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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space…

Angus & The Mearns

Angus community sports hubs on agenda

January 18 2013

A PUBLIC meeting next month will discuss the formation of a community sports hub in Arbroath. The concept, backed by Angus Council and sportscotland, is aimed at bringing clubs in the area together to look at how they can better share resources and encourage youth involvement. The initiative is sportscotland’s flagship programme and contribution to the Scottish Government’s legacy plan from the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Up to 150 hubs will be established throughout Scotland, with the aim of helping local clubs grow and development. Development officer Jordann Cunningham, has been appointed to create a number of sports hubs around Angus. She said: “A consultation between sports clubs in the area is the first step before we move forward.” “The meeting will discuss what the concept is all about and an open discussion will follow about people’s views. “Sports hubs can help to increase sports participation and open up better ways between clubs and other organisations in communities. “They can also assist in the training of committees, volunteers and coaches. “There has been a good amount of interest from schools and a number of sports clubs already.” The meeting will take place at Arbroath United Cricket Club on Keptie Road on February 11 at 7pm. Sports clubs and community organisations in the Arbroath High School catchment area, as well as interested members of the public, are encouraged to attend. Sportscotland is providing funding to establish hubs across the country and plans to hold meetings about the concept in other Angus towns are in the pipeline. An Angus Council spokesperson said: “The specifics of each hub and what it offers will vary according to local need and resources. “There are already a large number of clubs in Angus catering for a variety of sports and Angus Council supports the development of clubs in a number of ways. “It is hoped that involvement in this scheme brings a new, positive dimension that can help clubs and all those who participate in them provide a valuable asset, which will contribute to the health and wellbeing of our communities.” There are currently more than 60 community sports hubs up and running, with plans for 150 in operation across Scotland by 2016. The strategy is key to sportscotland’s aspiration of developing a world-class sporting system at all levels across the country. Sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris added: “Community sport hubs are a key legacy component of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014. “With a dedicated CSH (community sports hub) development officer now appointed in Angus the progression of the hubs for the region will begin to gather pace. “Every hub works on the same basic principles, but each has the flexibility to identify the needs of their community. “This focus on local needs ensures that all partners get behind the approach and the work they do has the biggest impact.” rmclaren@thecourier.co.uk

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

UK & World

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Scottish politics

Labour warns of threat to Scotland’s future Olympic success because of cuts

August 21 2016

The SNP has been accused of threatening the legacy of Scotland’s achievements in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games by forcing cuts to sport funding. Figures released by Scottish Labour as the curtain came down on Rio 2016 yesterday showed £9 million had been wiped from SportScotland spending. Labour has blamed the SNP administration for imposing the reductions in key areas through slashing the national sport agency’s budget. One of those areas is supporting sport in schools, college and universities, where nearly £2 million has been chopped in SportScotland’s revised spending plan. Scottish Labour’s culture and sport spokesman Lewis Macdonald said the cuts could have a devastating impact on Scotland’s future Olympic prospects, as well for children’s health. He said rather than capitalise on the successes of Andy Murray, Laura Trott and Mo Farah, the SNP have slashed cash support. “This isn’t just about discovering the next generation of gold medallists – more Scottish children playing sport will pay off in the classroom and, in the long term, in our health service,” he said. “These short-sighted cuts from the SNP will sell Scotland short in the long term. Labour would use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to stop these cuts and invest in our young people.” SportScotland’s updated business plan for 2015-17, which was submitted in July six months after the original, shows investment has been cut by 17%, from £55 million to £46 million. Public health and sport minister Aileen Campbell said the Scotland is facing a 10% cut from the UK Government between 2010 and 2020. She said funding from the Scottish Government to SportScotland has increased by a quarter since 2013-15. “We’ve budgeted this year for overall support for sport and physical activity to be maintained, as well as making targeted investments in additional programmes that help people realise the health benefits of being active – such as the new £1 million scheme which encourages people with mental health problems to become more physically active,” she added. “We have also invested £24 million in Scotland’s new national sports performance centre and £6 million in Scotland’s first dedicated para-sports facility.”

Fife

£345,000 state-of-the-art football pitch for Burntisland given the go ahead

December 4 2013

A £345,000 3G synthetic turf training pitch with floodlights in Burntisland has been given the green light. The pitch, which will be built on land next to the Beacon Leisure Centre and run by Fife Sport and Leisure Trust, will be marked out for seven-a-side football on a 60x40m playing area. Fife Council is investing £237,000 in the project, with almost £108,000 coming from sportscotland. Now that the project has planning permission, the work will take around three months to complete, once a contractor is appointed. It is expected that the new pitch will be open for business by the end of next summer. Kirkcaldy area committee chairman Neil Crooks said: “Burntisland has been identified as one of Fife’s community sports hubs and it will be centred on the new 3G pitch. “This is a great opportunity for the hub to really develop by bringing together the primary school, local sports clubs and organisations and boosting the programmes offered by Fife Sport and Leisure Trust. “Improving health and wellbeing is a priority for Fife Council and it’s important that we develop community facilities to offer people better access to sporting opportunities. “This is a good example of that and Burntisland Sports Group have taken a very active role in championing this facility. They will play an important part in encouraging and assisting local customers, young or old and of all abilities, to use it.” Stewart Harris, chief executive of sportscotland, said: “Sportscotland’s funding is part of a wider investment in Scotland’s sporting infrastructure so that, post-2014, we’ve got a network of modern, high-quality facilities which will help deliver a long-term sporting and physical activity legacy, nationally and here in Fife.” Gillian Lowe, who is chairwoman of Burntisland Sports Group, added: “Burntisland Sports Group are delighted the synthetic training pitch has been given the green light. The group has worked with Fife Council for many years to deliver this much-needed sports facility for the community and I would like to thank everyone involved for their enthusiasm and commitment throughout.”

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit – a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Fife

Burntisland Primary pupils score with top class coaching session

March 29 2017

Pupils from Burntisland Primary School have benefited from a unique coaching session thanks to an initiative led by Scotland’s national agency for sport. Former Aberdeen captain and Scotland defender Willie Miller and Scottish international goalkeeper Gemma Fay were welcomed by Burntisland Primary pupils for a sportscotland professional coaching experience to highlight the importance of sport within the school’s curriculum. Around 55 boys and girls attended the training session at the school hosted by the high-profile personalities, who gave the children some hints and tips as well as sharing tales from their sporting experiences across the years in the hope of encouraging the younger generation to take up the sport. Miller said: “It’s great being able to use my experience to help the children improve their football skills and show their love of the sport. © SuppliedSportScotland visit Burntisland Primary School. “This is a school where sport plays a key role and it’s encouraging to see it in practice. It’s a privilege to be involved and it’s been incredibly rewarding thanks to the children’s enthusiasm and energy.” The pupils were also given an insight into the important role of sport in the media. Pupils, parents, and staff also got the chance to participate in a question and answer session, asking media personalities about their career highlights as well as discussing Scotland’s sporting landscape. © SuppliedSportScotland visit Burntisland Primary School. Burntisland Primary School also holds the sportscotland Gold School Sport Award, a prestigious national award that recognises innovation and achievement in delivering physical education and extra-curricular sport. Headteacher Julie Anderson said: “The coaching session from some of Scotland’s top coaches is a real treat for the children. “I have no doubt this is a day they will remember for a very long time.” Sportscotland’s aim is to build a world-class sporting system in this country and is working in partnership with BBC Scotland to raise the profile of sport. Stewart Harris, chief executive of sportscotland, concluded: “Working in partnership with colleagues at the BBC, we hope to raise the awareness of sport and the openings that are available. “It’s fantastic that the pupils at Burntisland Primary School had the chance to train with professional Scottish football coaches.”

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.

Lifestyle

50 years of sport at Dundee University

February 24 2017

Sport is a big part of student life at Dundee University. There are over 2,500 members within the 43 student sports clubs, with many more students enjoying the excellent sports facilities on campus to meet up with friends, de-stress and enjoy some physical activity. Joining a sports club is definitely one of the best ways to settle into university life. The university has always had a strong sporting tradition. Legendary Tottenham Hotspur captain Danny Blanchflower once tried out for a space on the university college football team, while from 1936 to 1968 the director of physical education at the college was Jack Qusklay, trainer to Dundee, Dundee United and Celtic. The Institute of Sport and Exercise based in the city’s Old Hawkhill. ISE was upgraded and redesigned in 2013. It is the hub for all things sport on campus. It is home to an accredited Olympic training venue. It has one of only two laboratories in Scotland accredited by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences for work with performance athletes, and hosts sportscotland’s regional high performance network offices. It was where Olympic silver medallist Stephen Milne trained for the Rio Olympics. So students are lucky to have such a fantastic building right on their doorstep. Sport will remain a massive part of student life at Dundee University. Cara Longmuir is a press officer at the University of Dundee

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