers, waterproof jackets, fleeces, caps, and woolly hats to the crew.
The crew embarked on the next leg of the round-the-world race at the weekend which will see them sailing from Victoria, Canada, through the Panama Canal to New York, a 4,200 mile journey which will take three weeks.

Latest News on the Clippers

May 07, 2006

Homecoming Set For Clipper Race

A homecoming date has been fixed for the 05-06 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

The 10-strong international fleet, which suffered a month's delay for repairs in the Philippines, are to complete the world's longest yachting race on the River Mersey at around 12 noon on Saturday, July 29.

The Liverpool Culture Company is preparing to roll out the red carpet for what will be an emotional finale to the most dramatic race in clipper's history, which began in Liverpool last September.

Liverpool's Lord Mayor will lead a civic welcome with aerobatic displays and street entertainment planned before the final prize-giving in Salthouse Dock at 4pm.

Thousands of people are expected to throng the Mersey and they can expect a tense climax as the leading three yachts in the overall standings -, Liverpool 08 and Durban - all have a chance of winning the coveted Clipper Cup.

Currently competing Leg 5 in the northern Pacific with 2,000 miles to Vancouver, Durban is second, Liverpool 08 third and trailing in fifth. Leg 6 to Jamaica is to begin on May on May 14 and Leg 7 to Liverpool is to begin on June 20 via New York and Jersey.

Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of Liverpool Culture Company, said: ''It's great news to finally have a homecoming date for the race. We can now prepare to give the fleet the welcome they deserve. I'm sure the Liverpool public will be out in force to support them after what has been a real roller coaster experience for the crews.''

For the latest 05-05 Clipper Race news visit

April 14, 2006

Murray (the younger) Heads for Liverpool

Jamie MurrayJamie Murray - younger brother of Britain's number one Andy Murray - has been given a wild card for this year's Liverpool International to be held in June.

It is a great opportunity for the 19 year old Scot, as he will gain valuable grass court practice before trying to qualify for Wimbledon and the opportunity to test his skills against some of the ATP's higher ranking players.

Murray promises to follow in his older brothers footsteps and give Britain hope for a future British Wimbledon champion. Anders Borg, Tournament Director comments, "My real drive behind the tournament is to help younger players who are trying to break through onto the tour, hopefully our tournament can help Jamie's career as he relies heavily on opportunities like this to improve his game and gain valuable experience.

"l saw him play before Christmas and ahis talent shone through, sometimes all the players need to become a winner is some self confidence and by having the opportunity to play against players ranked in the top 50 on the ATP tour such as Malisse and Spadea it can only benefit his career".

Murray is delighted with the wild card and is particularly excited about meeting the tournaments main attraction, Goran Ivanisevic. "It will be great to meet Goran and watch him play, maybe even come up against him although saying that I wouldn't really want to face his serve! He's a legend in tennis and a fan favourite wherever he goes, it's great he's back playing in Britain again.

"The wild card is a great opportunity for me to compete against some of the top players in the world and will be a chance for me to see where I need to improve in my game. It's not something I get to do every week!", Jamie Murray.

Over the next few months Murray hopes to improve his rankings on the tour, already an accomplished doubles player, he wants to start concentrating on his singles ranking and break into the top 100 in the next 18 months.

Asked if his brother would be at Liverpool to support him, he comments, "If he doesn't play at Stella or gets knocked out, you never know!"

The 2006 Liverpool International Tennis Tournament runs from 13th - 18th June. For further information about the event and ticket enquiries, telephone 0151 227 5940 or visit

Liverpool 08 Squash Finals - Latest


England's rising star James Willstrop is seeded to meet Australia's former world champion David Palmer in the final of the inaugural Liverpool08 Open Squash Championship in May.

World No.3 Willstrop, who led England to the World Team Championship in Pakistan in December, is relishing the opportunity to claim a major PSA world tour title on home soil.

The 22-year-old from Pontefract has just returned home after competing in the Commonwealth Games in Australia and the Bermuda Masters.

He said: "After all the travelling we do it's great to see such a brilliant new tournament being staged in Liverpool. The venue at St George's Hall looks absolutely incredible and all the players were talking about the tournament in Bermuda."

Promoted by Squash UK in conjunction with Liverpool Culture Company, the Liverpool08 Open Squash Championship is a PSA Super Series Silver event and therefore the biggest squash in Europe and one of the top six in the world in terms of prize money and ranking points.

Willstrop added: "It's fantastic to see a tournament reach such a high level in its first year and the organisers and sponsors have obviously done a great job in putting everything together."

Willstrop faces a qualifier in the first round and is due to meet the winner of an intriguing clash between No.14 seed Shahid Zaman of Pakistan and England's Joey Barrington.

World No.27 Barrington is the son of squash legend Jonah, the man who was largely instrumental in creating squash's first steps into professionalism three decades ago. Zaman is the nephew of Qamar Zaman, a brilliant stroke maker and a career-long rival of Jonah.

Also in Willstrop's half of the draw are Egyptian Karim Darwish, who beat him in a recent tournament at Canary Wharf, London, and France's No.3 seed Thierry Lincou, who spent the whole of 2005 at the top of the world rankings.

Willstrop's main British rivals are all in the top half of the draw. Yorkshire and England team-mates Nick Matthew and Lee Beachill, seeded four and five, are due to meet at the quarter-final stage.

Another mouthwatering clash in the same round features top seed Palmer and big-hitting Scot John White. The two met in an absorbing World Open final in Antwerp three years ago when Palmer recovered from match ball down to take the title.

White is the hardest hitter in the history of squash, having been registered belting the ball at an astonishing 172mph.

Other Brits in the top half include Welsh No.1 Alex Gough, who faces English youngster Jonathan Kemp, Kent's Adrian Grant and Yorkshire's world tour veteran Simon Parke, who is still playing great squash at the age of 35.

In all, 18 of the world's top 20 have entered the tournament, which features qualifying rounds at Liverpool Cricket Club on May 1 and 2 before the main event moves to the beautiful surroundings of St George's Hall from May 3-7.

The 32-draw first round will see eight matches at both venues on Wednesday May 3 as big-time squash arrives on Merseyside.

The tournament features two days of live TV coverage on Sky Sports during the finals weekend and will be preceded by a Merseyside Squash Festival on the previous weekend.

Full details from the official tournament website


Book online at

April 11, 2006

Reds v Blues '86 Cup Final Re-Union

Via Daily Post...

LIVERPOOL'S Capital of Culture chiefs have signed a major sponsorship deal to add their name to a restaging of the most famous derby match in Merseyside history.

The Liverpool Culture company has negotiated a £35,000 agreement which will see Everton and Liverpool legends run out in kits bearing the '08 logo.

The teams, who met at Wembley in the first all Merseyside FA Cup final of 1986, will face each other again at Anfield on Bank Holiday Monday, May 1 (2.30pm kick-off).

The historic reunion match has been organised by former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish, with all proceeds going to his wife Marina's breast cancer charity.

He is bringing together a host of legendary names from Goodison and Anfield for a match which is already attracting worldwide interest and is expected to be a sell-out.


April 01, 2006

Clipper Race resumes - Liverpool 08 leads


Clipper 05 06 Race resumes - Liverpool 08 leads
The 10 Clipper 68s competing in the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race crossed the start line in Subic Bay for Race 6 to Qingdao, China. After a false start from Victoria, New York was the first to cross the start line but Liverpool 08 soon took the lead.

When the boats crossed the line this afternoon, it was an extra special moment for all concerned, following the fleet's unscheduled stop in the Philippines to sort out keel problems.

A phenomenal amount of work has gone into getting the boats ready to sail today. Teams have been working flat out to get everything up and running and tested in time for the today's restart. Despite a break of seven weeks, the racing was tight in a gentle breeze, and the fleet split into two separate groups at opposite sides of the bay where they got involved in various tacking duels.

Skipper Tim Magee said: "The crew have shown an unbelievable commitment in the last few days, as they have since the start of the race. That is reason we're doing so well in the race is because of them. We're only half way through the competition and, standing in third place that number one slot is still in our sight."

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of Clipper Ventures Plc, who was out on the water in a local yacht to see the re-start, said: "The Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race is back on!"

"Thanks to an almost super human effort by the Clipper team, Green Marine and a small army of Filipino laminators, the remedial work on the Clipper fleet was completed in an impressive time frame."

March 25, 2006

08 Shirt gets a Red Card

Steve Gerrard 08 shirt. dismissalIt seemed like such a good marketing idea. The two No. 8 players in the Merseyside derby (Liverpool v Everton football match at Anfield today) were wearing special '08' shirts to help advertise the Capital of Culture.
Really, the only thing that could go wrong was for Steve Gerrard to be sent off in disgrace for an awful foul. And, guess what, that's exactly what happened after only 18 minutes.
Maybe that was part of the plan too, even more publicity, no such thing as bad publicity etc.

March 24, 2006

Derby Kings Get Shirty For 08

The Merseyside derby is set to for a Premiership first this weekend.

Toffees striker James Beattie and Reds captain Steven Gerrard will make history as the first players in the English game to have their numbers specially altered for a professional match when the Mersey rivals meet at Anfield on Saturday.

The two number 8's have been given special permission by the FA Premier League to wear '08' on their match shirts to promote the new 08 Ambassadors Programme.

Everton and Liverpool FC have joined forces for this unique one-off at the 203rd Merseyside derby to show their support for the city and its role as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

After the match the two shirts will be presented to the Liverpool Culture Company so they can be framed and auctioned for charity.

The 08 Ambassadors programme has been created to enable people who love Liverpool to spread the word about the city and its role as European Capital of Culture 2008.

Ambassadors already signed up include Cherie Booth, Ken Dodd, Paul Sculthorpe, Gerry Marsden and Liz McClarnon. (and Ian Jackson - ArtInLiverpool)

Players and staff from the blue and red halves of the city that have signed up are:

Everton Football Club:

David Moyes
James Beattie
Alan Stubbs
Tony Hibbert

Liverpool Football Club:

Rafa Benitez
Steven Gerrard
Robbie Fowler
Jamie Carragher

March 19, 2006

Liverpool08 Open Squash Championship - May 1-7


ENGLAND'S leading squash stars will be heading to Merseyside in May hoping for home glory in the inaugural Liverpool08 Open Squash Championship at St George's Hall.

The Liverpool08 Open runs from May 1-7 and is already the biggest squash tournament in Europe and one of the top six in the world in terms of prize money and world ranking status.

It is certain to be a magnet for the world's leading stars and England's world team champions are fully committed to making it a roaring success.

The awesome foursome of James Willstrop, Peter Nicol, Lee Beachill and Nick Matthew are currently competing in the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

They are bidding for medals in singles and doubles to add to the World Team Championship title they collected in Pakistan in December, beating Canada in the semi-finals and Egypt in the final.

Before heading to Liverpool they will be competing in the Bermuda Open and then travelling to Vienna to defend their European Team title.

England No.1 James Willstrop, the 22-year-old rising star from Pontefract, is certainly looking forward to competing in Liverpool.

He said: "It's always great to see new tournaments on the calendar and Liverpool is already up there with the best.
The St George's Hall venue looks absolutely awesome and I am sure all the players will love the atmosphere of playing on the glass court in such a fabulous building."

Tournament promoter Alan Thatcher of SquashUK said: "We are delighted to be staging such a massive tournament in Liverpool. The glass court will look absolutely stunning inside such a beautiful and iconic venue and, with St George's Hall directly opposite Lime Street Station, it could not be more convenient for attracting spectators to Merseyside. We know that squash fans will be travelling to Liverpool by train from all over the UK and flying in from all over Europe."

The entertainment value is sure to be high and Thatcher added: "Squash is a fast, thrilling game and spectators are sure to get full value for money when they watch the world's top players in action."

Tickets went on sale this week and he added: "We have deliberately kept the ticket prices low in year one to attract a new audience to the sport in Liverpool."

Seats will placed on three sides of the glass court and organisers are hoping to entice Liverpool's business community with special hospitality packages and VIP tables at courtside.

The qualifying competition will be held at Liverpool Cricket Club on May 1 and 2 with the top eight players going into the 32-man first round draw, which will be split between St George's Hall and the cricket club's squash courts.

TICKET HOTLINE: 0871 230 9808. Book online at

Full details from:

March 13, 2006

Clipper Race Restarts on March 25th

From Clipper Ventures website...

Clipper Ventures has announced that the restart date for the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race will be Saturday 25th March 2006. Arrangements are now being made to fly crew back to the Philippines for Race 6 from Subic Bay to Qingdao in China.

After planning a detailed work schedule for the fleet with Green Marine, who are project managing the repair, the 25th was selected as the first date by which all the work could be completed to Clipper’s satisfaction, the boats re-launched, fully tested, surveyed and prepared for the race restart.

The Race Team recommend that crew return to Subic Bay the weekend prior to the Restart (18-19 March).

Given the length of the delay in the Philippines, the stops in Yokohama, Japan and Curacao in the Caribbean have been removed from the route to accommodate a more stream-lined race programme. Whilst the fleet will now sail direct from Qingdao in China to Victoria in Canada, the Caribbean stopover has been changed from Curacao to Jamaica, in an attempt to cut down the length of time the fleet will spend in the Caribbean during the hurricane season.

The fleet was diverted on 5th February due to keel problems and a survey identified an issue with the connection between the outer skin of the hull and the keel. With a team of around 90 people working on the fleet, amounting to around 1000 daily man hours, good progress is being made.

March 09, 2006

Liverpool welcomes Benfica fans

benficafans.jpgSadly, Liverpool Football club were just as welcoming, losing 2-0 and crashing out of Europe. So no more scenes like this till next season (if then).

Liverpool Culture Company kicked off this year's international activity for the 08 Volunteers by giving a warm welcome to 2,500 football fans supporting Portuguese club, Benfica who arrived in the city for a second leg Champion's League match against Liverpool FC.

After a crash course in basic Portuguese, around 20 of Liverpool's 08 Volunteers hit the streets with placards and clearly marked t-shirts to offer help and advice to visiting football fans.

As well as giving directions, the volunteers suggested places of interest in the city for fans to visit before the game and show them that there's more to Liverpool than just football.

Free Scouse was given out from 08 place (the city's Tourist Information Centre), along with authentic Portuguese stew from 'the Algharve', a Portuguese restaurant in the City, to encourage visitors to get a taste of two cities.

The 08 Volunteer programme is being rolled out in Liverpool in the run-up to 2008, when the city will become European Capital of Culture. In extending the hand of friendship to visitors, from both the UK and abroad, the city aims to become one of the most friendly and accommodating cities in Europe


March 07, 2006

Liverpool Tennis Tournament - Launch


There were kids playing tennis in the lobby of the Radisson SAS Hotel this morning. Not something you see every day but no need to call in the police or social services, it was all part of the marketing for the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament which takes place in Calderstones Park on 13th to 18th June 2006.
This is the 5th year of the tournament and a few more big names are competing.
The big name today though was Alan Mills the former Wimbledon referee (known as the 'rain man') who will be the official referee for the Liverpool games.
I also managed a few words with Phil Thompson the former Liverpool footballer and assistant manager who is now a tennis ambassador for Liverpool, that made my day!
Tickets are selling fast, here's some of the press release...

Alan Mills - the last word on rain, light, pigeons and crowd noise at Wimbledon for 23 years - is set to run his eyes over the fast growing tennis tournament as Official Referee.

Tournament organisers Northern Vision have also announced today (Tuesday, March 7) that Goran Ivanisevic, who came out of retirement to help Croatia win the 2005 Davis Cup against Slovakia, will headline the 2006 tournament at Calderstones Park.

Ivanisevic, a four-time Wimbledon finalist and 2001 Champion, is not the only famous face from SW19 in Liverpool this June.

Pat Cash, '87 Wimbledon champ and a crowd favourite last year, is set to return to compete in the Legends singles event against Ivanisevic and local hero Barry Cowan.

Due to the increasing popularity of the tournament following Martina Navratilova's 2005 appearance, organisers Northern Vision will also incorporate a Ladies event this year.

The addition means the Liverpool International is now the first tennis tournament in the UK with both an ATP and WTA tournament, alongside a Legends singles and doubles event as well as exhibition matches.

America's Ashley Harkleroad will lead the way in the women's event, Xavier Malisse of Belgium and American's Vince Spadea, Robert Kendrick and Bobby Reynolds are the first of the ATP players to be announced.

Crowd entertainers Mansour Bahrami, Ilie Nastase, Henri Leconte and Pete McNamara will return for the 6 day event to show off their well polished ball skills!

Due to an outstanding 2005 the tournament has now been extended to 6 days, taking place between the 13th - 18th June 2006.

As well as the increase in days the Centre Court stadium has been increased in capacity to 3,000 to cope with demand - and tickets sales are already 30% up on this time last year.

Tournament Director, Anders Borg comments: "We are delighted to have Alan Mills on board - his experience will be invaluable to the tournament's development.

''We are now the largest exhibition event in Europe and are delighted to host an event that brings world class ATP and WTA players and the very best tennis Legends to a public park in Liverpool".

The event is held annually at Calderstones Park by Northern Vision in conjunction with Liverpool City Council and the Liverpool Culture Company.

Now in its fifth year, the Liverpool International has received a record £160,000 from the City Council and Culture Company as part of a sports strategy to celebrate the Capital of Culture themed year - Liverpool Performs

The 2006 Liverpool International Tennis Tournament runs from 13th - 18th June.

For further information about the event and ticket enquiries, telephone 0151 227 5940 or visit

March 03, 2006

All systems go for Olympic pool


WORK is to start on building an Olympic size swimming pool in Liverpool after the city council approved a £15 million construction contract.

Building firm Gleeson Building Limited has now got the go-ahead to start work immediately on building the 50 metre facility at Picton Leisure Centre in Wavertree.

The state-of-the-art pool will be one of only a handful of Olympic size pools in the UK.

The majority of funding - £11 million - is coming from the city council, with a further £4m of Lottery cash from Sport England.

Council leader Warren Bradley said: "It will be a valuable facility not just for our own elite swimmers, but also the local community including recreational groups, mothers and toddlers and schools.


February 10, 2006

Repairs halt Clipper Race for a month

From liverpool08....

Subic Bay, Philippines - Clipper Ventures PLC has announced that it will cover the costs for crew taking part in its Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race to be flown home whilst keel problems are being assessed and repaired on its fleet of 10 Clipper 68s.

The marine events company's fleet of boats is currently berthed in Subic Bay in the Philippines after being diverted during Race 6 from Singapore to Qingdao due to keel problems.

In a statement issued to crews at Subic Bay Yacht Club on Thursday morning, Clipper Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston explained that the work on the ocean racing yachts is likely to take around a month and arrangements will be made for crews to travel home whilst repairs are carried out.

Sir Robin said: "Crews will be only too aware of the problem that has affected the yachts. We believe that by the time the problem has been properly assessed and a solution decided upon, plus the remedial work carried out, the Clipper race will be delayed by as much as a month, although this is by necessity an approximate date."

Clipper Ventures said that it will arrange for crew to be either flown home for the duration of the delay, or receive the cost of such flights in lieu. Crew members that were due to leave the race in China will be flown to from Manila to Qingdao by Clipper to catch pre-booked flights.

"We have taken this action swiftly to minimise disruption to crews," Sir Robin said. "The Clipper crews are at the heart of the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Race, and we hope that this move to cover travel expenses demonstrates that they remain our priority as we endeavour to get them racing again as soon as possible."

Sir Robin said that once the remedial work has been completed, it is intended to continue the race as originally planned. "This will mean delays to the original schedule, and the new schedules will be published once we have a firm date for the completion of the remedial work," Sir Robin said.

A team of experts are flying out from the UK to assess the damage and present a proposed timeframe for the repairs to be completed, and Clipper Ventures expects to have a clearer idea of when the fleet will depart the Philippines to continue the race by the latter part of next week.

February 07, 2006

Clipper Race diverted to Philippines

Fom liverpool08 5/2/2006
Clipper Race diverted to Philippines
On Saturday 4 February at approximately 0830 GMT, Glasgow Clipper reported a loose keel bolt and as a result the Race Team immediately advised the rest of the ten-strong fleet to check their bolts for movement.

After carrying out an inspection, six other yachts reported slight movement of the keel bolt. Following this discovery of similar problems elsewhere in the fleet, the decision was taken to divert all 10 Clipper 68s to Subic Bay in the Philippines for a full investigation and for any necessary remedial work to be carried out.

There is no risk to the yachts and their crews and this decision has been taken as a precautionary measure given that crew safety is paramount in the organisation of the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race. The boats are maintaining regular contact with the Race Team as they reach Subic Bay.

Further to yesterday's decision to divert the fleet, the first boats, Durban and Victoria, arrived in Subic Bay at around 0700 GMT this morning (Sunday 5 February). The rest of the fleet are expected to arrive over the next 12 hours.

Haul out facilities are currently being investigated and work will commence as soon as possible on ascertaining the full extent of the problem. The Clipper Race Team is flying out to meet the fleet in Subic Bay where action will be taken to minimise disruption to the schedule of the race.

Regular updates will be published on the Clipper Race website

January 29, 2006

Culture city's olympic boost

Sport is to be at the heart of Liverpool's plans as European Capital of Culture 2008.

The city unveiled an action-packed sports programme today (Friday, 27 January) - backed by almost every sporting institution on Merseyside - and immediately won government praise as a major boost for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Liverpool Culture Company and Liverpool City Council, with partners across Merseyside, have combined forces to launch the UK's biggest multi-sports deal, involving new international events, as well as initiatives to boost community sports participation.

And the strategy will kick into life the following day (Saturday, 28 January) with a new fixture - the Liverpool 08 Challenge - between Rugby League rivals - Widnes Vikings and St Helens, at Halton Stadium.

Highlights of the European Capital of Culture Sports Strategy include marketing deals such as shirt sponsorships, pitch-side advertising, regular updates and adverts in match programmes and websites to publicise 2008 with:

Tranmere Rovers FC
St Helen's RLFC
Widnes Vikings RLFC
Waterloo RUFC
New Brighton RUFC

This deal will ensure the 08 message will be taken to tens of thousands of people in stadia across Merseyside and almost every major town and city in the UK on a weekly basis. The deal will generate millions of pounds in publicity with St Helen's alone set to appear on TV over 20 times.

A key element of the strategy involves staging new and improving existing events, such as:

Liverpool 08 Rugby League Challenge: Widnes v St Helens, Halton Stadium, Jan 28.
European Wheelchair Basketball Cup qualifiers: Greenbank Academy, March 11-12.
Inaugural Liverpool 08 Open Squash Tournament: St George's Hall, May 1-6. Broadcast on Sky Sports. This is a world ranking PSA Super Series Silver event - the biggest in Europe and one of the top six in the world.
Liverpool International Tennis Tournament: Calderstones Park, June 13-18. Due to increased funding, 2006 will see an extra day's action. Final on Sky Sports.

Homecoming of the Clipper 05-06 Race: River Mersey, July 1-2. Broadcast on Transworld Sport.
Start of North West stage Cycle Tour of Great Britain: August 30: Broadcast on BBC Grandstand on September 3. Three-year deal with tour finish in 2008.

Final Grand Prix Honda Formula 4-Stroke race series: River Mersey, Sep 9-10. Scheduled for Sky Sports and Channel 4.

There are also further marketing and sponsorship deals with:

The Grand National: Aintree Racecourse - April 4-6 - Live BBC 1.
The Open Championship: Royal Liverpool - July 20-23 - Live BBC 1 & 2.
Everton FC and Liverpool FC with future proposals to develop for 2008.

Liverpool Cricket Club: Lancashire v Sussex Frizzell County Championship


January 23, 2006

Lancs Cricket Continues at Aigburth until 2008 (at least)

From Liverpool Daily Post....

Lancs extend Aigburth agreement until 2008 Jan 23 2006
By Paul Edwards Daily Post Correspondent

MERSEYSIDE cricket fans already looking forward to Lancashire's match against Sussex in June were given further good news this week when it was revealed that the county has also agreed to play at Aigburth in 2007 and 2008.

Preparations for this year's four-day fixture are already well under way but Liverpool CC chairman, Peter McEvoy, explained that the agreement to play future games at the club was particularly welcome.
"There seem to be fewer county matches at outgrounds each year so we are very pleased to be hosting Lancashire matches over the next three seasons.

"We have received invaluable support from both Liverpool City Council and European Capital of Culture officials and we are very grateful for their help."

Tranmere to wear 08 logo

From the Liverpool Daily Post...

Tranmere to wear 08 logo Jan 21 2006
By Paula Owens Daily Post Correspondent

TRANMERE Rovers has won a second shirt sponsorship deal with the Liverpool Culture Company.
As part of the new arrangement, the 08 European Capital of Culture logo is to appear on the back of Tranmere players' shirts and shorts until the end of the current season.

The previous deal, announced in May 2005, proved controversial amongst some supporters who did not want to see the word "Liverpool" emblazoned across their team's strip.

The new deal has been set up as part of "2006: Liverpool Performs", a year-long celebration of Merseyside's reputation for top class performance in sport, the arts and business.

January 15, 2006

Liverpool08 Clipper Team docks in Singapore

Fuel TransferThe Liverpool Clipper has finished the latest leg of the Round The World Yacht Race in fourth place.
The Capital of Culture team was beaten by the Durban Clipper, which was first to cross the finish line in Keppel Bay, Singapore, on Sunday morning.

The Western Australia team came second, with New York coming in third.

The race, which takes place in seven sections, set off from the Albert Dock in September and is expected to return to Liverpool in July 2006.

Liverpool 08 transfered fuel to New York on Saturday as the fleet continued to motor towards Singapore after Race 5 was curtailed due to light winds.

New York Skipper Joff Bailey writes:
The fuel transfer was required because New York have had to run their generator or engine almost constantly since leaving Fremantle due to battery problems and combined with some dirty fuel and the 700 mile motor from the early finish, I thought it prudent to request a few additional cans from Liverpool 08.

Althought the race is competitive each of the skippers and crews are more than willing to help each other out when needed.

Liverpool 08 is still in 3rd position overall. Take a look at the excellent clipper-ventures website for the latest details.

November 18, 2005

Row Yer Boat

Via Liverpool08 website...

Redgrave in TV quest to create rowing stars

Five times Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave faces possibly his biggest challenge yet - turning a squad of youngsters from Liverpool into top class rowers.

The sporting legend has taken up the challenge of transforming eight lads into rowing stars to compete at the highest level of the sport in Britain - and take on the experts at the Henley Royal Regatta.

Now the search is on in Liverpool to find 40 boys willing to go through the initial fitness and aptitude tests at a location in the city on 30 November.