Not much more can be done to encourage people to take up sport and exercise

Ground Hopper

Not much more can be done to encourage people to take up sport and exercise

(First published in the Maidenhead Advertiser on Thursday, June 2)

I know we are constantly told that we do not participate in enough sport and exercise, especially today’s youth who are accused of being glued to the world-wide-inter-web.

Yet this inactivity among most of us is not because clubs, associations, governing bodies and local government aren’t getting the message out there.

Just look through today’s sports pages in the Advertiser where we have stories on cricket, football, angling, bowls, athletics, gymnastics, netball, hockey, rowing, softball, golf, rugby, cycling, table tennis, trampolining, showjumping and more.

And that’s a fairly typical week.

Add to that the efforts made to encourage people into all forms of exercise, not just competitive sport, and it soon becomes apparent that those who do not get involved choose not to.

No amount of money, pleading, advertising, cajoling and scaremongering will change this.

We even have the Olympics this year which should encourage a few off the couch and away from their box sets andMaltesers, and towards some form of healthy exercise.

And it often does, for a short period.

But no matter how hard concerned organisations try, sport and exercise is an individual choice more influenced by social issues and structures, role models and peer pressure than any club, organisation or sport can manage.

We have to keep trying to instill the belief that everyone needs regular exercise in their life, but it’s an increasingly tough sell.

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