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Rangers sets UK first with visually impaired fans tech

Scottish Premiership club Rangers FC is pioneering a new artificial intelligence-based device designed to transform the stadium experience for blind and visually impaired fans.

The OrCam MyEye 2 device, which is wireless and attaches magnetically to any pair of glasses, uses artificial intelligence to analyse visual information and instantly communicate it to the user via audio.

The device, which will be available at the club’s Ibrox stadium in Glasgow, can read text, as well as recognise faces, products, colours and currency notes.

Roses inspire 130,000 to play netball

The Vitality Roses’ gold medal win at the 2018 Commonwealth Games has inspired more than 130,700 people in England to take up or play more netball, according to new figures.

The data from a YouGov survey commissioned on behalf of England Netball, has been released to mark the one-year anniversary of the victory, which was watched by 1.8 million on the BBC.

Meanwhile England Netball’s annual Big Netball Conversation survey found that 80% of those involved in Back to Netball since the Games were new to the national governing body’s flagship participation programme.

Natwest CricketForce returns with digital focus

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) 2019 NatWest CricketForce volunteering initiative has launched with a focus on enhancing digital and technological capabilities at clubs.

Tens of thousands of volunteers were joined by England stars Jason Roy, Chris Woakes and Danielle Wyatt in participating in the launch weekend, which featured activities ranging from testing out digital points of sale at cricket venues to improving internet connections at local clubs.

Study identifies untapped UK fitness markets

East Surrey is the area of the UK with the greatest scope for growth in the provision of fitness and wellness services, according to new research from MINDBODY, a specialist business management software provider for the fitness sector.

Other places offering strong potential for newcomers in 2019 are Croydon, Northamptonshire, Wyre Forest, Kensington, Harrow, Broxbourne, West Lindsey, Derby, and Glasgow.

UK cycling numbers down despite ebike growth

The number of cyclists in the UK has declined for the third year in a row despite a growing interest in electric bicycles, according to market intelligence agency Mintel.

The new research has found that the number of cyclists in the country has dropped from 38% of the population in 2015 to 27% in 2018.

However, 2.5 million bicycles were still sold in the UK in 2018, of which 70,000 were so-called e-bikes, with 30% of cyclists now either interested in buying a ‘smart trainer’ or owning one already.

Infront acquires Threshold Sports

Swiss-based global sports marketing agency Infront has announced its acquisition of UK sports event agency Threshold Sports.

The mass participation specialist is best known for properties including the Deloitte Ride Across Britain - a 980-mile route taking cyclists from Land’s End to John O’Groats, which this year celebrates its 10-year anniversary.

Threshold's portfolio also features the Dulux London Revolution sportive and the Threhsold Trail Series, which comprises the Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones, HEINEKEN Race to the Tower and Race to the King.

Strava study targets period pain

Strava, the global social network for athletes, has revealed the results of a major study into the relationship between exercise and period pain.

More than 14,000 active women from around the world were involved in the research, which was conducted by a team from St Mary’s University, London and menstrual cycle tracking and exercise app FitrWoman, in partnership with Strava.

It revealed that 78% of women find exercise reduces the symptoms of their period, with moderate intensity exercise deemed most effective at combatting symptoms.

Motorsport UK in major governance reforms

Motorsport UK has announced major changes to the administration of motorsport in the UK, following an extraordinary general meeting of the Royal Automobile Club in London.

The governing body has adopted new articles of association, which bring it in line with Sport England’s Code of Governance and best practice.

The move will see the Motorsport UK Board become the ultimate decision-making body in the governance of UK motorsport - historically the role of the Motorsport Council. 

Industry parties with a purpose

More than 200 representatives of the brands, rightsholders, agencies and media organisations shortlisted for the BT Sport Industry Awards 2019 came together for the rebranded Sport Industry Shortlisted event in London.

The celebration takes place annually as part of the countdown to the sport industry’s biggest night of the year at Battersea Evolution.

This year saw a number of changes, including a new venue - HKS Architects in central London.

Xylem and Man City to tackle water education

Water technology company Xylem and Manchester City FC have teamed up to launch an education campaign on the risks posed by water complacency.

‘Closer than you think’ is a multimedia campaign created by Lagardère Plus, the global partnership marketing agency of Lagardère Sports and Entertainment.

Through multimedia storytelling, the initiative aims to show audiences how every country on earth faces serious – and escalating – water issues, such as lack of access to clean drinking water and resilience challenges in the face of increasing severe weather patterns.

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