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Opinion : Is sport really for all?

| August 22, 2016


What a shame the Rio 2016 Olympics have come to an end.

Do you know I really enjoyed seeing all the different sports and, for all 16 days of the games, was sitting on the edge of my arm chair watching the enthralling action on my neighbours television.

Not many people know this but for many years my ambition has been to compete at an Olympics.

Regular readers will know that unfortunately my good self is clinically obese so yours truly would only get into Team GB if the ‘B’ stood for bariatric.

People of my age will undoubtedly remember the ‘Sport for All’ campaigns of the 1970’s. Sadly sport seems to be anything but ‘for all’.

Take for example the closing speech at the Rio 2016 games. During the speech the following words were said : ‘Together, we can go further. Together, we can aim higher. United in our diversity, we are stronger‘. This was followed by the standard text for closing the games which includes the words ‘I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in Tokyo, Japan, to celebrate with us the Games of the XXXII Olympiad‘.

So united in our diversity we are stronger but sadly only the youth of the world were called upon to assemble for the next games in four years time.

I feel let down. If diversity makes us stronger why have just the youth and not older people, like my good self, been called up to assemble for the next games?

If such a thing was said in a job advert the employer would be treading on dubious legal ground.

The sad fact is that competitive sport is for the young and sadly time is a discriminator that none of us can avoid.

In the Paralympics they have various classes of race for different classes of disability, in boxing and taekwondo there are different weight groups so why can’t there be different classes of races in all sports based on age and possibly weight?

For example how about a 100m race for those over 30, 40 or 50? Or perhaps a shot put competition divided into weight and age categories?

My only hope of being in Team GB would be if a sport like Croquet or Tug of War were reintroduced into the Olympics but sadly they were last competed for in 1900 and 1920 respectively.

It seems my hope of becoming an Olympian is distant indeed. With my current weight problems my hope of taking part in any sport competitive or otherwise is very remote.

Even if your humble servant was to slim down age is against me. Time has beaten me before I even started. What a shame.

I guess my only options are to stick to writing my blogs and sitting in an arm chair eating snacks watching the young on TV running 100m in less than 10 seconds. I’m gutted.

What do you think?

*My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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