Posts Tagged ‘sport’

Awesome cinematography

August 25, 2012

Awesome cinematography and awesome human endeavour.

No further words are necessary.

Compulsory competive games

August 16, 2012
Martha Payne baking

Martha Payne baking

What legacy the London 2012 Olympic Games?

David Cameron, The Sun and The Telegraph want to see compulsive competitive games, at least two hours each and every day.

Sorry David, but you are wrong. It goes without saying The Sun is wrong. The Telegraph can go and sulk in the quad.

I can think of nothing more guaranteed to turn kids off any form of physical activity than compulsive competitive sport.

I remember Cross Country Running, and I am not talking of a few laps around the school playing field. I am speaking of the full Public School works, twice around a common that was on a hillside on a slope of a limestone escarpment. Come rain or shine, out we went, we got soaked, we got cold, we ploughed through bogs, and came back cold, wet and miserable. I do not remember a single boy, and it was only boys, who enjoyed it. I do not recall it turning out a generation of long distance or marathon runners.

The emphasis should not be on competitive sport but on getting kids active, enjoying being active.

What is wrong with salsa, yoga?

David Cameron denigrated Indian dancing. What he meant by that I do not know, but if it is what one sees in Indian films, I would have thought that would be quite active and very enjoyable.

I am not against competitive sports per se. If kids wish to participate in such sports then they should be given every encouragement, the facilities and the coaching. But that is not what we are doing.

How are we encouraging sport when we are selling off school playing fields and public parks, building on our green spaces, making it easier not harder for schools to sell off their playing fields?

One such school is Elliot School in Wandsworth where it is proposed to sell off a large part of the site to developers.

As children we played in the field behind our house, went for walks, cycle rides. In the field we created our own cricket and football pitch, we mowed the grass, levelled the pitch. I am not sure our activities went down too well with the farmer. The field is now one huge, ghastly housing estate.

Little kids are bundles of energy. They bounce around. The main problem is getting them to keep still. What then goes wrong when they become fat slobs?

It is vital we get kids active. We have a generation of fat kids who will die before their parents. It was an obscenity that Coca-Cola and McDonald’s were allowed to sponsor the London 2012 Games when we have an epidemic of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes (a disease normally associated with late middle age).

Activity itself is a necessary, but not sufficient condition, children have to learn how to eat, how to cook. Basic survival skills.

It is a pleasure when we see children like Martha Payne aka Veg (who runs the blog NeverSeconds) and my young friend Alice (who has the blog alicemck) not only taking a pleasure in cooking, but also in food.

Tending little minds is important too. Music, arts, culture.

Children have inquiring minds, again it begs the question what goes wrong to churn out brain-dead morons whose idea of food is KFC and McDonald’s, drink sports drinks, Coca-Cola, or heavily advertised lager?

Parents are to blame, though not entirely, the food industry too.

Children are having to have operations to reduce their stomach size. Children aged five and six waddling from side to side as they walk because they are too fat to walk. A child of six weighing 11 stone!

The state intervenes when children are beaten, starved. The state should intervene when children are grossly overweight.

This afternoon in a window of McDonald’s overlooking the street. One very fat woman, one very fat child, both stuffing their faces with Big Macs.

Cala Boca Galvao

June 16, 2010

A Brazilian joke takes over the world!

Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho helped spread the joke, as did unwittingly many of his followers and fans.


Cala Boca Galvao – Paulo Coelho blog
Brazil’s ‘Cala Boca Galvao’ Drive is for the Birds – NY Times
Brazil: The “CALA BOCA GALVAO” Phenomenon
‘¿Cala boca, Galvao?’

First world championship fight John Heenan (USA) v Tom Sayers (UK)

April 17, 2010
Sayers v. Heenan, 17 April 1860. Drawn by the lithographer W. L. Walton (c. 1811-75)

Sayers v. Heenan, 17 April 1860. Drawn by the lithographer W. L. Walton (c. 1811-75)

Exactly 150 years to the day, on 17 April 1860 an illegal bare-knuckle fight took place in a field at the back of the Ship Inn in Farnborough, Hampshire, on the Surrey-Hampshire border. Prize fighting at the time being illegal.

John Heenan (USA) v Tom Sayers (UK) the fight was in essence a world heavyweight fight. The reason for the location was that in the event of the Hampshire Constabulary turning up (which they did) the fighters could cross the River Blackwater and be over the county border into Surrey, and out of reach. Not that the constabulary were going to do much in the midst of a large bloodthirsty crowd.

The fight that took place behind the Ship Inn on 17 April 1860 between the Irish-American John Heenan and the gypsy Tom Sayers was the first world championship fight. A bare-knuckle fight, it went into 37 rounds before the ropes were cut, the ring invaded, and the referee abandoned the fight. The fight went on for a further 5 rounds, a total of 2 hours 20 minutes, before being declared a draw. Both contestants were awarded a championship belt. A crowd of 12,000 attended the illegal fight. Sayers was reported in The Times as continuing the fight with a broken arm.

Tom Sayers (1826-1865), born in Brighton, only ever lost one fight in his boxing career. After the Farnborough fight, he and John Heenan became good friends. They toured the country putting on exhibition fights to commemorate their world championship fight in Farnborough. Sayers lies in Highgate Cemetery.

The fight was the last of its kind. The nation was so shocked by the brutality of the fight that legislation was pushed through Parliament that put an end to bare-knuckle fighting.

What is strange is that there is nothing at the Ship Inn to commemorate the fight, no plaque, no poster. Although talking to the landlord some weeks ago, he did start to tell me of the fight and was very surprised to learn that I already knew of it.

Locally, no one seems to be aware the fight took place. With such an important anniversary taking place, one would expect something to commemorate the event, but nothing. Nothing that is other than a book signing in the local library by an author of a book on the fight. And even for this, no publicity, not even a poster or flyers in the Ship Inn! And the obvious place for the book signing would have been the Ship Inn, not the local library. This should not though be seen to imply any criticism of the current landlord of the Ship Inn.

The day before, local TV conducted an interview, only it took place two miles away at Mytchett in Surrey, not outside the Ship Inn!

also see

The Lion and the Eagle

Sayers vs Heenan: the bare-knuckle heavyweight championship of the world

Heenan v Sayers: The fight that changed boxing forever

International boxing anniversary marked by historians

The bare knuckle fighter who fought British champion for 42 rounds in 1860

%d bloggers like this: