Cricket match – Japan to play MCC at Lord’s

800px-Albert_Chevallier_Tayler_-_Kent_Vs_Lancashire_1906I never thought of Japan as a cricketing nation but hey ho, wrong again. Their men’s and women’s cricket teams are about to arrive for a UK tour to mark the150th anniversary of the first cricket match played in Japan. So this Sunday, 28th April, they’ll play the MCC on the Nursery Ground at Lord’s. (The women’s team play the MCC women’s team at Lord’s the following day).  Continue reading

Goodbye Eton Manor – Paralympic memories

Eton ManorThe Paralympics are nearly over – just the closing ceremony tonight and the athlete’s parade tomorrow. Here’s a roundup up of impressions from the Olympic Park, especially from Eton Manor, home to the wheelchair tennis, where I worked as a Games Maker.

With 27 degrees of blazing sunshine, Centre Court was a tough assignment. Continue reading

Get up to speed on Wheelchair Tennis and Shingo Kunieda

Wheelchair Tennis by Jonathan WhiteTomorrow sees the first matches in the Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis at Eton Manor in the Olympic Park. To help you follow the action here’s some facts about the sport and the defending men’s singles champion, Japan’s Shingo Kunieda.

The rules of wheelchair tennis are the same as for ordinary tennis except that the ball can bounce twice and the second bounce can be outside the court. Wheelchair tennis is big business – it’s played at all four of the Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open) and by athletes in over a hundred countries. Continue reading

Five things you didn’t know about Man United’s Shinji Kagawa

Shinji KagawaThe football season’s arrived, Manchester United have just lost to Everton but their new signing, Shinji Kagawa is getting a good press. So here’s are a few basic facts to help you sound like you know all about him.

1. He signed to Manchester United for £12m,  having previously spent two years at Borussia Dortmund, who got him from Cerezo Osaka for a paltry €350,000. He is 23 and comes from Kobe in Western Japan. Continue reading

Women’s football – five things you didn’t know about Nadeshiko

Nadeshiko © 2007-2012 LOCOG

Nadeshiko, the Japanese Women’s Football Team that is massively popular in its home country, will be playing for gold today. Here’s some essential background to keep you ahead of the game.

1. They’re named after a flower, Dianthus Superbus, or Large Pink, part of the carnation family. It’s full name, Yamato Nadeshiko means ‘the idealized Japanese Woman’. The name expresses how the team plays — with grace and technique against physically stronger countries. Continue reading