Oh Sit Down

Archive for June 3rd, 2010|Daily archive page


In Soccerball on June 3, 2010 at 10:10

Corporatisation has ruined sport. The guy who signs the broadcasting cheques is the real boss of modern era sport. Gone are the days when all professional sport was played on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Now, there is a massive variety of sport broadcast live 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Money obsessed corporations have insisted on round-the-clock sports coverage and this over-exposure of commercialised sport has ruined the appetite of many sports fans.

However, not all sport is the work of the devil. True sporting heroes and heroines still exist. They can be found living next door to you, on the next street, the other side of the village, in the next town or even in your own house. Hats off to every man, woman and child who gives up three evenings a week after a hard day’s work to train, and a further afternoon at the weekend to play their respective sport. They don’t get paid, they don’t receive free gear and equipment, and they don’t receive endorsements. They volunteer their bodies and efforts for a cause they believe in. They sweat for the good of their parish. They do it for the combat, the challenge, the intensity, the competition, the camaraderie.

Participating with their local club or society draws people out of their houses, away from their computers, off their sofas, and out into the fresh air, mixing with other people, and plotting their rival’s downfall at the weekend. Training, perfecting, honing. Sport gives people an escape, an outlet to vent frustrations, let off some steam.

The excesses in modern professional sport are to be deplored. Cheating is rife amongst elite sportspeople. More and more tales of corruption are leaking all the time. There is little doubt that many sports are rife with drug abuse. Cheats win. Check out David Walsh’s investigations about Lance Armstrong and his cycling teammates. The end result: Game over.

Amateur sport is the new dawn. There is a real sense of community when it is my street against your street – my parish against your parish – my village against your village – my county against your county. Whatever the sport, the competition is of the same intensity. An overwhelming sense of belonging exists at amateur level. You and I losing a match against those people over there hurts much more than Manchester United losing to Chelsea. It’s tribalism at its purest. Sport played with passion, heart, commitment and courage wins out every time. A sense of place – a place in your community.

So why buy a sporting hero? Nothing beats growing your own.