SPORTS LETTERS

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The Independent Online
From Mr F Pearson

Sir: I must admit that I am not a keen sports fan at the best of times, but the Olympics has stirred sensations of great boredom in me. Hundreds of finely tuned, occasionally drug-enhanced competitors participating in events that are decided in fractions of a second have taken away any possible thrill.

As a remedy, I suggest that in future Olympic Games the competitors be selected by a random process from the general public, eight weeks before the Games commence (to give them a chance to train). I believe even mundane events - such as the pole vault, gymnastics and synchronised swimming - would be given a new lease of life.

FENNER PEARSON

Cumbria

From Mr P Phillips

Sir: I read with interest the article written by David Llewellyn, "Clubs plans legal action over ban". The arrogant attitude of the RFU over the last few months, and indeed the senior clubs, is breath-taking. They have agreed with a broadcaster with only one aim in mind - to secure the largest pot for the very few.

It was the choice of the senior clubs to go professional. It was the choice of the RFU to accept the BSkyB deal without taking into account the rich heritage that rugby has developed. I have taught and been involved in rugby in schools and clubs for many years and cannot reconcile myself to having to pay to see the Five Nations, particularly when I have sacrificed many weekends and evenings over many years developing the game locally for the greater good. Excellence in sport is not produced by wealth. Excellence in any sport is a blend of talent, expertise and the will to achieve greatness.

I believe the senior clubs have panicked after a poor performance in the World Cup and decided money is the solution. This is nonsense. We possess great talent in this country and could be the best. We have to consider our strengths and play to them rather than emulating the southern hemisphere as we are so often told to do by the RFU through various training courses. It is about time we had inspired coaches coming to the fore rather than retired internationals swanning round the country studying videos of how marvellous the New Zealanders play.

PETER PHILLIPS

Tunbridge Wells

Letters should be marked "For publication" and contain daytime and evening telephone numbers. They should be sent to Sports Editor, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. They may be shortened for reasons of space.

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