Sporting Speak is an opinion and analysis blog for all things sport, with a focus on policy, development and participation. We believe in the power of sport as a tool for social change, and that sport should be accessible to all.
As self-confessed sport fanatics, we will be sharing our ideas and opinions on a whole host of issues, and we’d love to hear yours too: share your comments at the bottom of each post, or feel free to get in touch via Twitter @SportingSpeak. We’d also welcome contributions from our readers – if you are interested in writing as a guest blogger, email us at email@example.com
Working for leading sports CRM agency Goodform’s research arm, Sportswise, means that sport is never far from Ali’s thoughts. Her first love is tennis, both playing and watching: she claims to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Wimbledon winners of the open era. A one-time PE teacher and qualified assistant tennis coach, she enjoys coaching almost as much as she loves playing her own sport, and when time allows she is a volunteer community coach with Tower Hamlets Tennis.
Greatest sporting achievement: it’s a toss up between captaining Worcester College Boat Club’s women to two years of bumps success, and completing my first marathon in 2012
Earliest sporting memory: watching Jeremy Guscott play for England on our small black and white TV with my dad when I was about 5
Sporting idols: Andre Agassi, Lawrence Dallaglio, Billie Jean King, Sir Steve Redgrave, Dame Kelly Holmes
Favourite quotation: “You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest limits – and when you reach those limits, that is real joy.” Arthur Ashe
Follow Ali on Twitter: @wisecrAKS
A childhood in Africa instilled a love of swimming and the outdoors, before the move back to the UK and membership of a local swimming club developed Florence’s more competitive side. She took up rowing at university, representing Oxford in the Boat Race in her final year. Having recently been selected for the Girls4Gold programme, Florence is now living in Nottingham and training full time as a kayaker/canoeist with the long term aim of selection for Tokyo 2020.
Greatest Sporting Achievement: Selection for the Girls4Gold programme. 3 sets of blades in bumps rowing with Worcester and an Oxford Blue.
Earliest Sporting Memory: Endless school swimming galas in the sunshine in Malawi.
Sporting Idols: the Williams sisters, Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Dave Brailsford, Chrissie Wellington
Favourite Quotation: “Just go out there and do what you’ve got to do.” Martina Navratilova
Follow Florence on Twitter: @florence_morton