Friday, April 17, 2009

Launch of BALLS

We remain totally committed to our vision to:

'Put the Wii into skittles - not take the Wii out of it.'

We have therefore decided to raise the necessary funding through our own efforts. It is with great pride that we announce the launch of the Bristol Academy for Learning the Language of Skittles (BALLS). We have applied to the Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills for registration as an education and training provider via our partnership with the University of Manchester Institute of Sports Science & Education (UMISSED).

Overseas students will be able to enrol for a fee of £300 for a six month intensive course. Higher diplomas and degrees via our partnership with UMISSED are available from £1500 per term payable in advance. Distance learning is an option providing students are able to satisfy the residential requirements by living within 20,000 miles of Manchester.

BALLS is fully signed up to Home Office guidelines on student sponsorship, visa requirements and working time limits.

Sport England funding

Towards the end of 2008, the team applied to Sport England for funding to employ a physio, sports psychologist, performance coach and ball tuner (all on a part-time basis). We were quietly confident that funding would be provided since it would help to meet one of Sport England's key objectives: 'a measurable increase in people's satisfaction with their experience of sport'.

In order to demonstrate our commitment we had taken the first steps towards establishing a Wii Skittles League which would have enabled pub landlords to increase their turnover per square metre and return on capital employed by eliminating the need for an alley and its associated maintenance costs. Our vision was to:

'Put the Wii into skittles - not take the Wii out of it.'

Sadly funding has not been forthcoming - amongst other things we were taken to task for having no policy on equality and diversity. We feel particularly aggrieved in view of South Gloucestershire's use of 2012 funding to throw a lifeline to third age swimmers in local pools. If they hadn't gone into the pools in the first place for goodness sake, they wouldn't have needed a lifeline.