Hello. First post from me, Dan, previously responsible for maintaining the Muscular Liberals website whenever I got the chance. From now on, I’ll be posting the odd tidbit here as well.
In terms of my political beliefs: you can probably work that one out for yourselves, given that Harry’s ‘little’ brother and I went to the same training camp on our year out before attending Muswell Hill University, or whatever they call it these days.
And in terms of a first post: here goes…
Lamenting yesterday’s dismal England performance and finding little in the sports pages (bar Scotland’s victory over France) to cheer me up, this week’s Nick Cohen column caught my eye. From the section titled “It’s time to tackle class in sport“:
“Although there are no figures that measure the impact of the Labour government, all the information we have from before 1997 shows that social mobility is collapsing in Britain. Far from being the hip, anti-elitist society of modern myth, we are a class-ridden country.
People used to say that sport opened a road out of the ghetto, but pressure group StreetGames is adamant that who your parents are is as likely to determine whether you get on in sport as in the law. A 1997 survey found that only 2 per cent of elite rugby union players were from the working class. Given rugby union’s history, I wasn’t surprised. What knocked me back was that only 10 per cent of elite athletes and 2 per cent of elite swimmers were from the bottom of the heap.”
Pretty shocking stuff. StreetGames’ report – “Access to Sport – is it a Fair Game?” – contains more details.
One statistic that sticks out like a sore thumb is that the top third of the population are twice as likely to participate in sport as the bottom third.
To try and redress the balance and to ensure the most disadvantaged communities don’t miss out on the legacy of the 2012 Olympics, StreetGames aims to deliver “sport and dance to young people where they want it, at times when they want it and in a style they want.”
No more dodgy PE teachers a la Kes either – StreetGames use coaches from communities similar to those they work in, thus avoiding the problem of ‘posh’ teachers, discussed here several days ago.
As they state on their website: “Sport is missing the talent of vast numbers of people, especially those who live in deprived communities. Through StreetGames we can find the talent of tomorrow.”
Read more here.