I’m not a sporty person. Never have been, and I imagine I never will be, but who knows about that. I just don’t have the mentality to participate in sport, either as an individual or as a team player.
At school, I hated PE with a passion. I was the fat kid, who never got picked, just got picked on. You get told often enough youre rubbish and nobody wants to play with you, and it doesn’t take long before you believe it! I have a memory from Sports Day when I was at junior school, so probably about the age of 7. I was doing the obstacle course and I was petrified I was going to get stuck climbing through the gap under the bench, which was one of the obstacles. I assume I didn’t, I don’t remember, but the fear I had, is still engrained in my mind. Then, I couldn’t understand the emphasis that was put on being the fastest runner, and I still don’t get it, as D is being taunted the same way I was. We have had tears this week as so-called friends don’t want to be on his team because they will lose if they do! He loves being active, and is so determined, but his enthusiasm is being eroded. I understand teaching kids that we have to compete in all we do in life, but I’m not sure in the work place saying you won the sack race isnt as relevant as being able to do mental arithmetic! I was brilliant at maths at school, and had to be taught separately as I was at a different level to anyone else in my class, but this didn’t matter, I was a failure because I was rubbish at running. Seems history is repeating itself.
When I got to secondary school, I made sure my additional music lessons were always on PE class times, so I didn’t have to do it, and as soon as I did my options it was the first thing to go! My bullies at school tended to be those who were good at sports.
Having said this, it doesn’t mean I havent enjoyed watching sport. Watching it live that is.
My brother was a rugby player, and I grew up spending every weekend on the touch-line watching at the local ruby club – it was the days before girls were included in anything! My Dad was a huge rugby fan, and before children had travelled all around the country and overseas to watch games. I therefore understood the enjoyment of being an active supporter.
Another sporting love my Dad gave me was that of ice-hockey. Him and his Mum had gone back in the heyday of British ice-hockey, and so when there was a rink built in our town he was keen to go to the games. I sat there feeling the excitement, but I didn’t understand what was going on. When I said this to my Dad, rather than try to explain it all to me, he went to the library and got me a book about the rules of the game. The next time I went I was hooked, and so started many years of season ticket purchases as I followed the Basingstoke Bison, formerly the Beavers (http://www.bstokebison.co.uk/). I loved the buzz of the games and I cared passionately about the outcome, but at no point did I ever think, I wish I could do that! Other than not being able to skate – I busted my knee when I went skating when I was 13, I am an active supporter, not a participant. It was a real wrench to leave behind my beloved Bison when I moved up here, but it had to be done.
Hubby is a sports fanatic. He isn’t a player, but a supporter, but he will follow almost any sport! The first love of his life is Aberdeen Football Club (http://www.afc.co.uk/page/Welcome), and I know I come way down the list after the men in red. He has taken me to a few games but gets to frustrated trying to explain to me what is going on! He has been a season ticket holder for longer than he cares to remember, having been taken by his Granda when he was little. D has now been to games a few times with him. I think to start with it was just a chance to bond with his Dad, but not its more than that, as he begins to understand whats going on, and of course there is the pie at half time!!! I understand Hubbys passion for attending the games, but he does take it terribly to heart.
He also loves to watch sport on telly. Not just football, but he particularly loves the American sports, baseball, ice-hockey, and American-football. I just find sport on telly really hard to follow, because you are at the hands of the camera man and his director. As I say I love ice-hockey, but I get quite frustrated watching it on the telly when the camera isn’t always showing the full events of the play. Hubby often sits up late at night to watch games from the other side of the pond. He is usually as grumpy as the hell the next day because of lack of sleep, but he enjoys it. I dont enjoy it when he sits wastching in bed, and the volume of the telly and him shouting at it give me a disturbed night!
When we first met, something that got us talking was our love of ice-hockey, and he promised me he would take me to see the Maple Leafs in Toronto. Ten months later he was true to his word as we went to Toronto on our honeymoon, and he got tickets to a game!
So, I think what I’m saying is I can understand that for some people sport is the most important thing, be it participating or watching, but I think often those into it can not see how not every one is. I might never have had the potential to win an Olympic Gold medal, but I can knock out a mean Victoria Sandwich, and still add up my shopping to within a few pence as I do the food shopping! We need to embrace that everyone is an individual, and stop making kids believe they are failures because they aren’t super fast.
Embrace the fact we are all special because we are all unique!