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  4 months ago

Sport for those who can afford it?

Matt Prior, s former England cricketer, has spoken out about how the system in place for youth cricket (and I would argue many other sports) favours those who can afford it. He argues that those who progress to representative levels are not the best of the best but the best of those who can pay the hefty fees for selection pathways and kit.
My experience of hockey for my children is very similar. To move into the selection pathways you have to pay to join (£80) and even then, if you come from the state sector you are competing against children from private schools who play hockey at school and at clubs. It is no surprise that a disproportionate number of privately educated children end up at the top level of many sports.
In Denmark most sport happens outside school hours. School finishes early and you then go to the sports club of your choice. Grassroots sport is heavily subsidised so it is all a much more level playing field so to speak
If you have children, have you found it expensive to pursue their sporting hobbies? Have you had situations when you have felt the system is not fair?


  4 months ago
Do you think more money should be set aside for children in lower-income brackets so they can access sports or extracurricular activities?


  4 months ago
Having more money is always going to be an advantage in this world.


  4 months ago
You won't believe this Alan - I wrote about this 10 years ago !
I mentioned tennis , and it still applies . How many genuine winners do we have ? Fewer than the strawberries in a tub at Wimbledon !


  4 months ago
it has been this way for years ,and i dont think it will change anytime soon ,we do not have elite sportsmen and women just a few who have more money ,my grandson wanted to play rugby at school he was really good at it ,my daughter had to pay £50 for a rugby shirt just for PE ,when he joined the team ,she had to pay out over a £100 for a full kit ,and then there is bus fares to and from the venues they were playing in etc ,then more kit as they got older ,and then the away kit ,in the end my daughter could not afford it ,


  4 months ago
yes monies brings more opportunities and access to all which will help you in all areas of your life.


  4 months ago
This is a fact of life in all sectors as you need money to access the right support (be it for training, education or just life contacts) to get to the higher levels of everything. This is also a major reason why standards are always struggling to stay the same because those with well paid posts will always tend to favour people following them who aren't quite as good as them and so are not a threat to their lofty position.


  4 months ago
My two girls were more interested in playing music than playing sport . This also came with a hefty price tag with lessons and exams costing a considerable sum . Having said that it would be great if sporting interests could be funded to allow all children's skills to blossom especially at a time when obesity is such a national problem that costs the country very dear indeed. Helping nurture a love for sport in children would bode well for future generations health outcomes E.


  4 months ago
Mmmm,how many Danish sportsmen and women bestride the world stage?
Only the tough regimes of our public schools produce most of our top sportspeople,the discipline in community sport is lacking for fear of being too demanding or ,as we now call it ,bullying.
Then we turn to football where money and innate skills draw in many who would normally be thought of as unreachable and unteachable in many ethnic enclaves.


  4 months ago
I don’t have kids!


  4 months ago
I do not have children but I have some personal experience.
Yes, not being from a poor family gives advantages. So does living in the right area or going to a particular school. Not just fee paying schools (which have the advantage of paying better salaries, so attracting ex-professional players as coaches) but also whether certain sports are even taught, as many are based on the willingness of teachers to help out.
As well as the above sports, I imagine wanting to do dressage is a tough thing to achieve!
I managed to get to county level at hockey (briefly), but only because a friend of mine encouraged me to join a local club. It hadn't occurred to me, and my parents weren't aware of such things. The club let me pay reduced match fees, which helped.
Some kids at my school went on to play football and basketball professionally, as these were the two sports the high school gym teachers favoured.
Partly 'luck of the draw' but those that do scheme also put in a heck of a lot of work. It really should be better, as sport is a profession nowadays.

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