Emphasis on amateur sports (for the sake of exercise and enjoyment rather than competition) will be greatly increased and significantly more funding made available for athletes who are prospective participants in Olympic and other international events, as well as for school and university sports facilities. This should entice more retiring champions to turn to coaching upcoming champions and to improve the standard of play at community levels. The funding will include comprehensive travel costs to international events. The astronomical payments made today to players in competitive sports will be history. Will we go back to the $1 entrance fee to the ball-game? - or might it even be free?? And in other countries the admission fee to popular sports would be reduced in similar fashion: investment (and gambling, which is rife today in almost all sports) will disappear from the sports field and professional players will be paid at a level more appropriate to the benefit they bring to the public. After the initial shock, the games will become more enjoyable to all - even the players. Back to Reality in Sports ..... companies spend advertising money on sports and sports goods because they can offset that much of their profit against income tax. But, what if there is NO INCOME TAX! That changes the picture completely. It would be seen as profits thrown away for no good reason. Have you ever experienced the frenetic environment of a stock exchange? - can you imagine these hallowed halls empty and silent? There will be no more stocks and shares, and the insatiable greed that it engenders will have been cut off at the knees ..... The Golden Age will bring one significant change: the emphasis will be on cooperation rather than competition. So how will that affect "sports" in the long run? With the restructuring of business there will be less of an incentive for corporations to invest money into advertising in sports and in purchasing teams in different activities (this borders on the buying of slaves in earlier times). One should see players wearing personal or team identification rather than the company who paid for their outfits; the names of sports arenas and parks will revert to what they had been before the infusion of money from a multi-national concern, which entitled sponsors to rename the arena in their favour. This has extended to even league names, such as Barclays Premier League rather than the FA Premier League in British soccer. A further major change may be expected where royalty has been linked to sports - especially horse-racing and show jumping. With the demise of royalty worldwide, one might well expect changes to "The Queen's Plate" and other similar trophies. In some sports (particularly ice-hockey) the audience has been attracted more by the on-field violence than the excellence of play itself, and the games have been orchestrated that way to increase attendance or viewing audience (which increases the charges that can be made to advertisers). One of the most immediate effects on sporting events will be in those which use fossil-fueled engines, particularly in racing - Formula 1, NASCAR, NHRA, stock-cars, drag racing, 'funny cars', 'monster trucks' and of course motor-cycles. On water too the shockwaves will beach many events - offshore powerboats, ocean and hydroplane racing, to mention but a few. The most popular sport in the world is 'soccer' (initially known just as 'football' until variations were introduced, starting with 'rugby'). It is the most played sport worldwide and helps to build bridges between one nation or culture and another, especially amongst the youth. Participation is also particularly cheap so that makes it even more attractive. "Soccer hooligans" is a popular term in Europe especially as violence - not on the field, but amongst the spectators - has been a well-known aspect of the game for many years. It was noticeable however that the violence took place in games held fairly close to the sea. In Britain of course this meant all games as one is never far from the sea and it soon became widely known as "The English Disease." Nobody thought however of 'mind-control'. Russian submarines patrolled The North Sea, the English Channel and the Eastern Atlantic, and beamed mind-controlling frequencies to areas where these games were held. I noticed this first when violence occurred in games held in Germany close to the coast - but not in Southern Germany, which was far from any open sea! It soon became obvious what was going on. Even more disturbing was the development of gangs - under the name of clubs - which openly organized violence at soccer games. They even advertised their offices in cities but the police took no action. Pretending to support their local side, it made no difference to them who was hurt by their activities - violence was the name of the game. A TV series entitled "Football Factories" documented this development. Who financed such activities? A reminder that the CIA used to approach filmmakers to increase the violence in their films - and they would add a few million dollars to their budget if they did so! This probably still applies, and most likely also to TV productions. All this will go soon after the announcement - as well as the CIA and the FBI themselves. Television is a major influence in public education and the attitude of society as a whole. Violence and cruelty has become more obvious over the last year or so. Cock-fighting, bear-baiting and the like have long been banned from civilized societies, but what if the fighting was between human beings? "Cage-fighting" has been popular for some time on TV: anything goes, so we have banned animals fighting among themselves but it is alright for humans to do so! In the Spring of 2009 the City of Vancouver Council met to consider whether 'cage-fighting' should be allowed within the boundaries of the city. They 'chickened out' and postponed making a decision. Obviously big business was forcing their hand. See what television regards as 'sports' today. Gambling was recently introduced as a TV 'sport' - poker can now by seen almost daily on a sports channel. In some countries, such as Britain, horse-racing has long been a staple sports program. The Olympics: few people know of the tremendous cost involved in keeping an Olympic Committee "in the manner to which they have been accustomed". The Olympics may be held only for 10 days every four years, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) receive their pay and perks for the full four years! in fact, normally for their lifetime - the most opulent sports organization in the world, it has been rightly called. Bribes extend to scholarships for their children, lavish gifts provided by cities seeking to host winter or summer games, not to mention unmentionable services ..... They are appointed by their peers, not by sporting organisations, so they are truly a 'family business.' An attempt is being made to eliminate or reduce these scandals, but only because they became public knowledge. "At their best, the Olympics demonstrate the limits of human performance and hold up the ideal of fair play. They help to unify a world too often divided by religious and ethnic conflict. But athletes - and the public - deserve a level playing field and confidence in the integrity of the games." It will be interesting to follow the future of 'the Games.' One aspect may be overlooked. If use of the metric system is discontinued (it was meant to discomfit scientists by making it impossible to make correct calculations, but was then introduced into the general marketplace), athletics will be back to "the mile" and other original distance measurements. Signs of the times? The European International Soccer Championship (Euro 2008) held in June of 2008 in Austria and Switzerland was not only far from the sea, but there was a distinct change in attitude amongst fans. There was not a single act of violence - quite extraordinary - and there were even incidents of quite opposite emotions. The Dutch team took out a full-page ad in the local Berne newspaper thanking the people of Berne and Switzerland for their hospitality. The Mayor of Berne responded by writing a letter of thanks to the Dutch soccer fans and a website was created to honour them ( http://www.oranjebern.ch/OR_SPLASH_NED.html). Was this really soccer? Hopefully an indication of the many positive changes that are taking place worldwide as we start to welcome in this Golden Age. 'Playing the game' will take over from the need to win at all costs. "It's not cricket" .... may again become a byword in sports.
A TIMELY POSTSCRIPT These October 2008 articles seem to fit in well here .....
Cricket brings calm to state classrooms Richard Garner, Education Editor, The IndependentThe Phrase "it's not cricket" is reverberating again around state school classrooms. Good old-fashioned cricketing values have prompted an improvement in behaviour in schools, according to the evaluation of a project to promote the sport in schools to be published later this week.
Monday, 13 October 2008
The "Chance to Shine" scheme, designed to promote cricket in state schools by sending in club coaches to teach the game, has had a spin off beyond PE lessons. According to researchers at Loughborough University, schools which have taken part in the scheme report improved behaviour in school generally as a result of participating in it. The organisers of "Chance to Shine" are in no doubt that the club coaches who supervise cricket sessions in state schools have instilled the traditional values of the game in the pupils. "With cricket there is very much a code of conduct and code of behaviour such as clapping if somebody gets a six even with the other side," said one teacher involved in the scheme. "It brings in very positive conduct and way of behaving compared to other sports that are usually quite negative - such as football where they [the pupils] get easily upset or argue over decisions. With cricket, it is very much gentlemanly conduct." The evaluation also says it has helped with the integration of different ethnic groups whose first language is not English. "A lot of our children have academic difficulties and we do find in sporting activities they may have a hidden talent," one school told researchers. "A lot of our Bengali children may have English as an additional language but if you get them on a cricket pitch they are up there with their peers or even ahead ... It gives them a sense of self worth that they are good at something which raises their self-esteem." The report says it has also helped cut truancy amongst disaffected pupils - with one school organising after-school cricket sessions for boys who had played truant in the past. "The teacher provided these sessions as a reward for good behaviour and attendance in school," it says. At present the scheme is operating in 1,200 state schools. The Cricket Foundation, which runs the scheme, aims to extend it to 5,200 primary and 1,500 secondary schools by 2015.
Charlotte Edwards, the England women's captain, plays cricket with children at Lords.
Photo: Tom Shaw/Getty Images
Leading article: The spirit of cricketA report by Loughborough University researchers that teaching cricket in state schools improves children's behaviour, spreading chivalrous and "gentlemanly" behaviour over one and all, raises possibilities. Deprived state schools, after all, are not the only arenas in which problematic behaviour - the type the researchers link to football - rears its ugly head. Many of us encounter barging, loud, testosterone-loaded, winner-takes-all behaviour - what we will refer to as "football" values - on buses, at Tube [underground transit] and railway stations and checkouts. Can we realistically import some cricketing spirit into these virtual war zones? Then, there are our bank bosses. Their aggressive culture hasn't got them far, so clearly they could do with learning the patient virtues of fielding. The researchers say cricket gives people "a sense of worth that they are good at something, which raises their self-esteem". Yes, forget cricket in state schools; start with banks.
Monday, 13 October 2008
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