Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Olympia - London prepares?

I'd like to share just a few of my own experiences and observations, totally not objective, but nevertheless telling, I think.

There is no lack of enthusiasm e.g.:
We live opposite some tennis courts and whilst all outdoor tennis normally stops on the continent, here they play whatever the weather (nearly). Last winter I got an email from the Club Manager asking for volunteers to help with the snow shovelling  in order for playing to commence!! Amazing!

There is a lack of funding and support e.g.:
Our kids started with gymnastics some time ago. I believe that this sport offers good all-round athleticism and a great basis for any other sport. To my surprise I have found out that it is normal for a lot of clubs to do only vault and floor. They simply cannot afford the other apparatus. 

Then there is swimming, which is considered not only by me as a basic skill to have. I was surprised to learn that no university has a Olympic standard pool (50mx25m with 10 lanes), and that there was apparently non in London till they started building the Aquatics Centre for the Olympics and only three 50m length poolsas far as I can make out. 

(And the list could go on ...)

Sport is a big part of life, but since it can be expensive, you find that it is very much privately supported and enjoyed not so much by everybody but by families who can afford it.

found here

As Ed Smith puts it:
"Only seven per cent of the population are privately educated. But that seven per cent contributes a huge proportion of England's major national teams (football being the significant exception). The number of British Olympic medallists who are privately educated has grown over the past three Olympics to 45 per cent. The trend is the same in rugby and cricket: more private-school England players, fewer state-school ones." 

Only recently the government has withdrawn funding for the programme of schools sports partnership. State School sport in general has gone into decline, especially in deprived areas where it could do so much good.

I am sure the Olympics will inspire a lot of kids to join in - they just need to get the support they deserve!

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