Are you a white middle class male?

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24/01/2008 at 09:17

Steve cram expressed his concern that athletics is basically "white middle class sport" and that only white middle class males can afford to volunteer to coach resulting in a lack of role models for budding athletes.

do you consider yourself a white middle class male? are you in coaching? how do feel about what Cram is saying?

24/01/2008 at 09:24

Ummm.....

Has he watched an international athletics competition lately?

24/01/2008 at 09:35
don't get your point wilkie, he was specifically referring to coaches probably at grass roots level. what's signifcant at international meets? more black and other ethinic minority coaches from UK?
24/01/2008 at 09:42

I've not read/heard what he actually had to say, but based on what you've told us he's talking about role models as though a lack of non-middle class white male coaches is hampering athletes from ethnic minorities.

However, top UK athletes (ie. those competing internationally)  from ethnic minorities seem to be doing pretty well, and presumably had the same kind of coaches when they were starting out.

They are also acting as role models themselves for younger athletes coming up.

24/01/2008 at 09:57

 but how many of them actually go into coaching? i know kelly holmes is doing a bit but really with emerging athletes, colin jackson,linford christie,john regis, darren campbell? don't hear much about them doing any coaching. i may be wrong but they'll make more money doing consultancy work than grass roots coaching, and there's nothing wrong with that. all the coaches at opur local club are white, mabybe not middle class as i haven't asked them about their perceived social status,but they are white and mostly male.

24/01/2008 at 10:30

What I was trying to say was that perhaps it doesn't matter - if those world class athletes made it to the top, despite a 'lack' of role models of their own ethnicity back when they were starting out, perhaps the ethnicity of your coach is irrelevant.

Successful athletes will be role models, whether they are coaching or not.

I don't know any coaches to offer an opinion on their class/ethnicity, but I'm sure they will mostly be white - so is the population of the UK, after all.

24/01/2008 at 10:43

i agree it "shouldn't" matter but race does have an impact. successful athletes again should be role models but the evidence is to the contrary isn't it? since the days of christie/jackson etc where is the next generation if those athletes are role models? maybe it's a different thing, the reluctance to work hard maybe. certainly in my profession as a teacher so many youn people from white and black backgrounds are looking for easy success with as little hard work involved.it may sound like a generalisation but that's my experience from teaching and working with them( mostly males it should be added) that's probably true in sporting terms too. i think in christie's generation you had to work hard to get anywhere,even get respect.think circumstances are a little different now.

 i believe what cram is trying to say is that the population that athletics has traditionally drawn from is the afro-caribbean one.if we don'yt have those role models from that population to actually get down and coach then we will lose the talent to other areas.

PS: i don't pretend to know the answer

24/01/2008 at 10:56

colin jackson,linford christie,john regis, darren campbell? don't hear much about them doing any coaching.

So the role models are there, the experience is there - I think the simple answer is Crammo having a chat with the athletes above and encouraging them to do their but if they're not already.

I'd say this issue was far more pronounced in football. Thousands of black players and, since the departure if Ruud Gullit, only one black coach that I can think of  - somewhere in the lower leagues and I can't even think of his name!  Not sure it makes it a "problem" necessarily but it is very obvious.

24/01/2008 at 10:59

I thought Linford Christie was coaching?

But does it really matter what colour a coach is?  Surely all a potentially good athlete wants is a good coach that can help to push them forward I would have thought their race would be largely irrelevant?

24/01/2008 at 11:05

I'm not sure if it matters or if that's even the point.

I do think it's interesting to consider whether, as Cram apparently says, only white middle class men can afford to volunteer to coach. That's more the point, in my view.

24/01/2008 at 11:07

i'm a working class rough old biulder! i'm also a level 2 uk:a coaching

i'm also a crap runner.

do i fit the bill.? 

Edited: 24/01/2008 at 11:11
24/01/2008 at 11:10

" I'd say this issue was far more pronounced in football. Thousands of black players and, since the departure if Ruud Gullit, only one black coach that I can think of  - somewhere in the lower leagues and I can't even think of his name!  Not sure it makes it a "problem" necessarily but it is very obvious."

paul ince is doing a pretty good job at MK Dons but you're right not many Black managers but talent still coming through, possibly because the financial rewards are greater in football.

"But does it really matter what colour a coach is?  Surely all a potentially good athlete wants is a good coach that can help to push them forward I would have thought their race would be largely irrelevant?"

should be irrelevant but it isn't all the time. it's an issue of understanding where you are from, racially that is. sure there are great white coaches who have helped black athletes(Ron Roddan) but maybe that's becoming a political issue now, " black person succeeds because of white coach", you can see that in some minds.

24/01/2008 at 11:11

mini me,

 is there such a thing as a working class builder these days? the amount you guys charge

24/01/2008 at 11:13
Yep he still has "Builders arse"
Stump    pirate
24/01/2008 at 11:13

Tradesmen are the new middle class.

Minime may be a bit of a rough tradesman but I'm sure he's classy

24/01/2008 at 11:16

And what about the women? How many female coaches are there out there? But then of course top class female coaches wouldnt get much press as female sport isnt media friendly apparently. But at grass roots.........are they being encouraged? Or is it too male an atmosphere for most of them?

I'm a female white middle class coach.

24/01/2008 at 11:17

On the point rasied.

This is more "multi culture" bolx. There are fast black runners, they will be spotted and run. If they are good they will be coached. Be it by a man, woman jew muslem or what ever. Cardiff althetics club is proof of this(google who they launched onto the world stage)

It is a UK wide culture that football and to a lesser extent rugby and cricket(but these are middle class white sports) are the sports to do as they "will pay the bills" why train like a tw*t and earn about 22k like tim don(i know money from sponsers etc) end of the day athletics has such a narrow field for high earning many don't bother to start in the 1st place.

24/01/2008 at 11:18
good point fin! think women's athletics in the UK is probably at a lower ebb than the men's is it not?
24/01/2008 at 11:20
Oh and there is the small point of f*ck all athletics faciltys!
24/01/2008 at 11:22

tri taffa,

        agree about rugby but cricket in my area is now drawing largely from the Indian and Sri lankan population rather than the afro-caribbean and white ones.

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