Winning is not important. Or is it?

  oresome 19:36 PM 02 Aug 12
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An analysis of UK medals won in the Bejing Olympics shows a disproportionate number won by those who benefited from a private education.

Rupert Murdoch has entered the debate tweeting that the US and the UK teach that competitive sport is a bad thing, so it's no wonder they don't match China in the medal count. (I believe he's only talking about state schools teaching methods)

So, does money bring advantage or is the state sector taught mediocrity?

Discuss

  Woolwell 19:49 PM 02 Aug 12

Without knowing if a bursary is given then you cannot know if money is an advantage. What may be an advantage is the facilities/time at a private school/college. For example Ruta Meilutye comes from Lithuania but has a scholarship at a private school with its own pool (same school as Tom Daley who I also think has a scholarship) Guardian article

  interzone55 20:01 PM 02 Aug 12

From an analysis of my school, and the nearby grammar school I'd say the sport facilities in the grammar school were far superior to my school.

Having said that, they only ever beat us at cricket, any sport that involved aggression easily favoured the comprehensive kids...

  Bing.alau 20:41 PM 02 Aug 12

I've got an idea that Tom Daly attends Kelly College near Plymouth. The same college that Sharron Davies attended. They have first class coaching facilities and coaches. They also used to take other swimming clubs in for a while during school holiday periods. My lad attended there for a week and was coached by Sharron Davies's father. A damn good place and it also teaches the normal subjects to a very high standard of course.

  carver 20:47 PM 02 Aug 12

The thinking in some state schools is that it's the taking part that matters not the winning, load of horse manure.

We had a head teacher at our infant school and she even stopped the school sports day one year because she didn't want to upset the less athletic children.

Some schools don't even have the room to do sports since they were allowed to sell the sport fields under Labour.

  daz60 21:36 PM 02 Aug 12

When china becomes "democratic" and "transparent" maybe we can assess their sporting prowess.I dare say that some of these athletes have been to specific institutions catered for a specific sporting achievement and that any other schooling is circumstantial to that endeavour.If i am wrong on that point then i apologise.

Never the less the "sour" grapes,so far with no absolute definitive statement on wrongdoing,maybe a reflection on other major shifts in orientation.

Murdoch has 'cottoned' on to a debate that has been going on for years ,one which i agree with,that taking part is more important than winning,as if this imparts an elitist view which is wrong in certain liberal eyes because it implies superiority.

  Woolwell 21:46 PM 02 Aug 12

Bing.alau - Tom Daley attends Plymouth College. He used to attend a local comprehensive.

  rickf 22:17 PM 02 Aug 12

."I dare say that some of these athletes have been to specific institutions catered for a specific sporting achievement and that any other schooling is circumstantial to that endeavour.If i am wrong on that point then i apologise."

I would say that American Unis offering scholarships based of sporting prowess is exactly that and has been their practice for a long long time.

Read more: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/forums/16/speakers-corner/4161524/winning-is-not-important--or-is-it/#ixzz22QRvF7EO

  Forum Editor 22:38 PM 02 Aug 12

"it's no wonder they don't match China in the medal count."

One of the reasons for China's success in the medal tables is that they have so many people to choose from. For every person competing for a place in the British national team the Chinese will have 1000 hopefuls. They can afford to be very selective, and the communist state spends huge amounts of money on training top athletes. It doesn't have anything to do with us not being interested in winning.

Inevitably, Western athletes depend on funding in order to concentrate on training, and inevitably the children of wealthy parents are going to have an advantage if they decide to take up sport. Until and unless we decide that we want larger amounts of taxpayers' money to go into sport we'll have a rather unbalanced situation - wealthier people will have an advantage.

That's the way it is, and not just in this country.

  Forum Editor 22:38 PM 02 Aug 12

"it's no wonder they don't match China in the medal count."

One of the reasons for China's success in the medal tables is that they have so many people to choose from. For every person competing for a place in the British national team the Chinese will have 1000 hopefuls. They can afford to be very selective, and the communist state spends huge amounts of money on training top athletes. It doesn't have anything to do with us not being interested in winning.

Inevitably, Western athletes depend on funding in order to concentrate on training, and inevitably the children of wealthy parents are going to have an advantage if they decide to take up sport. Until and unless we decide that we want larger amounts of taxpayers' money to go into sport we'll have a rather unbalanced situation - wealthier people will have an advantage.

That's the way it is, and not just in this country.

  Woolwell 23:01 PM 02 Aug 12

FE - Children of wealthy parents may have an advantage but you do not have to be wealthy to get a scholarship. However those less wealthy have to have their talent recognised at an early stage/age so that they can win a scholarship.

One of the major influences comes from the parents. How many sacrifices they are prepared to make (taxi service, training costs, time, etc) and how interested the parents themselves are in sport. A number of successful competitors have parents who have competed at a good or reasonable level themselves eg Helen Glover.

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