Guest Blogs (5)

Every time a legendary athlete gets ready to hang his or her boots, there is someone already waiting on the sidelines to take over the number one spot. Sports is all about passion and talent, and there is a lot of it to be found around the world. Whether it is a personal accomplishment, the pride of the country, or money, individuals spend their lives, practising day and night, trying to achieve fame and fortune in sports. The diversity in games allows for the young and fit to make it rich before they even reach 25, but at the same time experience plays a huge role, and there are players well into their 30s and 40s making it big in Tennis, Football, Cricket, Swimming and the likes. In the end, it is as much about mental strength as it is about physical fitness that eventually leads an athlete into the hall of fame.

Having been fighting in the sport for 12 years, Johny Hendricks announced his retirement taking yet another incredible fighter out of the Octagon. Despite Hendricks announcing that he had no regrets in his decision to leave the sport, many fans of the 34-year-old will be disappointed with his decision. Hendricks isn’t the first big name in the sport to have decided to leave, with a number of the sport’s megastars announcing their retirement over the past few years. Here, we’re taking a look at some of the most shocking announcements in the sport.

Anthony Johnson

After being defeated by Daniel Cormier at UFC 210, Anthony Johnson announced a shock retirement stating that he’d given commitment to another job – with many rumours suggesting that this could be American football. Despite some controversy with the fight due to Cormier missing the weight on the first weigh-in, the fight went ahead without UFC having the knowledge that Johnson had already decided that it would be his last fight. Johnson said: “I didn’t even tell [UFC boss] Dana White. My coaches knew, my family knew, my friends knew. I didn’t want any distractions.” Johnson was well known for his intimidating presence in the Octagon and for his incredible knockout power. With the nickname ‘Rumble’ it’s a sad sight to see Johnson walk away from the sport. Cormier on the other hand, remains a prominent figure in the sport and is set to take part in a ‘Super Fight’ as the main event of UFC 226 against UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.

Conor McGregor

As the young Irishman was taking the MMA world by storm, he announced a shock retirement on Twitter after disagreements between himself and UFC president Dana White came to light. Having been defeated by Nate Diaz despite being the favourite to win, a rematch was on the cards at the time and McGregor was still said to have been training despite his retirement announcement, although he was later pulled from the fight as a result of refusing to fulfil his media obligations. Despite his retirement announcement, McGregor avenged his defeat against Diaz as the main event of UFC 202, and then went on to beat Eddie Alvarez in UFC 205 to become the first UFC fighter to hold two titles simultaneously. Although no-one is quite sure of whether or not his retirement announcement was sincere, McGregor hasn’t stepped foot in the Octagon since the Alvarez fight, having switched to boxing only to be defeated by the incredible Floyd Mayweather. Will McGregor make a comeback or is he gone for good? Nobody knows for certain but many fans believe that this is simply a publicity stunt and McGregor will indeed be back to fight in the Octagon once again.

Meisha Tate

Meisha Tate is well-known for helping to bring women’s MMA to the mainstream alongside the likes of Ronda Rousey, who was recently named to the UFC hall of fame. However, in a post-fight interview after UFC 205, Tate stunned the crowd by announcing an immediate retirement, stating that she’ll “love this sport forever” but that it is no longer her time and instead “it’s the future’s time”. The announcement came after dropping a unanimous decision to Raquel Pennington. Tate was a UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion having submitted Holly Holm at UFC 196 and the announcement of her retirement removed her long-discussed face-off for the third time with longstanding rival Ronda Rousey. Tate retired with a record of 18 wins and 7 losses.

Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre is one of the most successful MMA fighters of all time, having held the UFC Welterweight title since 2007. In 2013 however, St-Pierre announced to Dana White that he would be venturing on an indefinite hiatus from the sport, as a result of wanting to “live a normal life”. Despite the announcement shocking the sporting world at the time, the king of the welterweight decision was actually commended for making a courageous professional decision. Despite the retirement announcement, GSP did actually return to the Octagon in 2017 where he defeated Bisping to become Middleweight Champion. Nevertheless, St-Pierre vacated the title just 34 days later stating that he was suffering ulcerative colitis and didn’t want to hold up the division as he would be unable to fight in the short term. Could this be the true end of GSP or could we see a return of both McGregor and GSP to face-off for the true title? 

These are just a few of the main names who have announced their retirement, all of whom will be sorely missed by their fans – although we’re highly likely to see a return from some of the fighters listed above. However, with these fighters departing, a wave of new talent is set to step foot into the Octagon with the likes of Nathaniel Wood, Tim Barnett and Kenneth Bergh being tipped as some of the hottest prospects in the sport, further helping to boost its overall popularity around the world.

Getting older doesn’t mean that you have to give up on enjoying life or being active. In fact recent studies show that bike use is increasing in the younger generation but 22% of the growth can actually be attributed to seniors starting to ride again.

The trick when starting to ride again is to select the right bike for your intended use and start small. Building you stamina and fitness over time will allow you to really appreciate the pleasure of riding a bike.

There is a good chance your new found love of exercise will help you to live longer and stay healthy. Of course, if you prefer you can use these to stay in shape when you're older.

Here are the 5 best bicycles to choose between:

  1. The Cruiser

This is a great option for seniors as it is a step through bike; no need to become uncomfortable trying to swing your leg over the cross bar. You hardly need to lift your leg to get onto this machine. The seat is wide and well padded to ensure comfort while you ride and the curved handlebars make this an extremely easy bike to get your riding again.

  1. Go Electric

The second option is to choose an electric bike. These are a popular choice with many older people, the fact that they are rapidly reducing in price is helping to drive this increase in popularity.

This type of bike uses the electric motor to help propel you along; it starts working as soon as you start pedaling the bike.

  1. The Hybrid Or Crossover

This type of bike combines the best features of a road bike with those of a mountain bike. This makes it a very versatile bike and perhaps the only one you’ll ever need again.

The cross bar tends to slope making it easier to get on and off; although not as easy to do as the cruiser.

The bike also has larger wheels than a standard mountain bike; this helps ensure you’re in an upright position and minimizes the strain placed on your back.

  1. The Road Or Race Bike

If you have already been riding for several years you’ll appreciate the lightness and aerodynamics of the latest road bikes. These will allow you to gain an impressive turn of speed on the road but they are not very effective off the road.

This type of bike has very thin tires, improving its grip with the road and allowing you to pick up speed with the minimal of fuss.

It should be noted that this style of bike generally offers uncomfortable seats; you may feel the pain after a long ride.

  1. The Trike

If you are determined to get back on your bike but are concerned with how good your balance is then you need to consider getting yourself a trike. These take away the balance element of riding; allowing you to dedicate your energy into the actual riding procedure.

The important thing to remember is that you can get back on your bike; no matter how old you are.

It is common for festivals the world over to specialize in a theme, and this year, both Detroit and Cleveland are focusing on the many ways that sports can change lives, lending purpose to those of athletes and inspiring others to walk in their trail of light. First up is the Cleveland International Film Festival, which will run from April 4 to 15. The Freep Film Festival in Detroit starts a little later, launching on the 11th and ending on the 15th. In this post, we highlight some of the coolest sports-centered flicks to watch out for. If you live far away and a visit to the festivals is impossible, check out the possibility of catching the films online through your favorite providers.

Cleveland: The Adrenalin rush of competition

If films like "Rocky" or "Chariots of Fire" set you ablaze, then you know that they often delve into the rivalry and camaraderie that arises between top opponents. Janus Metz Pedersen’s "Borg vs McEnroe," starring Sverrir Gudnason and Shia LaBeouf, revels in the tension that fueled these tennis greats, resulting in memorable games that are still talked about today. "Minding the Gap", by Director Bing Liu, focuses more on the strong bond that develops between a group of unlikely friends through skateboarding. Each has their own disturbing issues but everything is forgotten once they negotiate the vertiginous curves of the skate park.

For something lighter, it’s got to be Peter Luisi’s "Streaker," about a 53-year-old high school teacher in a financial bind, who recruits and trains streakers for the purpose of illegal sports betting. This film is somewhat reminiscent of "Snake & Mongoose," labeled on producer Broidy’s IMDB page as a work about “the most famous rivalry in racing history.” The film is about much more than that; like Stalker, it hones into the creative vision required to make money from sport. In "Snake & Mongoose," a clever duo of drag racers latch onto Mattel’s newest toy collection (Hot Wheels), attracting the company’s sponsorship while making a mint and battling for pole position. In Stalker, it’s more about making the most of fanaticism while having a good laugh and making the headlines.

Detroit: The real thing

The Freep Film Festival highlights top documentaries and this time, sports are the overriding theme. Top flicks include "All Sports Shorts: Shorts Program 2," which delves into lesser-known but well-loved sports enjoyed in Michigan, including motorcycle hill climbing, canoe racing, and diving in the Great Lakes. If you are currently into "First Match" (the recently released Netflix film about an abandoned African American girl who joins the boys wrestling team at her Brooklyn high school), then you will love this short, which features an amazing attempt by a group of women divers.

Another film critics are raving about is "The Big House," which takes a look at the meticulous work required to host over 100,000 people for a football Saturday at the Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. Another pretty cool choice is "I Like to Hurt People," a hilarious vintage documentary featuring 1980s personalities like Andre the Giant and Bobo Brazil.

Questions such as ‘What makes a great athlete tick?’ ‘What role can sports play to help our youth?’ and ‘How can you make money while doing what ignites your passion?’ are just a few questions answered in the films mentioned above. Check out the official websites of the popular film fests they form part of and make sure to watch a few films at home… better yet, escape for a weekend of pure cinematic bliss.

Shooting sporting images is much harder than your typical portrait session. It's a very specialized, fast paced and often difficult lit niche. Sports photography can be taking pictures of your high school team or sitting on the sidelines of a pro game. To make sure you get professional images oyu need equipment, composition, post-processing and knowing what to expect from the sport. 


Pro sports photography means top of the line gear that is extremely expensive, but you can still make do with semi-professional too and get descent results. Your secondary needs like speed lights and lights will depend on the type of sport you're capturing if at all, but this is the bare minimum:

  • A camera that has continuous focus. This means the camera can readjust and track the subject on its own fast. It's essential to catching the right moment because you don't have time to manual focus as they're moving. The continuous shutter option will also allow you to continue taking images as long as you're pressing the shutter so that you can capture before, during and after the action at any given time. The fps rate determines how fast the camera can do this and whether it can keep up for sports photography.
  • A constant aperture Zoom lens. This isn't essential, but a varied focal length and a constant aperture is easier because it gives you more consistency with your images. This isn't as essential in daytime photography, but the zoom lens is a must because you're likely going to need many focal lengths and won't have time to be changing lenses back and forth. Sports photography means you need a lens that can stretch over a distance to capture action up close but still be able to capture up close as well. An 80-200mm or 70-300mm is an absolute minimum for sports photography.
Extra batteries, memory cards, rain gear, and a second body are all useful additions too.


Sometimes composition can be touch with sports photography. There's not a lot you can arrange or move, and the lighting is pretty set. This is the biggest point that makes a difference between amateurs and pros. The first thing you want to think about is where you're shooting from or where can you shoot from to be on the same level as the players and action. Shooting from above can also give dramatic sports photography but it's not the best and usually means you're limited by the location. The background is also important. If possible, you want to keep the background as plain as possible and free of distracting elements. There's only so much you can Photoshop or clone out. Sports photography  (Photo editing company)is touch though because you can't simply ask someone to move and shoot again. Sky, fields, or just having enough of an open aperture to make the background blurred while the action is focused is perfect. Don't forget to watch your horizon lines so they don't slope unnaturally. Remember, you can also fix some mistakes later so focus on what's going on.

Some suggested settings to work from:

  • Daytime Sun – ISO 200, 1/2000th, f/4
  • Daytime Overcast – ISO 400, 1/1600th, f/4
  • Night Time Stadium – ISO 1600, 1/320th, f/2.8
  • Inside no Speedlight – ISO 1600, I/400th, f/2.8
  • Inside Speedlight – ISO 400, 1/250th, f/4
Always decrease ISO, if possible, first if these are too bright because you're more likely to have noise at higher ISO. 

At the Venue

Be prepared before you arrive with all your gear, at the venue is not the time to find out you forgot batteries. Sports Photography often has rules so find who is in charge and make sure you know where you can go and when, you don't want to get kicked out because you won't be asked back.