Let's Keep the Flame Alive
Let’s Keep the Flame Alive!
Watching the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games I found myself crying – I just so didn’t want it all to end! And yesterday I decided to go up to London to see the parade – something I’d never normally do – I just wanted to squeeze the last drop of excitement out of it! And what an amazing experience, I’ve never seen so many people!
So what exactly has happened? Two months ago the country seemed to be sinking into a swamp of gloom and despair amid seemingly endless financial and political scandals and crises, not to mention terrible weather – and negativity about the coming Olympics and how rubbish London would be at it. Then suddenly it exploded onto our screens and within a few days the mood had completely changed – people were happy and positive, excited and communicative. London wasn’t rubbish, it was brilliant and Team GB was hauling in the medals. Then came the Paralympics where every single athlete had overcome incredible challenges to be there, they were achieving the near impossible – and again, Britain was excelling on so many levels.
Let the media take a lead
So what next? I wish we could bottle some of the happiness that has prevailed over these weeks! ‘Inspire a generation’ was the motto of the games, and indeed they’ve done their bit. But it’s not reasonable to imagine that six wonderful weeks can really achieve it on their own. Wouldn’t it be great if the media – having seen that the British people do have an appetite for sport other than football – actually start giving other sports a fair crack of the whip? As a casual observer, the evidence seems to indicate that we’re not all that good at football anyway. (Controversial I know!) But our most successful teams seem to be heavily reliant on foreign players – who are then quite likely to suffer racial taunts and worse for their pains. The behaviour of some of the players on and off the pitch, and supporters, leaves a lot to be desired. And with the near blanket coverage in the media is it any wonder that our children grow up thinking that swearing, verbal abuse and even violence against opponents and match officials is cool. Let’s opt for some new role models for our young.
And would it be naive to suggest that the print media look at their sales figures? It just could be that good news CAN sell copies.
Inspire a Generation – How?
So, what can you do now to help keep the mood of this glorious summer going?
- Encourage your children. If they’ve shown a particular interest in a sport during these weeks, find out where it’s available and let them have a go at it. Encourage them to follow the elite athletes in that sport.
- Look at your own fitness – are your beliefs about sport and fitness related to yourself old or out of date? And, like with children, if you’ve found something you like the look of, give it a go! Or if for some reason you can’t or don’t want to, then think about volunteering at a local club – there’s always loads of help needed from coaching children to keeping times and staffing refreshment stalls. And follow the sport and the athletes – take whatever opportunities there are to see them compete.
- 10% new! Over these weeks you have probably watched sports you’ve never seen before, or even never heard of. Like millions of others, you may have negotiated the ticketing process and come to one of the venues to watch – possibly the first time you’ve ever been to a major sporting event. And, like me you may have stood in the street to watch a parade or a flame pass by. You’ve broadened your horizons, extended your comfort zone – keep up the habit of doing new things every day if possible. It will make you a more interesting person, improve your confidence and self esteem and make your life more enjoyable!