Thursday, 25 July 2013

Sporting Participation

The head of Sport Wales is complaining that sporting participation is falling because of budget cuts ( and sporting participation has fallen since the Olympics  (

But what everyone seems to miss is that the sports that people play the most are the sports that kids can easily play. And "easy" means:
  1. minimal equipment
  2. no fixed minimum number of players
  3. simple surfaces
  4. little maintenance required
  5. no judges
  6. no supervision, low risk of injury
Football is the most popular sport in the world, because it's small boys in the park/scrubland/favela, jumpers for goalposts, go out with a ball, play until teatime. A kid can get up, grab the equipment to play the game, carry it, call on a friend, go somewhere and play it, when they fancy playing it.

If you look the sports that are the most popular in each country, they fit the same pattern.

1) Football. See above.
2) Basketball. You need a ball, a hard surface, a hoop and a couple of mates
3) Cricket. You need a tree in a park (or in India, portable stumps), a bat, a ball, some flat ground and half a dozen mates.
4) Baseball. A ball, some jumpers, some mates, a park and a glove

So, the answer isn't to spend £9 bn on a massive 3 week sporting bondoogle. It's to spend a fraction of that on leaving people with open spaces, and the council sending out a cleaning team to pick up any drug needles, condoms or other unsavoury items.


Curmudgeon said...

And not constantly telling kids if they go outside they'll be abducted by paedos.