Inside Lines: Hoey an 'inspired choice' says Moynihan
Sunday 11 May 2008
Kate Hoey's role as sports adviser to the new London mayor, Boris Johnson, has been strongly backed by the British Olympic chairman, Colin Moynihan, a key member of the 2012 Olympic Board. Moynihan says he is surprised at suggestions that some 2012 officials are "aghast" that the ex-Labour sports minister could also have a seat in the organising committee's boardroom. One is said to have described her as a "total nightmare". But Moynihan says: "I disagree fundamentally with that. She is an inspired choice. Her knowledge of London sport is second to none and she has always put sport above party politics. Neither do I accept she is anti-Olympics. I worked with her on a major review for sport and her view, quite rightly, is that the Olympics should not be taking money away from grass-roots sport." We understand that Games chief Seb Coe is also happy to have Hoey on board, where she and Johnson will provide a much-needed challenging eye to 2012 expenditure after some of the apparent acquiesence to the financial excesses of Ken Livingstone.
York Hall knockout but ABA mistime punches
With eight qualifiers for Beijing and Friday's ABA Championships a sell-out, surely this is not the most auspicious time for infighting among the sport's governing body, whose financial administration is under review by UK Sport. If nothing else it is deeply unsettling for the successful national coach, Terry Edwards, as he prepares the Olympic squad. None will be in action at London's York Hall on Friday, where the focus will be on London 2012 prospects. Ones to watch are the slick defending middleweight George Groves, 20, and the well-named heavyweight Tyson Fury, 19.
King guns for the big match-up with Khan
The sight of the 77-year-old Don King in an Arsenal shirt surely was enough to make the hair of any Gooners fan stand on end. Yet there he was at the Emirates last weekend, lending his unmistakable vocal support against Everton. The veteran US promoter (pictured) was a guest in Frank Warren's box for his first footy game. "He hadn't a clue what was going on," Warren tells us, "but he seemed to enjoy it. He even told people he was buying the club!" Apparently the name Campbell cropped up frequently during the match – not the ex-Gunner Sol but Nate, the new World Boxing Organisation lightweight champion, who is one of King's men. What odds a deal was struck at half-time between King and Warren for Campbell to fight Amir Khan later this year?
A far-sighted academy for blind footballers
Sport for the disabled is high on the agenda, with the current focus on the Paralympic World Cup and in particular Natalie du Toit, who has edged out fellow Springbok Oscar Pistorius in the race to compete with the able-bodied in the Olympics. And tomorrow the Football Association, whose work in this area is substantial, if largely unsung, are launching the world's first football academy for the blind in Hereford. The £21 million venue, which includes educational facilities, will host the 2010 Blind World Cup. A GB blind team will compete in the Paralympics.
Determined Hemmings still paddling her way to Beijing
Cycling, sailing and rowing may all be sports at which Brits take success sitting down, but canoeist Anna Hemming, 30, also aspires to the seat of power. The determined Hemmings, so long ignored as a six-times world canoe marathon champion, is happily on course to qualify for a K2 Olympic place in Beijing.
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