Monday, 16 February 2015

WW1 sport expert attends Serbian book launch

Dr Iain Adams recently visited Belgrade for the launch of a new book which looks at the British impact on the development of sport in Serbia during World War One.

'Sport Remembers' by Dejan Zec, Filip Baljkas and Milos Paunovic, investigates the interactions between British and Serbian forces during the conflict and the experiences of Serbian refugees in Britain.

Dr Adams gave a contextual presentation on football and the British Army during WW1.

The British Embassy, who sponsored the book, arranged for Dr Adams to be interviewed by Branko Rosic for a feature story in Nedelini (a Serbian weekly magazine). Rosic is a highly regarded journalist and questioned Dr Adams about the perceptions of global sport, sport and art, sport and music, as well as WW1.

Dr Adams went on to provide the British Ambassador, His Excellency Denis Keefe, and his wife, Mrs Kate Keefe, with an academic review of the book, before attending the launch which was filmed for upcoming TV sports programmes.

A Serbian TV company also interviewed Dr Adams for a documentary they are putting together, looking at British and Serbian relations in sport, as well as football in the British Army and how this affected Britain's allies.

On his return to the UK, Dr Adams gave a guest lecture at the Great War History Conference held at St Albans School. For more information please click here.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Student claims Taekwando gold

UCLan Sport Studies student Stefan Orlando has targeted success on the world stage after winning gold at the recent GTI Taekwondo English Open.

Since taking up the sport just over ten years ago, Stefan has risen up the ranks to become one of the top players in his class in Great Britain.

The Carlisle athlete competes at Lightweight under International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) rules. This is widely recognised as the original and authentic version of the sport.

Stefan commented: "I'm delighted to have won the English Open. I've been competing in internationals since I was 15 and have always had a natural flair for Taekwando.

"I took up the sport aged eight, won my black belt at 14 and became a 3rd Dan by the time I was 19 – this was quite an achievement for someone so young."

Whilst World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) competition has come to prominence through its inclusion as an Olympic sport, Stefan says ITF is a much higher level.

"WTF tends to be a little bit more commercialised – perhaps more of a skills exhibition rather than the real thing," he said. "There are people competing in ITF who would 'school' some of the top names in the WTF.

"My ultimate aim is to compete and win gold at the ITF World Championships, but I wouldn't have got to the level I have without the support of my parents. They constantly support me financially when it comes to entering competitions, so like many other sports people I'd welcome any offers of sponsorship!"

In addition to his sporting ambitions, Stefan is hoping his undergraduate studies will enable him to pursue a career in teaching or coaching.

"My main reason for joining the UCLan Sports Studies programme was to develop my knowledge so I could pass my skills onto others," said Stefan. "This course sets me up perfectly for that – whether I go into PE teaching or not, it gives you the option to do that so I'm really glad I chose UCLan."