Sir Roger Bannister backs sport competition for pupils

Witney Gazette: Sir Roger Bannister Sir Roger Bannister

FORMER Olympian Sir Roger Bannister has called for more competitive sport in schools.

The 85-year-old, who lives in North Oxford, was speaking to an audience at Chipping Norton Methodist Church Hall on Saturday as part of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival.

He said: “Children like competing. They don’t suffer an emotional crippling for life if they come second or third in the egg and spoon race. In some schools, PE can easily be got out of.”

Sir Roger was promoting his new memoir Twin Tracks, published ahead of the 60th anniversary of him breaking the four-minute mile barrier at Iffley Road running track in Oxford.

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6:59pm Wed 30 Apr 14

Myron Blatz says...

Fine, Sir Roger - but who is going to pay for the 'competitive counselling' of the children and students who don't win, and don't come from a family background of fitness fanatics? Personally, I have known more neurotic thin people with pychological problems than fat, overweight happy slouches - and have rarely been able to equate sporty types with excessive levels of either mental aptitude, or academic excellence in other Pub Quizz Teams which I have known. Rather than Competitive sport, government and our schools should be more concerned about the 'race against time' for drug use among school-age people, reducing violence and intolerance, and speeding-up the end of unhealthy diet regimes at home and school - which now see children suffering not only from obesity, but also diabetes and other illness which will be with them for life.
Fine, Sir Roger - but who is going to pay for the 'competitive counselling' of the children and students who don't win, and don't come from a family background of fitness fanatics? Personally, I have known more neurotic thin people with pychological problems than fat, overweight happy slouches - and have rarely been able to equate sporty types with excessive levels of either mental aptitude, or academic excellence in other Pub Quizz Teams which I have known. Rather than Competitive sport, government and our schools should be more concerned about the 'race against time' for drug use among school-age people, reducing violence and intolerance, and speeding-up the end of unhealthy diet regimes at home and school - which now see children suffering not only from obesity, but also diabetes and other illness which will be with them for life. Myron Blatz
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