"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Why I don't like sport

Have you ever tried to imagine what it must be like to be the tiniest, weakest member of a pack? The tiniest kitten, puppy, wolf, whatever - struggling to survive to get food, warmth, comfort - jostling all the time against bigger stronger siblings just to survive? In farming terms these poor creatures are unkindly called the runt of the litter, and they often don't survive! When sport plays such a vital role on the world stage, when basket ball and football seem to be almost religions and the celebrity players mini-gods, and as Olympic fever hits the UK, why, I ask myself, am I so uninterested in sport? I'll tell you why, if you'll just read on - it won't take long. And all those who are trying to encourage sport in school should understand this. I was the runt of the class! I was tiny at school. Can you once more try to imagine the scene? At netball, I was so overpowered by the big bully girls that I stood no chance at all of ever defending my team against the monster beside me, let alone scoring. So I was ridiculed and bullied by my team. Hockey was no better. As I watched the ball approaching me I would cringe and run away from the terrifying clash of sticks wielded by such huge opponents - so they got their way. And again I was ridiculed and bullied. Tennis? I was too weak to get the ball anywhere near the net, let alone over it! Hurdling? No chance. Running? No chance. And so on... No wonder I hated sport. But I loved gymnastics - I could weave in and out of the bars and climb to the very top of the ropes faster than anyone. But what happened? Whenever the weather was half decent outside the bully monster girls would clamour to have games outside instead of gym, so I rarely had a chance to show off and hone what few physical skills I had. So that's why I have no interest in sport. I was totally discouraged, my own physical interests were not nurtured and I was continually made to feel a complete failure! I am listening to the radio as I write this and in one of those wonderful moments of synchronicity they are just now discussing bullying at school and the harm it can do! Someone said to me recently that they were so sorry I did not like sport - I missed out on such a lot. Really? I don't think so. I love gardening - it counts as physical exercise and I do far far more than the two and a half hours a week recently given as the bare minimum exercise we should all do to keep healthy and fit and keep obesity at bay. I do twice that in a day sometimes! So don't feel sorry for me. But do encourage sport. In that same radio program, I heard that girls who are involved in plenty of physical activity at school are far less likely to have teenage pregnancies. Now that is reason enough for getting all girls at school to fully participate in a sports curriculum. And if the Olympic Games serve to motivate much more good honest sport amongst our youngsters then that will be payback enough in my eyes.

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