Posts Tagged ‘Helen Glover’
I had a bit of a Ben Ainslie moment yesterday. As the day progressed, drawing closer to the end of what has been a successful and inspiring Olympic games I noticed the naysayers making more frequent appearances on my Twitter timeline. People suddenly branding all PE teachers as bullies and stating how forcing children to do sports in schools is cruel. I got angry. I went for a run to try to shake it off but no use, I am still fuming slightly.
I know PE was hell for a lot of people. I used to regularly dip out of Netball by insisting I had a (made up) dance exam to rehearse for and skip off to the school hall with a cassette of Dee-Lite in my back pocket. But I took PE as one of my options because I was bizarrely brilliant at the bleep test, a decent swimmer, could Fosbury flop a decent height and was willing to Abseil off a cliff with no prior experience. I wasn’t the schools most gifted athlete by any means, no way near. I’ve been knocked out by a hockey ball and my sister put the living fear of Tennis in me by being overly competitive with swing ball. But I embraced it.
One of Team GB’s Gold medal winners, Helen Glover, is herself a former PE teacher and now a glittering, brilliant role model. Labelling all PE teachers as bullies based on your own experiences is not going to Inspire A Generation folks. Imprinting your own negative experiences on kids that are now dreaming of being able to run faster than Usain Bolt is not cool. Mo Farah himself gave high praise and thanks to his own PE teacher, Mr Watkinson, for spotting his potential and nurturing his talent. That could be your son, daughter, niece, nephew, sibling at schools sports day catching the eye of their teacher, a future Olympian. The Olympics will hopefully breed the next Jessica Ennis, Nicola Adams, Brownlee Brothers or Pete Chambers. And if they’re utterly useless at sports, mad suggestion I know, but they may still get a lot of enjoyment out of it.
It always seems to be sports that are the focus of this negativity. No one ever says the same about other subjects we learn at school. No one says it’s bad to make kids feel stupid about maths. I remember being crippled by my inability to grasp numbers at school, my brain would literally feel like it had clouded over. Whatever people are good at, be it chess, Bunsen burning stuff, throwing a huge stick, literature. I say let them love and enjoy it.
And let people be excited about what we have just witnessed during London 2012 before we shout it down. Let’s see if these games really can leave a legacy. ♥
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Friends, Londoners, Countrymen…
It has been a week since Danny Boyle sparked a Ready Brek glow in the pits of our stomachs.
Everyone, and I truly mean every single soul, that I have come into contact with over the past week seems to be holding onto this rare, unheard of level of loveliness. I haven’t once tutted, wagged my finger or rolled my eyes. Instead, I have laughed in the face of the well taught stranger danger and chatted away to people (especially those beloved purple and red volunteers that have popped up like very human wombles, laminated labels swung round their necks). I even had fun in the Post Office yesterday, that usual pit of hell we suffer. Staff and the usually mardy customers all chatting excitedly about Bradley Wiggins. And I can’t even ride a bike.
I know it’s exhausting, it’s not our natural state of being, especially as London dwellers. But my days, we are doing enthusiasm really bloody well. It’s almost like the Olympics have unlocked something dormant in us. At some point we all started grumbling and found it hard to snap out of it. We lost faith in this little Island of Cheddar Cheese, Real Ales, Mods, Rockers, Cockles soaked in vinegar, rain and Shakespeare.
Danny Boyle gave us an utterly bat shit and bonkers reminder of all that is Great about Britain. Our beloved NHS, Branagh as Brunel, our rich and diverse music history, the suffragettes, this green and pleasant land we have all been so cynical of. Then the games started, and these super human, brilliant sportsmen and women have fuelled that glow further than I ever anticipated. I am watching ALL the sports. I don’t know the rules and regulations, sometimes I am confused, but I am always proud and hugely excited to be part of this.
As I type this we have won fourteen medals in Cycling, Canoe Slalom, Shooting, Equestrian, Gymnastics, Rowing, Swimming and Judo. These superb new role models who are surely inspiring the young generation watching them. I have high hopes that children will put down the games consuls and want to swim like they have gills, row like there’s a pot of gold at the end, swing up onto bars like they were born a creature of the trees and cycle like they’re powering the national grid.
As for all of us. Keep it up, this loveliness. At the end of the Olympics, when your cheeks are aching from being pushed up to your eyes from the smiling, no one will begrudge you for slipping back to your old ways. I will probably revert back to taking down the number plates of people who run zebra crossings (and do absolutely nothing with the information). Or maybe we won’t.
Maybe things will just remain better than they were before. ♥
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