God I’ve been so busy the last week or so that it’s been physically impossible to write anything purposeful on here, much, I’m sure, to the dismay of my millions of loyal fans who eagerly logon to this blog every chance they get. Fret not though, I’m back on the PC and it’s a Sunday so there’s nothing to do but wait for Sunday dinner and make the most of the British summertime before it disappears for another year. Last weekend was supposed to be a good gamling weekend for me but as usual it turned into a bit of a nightmare, both my horses came last and Del Potro got beat by Federer when he looked like winning (one to look out for that lad). At least Jenson Button won, and I salvaged some pride with 3 winners at Newcastle races on Saturday night.
I spoke at a Playground to Podium event in Teesside on Monday. It takes a lot to get me to Teesside but these type of events are so important in finding the next generation of sports people who will take over from old codgers like me. As we stumble up to London with the success of Beijing lumbered on the back of a potentially aging GB squad, its important that development is set as a bigger priority than it has in the past. Its far too late for any new athletes to impact on London 2012 but there is still a desperate need for new blood, especially in disability athletics, with weaker competitive sports such as cycling and rowing taking many established athletes away, we are pretty thin on the ground. There is an elitist culture in this country and I feel young people tend to have the wrong reasons for getting into sport, the priorities are getting funded and getting to the Paralympics, now these kind of things are good to have as dreams and having dreams is important, but sport should be first and foremost about taking enjoyment from participating in it. You have to grow into your chosen sport and fall in love with it, and this time, if you don’t love your sport you won’t work hard at it, you’ll neglect it. Being talented in a sport is a great starting platform, but that’s all it is. These are some of the messages I tried to get over on Monday, hope I succeeded.
On Wednesday i spoke and gave awards out for OWN IT, who help disadvantaged young people to find employment when they are about to leave school. It was at the Centre for Life and was a very well ran event, very glitzy with a red carpet and live band, I was very well looked after and even had my own dressing room which is a first for me. I enjoyed a day out at the cricket on Friday, supporting Sports Aid Northern who hire a box every year to raise money, it was nice weather for a change at Durham and we got a whole day’s cricket, including Freddy ‘Fatty’ Flintoff, who looked in good nick with ball but not with bat.
Equally busy week coming up, with Sport Northumbria’s annual dinner tomorrow night and my CT scan on Thursday, hoping I can get some pictures on here soon. x