Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Sports personality of the Year Award

For sport fans across the UK the BBC’s Sport Personality of the Year show is an institution. The show aired live last Sunday from the Birmingham NEC as part of a bumper weekend of UK sport with Ricky Hatton competing in Las Vegas for a world boxing title.

The two hour show which as well as handing out awards recaps the year in sport did give us an overview of a year which has been an almost but not quite year for British sports. We had the England Rugby team losing in the final of the World Cup, England and Scotland’s football teams just missing out on Euro 2008, Lewis Hamilton finishing as runner up in his first season in Formula 1 and finally Ricky Hatton losing to Floyd Mayweather Jnr on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Now the UK may only be a small isle but it is a proud nation who can boast of being the home of many sports and many famous sporting triumphs. The last few years however have been littered with underachievement and near misses. On Saturday thousands of British fans of Ricky Hatton had converged on Las Vegas to support Ricky Hatton making it seem like a home away from home for Ricky with his fans drowning out all those supporting his opponent in all the press conferences and during the actual fight itself. The media and the fans had built up to a point where everyone in the UK was convinced he was going to win and it came as a heart crushing blow when he was knocked out in the 10th round.

The British public and the media may criticise every poor performance given by a British team or sportsman but when the chips are down their support and optimism can’t be questioned. So if the lack of support isn’t the reason for failure what is? Or are we actually already overachieving for the size of the UK?

Personally I think the moment we feel we are overachieving is the moment we start going backwards as you should never limit achievement. The people that succeed in sport are the ones who always have something more then want to achieve after every victory and this is how we need to be as a nation, never content to be second best and because of this I am behind the media’s stance of always expecting and demanding more from our sporting stars.

In a year of near misses it was great to see one of the UK’s greatest sporting stars get recognised as Joe Calzaghe took home the main award. Joe has been a boxing world champion for 10 straight years without defeat which is a feat rarely matched in the boxing world. Ricky may have got all the headlines this weekend but it is Joe that deserves the award.

The main award we were excited about though was the award for Young Sports Personality of the Year which went to the very deserving Tom Daley a 13 year old diver based not to far from Talented Young People HQ in Devon. Tom has already won a Gold Medal in the Junior Elite diving Championship and is considered a medal contender for the 2012 Olympic Games. Well done Tom from everyone here at Talented Young People.

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

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