ESW News 25 June 2021
I am sorry but I have to talk about sport this week. The latest round of fixtures brought the very best and worst out of football – the sour cheering of the England fans at Scotland’s demise; the far from sour comradery evident between Ronaldo and Benzema as they left the pitch at half-time, both goal scorers for Portugal and France respectively. Scotland’s valiant attempt to progress for the first time to a knock-out stage failed at the hands of Croatia, whilst Wales progressed once again to the next round and England made it through thanks to the goals of a player whom the popular press have castigated for his performances (and is rumoured to be moving clubs as part of a deal to bring the England captain in the other direction). The sense of determination and single-mindedness shown by Raheem Sterling is something to behold, I think, and an example with which children can associate.
There are examples of this drive across all sport. In the book I am reading at the moment the author describes the way in which GB went about ensuring success at the 2016 Olympics after London. Theirs was a single minded determination to support the very best athletes and to reject those who weren’t in with a chance of a medal; to be told that you might have trained all your life to compete at the next Olympics but your funding and therefore opportunity, was being cut because you wouldn’t medal gave rise to a ruthlessness in some sports the repercussions of which are still being felt today. This methodology was lauded as the reason for GB winning even more medals at the Rio Olympics.
It is fortunate that in Education South West we don’t employ the same methods of selection and rejection employed by the popular press and by those running elite sport. Each member of staff, whether inside or outside the classroom, focuses on excellence in all they do and in being driven to be the best, but we also concentrate in ensuing every child in our schools has the best chance of progression and success and achievement in all its forms. This is something of which I am very proud and something which is not the case in all schools. It requires a high degree of principles and a firm moral purpose. I see it evidenced every week by staff across ESW.
One sport which benefitted from the ruthlessness of funding decisions was cycling and the fall-out from that has been well-documented. If, however, you are currently not a cycling fan and have not before followed the Tour de France I recommend it to you (begins Sunday). Oh, and of course, don’t forget the rugby on Saturday where the Exeter Chiefs will attempt to retain their crown as champions of England.
Thank you for all you continue to do.
Have a great weekend, when it comes.