Sports Tours International goes book-crazy for World Book Day!
Each year, World Book Day helps to cement the importance of reading and its value not just to children, but to book-lovers and reading novices alike all over the world.
At Sports Tours International, as you can imagine, we have a particular fondness for sport-related reads! But rather than joining our kids in dressing up as our favourite story book characters (as much as we’d love to!) we’d like to share with you just a few of our personal favourites!
‘Penguins Stopped Play’ by Harry Thompson
A delightfully funny tale, ‘Penguins Stopped Play’ tells the story of a daring feat: To organise an eleven-man team to play a game of cricket simultaneously across the globe over seven continents.
As you’d expect, with a task as difficult as this, things don’t exactly go to plan…
But what you might not expect is all the weird and wacky ways the plan goes awry!
To give you just a brief idea, the specifics include: overzealous American anti-terrorist police, idiot Welshmen dressed as Santa Claus, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and whole armies of pitch-invading Antarctic penguins.
Described as “the funniest book ever written about the English addiction to Cricket” it’s a must-read for Cricket fans and fans of an utterly bonkers story in general.
Whether you’re a Tennis fan or not, you’ll no-doubt be familiar with the name Andre Agassi.
His raw talent and pure dominance made him a household name in the 1990s into the early 2000s.
In ‘Open’ his autobiography, Agassi lets loose on the story that brought him from a childhood filled with fear, hatred and regret to the pinnacle of the sporting world.
With particular reference to his domineering father, Agassi recalls the harshness with which he was treated as he was being engineered to become a pro Tennis icon, whether he liked it or not.
He also recalls his high-profile relationships with Barbara Streisand and Brooke Shields, the latter of whom was his wife for a brief time.
After failing to capture the ultimate prize in three Grand Slam Finals, Agassi tells with surprising precision and rawness his journey to finally shocking the world and taking ‘the big one’ at Wimbledon in 1992.
A captivating, intimate portrait of a legendary yet flawed sporting figure.
The full title of David Millar’s autobiography is ‘The Fall and Rise’ as opposed to ‘The Rise and Fall.’
But the switched play on words is totally appropriate here.
An instantly recognisable figure in the world of British Cycling, Millar spent much of his early career being lauded as Britain’s next Cycling hope.
But with fame and fortune comes temptation and vice; After drunkenly falling from a roof and injuring himself, Millar quickly descended into a downward spiral of alcohol abuse that would lead him to the dark path of doping.
In this starkly frank retelling of his life story, Millar pinpoints the thought processes and external factors that led him to try to cheat the system, describing the drug culture in professional cycling as “white noise” fuelled by “peer pressure.”
In other words, there was virtually no escaping it.
Now fully clean and living a life to be proud of, Millar has become one of the leading ambassadors in the war against doping in not just Cycling but all of professional sport.
Another cycling story, but from a very different perspective.
Paul Kimmage details his journey from a cycling-mad teenager to a professional athlete from the perspective of someone totally addicted to the sport.
However, despite his passion, Paul would never reach the ultimate heights bestowed upon some of the cycling legends. Rather, for the most part he would act as a domestique – a rider who would race for the benefit of the team as a whole instead of vying for the victory.
It was here he became acutely aware of the drug culture sweeping the sport. He himself would refrain from using the more powerful stimulants, but was still expected to partake with lesser-effective substances.
After writing and publishing ‘Rough Ride’ during a time when drugs were still rife in cycling, Kimmage was totally ostracised by his fellow sportsmen.
But his brave testimony came to be recognised as an essential cog in the machine that would ultimately bring drug culture in cycling to the forefront of international media.
‘Feet in the Clouds: A Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession’ by Richard Askwith
Fell running is the sport of running up a steep incline (like a hill or mountain) and back down again as fast as you can, but with enough control to keep yourself upright of course!
‘Feet in the Clouds’ is an overview of the often masochistic obsession many fell runners develop as they fall deeper into the grips of one of the toughest, most challenging and most addictive sports around.
Painting a picture of one of the few sports that has remained engrained in its traditional routes, the book takes the reader places they might not want to go, listing the difficulty and physical demands of the sport in gruelling detail.
Reading about somebody putting their body through hell might sound like the final ‘turn-off’ from sport, but for many it could act as ideal inspiration to get themselves moving!
Either way, this is an in-depth look at the physical and psychological demands of fell running.
‘100 Greatest Cycling Climbs: A Road Cyclist’s Guide to Britain’s Hills’ by Simon Warren
For any British cyclist eager to tackle new territory, this book is surely a must-buy.
Sports Tours International ambassador Simon Warren has scanned his vast experience in the cycling game and has amassed his own list of 100 cycling climbs in Britain he believes to be the most essential for any cyclist worth their salt.
Everything from city centres to mountainous landscapes are covered, offering you true diversity of choice where you can take your trusty two-wheeled companion!
Suitable for amateurs taking their first baby steps into the sport and hardened veterans alike, 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs will give you plenty of opportunity for exercise, improvement and discovery.
@FitzpatrickKev@RunNorthBolton Hi Kevin, thanks for your message, our team have just added this club to the list for Hyde 7, you should now be able to enter as an affiliate club member. If this doesn't work please get back in touch with us. Kind regards