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More recognition for Roger Bannister | Brief letters

05/03/2018 Letters 0

Roger Bannister | Canal-boat bacon | Meridian peanut butter | Terry Pratchett | Remembering rainbowsSir Roger Bannister (Obituary, 5 March) completed our undergraduate diploma in creative writing in 2009, and attended our annual awards ceremony in the …

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Charlie Golder obituary

31/01/2018 Barbara Casassus 0

Charlie Golder, who has died aged 27 of cancer, loved writing and football, and last year combined these passions when he started his own agency, Golder’s News and Sports, to provide what he called “off-the-wallâ€� sports news.Charlie studied deman…

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This is what a brain injury feels like

05/10/2017 Elizabeth Lopatto 0

As a science journalist, Elizabeth Lopatto had reported on the effects of brain injuries. But nothing prepared her for the experience of having oneI opened my eyes to see a clear blue sky and two men leaning over me to put a brace around my neck. I don…

World Rugby rejects ‘alarmist’ call for tackling and scrum ban in school sport

26/09/2017 Press Association 0
  • Experts call for ban on ‘harmful contact’ to reduce injury risk
  • World Rugby questions data and claims made in new study

World Rugby has rejected “extreme and alarmist” claims made in a study that calls on scrums and tackling to be banned at school level, with a number of former international players also speaking out against the proposal.

Allyson Pollock and Graham Kirkwood from the Institute of Health at Newcastle University had urged the government to remove the tackle and other forms of “harmful contact” from school rugby. They argued that removing collision is likely to “reduce and mitigate the risk of injury” and said governments have a duty to “ensure the safety of children”.

Related: The great rugby union debate: should tackling be banned at school level?

Related: Rugby research team find 20-minute exercise plan reduces injury risk

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William Giraldi on life as a bookish bodybuilder: ‘It’s a poisoned way to be a man’

05/09/2017 Jack Urwin 0

As a teenager, William Giraldi would pump himself full of steroids, hit the gym … and secretly read Keats. His new memoir examines the absurdities of modern masculinity and envisages a better world in which his sons don’t get caught in its toxic grip

As a teenage bodybuilder, William Giraldi would hide a battered old Keats paperback between the pages of Muscle & Fitness magazine to read during his evening cardio, a move he calls “a reversal of the classic Playboy mag inside a textbook”. His new memoir, The Hero’s Body, is littered with anecdotes like this: tales of the insecurities and absurdities of masculinity, which document the lengths men go to in order to feel a sense of self-worth in their manhood. Literature, art, music – almost anything that would be of no use on a battlefield – were condemned as effeminate by Giraldi’s family and gym buddies, forcing him to pursue these interests in secret.

“That’s the perfect illustration of the kind of bifurcated life I was leading at the time,” Giraldi says, likening his furtive Keats reading to that of a gay person in the closet. “You’ve got this part of yourself that’s central to yourself, that’s at the hub of you. You can’t express it, you can’t exert it, you can’t walk the way you want to walk in the world because of how you’ll be perceived.”

Related: How a bookish teenager bodybuilt his way to Manville

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