Author Topic: "Accessible" olympic sports  (Read 7576 times)

Juan Martín

  • Consigo mi abrigo
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2012, 01:25:31 pm »
I coach at and help run a fencing club in Maidstone. As secretary I field most of the email enquiries for the club and I have been receiving a number of enquiries daily since the beginning of the Olympics; normally these would be running at one enquiry every couple of weeks or so.  I am sure that other sports clubs will have noted a similar surge in interest so I suppose that the Olympics can be said to have inspired people.

Sod’s law applies of course as we are closed during August because the other coaches, who are involved in fencing full time, are committed to the Olympics and Para Olympics in various ways. But hopefully the club’s numbers will be greatly boosted when we reconvene in September…although many will then fall by the wayside when they discover that it’s quite difficult to do and isn’t just a lot of random thrashing about!

Jacomus

  • My favourite gender neutral pronoun is comrade
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2012, 01:33:25 pm »
There's gunna be some seriously confused kids out there. On the one hand we've got Olympians "Inspiring a generation" so all the kids can go on to sporting glory in years to come. And on the other, if their school playing fields haven't been turned into housing estates, what little sport they do isn't supposed to be competitve incase it upsets little Jonny who's shit at sport...

I've heard/read the bolded line quite a few times now. It strikes me as something that is too ridiculous to be real, but just ridiculous enough that it might well be a policy.

How can you play sport without competing?  ???
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity." Amelia Earhart

Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2012, 01:49:44 pm »
<puts ex teaching hat on>

I've taught games and particularly track and field athletics to hundreds of kids.

You can have athletics without making it all about those who are the fastest, strongest, jump highest. You can teach it so that the achievements of all the kids are applauded, so that they are applauded and made to feel good about their efforts, regardless of ability. That still doesn't rule out everyone appreciating those who are gifted.

Lets face it, how many of us can pole vault?  Jump nearly 2m over a bar?  Run 10km in under an hour?

Being a bit shit at sport doesn't exclude enjoying taking part, nor does it exclude appreciating those who are good.

When I take a 10yr old kid who says they can't run. Who says they trip over if they try, get asthma attacks, overheat till they explode, their feet hurt. When I take a kid like that and get them to run a mile, stay with them, sympathize with them all the way, encourage them. When they manage to do it, the reward of achievement, the pride they feel, that is fantastic, for them and the teacher. And I can guarantee you that child will appreciate the 10km win by Farah. They'll watch it and feel his pain, his breathing, his struggle.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

rower40

  • Not my boat. Now sold.
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #53 on: August 07, 2012, 02:17:37 pm »
Anyone can join a rowing club, but rowing, especially in an eight, requires a lot of time, and more commitment than any other sport I can think of, because of the need for all 8 (or 9) to train together as a unit.  I tried it and found it was simply incompatible with 'having a life'.
Those who have met me can vouch for this. :-[
Even so, it's a great way to release those endorphins.
Be Naughty; save Santa a trip

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #54 on: August 07, 2012, 02:18:29 pm »
As a former kid who was shit at sport[1], I'd say there are two ways to solve the problem, and removing competitiveness isn't really the issue.

Firstly, you've got to stop torturing them.  That means PE teachers being genuinely encouraging, not ignoring or laughing at them, expecting them to know the rules to things they haven't been taught, dismissing medical problems, forcing them to wear humiliating clothes or making sexist and homophobic[2] comments.  It also means properly recognising and protecting them from the nastier elements of their peer group (this is where competitiveness comes in).

Once you've done that, you've created an environment in which everyone feels able to turn up and have a go.  Then you need to find them their sport.  The one they can actually enjoy or do well enough at to care about.  As one of life's natural sport-haters who somehow ended up a member of AUK, I'm warming to the hypothesis that there's something out there for everyone, you just have to find it.  Unfortunately it won't always be the cheap, easily class-supervised ones like football, hockey or cross-country running.  It might involve 1:1 tuition, equipment that's relatively expensive or has sharp pointy ends, going off-site to use specialist facilities, or (dare I say it) mixing it with road traffic onna bike.


[1] The token exception being the 100m sprint, which I was surprisingly good at until the age of about 14 on account of being taller than my peers and a frequent victim of bullying.
[2] I believe this particular tradition may have died now we've got rid of Clause 28 and dragged schools into the Century of the Fruitbat.

Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

rower40

  • Not my boat. Now sold.
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #55 on: August 07, 2012, 02:19:54 pm »
Archery.

Most schools have a hall that's suitable.  All you need is a heavy arrow curtain,  some straw butts and a bunch of trainer bows and arrows - which can be had pretty cheaply.  In the summer, you can use whatever field you have.

As a sport, it's suitable for able bodied and disabled alike. The benefits include improving mental capacity, physical health and general fitness. Archery can also improve patience and focus and can give the student  a great sense of personal achievement.  It's also a lot of fun.

Even at the high end of the sport, a good recurve bow won't cost as much as a good race bike and although like any sport, you can spend a lot on gear if you want, it's easy to get into as a junior because a lot of clubs have kit to lend out.
And let's not forget the contribution that it played in keeping Agincourt British.
Be Naughty; save Santa a trip

rower40

  • Not my boat. Now sold.
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #56 on: August 07, 2012, 02:26:56 pm »
How can you play sport without competing?  ???
I put my boat on the water.  I row up and down our 2000 metres of river, I say hello to the other rowers, fishermen, dog-emptiers etc.  I watch kingfishers and herons flying about.  I get eaten by midges and other minature bitey-things.  I'm happy to coach or buddy-row with beginners.

I don't enter any competitions.

I'm therefore not sure if rowing (as performed by me) is a sport or a pastime.  Similar to my cycling - it's for commuting, shopping, social and travel purposes, never against the clock.
Be Naughty; save Santa a trip

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #57 on: August 07, 2012, 04:04:18 pm »
I think one of the things that should be an element of school sport is giving kids enough training to be able to enjoy it. My swimming is crap because I never had any decent training. I'd enjoy it so much more with good technique. Likewise cycling, it doesn't have to be competetive, but setting kids up with good technique can give them a sport they enjoy and will continue to do.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #58 on: August 07, 2012, 04:26:50 pm »
Archery.

Most schools have a hall that's suitable.  All you need is a heavy arrow curtain,  some straw butts and a bunch of trainer bows and arrows - which can be had pretty cheaply.  In the summer, you can use whatever field you have.

As a sport, it's suitable for able bodied and disabled alike. The benefits include improving mental capacity, physical health and general fitness. Archery can also improve patience and focus and can give the student  a great sense of personal achievement.  It's also a lot of fun.

Even at the high end of the sport, a good recurve bow won't cost as much as a good race bike and although like any sport, you can spend a lot on gear if you want, it's easy to get into as a junior because a lot of clubs have kit to lend out.


Many outdoor instructors are qualified as Archery Leaders, the most basic teaching qualification. It is possible for them  to supervise shooting sessions as described above.
I don't think all schools do have the space or the time. My son's city-centre primary school has no field, the hall is probably big enough but is always in use for assembly, lunch, choir, drama, music, after-school club and breakfast club. The playground is used for football and stuff as well as - playing in. The only possibility would be something like Saturday mornings, but that's never going to be popular with kids or teachers. Of course the same applies to many other sports such as jumping (high, long etc).
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #59 on: August 07, 2012, 04:42:21 pm »
the headmaster at my junior school was an ex prop forward and thought that sport was character building however bad you were, he did favour the more gifted though, and for those of you who might remember the outdoor swimming pool in Burnham Beeches we used to go there in September and October jeeez that was cold, my PE teachers in secondry school there were 2 and they were both the biggest most complete and utter total wankers I have ever had the misfortune to meet. unless you were in to football, then you were ok if your were good enough to make the school team well then you were a god or so they thought, my pe teacher in college was an ex Hooker (rugby of course) and he was actually quite a nice bloke, he new that we were crap but he never gave up on us, he even got us in to a 7's tournament held at Burchetts Green when it was an agricultural college :) 

Pancho

  • لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #60 on: August 07, 2012, 04:53:12 pm »
Not being able to participate in a non-competitive manner can be excluding.

Because I picked up enough cricket theory (if not much ability) at school, I've always been able to share cricket chat and enjoy going to matches with friends.

OTOH, I was never taught tennis and felt, as only a teenager can, horribly socially incompetent at uni when tennis was suggested.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #61 on: August 07, 2012, 05:10:16 pm »
IIRC my last tennis match* was at Dundee Uni in 1993 when the British Chess Championships were taking place there. A parent of a lad in my older daughter's age group and I decided we would have a set of tennis. I think he took the lead by breaking my serve around game 5 but I broke back later. At 6 games all in the first set, we did exactly what every good chess rivals would do: we agreed a draw.

*I was never much good at tennis but I played a fair bit at college against a lady from Lydney, one Liz Davies. She beat me every time we played, but towards the end of our series I was getting fairly close to her level. I served an ace once and she told me not to do that again.  ;D
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #62 on: August 07, 2012, 05:54:23 pm »
I think one of the things that should be an element of school sport is giving kids enough training to be able to enjoy it. My swimming is crap because I never had any decent training. I'd enjoy it so much more with good technique. Likewise cycling, it doesn't have to be competetive, but setting kids up with good technique can give them a sport they enjoy and will continue to do.
V true. Swimming is a good example (or perhaps an extreme!) - in that there is a huge safety/fear aspect, which tuition can help get kids over.

(It's also far more 'technique-heavy' compared to sports like running, football and cycling. IMHO! Probably a whole separate thread ... )
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

John Henry

Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #63 on: August 07, 2012, 06:07:20 pm »
I wish mrcharly had been my PE teacher. Mine dealt with my being shit at sport by making me feel worthless.

When I finished my first Audax I cried, because I didn't have to be that kid any more.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #64 on: August 07, 2012, 06:50:40 pm »
I hope that Phil, of this parish, won't mind me mentioning that when he was at school, not all that long ago, he was labelled as a non-achiever by his PE teachers.

He had barely left school when he was the youngest cyclist to complete PBP.
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

LEE

Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #65 on: August 07, 2012, 07:11:32 pm »
Most gold medals aren't won by the best person, they are won by the best person who tried the sport, showed a talent and got access to coaching.

My problem is the number of kids in the UK who never get to try sports.

It's amazingly clear that, on seeing the successes of the Rowing and Cycling "Talent Spotting" in schools, that world champions are there, waiting to be given a chance.

Winning in sports gives the country such a boost that it must be worth the trivial investment in programs such as "Sporting Giants" (Steve Redgrave's program to put large people in sports which demand large people).

Similarly I think Dave Brailsford should be put in charge of a UK Science & Technology development program and help us get our sorry arses out of this mess.


Anyway, the accessible sports are easy to spot.  Pick the poorest nations on earth and then see which gold medals they win.  By definition they must be accessible sports.

PS.  It's running.

PPS.  Team Dressage?  Team F***ing Dressage?  An Olympic Sport?  Horse Dancing?  I ask you. (Yes..I appreciate it may be difficult and horrendously expensive but really, Horse Dancing?)

Why not Horse racing or Elephant Football?

Rig of Jarkness

  • An Englishman abroad
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #66 on: August 07, 2012, 07:18:23 pm »
Why not Horse racing or Elephant Football?

Make it Elephant Polo and we'd be in with a shout http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4073353.stm


Aero but not dynamic

gordon taylor

Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #67 on: August 08, 2012, 03:49:14 pm »
Wrestling is accessible.

Iran have won three gold medals so far.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/2012/medals/sports/wrestling

Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #68 on: August 08, 2012, 04:19:34 pm »
I hope that Phil, of this parish, won't mind me mentioning that when he was at school, not all that long ago, he was labelled as a non-achiever by his PE teachers.

He had barely left school when he was the youngest cyclist to complete PBP.
MsCharly was labelled as 'unfit'.

That was when she'd just done her first 100mile ride, with a chunk of it overnight. Ask Mcshroom about her riding, I don't think she was 'unfit'. I had to chase her down and make her slow down for the rest of us.

And, john Henry, thank you for that comment. I was the kid at school who nobody wanted on their team - the slow uncoordinated one. I had one PE teacher to whom that didn't matter - and he inspired me to continue with sport.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #69 on: August 08, 2012, 04:31:37 pm »
I was the fat, slow useless one at school and look at me now. :smug:
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

Marco Stefano

  • Apply some pressure, you lose some pressure...
Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #70 on: August 08, 2012, 04:51:41 pm »
Anyone can join a rowing club, but rowing, especially in an eight, requires a lot of time, and more commitment than any other sport I can think of, because of the need for all 8 (or 9) to train together as a unit.  I tried it and found it was simply incompatible with 'having a life'.
Those who have met me can vouch for this. :-[
Even so, it's a great way to release those endorphins.

This is what single sculling is for, so one can pick & choose times and outing length / intensity. And you don't have to put up with your crewmates' terrible rowing.  ;)
 
I was involved in setting up a new rowing club in Ely in 2004; we now have a sizeable fleet of boats, mainly from lottery-type match funding (but no boathouse / clubhouse), and all sorts of members: beginners, juniors, recreational (as in rower40's later message), autistic & Aspergers, masters (veterans), British Rowing Start scullers (next olympians, hopefully) & current GB champions.
It's a community club; highest subs (adult) are £100 p.a., deliberately kept as low as possible to encourage grass (reed?) roots rowing.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
"Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #71 on: August 08, 2012, 07:19:03 pm »
Inspired by the limpics, my son now wants to take up rowing as cross-training for rugby.

:thumbsup:

d.

gordon taylor

Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #72 on: August 08, 2012, 07:53:16 pm »
The Olympic movement is global. The countries with the most medals are mainly wealthy. UK facilities in all sports are beyond the wildest dreams of most potential athletes in poor countries. We're fixated with school sports in the UK, yet most European countries (and all the Asian countries I know of) don't do sport in school at all - it is addressed by local clubs. The model in the USA is the opposite, with school-to-college sport at the centre of funding, scholarships and local TV schedules. Every street and field in Australia and New Zealand is bursting with joggers, exercisers and teams sports - yet NZ is currently miles more successful than Oz by population. I suspect (IMHO) that the macho culture in Oz is undermining women's sport.

The Olympic movement, I think, is trying to get more medal success across more countries - that needs co-operation and accessibility. The tiny size of some contingents in the athletes' parade at the opening ceremony was shocking.

Any suggestions about how to fix that?

Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #73 on: August 08, 2012, 08:42:57 pm »
IOC levies on rich IOC members (as a condition of participation), to be spent on financing athletes from poor countries.

Allow athletes to represent one country in non-Olympic competitions, but revert to their country of birth for the Olympics, so not cutting off (though it might reduce) the flow of money from rich countries poaching poor country athletes.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Re: "Accessible" olympic sports
« Reply #74 on: August 08, 2012, 08:47:31 pm »
I think the biggest problem is not accessibility but actually getting the kids to want to do something in the first place other than hang out in bus shelters or the local burger king, accessibility is relative to your locality, where we are unless you can travel 15 miles in either direction & have understanding parents to get you there, then your quite limited to what sport you can do, bikes, horses, walking or running would be about it,
I think people living in more urban areas where getting to a leisure center or playing field and there are more organised teams and clubs really only have themselves to blame for not getting involved.