Category Archives: Team Sport

Updates on Team Sport

Discover our #greatreads in the New Bloomsbury Sports catalogue

Our new 2014-2015 Sports Books Catalogue is now available. Browse the catalogue and discover the many different sports books that we publish here at Bloomsbury, from our exceptional training guides to our award winning great reads.

 

Sports Catalogue Cover

Want to be the new editor for Bloomsbury Sport?

Exciting news: we’re recruiting!!

If you think you’ve got what it takes, why wait. Get applying now and you could soon be working with the staggeringly brilliant Team Sport at Bloomsbury.

The opportunity

We are looking for a highly motivated and organised editor to work in our busy Sports and Fitness department. Bloomsbury Sport publishes the best in sport, health and fitness books, covering a wide range of subjects, from the history of cycling through to the practicalities of foam rolling. This is a challenging and exciting role for someone able to manage their own projects with plenty of drive and enthusiasm.

The role 

• Managing a number of full colour, mono and e-books through the editorial process from cover design and manuscript delivery through to publication
• Working closely with in-house Design, Marketing, Publicity and Rights departments
• Working closely with Commissioning Editors within the department
• Working closely with authors, and briefing freelancers, suppliers, photographers, photo agencies and illustrators
• Schedule and budget management
• Writing back cover and catalogue copy

Skills, knowledge, experience

• Editorial experience in book publishing
• Proficient with illustrated books
• Eye for design and layouts
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Ability to prioritise and use own initiative, juggling several projects at a time
• Solid time-management skills in order to cope with competing deadlines
• Ideally experience of working on ebooks, and XML
• Ideally experience of working on photo shoots
• Meticulous attention to detail
• Wide-ranging interest in sports and fitness is desirable
• Proficient with all Microsoft Office packages and Adobe. Mac experience desirable.

This role is based at Bloomsbury’s London office, 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP.

To apply, please send a CV, covering letter, including current salary details, to Julia.Thomson@bloomsbury.com. Julia Thomson, HR Administrator.

The closing date for this role is Sunday 31 August 2014.

An Evening with Graeme Obree

As soon as we’d tweeted about the Bloomsbury Institute Evening with Graeme Obree to celebrate the publication of The Obree Way, tickets sold out quicker than for a One Direction concert.

Last night an audience of cyclists and Obree fans gathered to hear the great man interviewed by journalist Richard Moore. An hour didn’t seem enough – 60 minutes to cover such a varied career – the world records, the World Championships, the UCI, the movie of his life, the highs, the lows, the Beastie… With Richard at the tiller the audience were guided through Graeme’s career, and his own inimitable take on cycling, life and motivation.

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Publisher Charlotte Croft, cycling legend Graeme Obree and sports journalist Richard Moore

Graeme pulls no punches – his refusal to enter the doping programme for Le Groupement lost him his professional cycling career (and the shortest pro contract ever at 11 hours in total from signing it to being kicked off, he laughed…), but he winningly argued that come what may, he retains his self-respect and pride in his decision. Asked about the UCI he was winningly supportive – while their decision-making damaged his career he argued that it pushed him on to continue innovating, and also that without their volunteers and officials cycling events simply wouldn’t happen. Asked what his greatest wish for cycling was he used the opportunity to despair at the lack of support for women’s cycling – and especially a women’s Tour de France.

It was a fascinating opportunity to hear from a cycling legend – an iconoclast and innovator who has pushed the boundaries throughout his career.

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Graeme takes time out to chat with his fans

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Two great Scots


Post by Charlotte Croft, Head of Sport

Job Opportunity at Bloomsbury Publishing

EDITOR: SPORT AND NATURAL HISTORY

Bloomsbury Publishing is looking for an experienced Editor to work across two very special lists in our London office.

Our world-leading Natural History list includes the highly regarded Christopher Helm Field Guides, a publishing partnership with the RSPB and titles on mammals, plants and trees. Our fantastic Sports list features high-quality writing on a wide variety of sports – from football and cricket to cycling and horseracing – and includes the famous Wisden imprint.

The role involves managing a number of full-colour and mono books through the editorial process from manuscript delivery and cover design through to publication, and requires working with authors, agents, freelancers, suppliers, illustrators, designers and in-house colleagues.

The role

  • Establishing good relationships with authors and agents
  • Maintaining schedules for projects and taking titles through to publication
  • Briefing and managing freelancers, undertaking copy-editing or proofreading in-house as required
  • Liaising with authors, designers and proofreaders, collating comments and ensuring final files are ready for press on budget and on schedule
  • Writing Advance Information sheets, briefing jackets and writing copy
  • Working with the Rights Department to gather materials for foreign editions
  • Preparing sample spreads and blads for use at book fairs, sales conferences
  • Attending industry events.

Skills, knowledge, experience

  • 18 months’ – 2 years’ editorial experience in illustrated book publishing
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Excellent proofreading and copy-editing skills
  • Ability to write strong sales copy and blurbs
  • Ability to prioritise and use own initiative, juggling several projects at one time
  • Solid time-management skills to cope with competing deadlines as well as working across two departments
  • Experience of working on photo-shoots desirable
  • Basic knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator useful.
  • Interest in sports and natural history a distinct advantage.

To apply, please send a CV, covering letter, current salary details and notice period to Sally Coleman, Human Resources Manager:  sally.coleman@bloomsbury.com.

The closing date for this role is Monday 26th August 2013.

Wimbledon: A Spectator’s View

Guest post by Anna MacDiarmid, Specialist Editorial Intern

With Wimbledon now over, and Britain’s Andy Murray declared the winner of the coveted golden trophy, I wanted to look back to the very beginning, and relive the events that occurred on Court 1 on the 24th July.

Two weeks ago I finally got my day at Wimbledon, day one of The Championship on Court 1, and what a day it was.

wimbledon 1
The weather on the morning was not great and rain is always a possibility in the British climate, even when the sun is shining. So with sun cream, umbrella, blanket and picnic packed we headed off to Wimbledon.

After familiarizing ourselves with the club and most importantly getting our free voucher for strawberries and cream (finally, a benefit to being an HSBC customer) we made our way to our seats.

First on court was Victoria Azarenka vs. Maria Koehler. This was the match I was looking forward to least – Azarenka’s war cry starts to grate on most people after a while. There were some good points in the women’s game, but Azarenka dominated from the start, and her opponent did not put up much of a fight. However, this match did have some drama. Part way through the second set Azarenka let out an almighty scream and the crowd gave a collective gasp of shock. Azarenka was down, one slightly skewed turn and she twisted her knee. While she did go onto win the match, she was limping around the court. Her opponent should have used that to her advantage and sent her running, but she didn’t. The next day Azarenka pulled out; her competition was at an end.
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Next on court was a match that I was very excited about, Rafael Nadal vs. Steve Darcis. Nadal is one of tennis’ greats and I was looking forward to seeing him play. Everyone expected him to wipe the floor with Darcis – I for one had never heard of his opponent. I was looking forward to seeing Nadal’s trademark power dominating the match from the baseline.

The tennis was fantastic from the start. As Darcis took the lead in the first set, everyone was incredulous; we were fully expecting Nadal to win in straight sets. Credit to both players, Nadal was not playing poorly at all – admittedly nowhere near his best, but you do not expect that in the first round of a tournament. Darcis was just playing better, he was getting the crucial points and he was playing as though he had nothing to loose. Okay, we thought, Nadal has lost the first set. That’s nothing. He has come back from far worse situations.

I found myself cheering on Darcis, the pluckiness and the style with which he was wearing down Nadal was just too good to not roar in delight at. When he took the second set, the crowd was in a state of disbelief. But still, Nadal has come back from 2 sets down many a time. No one was putting him out of the tournament until match point was won! But Darcis kept going, he was unstoppable; where many unseeded players might crumble under the pressure of serving out a match against a player such as Nadal, Darcis did not flinch. When the final point was played, only then did the crowd accept Nadal’s loss, and they went wild. I did feel sorry for Nadal, he looked very forlorn as he walked off the court to face a pounding from the press about his injury and tennis future. Darcis of course was jumping for joy, and rightly so; he had pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament.

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I was sad when Darcis pulled out the next day due to a shoulder injury; I wanted to know how he would progress. Would he be a one hit wonder like so many unseeded players that knock out the greats?

Next up on court was former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt vs. 10th seed Stanilas Wawrinka. This was expected to be THE match of the day. Hewitt’s career has been plagued by injury, but he still has so much grit and determination left in him. He is a joy to watch, and after reaching the semi-final at Queen’s the previous week, he was definitely on top form. Wawrinka is another fabulous player, with one of the best single-handed backhands on the tour.

After the epic match we had just been treated to, I honestly felt exhausted, and I think the crowd felt the same. It was as though the energy had been sapped out of the stadium, and while the next two players were rushed on, I think the crowd was only half paying attention for the first thirty minutes. Hewitt was having absolutely none of that; always a crowd pleaser, he was revving up his audience. He had his own little group of Australian fans dressed up and ready with rehearsed chants to egg their hero on. Hewitt loved it.

Wawrinka was the favorite to win this match, as the highest seed, but that meant nothing to a crowd who had just watched Nadal get knocked out by ‘a nobody’. Hewitt is very far from ‘a nobody’, so it could swing either way. From the beginning of the match Wawrinka didn’t seem to be there. He was making many unforced errors and his famous backhand was failing to live up to expectations. Hewitt of course took advantage of this and battered down his opponent. By the end of the first set the crowd was in full swing, and I can say the majority were definitely supporting the old Wimbledon hero. It was majestic to watch, Wawrinka upped his game a lot in the 2nd and 3rd set, but it was just not enough. Hewitt was being carried along by the crowd, and loving every second of it. When he won I was left feeling all warm and bubbly inside. The BBC website ended its Wimbledon commentary with a quote I thought perfectly described the feeling in the stands: ‘As the sun sets on the first day of The Championships, an old Wimbledon flame burns bright’. As I left, my vision was clouded with idealism – I could see him going all the way.

Two days later Hewitt’s dream was over. That meant that all 6 players we had seen that day were now out. A small superstitious part of me worried that we had jinxed the players. But really it just goes to show that nothing in tennis, or sport, can be taken for granted. This year has been the year of shock exits, with Federer going out in the second round and Serena Williams in the fourth. They were preceded by an array of injury drop-outs from some of the best players, including Tsonga and Cilic. These top players know that they cannot take anything for granted so they take care of their bodies and they will all be back next year, stronger than ever, I am sure.

So this year we celebrate two brand new Wimbledon winners, Marion Bartoli and Andy Murray; let us hope they both go on to win many more titles.

Can you beat Bloomsbury Sport at Fantasy Cycling?

Tour de France 2013

Vive le Tour!

For 3 weeks of the year, every year, I become obsessed. The blinkers are on and all I can think about is the Tour de France. It truly is one of the greatest of tests of sporting endurance – of true grit and determination. This year, the 100th running of the Tour, the riders will cover a staggering 3,404 kilometres with 7 flat stages, 5 hilly, and 6 mountain stages, including an unprecedented double ascent of the merciless Alpe D’Huez.

Stage profile

Those pointy bits look mighty steep.

But I’m not alone in my admiration of this great race, Team Sport at Bloomsbury are all keen cycling fans. And for this reason, we’ve set up a Fantasy Cycling league, that we’d like to invite you to join. (It’s like Fantasy Football – but better!)

All you need to do is pick your dream team at fantasy.road.cc, join our league Bloomsbury Sport – Cycling, and see whether you can take on the fantasy cycling genius of Bloomsbury Sport’s: Maglia Charlo, L’Equipe Kirsty, Nick la Bomba and Allez Coley.

Do you think you can beat Bloomsbury Sport at Fantasy Cycling?

Who will be in your dream team?

No Wiggo this year, so who will be in your dream team?

Need some help with your team choices? Look no further than Bloomsbury Sport’s Top Tips for the Tour

Ones to watch:

  • Chris ‘the Froominator’ Froome has been in stellar form this season, taking victories at the Tour of Oman, Criterium International, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine. He’ll be looking to emulate his teammate Sir Brad’s yellow jersey victory last year to become the second Briton to win Le Tour.
  • Alberto Contador, Froome’s ‘biggest threat’, is a two-time winner of the Tour de France.
  • Vicenzo Nibali won the Maglia Rosa in the Giro d’Italia – could he make this a double? A feat no one has achieved since 1998.
  • Andy Schleck is making his return to la Grande Boucle following a pelvis fracture in 2012,which prevented him from racing. Good form at the Tour de Suisse means we shouldn’t underestimate him.
  • Mark Cavendish, the Manx Missile, will be targeting his first yellow jersey in the Corsican stages, bt his main aim will beto win back the green jersey from…
  • Peter Sagan, the 23-year-old sprinting star, claimed three stage wins and the green jersey in 2012. Can he do it again?
Fans-Tour-de-France

Fans will be please to know that El Diablo will be returning for Le Tour 100.

The Tour de France gets underway in Corsica on Saturday 29 June. We’ll be ramping up our coverage in the days before then and during Le Tour so be sure to check back regularly for all the latest news and competitions from Bloomsbury Sport.

Or follow us on Twitter: @BloomsburySport

3 Bloomsbury Books Shortlisted for the British Sports Book Awards

Bloomsbury are proud to announce that we have three books on the shortlist for the British Sport Book Awards. The three books to be shortlisted are:

Best Illustrated Book
Coppi by Herbie Sykes

Best New Writer
Sit Down and Cheer by Martin Kelner

Best Cricket Book
We’ll Get ’Em in Sequins by Max Davidson

The winner for each category will be announced on Tuesday 21st May 2013 – fingers crossed!

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Top 10 Weird Sports (continued…)

Okay, we won’t keep you in suspense anymore. Here’s the second half of the top 10 wackiest and weirdest sports…

(And don’t forget to click on the pics for action videos.)

5. Bog snorkelling

Started in Wales in (surprise surprise) the Seventies, supposedly as a result of a conversation in a pub (as most new sports probably are), bog snorkelling involves racing through a flooded trench dug into a peat bog about 60 yards long, and then racing back again. That’s pretty much all there is to it. Competitors must wear a snorkel and flippers and aren’t allowed to try to swim. Wetsuits are not mandatory, but are probably advisable.bog

4. Cheese rolling

cheese-rolling-raceA round of Double Gloucester cheese is given a one second head start down Cooper’s Hill in the Cotswolds. Hundreds of people charge down after it. The winner is the first one to the bottom of the hill, or the person who catches up with the cheese. But seeing as it reaches speeds of up to 70mph, that never happens. The prize is the cheese, and international fame. You might not want the cheese, given where it’s been. In 1993, 15 people were injured, 4 of them seriously. Organisers received death threats in 2011 after trying to charge a high entry fee, supposedly to try and reduce the number of competitors to comply with the health and safety laws that saw the 2010 event cancelled.

 3. Running of the bulls

Because as every real man knows, it ain’t a real sport unless something bleeds. Made famous by Ernest Hemingway, with the encierro at Pamplona in Spain now the best known, bull-running involves penning a bunch of bulls in the streets and then letting them run wild whilst a bunch of idiot humans run in front of them and try to avoid getting gored. The path leads to the bull-ring, where the bulls are tortured until they collapse the following day whilst the same idiot humans whoop and cheer. Over a dozen of these idiot humans have been killed by the bulls at Pamplona in the last century. The heart bleeds. Theirs, mainly. Ours, only sarcastically.

bull running

 2. Tossing the caber

tossing_caberPerhaps the most emblematic event of the Highland Games, tossing the caber secretly impresses us weedy Sassenachs, but it still amounts to chucking a bit of a tree around. The caber is typically an almost-20ft-long pole made of larch that weighs about 80kg. The aim of tossing it is not just to achieve distance, but to have it land perfectly. The top of the caber should land nearest to the thrower, so the caber can’t just be pushed up into the air and allowed to fall. Ideally it should come to lie at exactly twelve o’clock to the thrower. He loses points the further it lands from this sweetspot, and if the caber doesn’t turn over in the air. The person throwing the caber is called a tosser. No comment.

 1. Chess boxing

But surely the weirdest sport currently played is chess boxing. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Competitors play six rounds of chess in the ring, interspersed with five rounds of boxing – if both competitors last that long. Having the strongest fist won’t necessarily secure victory here. Competitors need to be equally skilled with their knights and bishops, because chess boxing matches can be won either way. The sport is currently enjoying an explosion in popularity, though the first proper matches weren’t held until 2003. Interestingly, chess boxing first appeared in 1992 – in the pages of a comic book. Islington Boxing Club

Guest post by Jonathan Eyers. Follow his blog at http://jonathaneyers.com/blog/

Nudists vs Cannibals

GrittyKitty

I have been reading a good book on the evolution of human nature and culture that I’ll not provide a link to here as Bloomsbury don’t publish it and I’m that petty. One piece of social science research it unearths troubles me, and it’s something it seems has long been taken for granted when psychologists discuss the supporters of team sports. We are all desperately, unthinkingly and arbitrarily tribal. Which is to say, we are concurrently members of as many tribes as we can find connections to: from people, say, of the same religion as us to those that like the same guitar-strewn ne’er-do-wells or brand of cat litter. And once in a tribe, we will bias favouritism towards anyone we feel that tribal link to. Uh-huh, me too! I like GrittyKitty! You’re all right, you!

When it comes to supporting a sports team, the biases of tribalism explode. Various chin-strokers suggest that the mini-wars of sports teams, facing each other in packs and defending a home structure, fit so easily with our Paleolithic wiring that we experience the same fervour and bias as if it was in actuality our small band of spear-wielding nudists taking on the appalling cannibals from across the river (i.e. Millwall). This they say explains the popularity of round and oval ball sports, and even prim-white-jumpered cricket.

It’s all in good fun of course, so why bother to give pause? No one is actually getting a spear through her netball bib after all. Perhaps, but a couple of things still stick in my craw. The delusion that the accomplishments/failures of the team I support directly transfer their glory/shame to me creates a worryingly arbitrary pendulum to which to fix my emotional life. No, actually, this I’m OK with, glory being otherwise hard to come by. It is odd though, the unreality of my link to the team, and the fact I would NEVER consider shifting my allegiance. Jerry Seinfeld sums it up well:

Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify. Because the players are always changing, the team can move to another city, you’re actually rooting for the clothes when you get right down to it. You know what I mean, you are standing and cheering and yelling for your clothes to beat the clothes from another city. Fans will be so in love with a player but if he goes to another team, they boo him. This is the same human being in a different shirt, they hate him now. Boo! Different shirt!! Boo. [intro to the Seinfeld episode ‘The Label Maker’]

If there proves to be any truth to the preposterous rumour that Liverpool’s goalkeeper Pepe Reina might be transferred to Manchester United I would respond like that I think. Boo! Different shirt!! A traitor would’ve crossed a line that I personally could never even consider pretending to sniff like cocaine à la Robbie Fowler. Bringing me to the other worry: the unthinking approval-bias towards the behaviour of fellow tribespeople (fans, players) and its corollary, the unthinking bias against the behaviour of the enemy.  … I have just deleted a paragraph or two as I dove knees-first into a few of the illustrative sticking points between Liverpool FC and Manchester’s second best club. I delete as I want to move past the bias – as level-headed and good-natured as I imagine my bias to be. There are at least two sides to any story, and since I would want people to be open-minded toward ‘our’ side when it contradicts public or media opinion, I should be prepared to be just as open-minded in the reverse situation. I’m not quite there yet.

SOTSOGThis blog arises as we are soon to publish a book on Manchester United’s history: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. I was sick at the thought of it and made sure that all related work was pushed onto my long-suffering colleague Sarah. And have since been hiding my arms under my desk. But no, give them fair credit, the club’s rise is a powerful story, and their achievements continue to break records we should all be impressed by. They have had many excellent players, and also David Beckham. Ho ho. No, he too was more than the shrill stripper naysayers mock. His boots had a genius for spatial geometry, and his best free kicks will be long remembered.

I will say no more lest I chew through my own tongue, but this is a start. Biases should remain on the field, giving us our vicarious jollies through the length of the ritualised skirmish. Go our colourfully dressed little war-party, sack and plunder! Beyond that, let calm and sense be the things of greatest value.

Top 10 Weird and Wacky Sports

We freely admit in Team Sport at Bloomsbury that we’ve published a fair few books on a plethora of sports from around the world, and there’s plenty more in the offing. But we got a-thinking about what weird and wacky sports there were out there. We may not be planning to publish books about them, but here’s our resident satirical sports-writer, Jonathan Eyers with a list of his top 10 weird ‘sports’.

(And click on the images if you want to see some of these crazy sports in action.)

 

10. Cup stacking

Almost exclusively a pastime of preteen Americans, this ‘sport’ involves laying out rows of plastic cups, stacking more rows on top of them, and then dismantling the stacks again – all as quickly and as accurately as possible. Penalties for knocking over your stack include death (not really). Clearly America will make a competition out of anything, including preparing their kids for careers in the service industry. Incidentally, competitive eating (surely also the sole preserve of Americans) would be at number 11 on this list.

Cup stacking

9. Birdman rallies

ico-birdman1They might call these eccentric/embarrassing (delete as appropriate) spectacles Flugtags now to try and convince the world they are a German invention, but the first birdman rally was held in Britain in 1971. Actually, it’s not hard to imagine the grey-faced, red-flared, Seventies breed of Brit showing up to watch someone throw themselves off the pier, given the mass unemployment, three-day week, power outages and regular strikes. As with everything else, some people take it all far too seriously, and the most hardcore of enthusiasts can reach over 100ft in their human-powered craft. Points are won both for distance and entertainment value. A bit like boxing.

8. Kabaddi

Kabaddi is the Tamil word for ‘holding hands’, but the key thing about this 4,000-year-old sport from the Indian subcontinent is actually holding your breath. Described by some as a bizarre mix of wrestling and rugby (without a ball), it sounds more like one of those games we played as kids that involved charging at each other. Two teams of seven take turns to be on the offensive and defensive. Each controls half the court. The team on the offensive sends a raider onto the other side of the court to knock out (not literally) as many opponents as he can. The catch is that the raider must hold his breath until he is back on his own side, and the defenders will be doing everything they can to stop him getting there before he runs out of air.

kabaddi-asia-cup

7. Wife-carrying

This bizarre sport originated in Finland, which holds the international championships every year. Male competitors must carry their wives over a 253.5m obstacle course, and the winning couple is the one that finishes it in the fastest time. Fortunately for those husbands whose wives are not enthusiastic about being heaved through the mandatory pool of water, it doesn’t have to be your own wife. However, she must weigh at least 49kg, or she has to wear a rucksack for added weight. Wives can be carried piggyback, over the shoulder or ‘Estonian style’ – the wife hangs upside down with her legs over her husband’s shoulders whilst she holds onto his waist. All other sports could learn one thing from wife-carrying – the official rules require all competitors to enjoy themselves.

World-Wife-Carrying-Championships-5771285

 6. Ferret legging

ferret legging Another product of the Seventies (remember, they didn’t have the internet and there were only three TV channels back then), this endurance sport came from Yorkshire, where it was popular with coal miners. Its popularity has waned in recent years, perhaps because it’s considered slightly cruel to trap two live ferrets down an old bumpkin’s trousers for five and a half hours (the world record). Winning at ferret-legging simply entails not letting the things out before any of your fellow competitors. The former world champion used to wear white trousers to better show off all the blood that the biting, scratching beasts extracted from his legs and… other places. They sure don’t breed ’em like that down here in’t south.

To be continued …

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