Inside Lines: No kidding as GB teenagers head for Singapore's Olympics

If evidence is needed to prove that sport has the power to change political will, it comes with the opening of the inaugural Youth Olympics next weekend. It is not so much the event itself, but where it is happening: Singapore. Until recently, the one-time British colony was about the last place on earth you would associate with a significant sports event. I know this from personal experience, having worked there in the Eighties when sport was stuck on the bottom rung of the tiny multi-cultural nation's priorities. Education was paramount and playing games was not on the agenda of the then PM, Lee Kuan Yew. Now Singapore has discovered that not only does sport bring social benefits healthwise but there's money and political kudos in it, too. Hence the successful bid for the Youth Olympics, which follows the successful staging of two night-time Formula One grands prix and hosting the International Olympic Committee when London got the nod for 2012. "Yes, we have now recognised the powerful influence sport has on society," the Singapore Sports Council chief, Mervyn Lee, tells us. So tomorrow a 40-strong party of Britain's finest teenaged talent, headed by world champion diver Tom Daley, 16, will join 3,600 athletes from 203 nations competing in the full quota of 26 Olympic sports. Also travelling are 30 London youngsters who, between them, speak six languages, chosen to assist as volunteers – reward for their spare-time work with underprivileged kids in the capital. Nice touch.

Grace of God

Sport has also found another unlikely haven (or perhaps that should be heaven) in Worcester Cathedral. A unique exhibition, showcasing a century's-worth of sporting heroes' stories and memorabilia, featuring the likes of W G Grace, David Beckham, Sebastian Coe and Stanley Matthews, and highlighting the changes in equipment and apparel, will be on display for a week starting today. The Dean, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, says that it is a fundraising event for the cathedral, but also an important celebration of sport. "At its best, sport is a force for good in the world and deserves to be celebrated as God-given." Amen to that.

A fighting chance

After complaining of being snubbed by Britain's amateur international boxing set-up, Amir Khan's talented 19-year-old kid brother Haroon may wish he had waited before opting to box for Pakistan in the Commonwealth Games. For the British Amateur Boxing Association have announced a new competition to identify Britain's best male and female boxers, giving a chance to those who are not in the GB squad to fight their way into contention for London 2012. The British Championships at Liverpool's Echo Arena on 12 and 13 November will pit the best boxers from the home nations against members of current GB podium squads, with victory bringing the automatic right to join the squad as a funded athlete for an assessment period. Says GB head coach Rob McCracken: "This will provide a real test for the existing GB boxers and have an influence on the make-up of the Olympic team."

Non-physical jerks

First there was "boxercise" – where you can practise all the moves without getting hit. Now there is "judocise", in which you also just go through the motions. This follows "footycise", as exhibited by England's footballers at the World Cup.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
Pepper, the 3ft 11in shiny box of circuits who can tell jokes and respond to human emotions
techDavid McNeill tests the mettle of one of the new generation of androids being developed in Tokyo
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Data Migration Consultant

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...

Programme Support, Coms, Bristol, £300-350p/d

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Linux Systems Administrator

£33000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly successfu...

(Junior) IT Systems Administrator / Infrastructure Analyst

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly ...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice