Are we seeing the death of Amateur Sport?
This may seem strange questions after one of our most successful Olympics ever and with the UK hosting the 2012 Olympics. Yet the British Olympic committee have said there has been a drop of 20% participating in Sport and remember the Olympics is now open to Professionals. So the word amateur sportsman is now a defunct name for Sports people? Yes in top sporting events to reach the top of the main sports you have to be professional but there are still people who are participating in Sport whether as a coach, competitor, participants who are at a level where they receive no financial gain in fact doing there sport costs money.
My feeling are that unless things change rapidly Sport participation is to sink to even lower levels especially with the under 16 years. Let give an example:
Ask yourself the question how many local Football teams started with a couple Dads kicking the Ball around a park other lads join in, some weeks down the line some one comes up with the idea let’s form a Team and join a league. A new team is formed which give the youngster discipline, sense of belonging, pride and all the other things sport can give.
Could that happened today? If it can what would they needed
2) Professional Indemnity Insurance to protect the coach
3) Accident Insurance for all the players
4) Public Liability Insurance
5) Coach Qualification
6) Club Mark
7) Join a league
Club Mark what is that I hear you say? Surely that is not a legal requirement No not yet but without a Club Mark you will most probably get no grant aid, it will be difficult to get insurance cover and the local schools will not recommend your club. Recently a member of my Judo Club the Young Judo Club asked the Person in charge of all the local SSCo (School Sports coordinator) why we were not on the recommended list she informed him that the Government has told them not to recommend any Club without a Club Mark! Yet our Club is over 50 years Old and is World Famous and never had a visit from this person, someone I might add who is paid by the local Tax Payer so much for Democracy in the UK. Our Club is lucky it has sufficient funds and expertise to get a Club Mark from both the British Judo Association and Kent County Council.
What is a Club Mark this basically a Kite Mark so people can recognise a Club has some basic standards, this in itself is not a bad idea but why do we need the HEAVY HAND of a dictatorial state
Here are some of the things require for a Club Mark Must have two qualified coaches , Two Volunteers must attend a course on running a club and how to be a volunteer, CRB Check, attend Child protection Course, has an open/non-discriminatory constitution and equity policy , The coaches and volunteers responsible for the programme have job descriptions with
Clear roles and responsibilities assigned. I could go on and this all for a group of people who want to help kids get involved in Sport and doesn’t finish there by 2012 all Coaches will be expected to have United Kingdom Coaching Certificate with prices up to a £1000 I wonder how many people will take up the offer.
All my facts can be checked by going to on the internet, after readings this am I right in saying amateur Sport will soon be dead? Or am I just a cynic but don’t say you have not been warned
Well Dads do you still want start that Football Team?
Martin Clarke Sittingbourne