Tag Archives: designs

NBA Christmas Day 2012 jerseys: Barclays Premier League won"t follow suit

NBA stock up with special Christmas Day kits (but don't worry, our Premier League clubs won't follow suit…)

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UPDATED:

17:36 GMT, 30 November 2012

NBA teams will wear limited edition Christmas Day kits this year. But panicked parents in England must fear not – it isn't an idea ready to be embraced in the Barclays Premier League.

The NBA are certain to cash-in on the lucrative limited edition designs, which will be worn by all the major basketball teams on December 25.

However, Sportsmail understands it has never been on the agenda at Premier League HQ and such an idea for Boxing Day-only kits would have to be recommended and agreed to by the clubs.

Different ball game: NBA stars will wear special Christmas Day-only uniforms

Different ball game: NBA stars will wear special Christmas Day-only uniforms (below)

Different ball game: NBA stars will wear special Christmas Day-only uniforms

Premier League sides have their usual three kits approved in pre-season while officials granted special dispensation for them to wear the recent charitable Poppy kits (which clubs donated to raise funds for the Royal British Legion).

The NBA have explored the addition of one-off uniforms several times with previous themes including 'Latin Night', 'St Patrick's Day' and they will wear special training shirts for World Aids Day.

'The Christmas jerseys are fun,' said NBA commissioner David Stern, speaking exclusively to Sportsmail in New York.

'We're always doing throwback nights. We have Hispanic nights where the players' shirts will have 'Los Bulls' or 'Los Spurs' and sometimes we do a special uniform for some period of games. And so the idea for the Christmas Day jerseys came up and I was like, well let’s do it.

Standing firm: There are no plans to have Boxing Day-only kits in the Premier League

Standing firm: There are no plans to have Boxing Day-only kits in the Premier League

'The festive commercial we did, the cow of the bells isn't played actually because it is played by basketballs.

'These guys are bouncing basketballs and the idea was, let's do a limited number of Christmas Day uniforms (available at the NBA Europe store) and once they're sold out they are gone.

'It was like a kick of excitement. The commercial has over 5 million views within a week. That's crazy. I really do get a kick out of it.

'I wasn't really a big fan of all these changed uniforms. I came of age at a time when you looked at the TV set and you knew the Bulls were in red, the Celtics were in green, the Knicks were in blue, the Phoenix Suns had some orange configuration and the Lakers were the only ones who didn't wear white at home, they wore yellow.

Big seller: Miami Heat forward LeBron James is the most-purchased shirt by NBA fans

Big seller: Miami Heat forward LeBron James is the most-purchased shirt by NBA fans

'Then, all of a sudden New Orleans started wearing yellow in their home uniform and it was like, “Oh my God, everything's changing. Take me back to the good old days!”

'But you know what now – like with the Christmas uniforms – I think it's great. If you try it and you fail, you might look stupid but if you succeed then great.

'You've just got to let it go and don't take yourself too seriously.'

Miami Heat star LeBron James, meanwhile, was revealed as the biggest-selling shirt seller earlier this week.

'It's an honour to be No 1,' said James, who last had the league's best-selling jersey in April 2011.

WATCH THE NBA CHRISTMAS SPECIAL VIDEO

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The Detroit Pistons take on the New York Knicks on January 17 at NBA London Live at the O2 Arena. Watch every NBA game live or on demand via NBA LEAGUE PASS at: www.nba.com/leaguepass

Behind the scenes at St George"s Park

The England Lab: Our man tries out the FA's 100m St George's Park complex before Rooney, Gerrard and company move in

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UPDATED:

14:34 GMT, 27 September 2012

In the hotel at St George’s Park, there’s an evocative photo
mosaic of legendary England players and moments of the past. Becks, Gazza,
Robson and Ramsey are all there, taking pride of place in the plush lobby.

But these images are the only concession to the past in the
Football Association’s shiny new 100m headquarters nestled deep in the
Staffordshire countryside.

For the rest of this place is about the future – both in the
almost Space Age training equipment and facilities on offer at every turn but
in the grand vision that brought the whole thing into being.

Welcome mat: The main entrance to St George's Park, the Football Association's new 100m training complex in the Staffordshire countryside

Welcome mat: The main entrance to St George's Park, the Football Association's new 100m training complex in the Staffordshire countryside

Wacky designs: The reception features a multi-coloured selection of football shirts

Wacky designs: The reception features a multi-coloured selection of football shirts

Next month, the England senior squad will walk through its
doors for the first time as they prepare for the latest couplet of World Cup
qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.

They will enter a building that is part-science lab,
part-training ground, part-rehabilitation clinic and part-medical college. For
the first time, our national team will have everything under one roof – no more
working out of hotel rooms and suitcases.

The new home for all 24 English representative teams, from
schoolboys to seasoned pros, St George’s Park is the end result of a
quarter-century of wrangling, planning, budgeting and building.

But this will all be worthwhile if this state-of-the-art
technology helps deliver a first major tournament success in nearly 50 years.

World of wood: One of the changing rooms at St George's Park. Each one is named after a famous England player

World of wood: One of the changing rooms at St George's Park. Each one is named after a famous England player

Inspirational: Quotes from famous names adorn the walls throughout

Inspirational: Quotes from famous names adorn the walls throughout

England’s head physiotherapist Gary Lewin says: ‘This is the
culmination of a 25-year process. In all the time I’ve been involved with
England teams, we’ve always worked out of hotel rooms wherever we are in the
world.

‘At last, we have a ‘home’ and a ‘base camp’ for our medical
staff. But St George’s Park will be much more than that – it’s a centre of
excellence for medical education, coach education and data collection, which
will be shared with universities.’

And those members of staff will have the best of everything.
From this point forward, England failures will owe nothing to physical
deficiencies.

At the heart of the complex is the Human Performance Lab,
full of machines which can tell you everything about the make-up of your body
in nanoseconds.

Ready to race: Four Wattbikes are hooked up to the computers in the Human Performance Lab

Ready to race: Four Wattbikes are hooked up to the computers in the Human Performance Lab

Anti-gravity and anti-oxygen: The AlterG treadmill (right) next to the altitude training chamber

Anti-gravity and anti-oxygen: The AlterG treadmill (right) next to the altitude training chamber

The anti-gravity treadmill is based on technology borrowed
from NASA and strips away up to four-fifths of your body mass to literally take
the weight off your feet.

England stars who pick up knocks on the field can keep up
their training routine without needless pressure on aching joints.

Four Wattbikes – exercise bikes which accurately measure the
amount of power your legs produce on the pedals – add an element of competition
for the players through programmable races.

In the corner, an altitude chamber with a treadmill, bike
and rowing machine to test the efficiency of your respiratory system in low
oxygen.

Alpine air: There's an exercise bike, treadmill and rowing machine in the altitude chamber

Alpine air: There's an exercise bike, treadmill and rowing machine in the altitude chamber

And when the elite athletes move in, every second of their
work out will be logged, recorded and pored over at great length by the finest
medical minds.

Along the tall corridor is the rehabilitation gym, which is
cunningly positioned above the full-size indoor Astroturf pitch, the idea being
that any injured players can be inspired in their recovery by watching their
teammates training below.

Lush: The indoor Astroturf football pitch will be used for training games when the England team move in next month

Lush: The indoor Astroturf football pitch will be used for training games when the England team move in next month

Again it’s packed with the latest equipment as you’d expect.
Technogym won the commission to fit out all the gyms at St George’s and there’s
kit here that looks genuinely frightening – until you start to play about with
it.

The ‘Kinesis’ sounds especially daunting, but its flexible
cables and pulleys allow for an infinite number of different exercises that
work muscles you forget you have.

Elsewhere in the room are good old-fashioned weights and
medicine balls, which the England players will no doubt relish chucking around
in a month’s time.

Inspirational: Exercise bikes overlooking the indoor pitch, so injured players can watch their teammates training below

Inspirational: Exercise bikes overlooking the indoor pitch, so injured players can watch their teammates training below

Im-press-ive: This Technogym leg press is the only one in the world at the moment

Im-press-ive: This Technogym leg press is the only one in the world at the moment

State-of-the-art: Exercise machines in the gym, including the versatile Kinesis One (left)

State-of-the-art: Exercise machines in the gym, including the versatile Kinesis One (left)

To make sure the reactions of Joe Hart, Robert Green and
company are as sharp as they need to be, BATAK boards have been installed.
They’re grids of lights that flash up in random sequence, leading to a flurry
of palm-bashing as players go head-to-head to record the highest score.

Down in the underbelly of the building are the more sedate
surroundings of the Hydrotherapy Suite, where the players will unwind after a
hard training session.

This time, cutting edge technology meets the water – the
Variopool has a moving floor to adjust the depth, there’s an underwater
treadmill for resistance training and the dreaded ice pool, positioned
mercifully close to the warm bubbles of the jacuzzi.

Water world: The Hydrotherapy suite has a main pool (background), ice bath (centre) and jacuzzi (foreground)

Water world: The Hydrotherapy suite has a main pool (background), ice bath (centre) and jacuzzi (foreground)

But despite all this being created ostensibly for the
advancement of the England team, the bosses at St George’s are insistent it
will be accessible to all.

Surprisingly, there are no security gates at the start of
the winding drive to the front door and club sides, local junior teams, individual
athletes in rehab from injury and those simply curious about fitness are being
actively encouraged.

‘This is a centre for the whole football family,’ says the
Park’s Managing Director Julie Harrington. ‘We want to encourage a sense of
belonging for clubs in the Football League, the Premier League and players from
other sports as well.

‘We’re already had Olympic and Paralympic athletes through
the doors, as well as the England rugby team. There’s been interest from people
who like extreme sports and from those who’ve written to us and asked for help
in their recovery from injury.

‘It all about the exchange of ideas this creates.’

There’s no disputing that St George’s Park is an impressive
place. It's value will hopefully become apparent with future England success.

Perform, part of Spire Healthcare, is the official healthcare provider for St. George’s Park, the FA's new training base for the 24 England teams. Visit www.spireperform.com

HEART OF ST GEORGE HOW I DID ON THE EQUIPMENT ENGLAND WILL USE

My visit to St George’s Park was more than just a tour – it
was a hands on chance to try out the same pieces of equipment Wayne Rooney,
Steven Gerrard et al will be using in a few weeks’ time.

Far from being an elite athlete like them, I content myself
with two or three jogs around the park each week and an occasional game of
five-a-side with my mates.

So how would I get on when put through my paces

TEST ONE: THE
WATTBIKE

Everyone likes a tootle out on a bike, but there’s suddenly
a very different feel when you’re lining up in an interactive 1km race against
three fellow journalists.

Strapped in and hunched forward as though bracing for a
gale-forced headwind, I make the decision to power off from the starting line,
pumping my thighs until I’m topping 900 watts of power.

On the screen in front of us, my virtual bike lurches into a
wheel’s lead but I’ve ignored rule number one and gone out far too fast.

On your marks! The contenders line up for the 1km Journo Wattbike race. I'm on the second bike from the left

On your marks! The contenders line up for the 1km Journo Wattbike race. I'm on the second bike from the left

Power surge: During the kilometre race, the bikes accurately record the amount of power output from our legs. I averaged just over 900 watts

Power surge: During the kilometre race, the bikes accurately record the amount of power output from our legs. I averaged just over 900 watts

Close run thing: A win for the Mail Online... but only just

Close run thing: A win for the Mail Online… but only just

Thankfully the early pace means the metres are tumbling down
on the display in front of me and despite the pain creeping into my knees, I’m
able to cling on and win in a time of 1 minute 18.5 seconds.

It’s no exaggeration to say this will probably be the
pinnacle of my sporting life, but I’m soon brought crashing back down to earth
by the trainer, who points out that the guys on the Tour de France do that 200
times over every day… for three weeks.

TEST TWO: THE ALTER G
TREADMILL

This piece of
equipment really is something else. It’s essentially a normal treadmill that’s
been ‘pimped’ by NASA boffins.

You slip on a pair of tight neoprene shorts and then are
zipped into the airtight ‘tent’ which totally encases the treadmill.

As you step on, the AlterG weighs you and adjusts itself
accordingly. As you ramp up the pace, the pressure inside the ‘tent’ can be
altered to strip away your body weight in increments up to 80 per cent.

Space age: Working into a light jog on the AlterG Treadmill as my coach adjusts how much of my body weight has been taken away

Space age: Working into a light jog on the AlterG Treadmill as my coach adjusts how much of my body weight has been taken away

Treadmill tent: You're zipped in to an inflatable enclosure when running on the AlterG

Treadmill tent: You're zipped in to an inflatable enclosure when running on the AlterG

The idea is that athletes can run long distances without
exerting harmful pressure on their knees and ankles. Mo Farah used the
technology before the Olympics to build stamina without straining his joints,
but its main use would be for recovery from injury.

I’m not going as far as Mo, but feel I could run all day
with so much weight taken off my feet.

TEST THREE: BATAK
BOARD

You might have seen this on the Jonathan Ross show and while
it is a fun game, it’s used here to test the agility and reactions of
the players – especially the goalkeepers.

It’s a series of pads mounted on a steel frame – some above
your head, some below your waist and some in between – which light up in random
sequence. You turn them off with your palm as fast as you can manage.

Lights, camera, action! The BATAK Board tests agility and reflexes

Lights, camera, action! The BATAK Board tests agility and reflexes

One hit every second: I scored 30 from my 30 second run

One hit every second: I scored 30 from my 30 second run

I have 30 seconds and record what I thought was a
respectable score of 30 – exactly one light switched off a second.

But it’s a long way short of the records set by the Formula
One drivers who use the BATAK regularly – Fernando Alonso and Heikki Kovalainen
can do 138 in a minute, while the unofficial world record is 155!

TEST FOUR: STRENGTH
GYM CIRCUIT

Next, we’re introduced to Grant, whose title of ‘Master
Trainer’ suggests what’s about to unfold isn’t going to be easy. ‘You won’t
need your notebooks for this one,’ he says.

He’s set up a circuit of eight exercises in the strength and
conditioning gym which overlooks the outdoor pitch designed to mimic the
precise dimensions of Wembley Stadium.

Heave! Testing our one of Technogym's Kinesis machines in the St George's Park gym

Heave! Testing our one of Technogym's Kinesis machines in the St George's Park gym

It’s a mix of push-ups, pull-downs, medicine ball throwing,
squat thrusts and pretend kayaking in intense 30 second blocks, a guaranteed
way to shock your muscles into action.

We’re all struggling to get our breath after just four minutes
of rapid-fire exercise, but the England players will do hour after hour on
these shiny new machines.

TEST FIVE: FUNCTIONAL
MOVEMENT EXAM

This is a series of seven apparently straightforward tests
to measure our susceptibility to injury – and it’s harder than it seems.

The trainer awards three points for perfect posture and
form, two if there’s a few wobbles and one if you’re utterly hopeless and can’t
do the exercise at all.

There’s a squat balancing a metre-long ruler above your
head, a step over a piece of string, a plank and an elbow to knee stretch while
balancing on your other arm.

It also shows how balanced you are and it’s soon apparent
that I’m not as symmetrical as I thought. I score 16 out of 21 which is
respectable but doesn’t make me immune from knocks and niggles.

TEST SIX:
HYDROTHERAPY

/09/27/article-2209412-153AFE0C000005DC-636_634x419.jpg” width=”634″ height=”419″ alt=”Chilly: The journalists brave the ice bath in the Hydrotherapy suite, while luckier ones get to relax in the jacuzzi” class=”blkBorder” />

Chilly: The journalists brave the ice bath in the Hydrotherapy suite, while luckier ones get to relax in the jacuzzi

Weird feeling: Time for a jog on the underwater treadmill

Weird feeling: Time for a jog on the underwater treadmill

Monitored: The coaches can check stride and posture with the aid of the treadmill's underwater cameras

Monitored: The coaches can check stride and posture with the aid of the treadmill's underwater cameras

The underwater treadmill is a treat at the other end of the
room. You stand on the platform and are lowered into the water, before the band
starts turning and you’re running at a light jog.

Obviously the resistance of the water makes it a hugely
beneficial experience and large television monitors in front of you allow views
of your stride from under the water. I'm sure they can pick up Sky Sports News as well.

TEST SEVEN: FOOTBALL
TRAINING

Our day ends with a chance to try out the luscious Astroturf
surface we’ve been given tantalising glimpses of all afternoon.

A couple of FA coaches oversee the kick around, with their
emphasis on trying to change the mentality of Saturday and Sunday morning coaches
all over the country.

It’s certainly true that if you give a group of Spanish,
Italian or Brazilian lads a ball on the beach and they’ll caress it, pass it
amongst themselves and try to outdo each other with skills and tricks.

English lads in the same situation would have divided
themselves into teams on a pitch with towels for goalposts as quickly as the
next wave comes in.

Dome of dreams: The indoor Astroturf football pitch certainly looks impressive

Dome of dreams: The indoor Astroturf football pitch certainly looks impressive

Tag! The journalists take part in a warm-up exercise on the indoor football pitch

Tag! The journalists take part in a warm-up exercise on the indoor football pitch

The FA is desperate to get kids away from never-ending game
scenarios and into drills designed to improve their technique – so the next
generation can address the gaping technical deficiencies of English teams.

We were shown a few drills but then the pressure to get into
a bit of five-a-side became too much. We played initially in three zones, with
the focus on two-on-one or two-on-two contests, before opening up into a more
traditional knock-about.

It’s the perfect way to let off steam at the end of a great
day.

Tony Fernandes" Caterham in new F1 spy row

Fernandes spy row: Caterham could be kicked out of F1 in new scandal

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UPDATED:

08:50 GMT, 27 March 2012

Row: Tony Fernandes' Caterham-Renault team could face a fine or expulsion

Row: Tony Fernandes' Caterham-Renault team could face a fine or expulsion

Formula One is in the grip of yet another Spygate scandal which could see QPR owner Tony Fernandes’ Caterham team hit with a huge fine or even booted out of the sport.

Force India are furious that, in their opinion, Caterham copied intellectual property relating to the aerodynamic design of their 2010 car. Rival team Marussia are concerned that Caterham gained an unfair advantage when they both entered Formula One that year.

The High Court ruled last week that Aerolab — a design company used first by Force India and subsequently Caterham — must pay Force India 21,000 for misuse of confidential information as employees passed on some of their aerodynamic designs to Caterham.

Force India and Marussia believe the ruling indicates a basic infringement of the FIA’s International Sporting Code — the same article under which McLaren were charged and found guilty in the Spygate saga of 2007.

Scandal: Caterham are at the centre of another spy storm

Scandal: Caterham are at the centre of another spy storm

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley said: ‘If nothing is now done, that means a free-for-all in the paddock. If nothing is done, could McLaren claim their $100million back If the FIA do sanction against Caterham, it could cost them tens of millions.’

WIN tickets to Wales v France in the Six Nations

WIN tickets to Wales v France in the Six Nations finale – courtesy of Under Armour

UPDATED:

14:28 GMT, 14 March 2012

Sportsmail has teamed up with sports performance apparel experts Under Armour to give two lucky readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to the Six Nations match between Wales and France at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

Wales will battle it out with France in their cutting-edge Under Armour kits, which are innovative in design and fit. The Wales shirt has been created with new ArmourGrid technology for extreme strength and durability under severe stress. The shirt’s ‘No Grab’ formation also means that players can evade opposition tackles and play at the top of their game at all times.

Under Armour

To be in with a chance, answer the following question:

Who is the current Wales head coach
A) Warren Gatland
B) Shaun Edwards
C) Stuart Lancaster

E-mail your answer, along with your name, address and contact number to:

[email protected]

to arrive by 11am on Friday, March 16.

PLEASE NOTE: You must validate your entry with the words UNDER ARMOUR WALES in your subject box; the tickets are for HOME FANS ONLY and do not include travel to/from the ground, accommodation or hospitality; normal Associated Newspapers terms and conditions apply – the Editor's decision is final.

Under Armour is the technical Partner of the Welsh Rugby Union and is a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. The brand's moisture-wicking synthetic fabrications are engineered in many different designs and styles for wear in nearly every climate to provide a performance alternative to traditional natural fibre products.

For more information on Under Armour please visit underarmour.com or become a fan of Under Armour at facebook.com/UnderArmourUK

Liverpool revert to nine-year-old stadium plan

Stadium boost for Liverpool as American owners settle on nine-year-old stadium plan

Liverpool's long-running stadium saga has been given a boost with the club deciding to return to the original plan first drawn up nine years ago.

The Anfield outfit need to relocate in order to increase their gate, and therefore the income, or risk being left behind by the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United whose own stadiums hold 15,000 and 30,000 more fans respectively.

Ditched: The futuristic stadium plan submitted by the former owners have been scrapped by the current Liverpool board

Ditched: The futuristic stadium plan submitted by the former owners have been scrapped by the current Liverpool board

The proposed 60,000-seat stadium, which
was first given the green light in 2004, a year after plans were
submitted, would cost around 300million and be situated on Stanley
Park, next door to their current home.

Construction remains some way off, with the finances yet to be secured, but the definitive move is most certainly a step in the right direction.

Progress of this kind means the futuristic designs proposed by former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jnr have been discarded for good.

Pure delight: Liverpool fans have endured more than a decade of indecision over a new stadium on Stanley Park

Pure delight: Liverpool fans have endured more than a decade of indecision over a new stadium on Stanley Park

Current owners Fenway Sports Group have
worked closely with Manchester-based architects AFL – who were
responsible for recent upgrades at Old Trafford and the Nou Camp, as
well as the creation of Liverpool, United, Chelsea and Everton's
training facilities – and will not require fresh planning permission.

John W Henry had hoped to redevelop Anfield after he took over from the deeply unpopular Hicks and Gillett, but the cost of buying nearby residential properties, among other things, meant this was not feasible.

Liverpool need to raise around 150m in sponsorship — around half the proposed costs – before they can start building.