Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Sporting Life

Experienced something of a minor epiphany today as I was watching a couple of excellent water polo matches involving students from the school at which I teach. I've always had a somewhat patronizing attitude to sport in this Far Place, occasionally wondering aloud why so many resources have been put into an area in which the nation has resolutely failed to excel at any professional level. This morning I realized that sport at a professional level is not where the values, indeed the virtues, it can promote manifest themselves. In schools the point of getting involved in sport is understood and genuinely promoted - and the young people who experience it are given the opportunity to develop these virtues that will prove so useful in later life: an understanding of the need to function as a part of a team; an acceptance of the need to develop a sense of discipline to excel; the capacity to win with grace and lose with dignity; a readiness to enjoy being in the moment and accept the pressures inherent in such readiness. Oh, and a grasp of the importance of, and the need to respect these bodies we carry around with us.

I just can't see all or even much of that in the EPL, NBA, FIFA etc. Can you?

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