…………it’s about the winning too. Sometimes, it’s all about the winning.
England were dumped out of the World Cup today, quite unceremoniously too. God knows I was rooting for them, almost single-handedly too. T is not into sports, he does not care about football one way or the other. I was not happy when Nigeria crashed out of the competition, even though it was to be expected. Truth be told, the minute I read that the players demanded that their hotel be changed because it was too noisy, I had known they didn’t stand much of a chance. An African team complaining about noise? It was clear that they were totally oblivious of the bigger picture, they were not focused on the task at hand. Now they are back in their quiet environments, no doubt ruing their squandered opportunities. This post however, is not about the Nigerian part of my heritage.
I’m from Manchester, nominally. I was born there, but grew up back home. So I’m as British as the next fellow or as Nigerian, depending on whichever accent I’m using. Again, I digress.
A friend of mine posted this on Facebook recently, and I quote in part
‘Daily Mail headline ‘ Return of REAL school sports. Competitive games are to be revived in schools in a bid to turn Britain BACK into a nation of sporting champions’.
And my opinion? It’s about time too. Over the past few years, in the name of health and safety, political correctness, and heads stuck in areas inaccessible to the sun, there has been a concerted effort to remove every competitive streak that ever existed from children that are within the school system.
Sports days? Pschew! Every child is given a medal. Whether they come first or last. It has been drummed into our ears repeatedly that it’s all about the taking part, not about the winning. So maybe some people somewhere are organising a hero’s welcome for our boys when they get back from SA. After all, they took part!
Wimbledon is currently on, and for the first time in years, there was not a single English man in the draw. This is because the All England Club decided to stop giving wild-card entries to a certain male player who had not gotten past the first round in over eight attempts to do so. The female British players all got beaten in their first games, a couple of them after having been a few games away from winning the match. It doesn’t matter though, at least they took part. They’d probably be saying that to themselves as they see the winner clutching her million pound cheque.
We are hosting the Olympics in 2012, and we are nowhere near ready. I’m not talking about the infrastructure, that will come in on time, greatly over the budgeted cost, but it will be ready. And what about our athletes? They will take part, and watch other nations haul away the medals. Except if they stop making excuses for their state of mediocrity, and grasp what other countries have always known.