River Wissey Lovell Fuller


August 2005

Les sounds of about the so-called elite-ness in sport; he doesn't think the average farm worker will ever have a chance to play at Wimbledon!

Well that's Wimbledon over and done with for another year. And I for one can only say thank goodness for that. Tennis has never been one of my favourite sports. To me it epitomises the "them and us" syndrome.

I look forward to the day when some farm worker or a deep sea fisherman plays at Wimbledon, let alone win it. Of course I could be just a little harsh on tennis! What about cricket? The other day I was reading a report of a match between two of our local village teams; it appears that the team that batted first scored so many runs then the opposition in reply "posted" 185 runs for the loss of six wickets. What the heck does "posted" means? Well I'll tell you what it means; toffee nosed nonsense!

If David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, to say nothing of Georgie Best, had tried to make a name for themselves at tennis or cricket, certainly tennis, whatever their ability, you would never have heard of them. They came from the wrong background; sad but true,

I wonder if other people share my view that sport in many of our villages hasn't "moved forward" as indeed I think it should? And here I believe we have let our young people down. I remember years ago when I was a lad (sorry about the violins) we use to play football and cricket on a farmers meadow. But as time went on we eventually had our own village playing field which, in comparison with the farmers meadow, seemed as if we were playing football at Wembley.

So in winter it was football on the playing field and snooker, billiards, table tennis at the Social Club. Then, come summer, back to the playing field for cricket and tennis. Yes I used to play tennis but how I managed that being at that time a farm worker was a mystery, but that's life.

Walk by our playing field now on a lovely summers day, do you hear ball on to bat? Or a fore arm smash? I'm talking cricket and tennis here to the uninitiated. No way! All you see is a small group of young people hanging around, no doubt bored out of their minds, and then us oldies start complaining when a few of them start smashing the joint up.

What people like me, too old to participate in a lot of sports, should be doing is playing our part in helping to run our village sports clubs. But we should do more than that. We should also see that our young get what wasn't available when I was a lad, (cut to more violin playing) and that is professional tuition so that one day we might switch on our TV and see a local lad or lassie excelling at whatever sport you care to mention.

I recently saw, in one of our local papers, a photo of a group of students from Methwold High School receiving tuition in golf at Feltwell Golf Club. That's the road that we should be encouraging our young to travel down.

Once bitten by the sports bug it is something that stays with you for the rest of your life and, while sport isn't everything, the likes of David Beckham seem to be doing rather well!

Les Lawrence

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