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Never Take the Dream out of the Child

ellis cashmore

It doesn’t matter how far fetched a child’s dreams may be, or how much it seems to distract them from their schoolwork, their dreams are vital to their growth and development.

A child’s dream is indicative of where their passions lie, and too many of us suppress our passions in favor of the socially acceptable and mundane. Not every child can become a pop star or gold medalist, but there is nothing wrong with aspiring to be either.

When I was a teenager I wished to be involved with movie making. I didn’t have to be the star or the director, I would have settled being the personal assistant to the editor.

Fast forward to adulthood and I may not be in the movie industry as such, but my desire to make it in movies was particularly helpful and instructive. It made me aware that what I really wanted was to make a difference. Just like the movies I watched as a child made a difference to me, I wanted to find a career that would allow me to inspire others.

That’s why I am completely at odds with the academic that spoke against allowing children to dream big:

Focusing on sporting success is a waste of time because ‘very, very few children’ are going to make it, an academic has said.

Ellis Cashmore, a professor of culture, media and sport at Staffordshire University, says there is little proof that the Olympic Games create any kind of meaningful sporting legacy.

And he believes it is high time parents realised children are more likely to make the finals of shows like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent than become sporting heroes of any sort.

‘We shouldn’t be trying to channel all of our energy into this pursuit of excellence in sports when very, very few children are going to succeed at any kind of level at all,’ he said.

‘My answer to parents who tell me their child might become a leading footballer or athlete is that they are putting them at risk of serious injury or closer to the world of performance-enhancing drugs.

‘I ask them: “Are you happy about that?” and they say: “It won’t happen to my child”.

‘To which I reply: “But it goes with the territory”. The cheats are very often those at the top.

Ellis Cashmore says there is little proof that the Olympic Games create any kind of meaningful sporting legacy

‘Do we want to churn out one-dimensional characters who leave no stone unturned in pursuit of excellence?’

 

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One Response to “Never Take the Dream out of the Child”

  1. kedavis99 Says:

    Ok so not all children will become sports stars but they learn so much more from sports than just how to play a game. You never know who is going to learn what and who is going to be a big success so why on earth would you rain on some poor child’s parade? Yes as they get older, you know high school and they’re not the star of the team you can sit down with them and have a discussion about how else they can continue to be a part of that sport in their life: coaching, training, recruiting, etc. Same thing with those that are into singing, playing an instrument, drama or other things.

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