Thursday, 14 October 2010


Fantasy Bob has a healthy interest in sporting endeavour. Not obsessional, in that he also reads the front pages of newspapers, but a healthy interest. But sometimes he is forced to stand back and wonder at what the modern sporting world is coming to.

Apparently, competitive cheerleading is deemed the fastest growing sport in the world at present.  Just in case you thought this was a misprint, FB will write this again - Competitive Cheerleading. It is 'played' in 82 countries and may well find a place in the Olympics in due course.   FB does not wish to undermine anyone who wishes to participate in this activity, although he fails to see why anyone would wish to, but that is not the point.  Whatever it is, competitive cheerleading can surely not legitimately be described as sport.

Another recent arrival is solo synchronised swimming.  Again repetition is required.  Solo synchronised swimming.  This must a good thing since a Scottish player won a medal in the Commonwealth Games at it.  But it may well be the first sport to have an explicit oxymoron in its name.  Solo and synchronised seem not to go together.  Did it evolve because some particularly thick skinned girl turned up at the pool with spangles and nose-clips but couldn't find anyone to play with her.  'Right' she said, 'Sod you lot, I'm going solo'.   And a new sport was born.  FB supposes he has been in the same position when he cannot find anyone to bowl at him in the nets.   To think he could have created the new sport of solo cricket instead of skulking off to the bar.

Again, whatever solo synchronised swimming might be it is not a sport.  FB thinks, unfashionably maybe, that any activity which depends for its results on a panel of judges cannot be deemed sport.  This includes traditional activities such as house breaking, murder and robbery among them.  When judges come into play what differentiates so-called sport from, say, opera singing, painting or flower arranging? If you cannot be seen to be faster, higher or stronger than the field or score more goals or runs then it just isn't sport.

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