“Encouraging young people to take up sport, and exploring the lives and experiences of those involved in it, wherever they are”.
SPORTING LIVES introduced by Bruno Lambert
We are witnessing the dilution of our communities in which people are becoming more and more isolated, and losing their sense of belonging. For many, their best friend is a computer, and their community has become a cyber world of social media. Wherever you go people are heads down texting and mailing, oblivious of the real world around them. Because of this, it appears we are having less and less contact and interaction with real people, and are instead, living in a cyber world, lacking any real substance on a human level. People are working more and parenting less. We are seeing what’s called affluence abuse, where money and belongings are replacing parental participation and care.
I grew up to appreciate what you might call the good old days, village green nostalgia and being out and about amongst people I know, and our home has a regular flow of people coming and going.
This has been underpinned by a close relationship with my parents who are always there when I come home, and my grandparents who give me so much support. I also go to a school that I enjoy being part of, which has contributed to my all-round development. Although I am only 17 years old I already have some great memories (which can’t be bought) that give me a great sense of being part of something and belonging. As a family we talk openly. Humour, conversation and discussion are a big part of home life, and in this respect I think I‘m very lucky. However, I am aware that many others of my age and younger don’t have this sense of being part of something, or even belonging to something. I am sure that many young people would welcome the opportunity to make more friends to share their experiences with, and gain that feeling of having mates, and a sense of belonging.
About Bruno: I live on the Isle of Wight in the UK, and I have a love of sport. Although I am an avid rugby follower, gym goer and a now-and-again squash player, my real love is cricket. I go about improving and achieving quietly, but with determination, and I would like to play cricket full-time. To do this I realise that I have to stay focused and not lose sight of what I want to achieve.
I play cricket for my school, and other local cricket clubs. In July 2015 I was awarded the Spirit of Cricket cap by the touring MCC team, a worldwide cricketing organisation, based at Lords Cricket Ground in London UK, following their match against my school in which I participated. In 2014 I was awarded the Fred Creasey Prize for the most improved cricketer at my school, and repeated this again in 2015.
This year’s award (2015) was presented to me by the Rt Hon Greg Hands MP Chief Secretary to the Treasury (UK Government). Of course this doesn’t mean that I’m some sort of super sportsman (far from it, in fact), but it does give me a measure of how I have improved, compared to where I was a couple of years ago (everything is relative), and this improvement makes the effort I’ve put in seem worthwhile. There will be tons of young talent out there that has yet to be realised.
Bruno with Simon Jones MBE (pace bowler) member England Ashes Winning Team 2005. Simon has been an inspiration for Bruno and has helped him improve his bowling action. He also acknowledges Bruno’s potential to become a quality player.
In addition to focusing upon fitness and practical skills, I have also attended a Nutrition and Sports Performance course held at The Royal Society of Medicine London, and I do believe that Nutrition can be linked to performance, or at least it is a vital factor in good health. This aspect is often woefully neglected in sport.
I have met some great people through sport, and many of these have become good friends. I try to avoid those who are boastful, pretentious and negative, whether they are players or coaches. This I feel, can often be little more than a reflection of their immaturity, insecurity and other failings, which, if taken on board, could transfer negatively to me, if I allowed this to happen that is, which of course I don’t. I just quietly say to myself; “nothing happens unless I let it happen” and continue on my merry way.
Although this has never happened to me, I am aware that many parents bring up their children using such language as “look after number one, and stay in front of everyone else”, whilst this might breed selfishness in the child, it could certainly restrict their ability to make a true and trusted friend. In my opinion it should be about we, not me. Another issue can be the conditioning and expectations of both parents and others, that can often translate into negativity if young people fail to meet these often unrealistic demands. In addition, many young people have often been through an education system that tells them what to think, and not how to think. This often interferes with their ability to make independent choices and judgements based upon their own needs, thoughts and desires. It would be better in my opinion, if young people decided for themselves to include sport as part of their personal development (which I hope they do), and not have that choice made for them, or forced upon them.
One of the many bits of good advice given to me by my dad, who was an accomplished international competitor in his day, is this: “Humour is important, never get involved in anything that doesn’t laugh at itself”.
Sport should be fun and more about self-improvement than winning. It is a great way to meet and make more friends.
I feel that sport has helped me immensely, in many areas of my life. Sport should have no barriers, only those that we create for ourselves. Young people just like myself and younger should explore their potential, and meet new friends . Taking up sport can give you an insight into who you really are.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
What’s SPORTING LIVES all about?
SPORTING LIVES is about encouraging young people to take up a sport, and get involved. There is a need to get young people active, and to help them in some way to realise their potential, to encourage them to build social skills, gain confidence and feel part of something worthwhile. We need to keep them safe (physically and mentally), create opportunities for them, encourage and support them in fulfilling their dreams, at whatever level that may be, including the possibilities of becoming professional competitors themselves.
Communication from Junior Soccer Coach to players (9-10 year olds) and parents?
“ OK BIG CHANGE…. Training Saturday is xxxxx under nines in white xxxx Kit put on an under layer V Under 10’s in normal xxxx Kit. This is a real game 9 v 10’s on Saturday be there 10.30 normal time. We need everyone there in these age groups unless you have a very good letter from your Mum. This Game is being played under FA rules with goals and REF however it will be used as a training exercise for both groups . If you feel it’s an issue cleaning your KIT within 24 hours for your child to be clean on Sunday, I would ask they don’t bother turning up on Saturday. Any child who fails to make the Saturday training will automatically volunteer themselves for sub over the coming weeks. Yes it’s children’s Footy but you don’t progress through undermined effort or commitment. Any questions Direct to me please xxxxx.mail.com or through here ………………………………
***Do children progress through this attitude and approach?
SPORTING LIVES is also about giving clubs, sportsmen and sportswomen an opportunity to share their experiences with others, wherever they are in the world. SPORTING LIVES will be bringing, in addition to your contributions, additional articles and interviews of interest, as and when these opportunities arise. SL is about exploring many aspects of what it’s like to be a young person entering sport, as well as being an established sportsman/woman at a local, maybe national and possibly international level. We will explore what it’s like to coach, and what it’s like to be coached. Feel free to send in any contributions regarding sport that you feel would be both interesting (particularly to young people) and of benefit, either to your club or sport in promoting the game. Please be respectful towards others at all times.
Life is an endless list of experiences, and memories. The size of our world often depends upon our confidence and courage. Sport can help here as we face new challenges, and overcome them. This overspills into everyday life and can create further opportunities, even in the world of work, as well as the world of play and pleasure. It teaches you self -discipline, and goes some way to preparing you for what’s coming next, including the unexpected, and to make the most of what you have in dealing with it. Camaraderie amongst team-mates is possibly one of the greatest forms of friendship going (albeit at times competitive), as you collectively share the ups and downs of the competitive world of sport, whether it is preparing for the next game, or wishing ourselves better luck next season. After all, it is only a game!!!
Remember, there are plenty of people out there far worse off than most. It is disgusting, a disgrace and a very poor reflection upon mankind, that in 2015 we witness so much poverty. Poverty brings far more problems than just a lack of money for the young. It means poor housing, poor diet, lack of educational, lack of opportunities, a lack of facilities and often a lack of love affection and support as their lives are often torn apart and ravaged by feelings of low self esteem, lack of confidence, despair and helplessness, and of course there are children not on the poverty line who also suffer low self-esteem, lack of confidence and need understanding and emotional support too (coaches take heed here, no negative or abusive coaching please).
There are others who have disabilities who are every bit a part of sport as the rest of us. We witness outstanding performances from disabled competitors that conjure up nothing short of admiration and deep seated respect. The Para-Olympics are exciting, and reflect real determination. Sport for all.
If you can offer help, support and understanding through sport to anyone, particularly those less fortunate and less confident than yourself, please do so. You will feel better for it, and be respected for it. But more than this, you will make a difference, because sport should have no barriers, no prejudises, no right for one man or woman to be treated differently from another based upon their social, or financial standing. In sport we are all equal, we stand and fall together depending upon the outcome of the game. Because it is, after all, only a game.
Very often local teams can have an element of self -interest, in as far as younger players are often used to make-up numbers whilst the mature members enjoy their game (the club is often all about them). Winning is often at the top of the list, and somehow this competitive edge can deny young players the opportunity, and therefore their interest diminishes quickly. It’s not all about winning or certain individuals !!!! It’s about getting young people involved, because this is the only way you’ll keep them playing. If a player leaves the team or club it seems only decent and respectful to enquire why this happened. Of course it could simply be a change in circumstances, or desires. However, it could be something more. It could be dissatisfaction with the club, the coach, or another issue that needs to be remedied before more members leave. Leaving young players out of teams as a means of some sort of discipline, can be very destructive if the reasons are not fully understood or explained, and accepted as being fair. More importantly, that this is not an action being taken by a negative or abusive selector. It should always be kept in mind that rejection often damages self-esteem, particularly in the young. Anyway more to the point, who says we have to be punished to be good, and where does this sort of mentality come from? What about not taking things personally, and using intelligence and reason instead? In most cases this is far more effective and everyone’s ego and feelings are usually left undamaged and intact.
Sport should be about expanding the characters of young people, not crushing them. It is no good declaring yourself a coach based upon technical skills and achievements alone. This is not enough. You have to have people and social skills, and sadly not all coaches have these.
Lead by example and involve young people in whatever’s going on. It’s their sport too you know.
“Involve me and I’ll understand”
As Bruno says; it’s about improvement, and not necessarily about winning. It’s about becoming better this year than you were last year, not only in sport, but in every aspect of your life.
There are numerous sports activities to suit all personality types requiring varying degrees of effort. Not all of them involve contact or the need to achieve extreme levels of fitness. Many are gentle, and less demanding, but every bit as valid, and just as enjoyable to participate in.
Let’s pull together here. If the numbers of young people taking up sport (all sport), continues to diminish, there will no future for one of the greatest characters builders on the planet – All Sport.
If you need rank, title and trophies to get respect, then you never had any in the first place. Character is everything. Mohammed Ali spent his early life inspiring people young and old alike, everywhere, through his incredible attitude and sporting prowess. Later (albeit he has Parkinsons Disease) he devotes, with the help of his daughters, all of his time and money to helping others. In this respect Mohammed Ali was, and still is, a true champion in every sense of the word. We can all learn so much from this incredible sportsman/ competitor/philosopher, and the magnificent example he has set for each and every one of us. Only truly great people can do this sort of thing, and only people who do this sort of thing can be truly great.
And yet the insane people who run this mad world adorn themselves with honours they certainly don’t deserve, whilst creating misery and carnage that ravage the lives of so many young people, everywhere. We can do better than this, can’t we? Then there’s no better time than NOW to set an example.
SPORTING LIVES is a bid to bring sports-people together with the intention of helping young people to get involved in sport. It is equally about sharing experiences and wisdom. It is early days yet and SPORTING LIVES will need to find its own level. There will be teething problems, and this home page will hopefully change, expand and evolve, but everything has to start somewhere. So here it is.
We’d like to thank Bruno for coming up with the idea of SPORTING LIVES, and we would like to thank you for taking the time to read this, and we hope that SPORTING LIVES benefits all concerned.
We decided to launch SPORTING LIVES initially through The Shen Clinic site which receives around 500,000 hits per year, and growing until its own site www.sporting-lives.com is up and running. So, wherever you live, and as long as you are a responsible adult over 21 years of age, let us know what’s happening in the sporting lives of those around you, humour included. Be responsible regarding the content of your submissions. Those considered offensive or inappropriate will not be included.
Please send your articles and video/photo links to: firstname.lastname@example.org
DO NOT give out personal details to strangers, Young people should NEVER give out any personal information whatsoever, and should be under parental supervision at all times.