The Good, the Bad and the Ugly ..

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31/03/2005 at 15:21
WillWestWill - 34 mins, I think

Sasjeh - Maybe something like:

80 mins half / sub 38 10k / sub 19 5k
90 mins half / sub 43 10k / sub 21 5k
100 mins half / sub 45 10k / sub 22 5k

Remember when I was a kid just about to learn swimming. The main motivation was to get a bronze standard, which was 200 meters in 8 mins in whatever style and a dive from the 1m board, silver was 400m in 16 mins, gold was 600m in 24 and included more variety, like a 15 meter dive, jump from 3m platform etc. Maybe something like that would be cool in Athletics. A lot of people get motivated by status symbols (mobile phones etc.) why not a basic standard?
31/03/2005 at 15:26
JX - They used age grading for the Grizzly, which I think is not right. The age grading is based on roads or track events, using it for multiterrain very undalting course, doesn't sound right. However, it's one formula for categorising performances.
31/03/2005 at 15:27
very good: National vest
good: Area or County Vest
average: everyone else
ugly: Me
31/03/2005 at 15:32
Thats a really good idea. Something schools should adopt, fighting obesity etc.
The Athletics Associations and Sports Council should take note. Look at the publicity Jamie Oliver has got for school diners.
31/03/2005 at 15:49
Prom - It was great for motivation. Once you got your swimming pass/cert you got a sticker for your swimming kit as well. Check for how they look like. The first one is for girls/boys, with no pressure, they you would get one for competing in 3 fun runs. In the 60's they had another thing, which was ultra hard core, like swimming in cold water or a 2hrs endurance swim. Check those here with the skull. Anyway, I got all three bronze, silver and gold in a year, it was great to show them off during the summer :)

31/03/2005 at 15:52
When I were a lad(!) there was a star grading system for athletics with points awarded for diffenrt events.

I think there had to be a throw, jump and run plus a couple of floaters. I scored highly for the running and poorly for the rest.

Is it still around?
31/03/2005 at 15:52
Isnt school swimming still compulsory in th UK, I'm sure it was when I was a lifeguard. If so why isnt running?
31/03/2005 at 15:57
We had that as well, once a year there was a track & field meeting and you had to do a sprint, long jump and throw. However, it was always very hard to get the points together and I never made it beyond a bronze cert. No focus on endurance as well and in general is wasn't so popular. You only got a piece of paper not a sticker which could put on your tracksuit.
31/03/2005 at 16:04
Maybe for general:


- 3 fun runs
- relay


- Finish a 10k


- Finish distances up to 1/2 marathon
- Sub 60 mins 10k


- Finish 5k/5m/10k/10m/Half and marathon within a year
- Run a 1/2 marathon sub 2hrs

Likely if you managed a gold standard you would possibly lookig for joinging in a club. Then the next scheme applies, with more ambitious times.
11/05/2005 at 23:58
sorry, threads been dead for a while but it looks interesting :o)

Grumpity- when I was at primary school about 8 years back the system was the "ten step scheme" where you got points for each fun activity you did, I got "7 Step" lowest one in my class, most demoralising for a year 4. Year 5 and year 6 they had "5 Star" where you actually did all the different athletics events (furthest they'd let you run was 400m though, bit of an emphasis for the fast twitchers there) and got points for performance. Got "2 star" for this the first year and had to go and collect it in assembly which was very embarrasing as everyone else had done a lot better. Then the next year I got 3 Star which was a little better as not quite as embarrasing as some others had got it.

School sport at a primary level is very discouraging as it's either in athletics over short distances, games over a very short times or swimming again over a short distance. Total focus on fast twitch with complete ignorance for slow twitch. I was in a class of 30 in primary school, joined with the class of 30 for the year below. Out of the 60 or so who did it (and those who would have been wrose than me just managed to find excuses) I was the worst in the class. First year secondary school in a year of 150 I was on the athletics team and a county champion by year 11. By the second year of secondary school no-one else from my year was even competing at district athletics as they couldn't get into the school teams. In short- a lot of the time these systems don't work, encourage talent rather than hard work and have too much of a speed-focus.

URR's ideas are sounding a lot better. More focus on participation and less on performance. Those who turn up each week to train should be the priority for teams, not those who are the best, because let's face it, those who are the best aged 5-11 are hardly likely to be the best when we're looking for people to compete in the olympics are they?

As far as standards go you can't group together all runners from 30 minutes (e.g. potential international) to 40 minutes (good but not great).

sub 29- elite
29-32- semi-elite
32-35- Local champion
35-38 Club Runner (in the old sense)
38-42 Advanced Competitor
42-46 Competitor
46-55 Basic Competitor
55+ Intermediate

Some of the terms I've borrowed from Bob Glovers books, don't think it's quite his boundaries though. Every one who manages to finish a race is a success though, the real "average" is the people who do nothing and you lot are all stars :o)
12/05/2005 at 00:11
Bryn - really interesting post about schools encouraging talent rather than endeavour. I'll bear that one in mind. Sadly for many kids in this instant society, if they don't have the talent they won't work to achieve success, particularly at something like athletics, which is not put on a school performance table in the Daily Telegraph.

Your story is one of dedication and endeavour and you make a great role model for younger kids who enjoy taking part but think they'll never be any good.

(Which sub 35 did make you a local champion though)!
12/05/2005 at 00:12
Wish, not which!! It's late.
12/05/2005 at 09:07
Good posting Bryn. My experience was similar. Unfortunately, every year we had another teacher, sometimes two in one year. Hence, there was no consistency and we had to follow the "curriculum" outlined by the government, ie. gymnastics, which I don't need to mention, I was pure rubbish in. At later stages it was even more funny as it was fashionable to skip classes, usually 10 people turned up, what should have been 20. In addition, our teacher had some funny methods giving grades. For example, when we did Badminton we had to hit a sport (two pages of a newspaper) from the other side!
12/05/2005 at 09:08
hit a spot not sport!
12/05/2005 at 09:19
Bryn - that's the scheme I was thinking of I think.

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme factors in performance and application in the physical activity section if I remember it correctly from when I did it. (Bronze, Silver & Gold). Maybe this would be a good template?

My school (grammar) had a fiar range of activites, I enjoyed them all (except gymnastics) but I was reasonable at all of them. Having talked to my wife recently who went to a public school, the range of activites she could do was much greater and included ATC, squash, climbing etc. I'm sure this greater range wold involve more people.

Application can work. I improved from someone who could not make the school forst team for XC to an international in 3 years.

ip(FeS2)    pirate
12/05/2005 at 09:27
<BR> Sadly for many kids in this instant society, if they don't have the talent they won't work to achieve success,</BR>

There's more to it than that when it comes to kids at school.- It's hard enough to be bad at sports.- To keep keep trying to do the things you're getting ridiculed for being bad at is an incredibly difficult thing to do.
12/05/2005 at 10:24
Gary T - I think that 'non-triers' is pretty unfair, below average I would accept no problem, but it doesn't mean I don't try.

I think scoring students for effort and participation has to be the way to go, in fact most running races are like this with a medal/good bag for all participants, and the old 'it's not the winning but the taking part that counts'.

I got a D in sport at school and remember my mother berating the teacher that someone who could swim a couple of miles and had every swimming badge going, and who ran 3 lunch times a week helping training with the Junior Running club, did gym and sailing etc. should be given a D just because I wasn't much good at Netball or Hockey. (Personally I knew I was pretty rubbish at the type of sports we were graded on so I wasn't too bothered by it)

(However is that like saying that just because I was reasonably good at poetry, I should have been given an A in English even though I was crap at Drama?)

Commitment and application mean more than pure talent, David Beckham wouldn't be where he is today without absolute dedication to his sport. Paula Radcliffe wouldn't hold her world record without the 100+ miles per week. Talent is nothing without passion and dedication. How do we engender that love of sport, or anything else, in our children?

Another comment which comes up often, we talk about lack of facilities in the UK, well do you think that the Chinese or Romanian Gymnasts have the same facilities as the Americans? Of course not (well maybe these days), well good facilities are a great bonus, but hard work is more important.

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