Sporting brothers and sisters

The Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, are widely regarded as the greatest sporting siblings in the world, but who else is there?

Plenty of us play sports but few ever make it to the ranks of professional. Even fewer are those who make it and are able to dominate at the highest level. Now imagine the odds of siblings making it to the pros and excelling at a Hall of Fame level. There have been some formidable sports siblings before, but often one of the siblings is great and the other is average or more often than that both siblings are just average.

Venus and Serena Williams - Tennis

The Williams sisters are two professional American tennis players: Venus Williams born 1980, seven-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), and Serena Williams born 1981, eleven-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), both of whom were coached from an early age by their father Richard Williams. There is a noted professional rivalry between them, the Williams Sisters rivalry.

Both sisters had the honor of being ranking by the Women's Tennis Association at the World number one position. There is no other sport, where two siblings were both ranked at the number one position. In 2001, Serena Williams and Venus Williams were ranked number one and number two respectively. Twenty three Grand Slam Titles for Serena and nineteen for Venus, so far.

Other siblings in professional tennis have included include Maleevas(3), Everts, McEnroes, Jensens, Safins, Mal and Mashona Washington and Bryans unadjusted career earnings

Eli and Peyton Manning - American Football

Elisha Nelson "Eli" Manning (born January 3, 1981) is an American football quarterback for the New York Giants of the National Football League. He is the younger brother of NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and the son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning. He played college football at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) after attending prep school at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. He was drafted as the first overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, but immediately traded to the New York Giants, who traded 4th overall pick Philip Rivers. Manning won the most valuable player award in Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008

Peyton Williams Manning (born March 24, 1976) is an American football quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. One of only two three-time NFL MVPs, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. He was drafted by the Colts as the first overall pick in 1998 after a standout college football career with the Tennessee Volunteers. He is the son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and the older brother of current New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

Steve and Mark Waugh - Cricket (Australia)

Stephen Rodger Waugh, AO (born 2 June 1965 in Canterbury, New South Wales) is a former Australian cricketer, and fraternal twin of former Australian cricketer Mark Waugh. Steve Waugh captained the Australian Test cricket team from 1999 to 2004. He is the most capped Test player in history with 168 appearances. He is known amongst friends as "Tugga" (as in tug of war), and amongst the public as "Iceman" for his ability to remain calm and cool in high-pressure situations throughout his career. Dean Waugh, another of Steve's brothers, is also a cricketer, having played first-class and list A cricket in Australia. He is known for his philanthropic work, and he was named Australian of the Year in 2004.

On 30 September 2009, Steve Waugh was one of five new members inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

The so the list goes on.....

Michael and Raf Schumacher - Formula One Racing

Rory and Tony Underwood - Rugby

Gary, Phil (Football) and sister Tracy Neville (Netball)

Jack and Bobby Charlton - Football

David and John Lloyd - Tennis

Different types of fitness

Many people have ideas that "fitness" is "just fitness" and that's that. If you "are" or "are not" fit. It is not that simple. So is a cyclist is as fit as a boxer? It is a different type of training to reach their goal that is suited to that specific event.

So how do these differences come about? Well, there are different aspects of fitness and each of these aspects of fitness are developed in different ways and each can have a different effect on your chooses sport. The different types of fitness are outlined below:

Cardio-respiratory endurance - is the ability of the heart and lungs to get oxygen to the muscles, so that the muscles can perform for a long time. This type of fitness can be developed by exercising in your training zone at lease three times per week for a duration of at least twenty minutes.

Stamina - This is a combination of muscular endurance and cardio-respiratory endurance.

Muscular endurance - is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to perform for a long time. This can be developed through weight lifting and exercises such as press ups, sit-ups etc. One very important point to note about developing muscular endurance is that you must exercise with high reps and low weight to get the desired effect.

Strength - is the greatest force a muscle can produce in pushing, pulling, lifting or striking actions. This type of fitness is usually developed by following a weight lifting program. An important point to remember is to exercise with low reps and high weight.

Power - is how ability of the body to produce an explosive effort. It is created by combining speed and strength.

Speed - is how quickly muscles can move the joints. Speed can apply to the movement of the whole body, or to the movement of a part of the body, like the arm.

Flexibility or suppleness - is the ability to stretch muscles so that a joint has a large range of movement. Flexibility can be affected by injury, muscle,tendons, ligaments and skin.

You need to be specific to your sport - there is not point in developing your stamina if your a long jumper; you would be looking to develop flexibility and power. In terms of general fitness the most important aspect would be cardio-vascular stamina which brings major benefits to your heart and lungs and so improves your overall health.

Warm up and cool down

There is no doubt that time spent on warming up and cooling down will improve an athlete's level of performance and accelerate the recovery process needed before and after training or competition. As a result, the coach must encourage the athlete to regard the warm up and cool down as an essential part of both the training session and competition itself.

Warm Up
Muscle stiffness is thought to be directly related to muscle injury and therefore the warm up should be aimed at reducing muscle stiffness.
Warming up should at least consist of the following:
* 5 to 10 minutes jogging - to increase body temperature.

* 10 to 15 minutes dynamic stretching exercises - reduce muscle stiffness

* 10 to 15 minutes general and event specific drills - preparation for the session or competition.
e.g. for a runner *Lower leg drills * Leg drills * Technique drills

*4 to 8 easy run outs over 30 to 60 metres - focus on correct running technique (Tall, Relaxed, Smooth and Drive)

* Dynamic stretches are more appropriate to the warm up as they help reduce muscle stiffness.
* Static stretching exercises do not reduce muscle stiffness.

What are the benefits of a warm up?

Performance may be improved, as an appropriate warm up will result in an:
* Increased speed of contraction and relaxation of warmed muscles
* Dynamic exercises reduce muscle stiffness
* Greater economy of movement because of lowered viscous resistance within warmed muscles
* Facilitated oxygen utilization by warmed muscles because hemoglobin releases oxygen more readily at higher muscle temperatures
* Facilitated nerve transmission and muscle metabolism at higher temperatures; a specific warm up can facilitate motor unit recruitment required in subsequent all out activity
* Increased blood flow through active tissues as local vascular beds dilate, increasing metabolism and muscle temperatures
* Allows the heart rate get to a workable rate for beginning exercise
*Mentally focused on the training or competition

Cool Down

Cooling down should consist of the following:
* 5 to 10 minutes jogging/walking - decrease body temperature and remove waste products from the working muscles
* 5 to 10 minutes static stretching exercises
* Static stretches are more appropriate to the cool down as they help muscles to relax, realign muscle fibres and re-establish their normal range of movement. These stretches should be held for approximately 10 seconds.

What are the benefits of a cool down?
An appropriate cool down will:

* aid in the dissipation of waste products - including lactic acid
* reduce the potential for DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness)
* reduce the chances of dizziness or fainting caused by the pooling of venous blood at the extremities
* reduce the level of adrenaline in the blood
* allows the heart rate to return to its resting rate
In Conclusion
Exercise keeps you fit and healthy.

If you have arthritis, exercise helps keep your joints and muscles strong, your bones and joint tissues healthy, and gives you more energy to keep up with daily activities.

Your doctor or other health professionals can help you design a fitness program that meets your individual needs.

To get the most benefit from your program, remember these tips:

* Make exercise a part of your daily routine.
* Do all types of exercises (range-of-motion, strengthening, and fitness)
* Know when to stop or cut back on your exercises.

Most of all have fun whatever you do!

Top Ten biggest sporting upsets of all time

What makes sport in general so great is the fact that you never know what's going to happen?

We know what should happen, but it's the unpredictability which makes everything that much more exciting. There's nothing better than a huge shock result to get people talking - and there have been some absolute crackers over the years...

1. Cassius Clay v Sonny Liston: The brash 22-year-old upstart shouldn't have stood a chance against the heavyweight champion of the world, but Clay - who changed his name to Muhammad Ali the day after the pair's first fight in 1964 - did the unthinkable and took the title from his bigger, more experienced opponent. It was a result that sent shortwaves through the world of boxing and turned Clay into the biggest sports star on the planet.

2. NY Giants v New England Patriots: The Patriots had reached the final of Superbowl XL II with an unblemished record and were hot favourites to finish the season with a 19th straight victory, but they didn't count on one of the biggest upsets in the history of the game. Eli Manning's pass to Plaxico Burress with just over 30 seconds left on the clock created the winning score as the Giants ran out unlikely 17-14 winners.

3. Foinavon wins the Grand National: Beginning the race as a rank outsider at odds of 100/1, even the horse's owner didn't bother making the trip to Aintree to watch! It was all going to form until the fence just before Canal Turn. One horse fell, setting in motion a domino effect that left carnage as all the leaders were thrown from their horses. Foinavon was so far back at this point that jockey John Buckingham had time to steer around the mess and take the lead. He held on for the most unlikely victory in the history of horse racing. In his honour, the fence where the leaders all fell was named after Foinavon.

4. Wimbledon v Liverpool: The final of the FA Cup in 1988 was supposed to be a walkover for Liverpool, the crowning glory in a season which had seen them lift the First Division trophy a couple of weeks earlier. But the Crazy Gang, who had been playing Fourth Division just five years previously, ripped up the form book as Lawrie Sanchez popped up to head home an unlikely winner for the underdogs. The game will also forever be remembered for Dave Beasant's penalty stop from John Aldridge - the first time a spot-kick had ever been saved in an FA Cup final.

5. USA v USSR ice hockey: The 1980 Olympics saw a team of amateur and collegiate players from the US go up against the highly-favoured, well-organised team of what were to all intents and purposes professional players from the Soviet Union. The Americans weren't given a cat in hell's chance of winning, but surprised everyone - themselves included - by running out 4-3 victors in what became known as the ''Miracle on ice''. The US team went on to win gold while their Cold War foes had to settle for silver.

6. Dennis Taylor v Steve Davis: Probably the one match on the green baize that EVERYONE remembers, whether you like snooker or not! It pulled the all-time record TV audience for a snooker match - one that will most likely never be beaten. More than 18 million stayed up until the early hours of the morning back in 1985 to watch Irishman Taylor defeat the undefeatable Davis in a match that went down to the last black ball of the last frame. The images of Taylor waving his cue above his head and wagging his finger will live long in the memory.

7. Goran Ivanisevic v Pat Rafter: Ivanisevic only made it to Wimbledon in 2001 with the aid of a wildcard entry. The man ranked 125 in the world was actually CRYING while still trying to serve for the match, which he eventually won 9-7 in the fifth set against Aussie Rafter. It wasn't the prettiest of finals, but it capped a quite incredible two weeks for the Croat.

8. Hereford v Newcastle: The FA Cup has thrown up some classic giant-killing acts over the years, but this was the biggest of the lot. Hereford were playing in the Southern League - the equivalent of today's Blue Square Premier - when they came up against First Division Newcastle in the third round in 1972. A 2-2 draw in the first game meant a replay at Hereford's Edgar Street ground, where more than 14,000 people witnessed maybe the greatest goal in the competition's history. Ronnie Radford picked up the ball in midfield, played a one-two and unleashed a 30-yard thunderbolt into the top corner eight minutes from time to level the scores - cue pitch invasion number one. Hereford went on to win it in extra time with Ricky George's strike - cue pitch invasion number two!

9. Bangladesh v Australia: The minnows of Bangladesh pulled off what was probably the biggest shock in the history of cricket when they somehow beat world champions in a one-day game in 2005. The Aussies were up first and posted 249-5, which should have been enough to see off the lowest-ranked one-day side in the world. But Mohammad Ashraful's century helped little Bangladesh to a five-wicket victory with four balls to spare. The Aussies had been 100/1 ON to win before the start of the match.

10. This is where you come in: There must be a whole load more classic upsets that shocked the world of sport which didn't make this list. So come on - which is the biggest one I have missed that simply has to be in your top 10?

Chelsea win

Chelsea have gone five points clear at the top of the English Premier League after a 1-0 victory over reigning champions Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

John Terry, captain of both Chelsea and England, was the hero for the West London side, who last won the Premier League title in the 2005-06 season, with his 76th-minute header from a Frank Lampard free-kick securing all three points.

Terry's goal had a hint of controversy. The free-kick which lead to the goal was awarded for a challenge by Darren Fletcher on Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole.

But Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was far from happy with the decision to give the free-kick, made by referee Martin Atkinson. Ferguson was also angry that United defender Wes Brown was apparently impeded as the winning goal was being scored. He said:
"Clearly, Darren Fletcher's won the ball - Ashley Cole's never touched and has jumped up in the air - and then (Didier) Drogba's pulled Brown to the ground for the goal. The referee's position to make the decision was absolutely ridiculous - he can't see anything. He's got a Chelsea player (Joe Cole) standing right in front of him - and he doesn't even move. It was a bad decision, but there's nothing we can do about it. You lose faith in refereeing sometimes, that's the way the players are talking in there - it was a bad one"

Terry's header was on its way in to the Manchester United net, Blues striker Didier Drogba tried to help the ball along whilst in an offside position. Yet he missed the ball completely, ensuring the goal was not disallowed.

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti was angry too, but his anger was directed at the United players, Rio Ferdinand was not amongst those players as he is out injured at the moment, who he claimed had attempted to get Blues defender Ricardo Carvalho sent off. Ancelotti explained:

"The Manchester players protested a lot. I don't know why. I don't like this. At the end of a very difficult match, all the players worked very hard - and sometimes it can happen.

Topping the table with 30 points from 12 games, Arsenal are second on 25 points and Manchester United are third, also with 25 points, Chelsea will be pleased that their excellent defensive record at Stamford Bridge is continuing. They have conceded only one goal in six league games at home this season, having won all six games, and that goal was conceded during the first game of the season against Hull City."

One of English football's most successful clubs in recent years, Chelsea are owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. He will be very happy indeed if, come the end of the season, the English Premier League, the current table can be viewed as it does today.

Leaving Formula One

Nine years after BMW’s return to Formula 1 with Williams, and four years after the formation of the BMW Sauber F1 Team, the Bavarian carmaker is pulling out of Formula One at the end of the 2009 season.

In all those years, BMW has not managed to win the world championship—a major disappointment for the Bavarians. Instead of pushing the brand’s sporty image (Munich engineers cultivate an attitude of unquestioned superiority), Formula 1 saw BMW as the eternal runner-up, and at times worse. While the company’s executives enjoy hanging out at F1 events, the disappointing performance of the team amounted to a loss of face.

Perhaps even more important, quitting Formula 1 will save BMW an estimated $350–400 million every year. That’s a very welcome relief given the company’s weak financial performance of late.
Unsurprisingly, BMW attempts to play the well-worn “green” card: “More and more, premium is defined by sustainability and environmental consciousness. We want to serve as a model in this area” submits BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer, adding: “The commitment to Formula 1 does not reflect our goals any more.”
This explanation strikes us as somewhat disingenuous, given that Formula 1, under the guidance of the controversial FIA head Max Mosley, has successfully pushed for the hybridization of the race cars. But BMW was unhappy with Mosley for several reasons, not least his goal to limit the racing teams’ budgets in order to keep cost under control. This would have favored smaller teams.

Mario Theissen, one of BMW’s most promising top executives, and responsible for Formula 1 since 1999, is deeply disappointed: “We would have liked to carry on,” he admits, adding: “But from a corporate perspective, I understand the decision.”

So do we. That said, it’s a major loss for Formula 1—and we are happy to report that BMW’s commitment to motorsports remains unchanged in other racing series, such as Formula BMW, ALMS, and the Superbike championship.