The Olympic Games
How long did it take for the ballyhoo of the Summer 2012 Olympic Games to die down? Days, weeks, months? It seems us Brits were all still talking and reminiscing about it well into 2013, whether we actually went to one of the events or not. The atmosphere was electric enough for the whole country to feel its force.
In a subsequent public government report of the big event, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, called it a “sporting legacy, with 150,000 more Londoners trying some kind of sporting activity since the Games”.
The surprising success, perhaps more so thanks to some excellent Channel 4 TV coverage, was the two weeks towards the end of summer where we witnessed the amazing athletes strut their stuff in the relatively unknown Paralympic Games.
The stories behind each of their personal battles to greatness, overcoming debilitating physical and sometimes mental conditions, was truly inspiring. This had an unbelievable domino-style effect on adults and children from all walks of life who took it upon themselves to realise their potential, without fear of failure or embarrassment. The shift from regular household sporting names such as David Beckham or Usain Bolt suddenly changed to the young British swimmer Ellie Simmonds, and South African double-amputee Oscar Pistorius, for their undeniable struggle for ultimate success.
The FIFA World Cup™
Britons like to think that the home of football is in England (and technically it is) but secretly we all know that the true passion and skill for the game belongs to Brazil. Five-time winners of the World Cup since it began, Brazil hosts the most successful team in existence and introduced a plethora of sporting superstars who were, and still are, idolised by millions. We all know who Pelé is, right?
2014 sees the FIFA World Cup™ returning to this great South American nation, and alongside the usual bandwagon of supporters either rallying for England, or pessimistically putting them down in fear of being disappointed (again) there will undoubtedly be a surge in sales of shirts, balls and plasma TVs. Not to mention the influx of pub visits with people stacked to the rafters, sitting on the edge of their seats to witness yet another heart-stopping penalty shoot out.
Whatever your views on sports are, beyond question there’s a certain phenomenon that we can’t help but get sucked into when we’re enlightened to major worldwide sporting events. In preparation for the next World Cup, there will be many people searching for ways in which to get themselves and their children involved in football.
This may include local clubs, school teams and tournaments or possibly the chance to take their skills to the next level or semi-professional and professional football. Hundreds of fabulous organisations with top-class players and coaches could offer your child a football trial opportunity, the chance to play with some of the world’s best young players (both girls and boys) and become a much sought-after player themselves.
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Bill Turner is a free-lance writer and beach bum. He enjoys spending his time along the beachside with his dogs.