Female referees Joy Neville and Alhambra Nievas to officiate men’s internationals

Alhambra Nievas and Joy Neville will both take charge of men’s international matches this year, becoming the first women referees in Europe to do so.

Spain’s Nievas will officiate Finland v Norway in the Conference 2 division on 14 October.

Neville will take charge of Norway’s match against Denmark two weeks later.

The former Ireland captain and Six Nations Grand Slam winner refereed the Women’s Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and England in the summer.  More

‘Most diverse Turner Prize to date’

It was once the domain of outrageous young artists.

But this year the Turner Prize has grown up, shining a light on overlooked older artists, unsensational subject matter and traditional methods.

The exhibition of the four shortlisted artists opens in Hull on Tuesday.

After a rule change, Hurvin Anderson and Lubaina Himid are the first over-50s to be nominated since 1991, while Andrea Buttner and Rosalind Nashashibi are both in their 40s.  More

The world’s least likely Girl Guides

From Damascus and Hama to Aleppo and the seaside city of Latakia, through six years of war in which hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives and more than 12 million have been forced from their homes, the Girl Guides have continued.

Women first started holding Guide meetings in Syria in the 1950s and they are being granted full membership of the movement’s worldwide body this week.

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (Wagggs) praised the Syria groups’ “incredible work” at giving their more than 1,000 members “a sense of normality” and “a safe space to play and make friends”.  More

RSC chooses female directors for all plays in summer 2018 season

For the first time in its history, all plays in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s new season at its two main theatres will be directed by women.

On Tuesday the company announced its summer 2018 season, with a directorial lineup of Polly Findlay, Erica Whyman, Fiona Laird, Maria Aberg and Jo Davies.

The RSC’s artistic director, Gregory Doran, said it was not a deliberate act but part of a process whereby they had “reached a point where those women directors had been with us and had grown, developed”.

Equal representation for women in theatre is one of the liveliest debates in the sector and strides have been made in addressing what were often shocking imbalances. But many believe more changes are needed.  More

Glasgow Alphas: Why coach Adam ‘owes life’ to inclusive rugby

Bullied for his weight and sexuality, Adam Harrison was spiralling into despair.

As a teenager, Adam loved rugby, but was unable to find a place within it. He didn’t think he’d ever fulfil his dream of playing in a team. Now he blazes a trail as a coach, player, inspiring a new generation of LGBTQ players.

He explains how rugby rescued him…

Rugby became the most important thing when it saved my life.

My depression had led me to have vivid images of self-harm. I began spiralling and flying through several dark emotions in spells that lasted minutes. More

‘Sharp rise’ in student mental illness tests universities

Almost five times as many students as 10 years ago have disclosed a mental health condition to their university, say researchers.

In 2015-16, more than 15,000 UK-based first-year students disclosed mental health issues, Institute of Public Policy Research analysis suggests.

The 2006 figure was about 3,000 and the rise risks overwhelming university services, the IPPR says.

Universities UK said student mental health was “a strategic priority”.  More

BBC 100 Women: Nine things you didn’t know were invented by women

Asked to name important inventors and you might start with Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell or Leonardo da Vinci.

But what about Mary Anderson? Or Ann Tsukamoto?

You might not know their names, but they are just two of the female inventors behind everyday objects and scientific innovations.

BBC 100 Women, the season featuring stories of inspiring and influential women, is taking on a new challenge.

This year, women from around the world will be asked to come up with innovations to tackle some of the biggest problems they face.

Scroll down for more information about 100 Women – and, for more inspiration, here are nine inventions we wouldn’t have, if it weren’t for ground-breaking women.  More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – September 2017

September is World Alzheimer’s Month and with this in mind we have chosen David Baddiel as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the month.

 David one of Britain’s most popular comedians. He was first known as one of the stars of The Mary Whitehouse Experience and then Newman and Baddiel In Pieces. In 1992, with Rob Newman, David performed to 12,500 people in the UK’s first ever arena comedy show.

In 1994 David and Frank Skinner created Fantasy Football League allowing them to talk about football for a living for over 10 years. The pair, along with The Lightening Seeds, wrote the iconic unofficial England anthem ‘Three Lions’, which has been number one three times and is still heard at games around the world.  In 2000 David and Frank created the hit ITV show Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned, going out live and unscripted for over 60 episodes. They joined up together again in 2006 and 2010 to record one of the first hit podcasts, Baddiel and Skinner’s World Cup Podcasts, live from Germany and South Africa. The show was downloaded over a million times and was one of the first podcasts to be nominated for a Sony award.

Away from the screen David has been writing for nearly 20 years. He has published seven books to date and in 2010 David wrote his first movie with the hit indie film The Infidel, starring Omid Djalili, Richard Schiff, Matt Lucas and Miranda Hart.

After nearly 15 years away David returned to the stage in 2013 with his critically acclaimed show FAME: Not The Musical.

David is also an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society.  His Dad is currently living with Pick’s Disease a form of Dementia and this was the subject of his stage show ‘My Family: Not the Sitcom’ and Channel 4 documentary ‘The Trouble with Dad’.

David wants to use comedy to talk about dementia to raise awareness of what dementia is, and how it affects every person differently. He is joined forces with the Alzheimer’s Society to continue this conversation and to encourage others to unite against dementia so no-one has to face the condition alone.

To find out more about World Alzheimer’s Month see here


To find out more about David see his website http://www.davidbaddiel.com/