Tuesday 16 January 2018

Sport is a metaphor for life: you win or lose, then you move on

A crying shame: Contestant Rylan Clarke lets his emotions get the better of him on 'The X Factor'
A crying shame: Contestant Rylan Clarke lets his emotions get the better of him on 'The X Factor'
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

Ellis Cashmore, professor of sport, culture and media at Staffordshire University injected a welcome dose of reality into the aspirations of young people, and their parents, when he pointed out this week that your child probably has more chance of winning The X Factor or Britain's Got Talent than they do of making it as a professional footballer.

And when someone like Cashmore, a highly respected commentator on the links between sport and wider society speaks, people would do well to listen.

Instead, people have heard what he said, but they don't seem to have actually listened. Because, for some, his comments seem to tally with the worrying and dangerous belief that sport is just too competitive and places too much pressure on fragile adolescent minds.

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