By Brian Hall
Monday 10 Sep 2012 21:46:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles



I am writing this blog straight from the holster. I think most of us have been inspired by all the dedicated athletes both in the Olympics and the Paralympics. But let's get straight to the point, eh. And put forwards a couple of facts.


One. We have a Government that is not investing in sport for kids, and is cutting back on facilities. Playing fields, school opportunities, and a whole range of things. Yet they bask in the glory of the UK's remarkable successes in the global event. Me thinks they may have opened up a nasty can of worms for themselves. I hope so.


Two. A change in attitude to disability? Well, this lot in power, and others before them, have been getting stuck into the disabled, suffering from physical or mental illness. That is why the government hangers-on got booed at the stadium itself. Another nasty can of worms opened? How can you attack those who face astonishing difficulties, slash their benefits, yet at the same time, attempt to bask in the sunshine?


Hypocrosy springs to mind. I prefer to admire the real people who put in so much effort and time, in sport, disability, and the combination of both. Take boxing. One example. I know nowt about boxing, and there is no way you would find me in a ring. But I do know of places like the Birtley club, where people give up a lot of their hours, to encourage young lads off the streets, and to take up that sport. I am also aware of the work of Stevie Wraith, in his bid to ensure that activity begins to thrive again in our region. Put it this way. That is real stuff. Not the empty words of politicians praising sport, or pretending to be proud of disabled lads and lasses achieving all kinds of sporting feats. Whilst those very same politicians cut sports investment across the board at grassroots, and hammer so many people on disability benefit.


Quite frankly, it stinks. But the positive side remains. All the way back, well away from the hypocrosy, to the thousands of so-called ordinary characters, who help run a local footy team, a karate class, or a cricket club in the West End of Newcastle. For very little payment, if any.


We are not daft. We know that politicians may find themselves in a bit of a pickle regarding lack of investment in sport or trying not to be seen attacking the disabled. We know that they will use their phrases to attempt to get out of those nasty cans of worms facing them. But what we really know is that grassroots people, in all their shapes and forms, will continue to get stuck in, regardless. That is the good news.






straight from the holster

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