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Posts Tagged ‘Sport’

Dreams Come True When People Show they Care

October 18, 2014

 

Blind kids don’t score touchdowns. Or do they?

Justin Olenginski scored his first touchdown on Oct. 11. It was an extraordinary moment for the 15-year-old, who was born blind and has special needs that prevent him from participating in sports.

His Dallas, Pennsylvania, community wanted to give him a memory he’d never forget, ABC News reports. So, the freshman’s high school football team named him captain for that Saturday’s game. After halftime, the announcer called Olenginski onto the field. While the other players watched, he took the quarterback’s handoff and walked down the field — with another player guiding him — to score a touchdown.

When he reached the end zone, the crowd erupted, fireworks were set off and his older brother, Michael, a senior and captain of the team, lifted him into the air as players from both teams crowded around them.

 

Click on the link to read my post on Hitchens: Dyslexia is NOT a Disease. It is an Excuse For Bad Teachers!

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Click on the link to read my post on Disabled Children: A Missed Opportunity for Us All

 

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Never Take the Dream out of the Child

March 3, 2014

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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Athletes Can Set a Better Example for Our Kids

January 22, 2014

 

bird

I don’t buy into the expectation that all athletes have a duty to be role models for their fans. I think ideally every person, from every walk of life, should try to be a role model. There is no reason why athletes should be more responsible for their behaviour than anyone else.

But surely, the least they can do is show some humility and sportsmanship. I’m not asking for a perfect personal life or abstinence from alcohol, just the very basic adherence to mature civilized conduct on their field of play.

I accept that when you are young, have too much downtime and are idolised and hounded by fans, you are likely to find it hard to forever make the right decisions. But there is no excuse for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Below are two examples of behaviours that our kids really shouldn’t be exposed to:

 

 

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YouTube Clip of High School Student Getting Slapped by Teacher

September 21, 2013

 

 

I hope all those misguided souls that believe that the answer to the behavioural problem in our schools is to allow teachers to engage in physical violence watch the video above.

Teachers should never be trusted to meter out physical punishment and it is abhorrent that Western democratic countries still allow this awful practice.

 

Click on the link to read 19 US States Still Allow Corporal Punishment in their Classrooms

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Two High School Athletes Brawl During Race (Video)

January 10, 2013

This clip will no doubt go viral and showcase for our young and impressionable an example of bad sportsmanship at its worst:

Two high school athletes took the term ‘fight to the finish’ literally when they sparked a mass brawl during a relay race in New York City.

The athletes from Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn and Mount Vernon High School in suburban Westchester County were competing in the Hispanic Games last weekend.

As the two unnamed players came into the home straight to exchange their batons, they got tangled up together and ended up both running off the track.

Punches began to fly and in seconds, the rest of their respective teams joined in the fight.

The row took place during a heat for the relay race at the Hispanic Games, one of the largest track meets in the nation.

Some 6,000 high school athletes from 300 schools attended the meet at the Armory Track in Harlem.

 

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Our Real Heroes are Not Celebrities or Athletes

September 3, 2012

The real heroes are our family members, the person down the street who works two jobs to feed his family or the lady who works at the bank who greets you because she wants to rather than has to. Our heroes are not necessarily the footballer who wins an MVP or the actor who takes home the Oscar.

Last month “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius became a heroic figure to many who watched the Olympic Games. As an amputee, competing in the able body Olympics, many saw his feat as remarkable and looked up to him as a source of inspiration. Some queried that his custom-made blades might give him an unfair advantage over the others, but those arguments were quashed by the outpouring of love and respect from the general community.

To hear Pistorius’ unsportsmanlike rant post-race of the Paralympics 200 meter event just reminds us to look up to heroes that we know, rather than those appointed by spin doctors and television executives looking for a ratings boost:

‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius suffered a shock defeat at the Paralympics tonight, and immediately claimed that the man who beat him had an unfair advantage.

The South African athlete, who became the first double amputee to run at the Olympics less than a month ago, came second behind Brazilian sprinter Alan Oliveira in the T44 200m event.

Pistorius began the final as the big favourite, and the result stunned the 80,000 spectators inside London’s Olympic Stadium into silence.

But the race was surrounded by controversy after Pistorius claimed that he was at a disadvantage because the carbon fibre prosthetic blades he uses to run are shorter than some of his competitors’.He complained that athletes with longer blades are assisted because their stride lengths are greater.Oliveira, one of the athletes who uses longer blades than Pistorius, won the race in 21.45secs.

Pistorius, who had led for most of the race, finished in 21.52secs.

Immediately after the race, Pistorus said the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) did not ‘want to listen’ to his concerns, adding: ‘The guys’ legs are unbelievably long.

Even if he does have a point, this is not the time to raise it. Heroes are not bad sports. The real heroes are all around us. We just don’t seem to notice them.

Sometimes the Parents are More Exhausted than their Athlete Children

August 2, 2012

It must be hard to be an athlete’s parent. On one hand, you are supportive no matter what the result is, on the other, you naturally want your child to give a good account of themself.

I prefer enjoying my child’s development away from the cameras.

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It Isn’t Just the Kids that are Freaked Out by the Olympic Mascots

July 6, 2012

Of course children find the Olympic mascots creepy. What were they thinking?

THEY were meant to inspire young people to engage with sport, but the London Olympic mascots have been branded too creepy for children.

The one-eyed Wenlock and Mandeville – who were apparently born from the “last drops of steel” from the Olympic Stadium – were the product of an 18-month creative process using more than 40 focus groups.

Scores of giant statues of the creatures are about to be unveiled across London as part of a $48.5 million (STG 32m) makeover to drum up enthusiasm in the run-up to the Games.

But the Cyclops-like cartoon characters have faced a barrage of criticism online.

In merchandise reviews for the mascots on Internet shopping site Amazon, buyers have called the creatures “menacing” and “terrifying”.

“Like a nightmare, this evil eyed monster stares straight into your soul looking for the slightest weakness,” reviewer Mr Nicholas Shearer wrote.

Who Would Want This Athlete Representing Their Country?

July 3, 2012

27-year-old athlete Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad from France had just won gold in the European Championship’s 3000 metre steeplechase in Helsinki on Sunday. Guess what he did next?

a. Congratulate his opponents

b. Acknowledge the crowd.

c. Burst into tears of joy.

d. Walk over to the 14-year old championship mascot, smack a gift bag out of her hands and push her.

I’m afraid that if you answered a, b or c you are incorrect. It probably wouldn’t surprise you that it’s not the first time he has picked on a mascot.

Disgraceful behaviour! I hate to think how he would have acted had he lost the race.

I wouldn’t want him competing for my country.

Is There Anthing Children Enjoy Which Hasn’t Been Banned Yet?

November 18, 2011

I can’t stand knee-jerk reactions that result in banning something which enriches the lives and experiences of many. Banning balls from the schoolyard is a sure-fire way of taking the one thing most children enjoy doing at school  and expecting them to just go along with it. When you take away a child’s right to let off some steam at recess through the healthy pursuit of a football game, you are potentially ruining that child’s day.

I sympathise with teachers and parents that have been hit by a stray ball. I was once hit so hard that I was on all fours during yard duty. It is an extremely unpleasant experience.  But it’s still not a good reason for banning balls:

Earl Beatty Public School’s decision to ban the use of hard balls on their playground because of safety concerns has prompted an outcry from the little people in the line of fire.

Students who wish to play games like soccer and football are having to make due with foam substitutes, and they don’t like it. Some in this elementary school near Coxwell and Danforth have gone as far as creating signs and petitions to express their frustration.

“I think it’s great. They absolutely see the ridiculousness of this situation – it’s straight from the heart,” said parent Diana Symonds, who has three children in grades 4 and 5.

“It’s like kicking around a sponge,” said Joey McDermott, a Grade 8 student. “They’re expecting all the little kids to get hurt. We got hurt when we were younger and we’re fine now.”

Foam balls are no substitute.  They squash under your feet and cannot be played with if the ground is even slightly wet.  I know we live in a litigious society and schools are afraid of lawsuits.

That’s why I think politicians should step in and legislate to allow schools to look after their students without the fear of having to go to court because of it.

 


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