No need to go for gold, just a desire to get out and play

I need to be the person who gives something a try, safe in the knowledge that I'll not be a winner

Wednesday, 17th August 2016, 5:59 am
You don't have to be Usain Bolt to enjoy sport

Of course before I get to that point I need to embrace an Olympic sport and become really rather very good at it, never mind changing the nature of the ceremony itself. I can’t see that happening right now – and to be honest, when my body was young, fresh and athletic, I didn’t see many options, either. It’s shocking how PE can put you off sport for life isn’t it?

Being forced to jog around in the drizzle on Southsea Common is about as grim as you can get when you’re a teenager.

It seems to me that every teen needs someone in their non-school life who can help them to become fit, inspire them to fun action, which then means that they can start to play a sport. After all, what’s the point of being handed a tennis racket, when you don’t have the stamina to zip around the court as you’re being thrashed? Teach people to run before they need to combine energy expenditure with skill. And I do mean teach, rather than tell people to run. That’s not teaching.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

I don’t remember the vast array of sports on offer now being available when I was younger. It’s possible to watch something on the box and then find a club similar nearby to learn the basics, and enjoy the sport. And that’s what we need to remember in the whole inspiration factor, we don’t need to be inspired to win a gold, we need to find enough inspiration to get out of the front door and do something.

Of course it’s very easy for me to offer specific sporting recommendations to teens from the couch, packet of crisps in one hand, beer in another. I am the queen of advice and critique (especially when it comes to the gymnastics. Who wouldn’t appreciate my commentary on their pommel horse challenges?) But I need to become the person who gives something, – anything – a try, safe in the knowledge that I’ll not make it to the top of a game, or be a winner, but I’ll have a great time getting involved. Thus, my song which I’ll play on the way to my sport rather than when receiving my medal, will have to be I Will Survive. After all, that’s what I worry about most, whether I can get through an activity without dissolving into a puddle of breathless despair.