Tag Archives: sport

Running into 2014 ….

I wanted to blog about running, not because i am an expert, have vast knowledge or wisdom to share on the topic, but i have found that the biggest motivator for me has been other peoples achievements, thoughts and wisdom.  So i am hoping by a few words i might pass on the inspiration to others that  have found in those around me994604_10153325606950160_2125413252_n

Some of you may know that started running last May after watching a good mate running the London marathon that year.  The experience of cheering people on was truly remarkable and really inspired me to dig out some old trainers.  I soon found that i could not run a mile without thinking that suddenly the whole world had been some how bereft of all the air, as it seemed SO hard to actually take in a lung full of oxygen.  I have always thought that i was in good shape and that running would be easy to pick up! I began at this stage at running at a pace of over 10 mins a mile.

– Your mind will quit a 1000 times before your body ever will –

Within a month i was running regularly, not every day but clocking up 9 runs in month 2 with a total of 32 miles in the June of that year.  I then had a casual conversation with a another good mate about attempting to run the Great North Run Half Marathon in the September of that year.  I found that this really made a huge difference to the way in which i thought about running.  Suddenly i had a goal and something to aim for.  I remember thinking that this was something that was totally beyond me and that i was actually fooling myself thinking i could actually do this, but it made all the difference, especially when it came to the times that i thought i just don’t want to go !

I booked in to run a local 10k race the week before the GNR, and i was so glad i did.  I was SOOOOOO nervous before hand, i have no idea why, maybe it was because i was running with so many other people who looked as though they knew what they were doing, maybe i thought i was suddenly going to be found out and people would stand and laugh at my attempt to run a race.  Maybe it was the fear of failure.  But i think on reflection it was just all psychological! Physically i was fit and well, i had been training hard and everything was fine on the morning.  I finished the race in 58mins which for me at that time was about 10 mins slower than i had hoped for.  But it was a hot day, i started amongst lots of people and the nervous energy had taken a lot out of me.  It was a really good experience to do and get a lot of things out of the way before the GNR the week after.

– The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking. -Mia Hamm –

The GNR was an amazing experience i had trained as hard as i could before the race, which on reflection could have been harder, but to be honest i didn’t really know what i was doing ! i had done one 11 mile run before the race as my longest run so this would have been the longest i had ever run.  I finished in 2hrs 08mins, but it was the finishing that i was totally amazed by! Crossing the finish line i couldn’t understand why everybody hadn’t stopped to cheer for me ! LOL !!! i do remember thinking that no one could ever take it away from me now i had actually done it! I did it again in 2013 getting a time of 1hr 54mins, i was disappointed with this as i had done a 1hr 48mins in training, but it gives me a goal for next year.

More than anything else i have found that running makes me ask myself questions every time i go out, “Can you do this?” “Have you met your limit?” “Are you strong or weak?” it has helped immensely with my mental health and dealing with difficult situations i find in my job, I am obviously fitter and stronger and have more belief and self esteem.  I don’t always enjoy it and and there are times before and during where i wish i could be doing a million other things, but i have never regretted a run after i have done it !

So my next goal is my first Marathon in London in April, raising money for the Children’s Society doing amazing work with vulnerable children and teenagers. This is again something that i feel is out of my reach but then i will never know unless i put one foot in front of another !…..

If you have any questions or advice about running i would love to hear from you


My just giving page is here




What football can learn from basketball

So reading in the news this week that the F.A. have just opened St George’s park, a brand spanking new centre of excellence for English football (see here)  which it is hoped will in time deliver some silverware to the dusty and cobwebbed cupboards of the oldest football association in the world.  But something with in me doesn’t sit right, for it seems to me that the attitude of the F.A. in recent years has been one of win at all costs and forget the price tag! I believe that if we are going to deliver the goods on the football pitch and more importantly allow young talent to flourish to a level that all young people not only excel at the national sport but have a love for it that generations past have felt there needs to be a major culture shift in the ethos of what they are about.

Let me voice my concerns and remedies….

Football is too competitive…

I have an 8 year old son who loves football, so like every other good father i took him along to the local junior football team every Saturday.  He enjoyed it, he loved running around and learning the skills that allowed him to be like the heroes he watched on the TV or when i took him to see his favourite team in the stadium.  But the time came that the practise sessions ended and the coach told them they were going to become a team playing every weekend home and away.  Now my boy was not the best in the team, neither was he the worst.  But it would have proved hard for him to get in the team every week.  As someone who has managed teams myself i believe every team should play to win, so therefore i would not have blamed the coach for picking the best team, even if that meant that my boy would have been left out.  But here lies the problem, i could see that he was very quickly loosing interest in the game, the pressure was too much to perform well and to be good enough.  there was an atmosphere and almost unspoken rhetoric, that not one of the kids was ever going to really be good enough.  This was not the coaches fault but a general ethos right thought the game from players, coaches and spectators.  So we stopped going, as i did not want my boy to loose his love and passion for the beautiful game.  He hasn’t, and still plays on the play ground at school and lives and breaths it when he comes home or when we go to watch his favourite team play.  But it saddens me that this has to be the case, mainly because i don’t believe it has to be.  For example, we have just moved to a new area, and as we have i thought i would let my boys try a new sport.  So i found a local Basketball club to see if they would like to try it and to see what sort of ethos a different sport would teach. I have been amazed.  Firstly by the numbers, there are as many kids wanting to be basket ballers as there are footballers, secondly that the way in which the game is taught is all about technique and not on winning, and also i have loved the way in which the senior first team are always around and help out with the coaching.  I remember when i was in a Championship club’s school of excellence some of the senior players would come and help us train but again, it was obvious  that they didn’t really want to be there and this rubbed off on us younger ones again thinking we would not be good enough.

Football needs to realise that its place in our society should not be taken fro granted, there are more and more options vying for our children’s attention, and when there is a much more inclusive ethos and focus on development rather than pressure to win i know where i would put my time, money and resources!….Image