Wednesday, 4 July 2007


In the UK we are currently in the middle of Wimbledon fortnight. This is normally a time for us Brits to get our strawberries and cream, cheer on another British tennis player in their attempt to win the big one and going out and playing tennis ourselves at local courts. Well this year all we have left is strawberries and cream as yet again we are left with no British stars left to cheer on and this year we are living through some very unusual weather for this period even by the UK's standard with floods breaking out all over the country so no ones playing on the courts.

The UK have over the years lost their power and dominance in many sports that it once had, many of which originated from the UK. The problem with our national sporting success has been discussed and debated at many levels with many people blaming the lack of sports and PE at school, the amount of green land which is being built on and the national media coverage of the dangers facing young people in this country when going out in public.

Some people say it is the lack of funding that is the reason we are not creating the line of stars we once were but to me it doesn't matter how much money you put in to a sport unless you have young people that want to do it and our skilled at it. In my opinion the problem comes from the British attitude of negativity and pessimism and the attitude of resenting people because they are better than you or at least trying to do their best. If we are going to create new sporting stars we have to encourage them all the way from when they start a sport to the moment they finish playing the sport.

When it comes to tennis specifically we have a big shortage of achieving players. Every year when Wimbledon comes around it encourages many young people around the UK to go and play or learn tennis and during Wimbledon fortnight tennis courts around the country are normally full of people young and old emulating what they have seen on TV. Just this year because of the weather this hasn't been true. The LTA and the tennis organisations are going to have to work harder this year to promote the game.

The other problem this country has is that football is way and above any other sport in the popularity stakes so it is very hard to get young people interested in other sports, in to schools and facilities to play the sport in parks etc. So my answer to this problem is to match funding with encouragement and to actually work with young people and find out ways from them on how to best coach them and nurture them. As with personal investment anything is possible.

If you would like to have your say and voice your opinions on why the UK aren't creating enough top sporting stars. Then you need to go to our forum and view our topic of the week:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

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