Letter: Fun and games?
Friday 14 May 1999
Sir: Sorry, but David Aaronovitch's tirade against the gorilla from 3B (Comment, 13 May) cannot be allowed to escape scot-free.
I am not so naive as to promote sport as a panacea for life and success but it has lessons that transcend mere ability to play. The Corinthian ethic of taking part, of giving of one's best, of facing up to a degree of responsibility, of courage in a common cause, of understanding that if you are not pulling your weight, someone else is having to work twice as hard - all these are metaphors for later life.
Sport's main contributions are working together as a group in a common cause, socialising, learning how to win and lose. If instead children are encouraged to walk away from things they don't like, to pursue their own ends without regard for others, what people are we then creating?
David Aaronovitch is also sexist. Does he not know what the fastest growing participation sports in the country are? Women's sports. Particularly football. I'm sure his wife has told him by now.
Perhaps in his next piece we should expect an attack on beach holidays after some nightmarish Aaronovitch boyhood experience of having sand kicked in his face.
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
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