Some shite on this thread…two of the boxers (Barnes and Conlon) competing for Ireland could be said to have come from “inner city” backgrounds and both of them come from Belfast.
Nevin who won the medal is from Mullingar and Katie Taylor is a born again Christian from Bray
The other two were a primary school teacher from Kilkenny and a Garda from Wexford.
Amateur boxers wear headguards and score points for landing scores on defined target areas on their opponents body. In addition, instances of brain damamge are zero as far as Im aware…professional boxing on the other hand is basically a different sport which does leave the participant open to serious injury…however, I would seriously doubt that it is more dangerous than rugby which to my mind is by far the most dangerous sport around in terms of exposure to serious injury.
As regards why people may prefer boxing to badminton etc, the same could be asked of any contact sport including GAA, soccer and rugby. Quite simply, some people, derive more enjoyment from the physical contact aspect of such sports than they would from their non-contact counterparts.
Each to their own says I and in terms of where Irish people have traditionally tended to excel, it seems that we are more suited to contact sports than to other more technical type sports which seem to suit other sporting cultures better. Our strenghts seems to lie in the likes of boxing, rugby, GAA, soccer etc
+1 on amateur boxing. Its actually a pretty safe sport and a totally different game to pro boxing. Rugby is not that dangerous though. Obviously the scrum has caused pretty brutal spinal injuries in the past but these have become less common. There is serious wear and tear on the joints for pros who have gotten huge, quite a few of these guys have hip and knee problems that plague them as they get older but the devastating spinal stuff is fairly unusual, as are brain injuries though they are introducing a mandatory substitution for anyone who gets a bad knock on the head.
I would have thought horse riding would be one of the most dangerous sports, obviously racing but also eventing and show jumping can produce nasty head, neck and crush injuries.
Its interesting that hockey is one of the best funded sports in that table, I would have thought it is limited to the private schools and the universities.
For ladies hockey, yes, the schools play it (not just the private schools). For mens hockey, it is not played much, if at all, in private schools - it used to be the state schools that play it, but I don’t know about now. So says this ex-Swords United player (which was mostly composed of Ballymun tech. alumni and had its home ground for years at the school all-weather).
Re. Sailing, it’s probably not too expensive to participate locally and I often regret not getting involved in college (instead of sticking to the cockfest sports I already knew ) but qualifying for the Olympics is very expensive, I knew of one guy who tried to qualify before.
You need to enter a load of competitions around the world so you need 3 boats and associated gear on different continents (well America and Europe anyway) you need to pay somene to transport your gear say, from Connecticut to Florida while you fly back to Euope and do some comp there. I’m probably exaggerating but I know yer man was passing the begging bowl in front of some guys I know well despite getting Gov funding and having very sympathetic company founders - I wasn’t asked but would have given fairly short shrift
+1 I believe this is where a lot of the Tennis funding goes. Part of the problem with that sport, as with golf, is the clubs being relatively exclusive though. There aren’t good enough public tennis facilities around for kids of the lower socio-economic groups to use and to be honest, it’s poorer kids who are probably more likely to dedicate their lives to getting good at a sport if they’re talented. They don’t have as many other options or family pressure to go into a more solid career as middle-class/ wealthier kids who might be less focussed. If they’re well-heeled, middle-class kids, you might spend a load of money on them when they’re juniors but, even if they’re really talented, they might drop out of the sport as young adults for these reasons.
Also, while you can divide a tennis court into two or three mini-courts for the small children who are just starting out, when they get to play tennis proper it’s only two to a court for singles which is a lot of space and time to dedicate to only a small number of players and when most of the court space is in clubs, the kids have to get out of the way for the paying adult members who want to use them for recreation. Bigger field sports are more economical in that way - you can pack more kids on to them at a time.
I admit I haven’t had time to read the entire article but I would say that asking how much the medal is ‘worth’ in monetary terms misses the point a little. Fluffy-sounding I know but the ‘inspiration’ is worth a lot (if you want people to get involved in sports that is). How much is it ‘worth’ inspiring the population to get more interested in participating in sport? Sports need ‘stars’ to inspire the younger generation. The success of the Irish rugby team has increased the popularity of that sport. I wouldn’t be surprised if cricket has become a little more popular now too in recent years.
**I’m not even really interested in sport. I can’t believe I’ve written two posts defending sports funding in the last few minutes. :**o
Perhaps you could consider trying out a few different sports, you could surprise yourself, and obviously improve your health.
Highly regarded doc on the Afghan cricket team: outoftheashes.tv/the-movie.html
And I’m going to put forward another sport for the ‘dangerous’ category. Hillwalking/mountaineering. Irish people die every now and then, home and abroad:
I had many varieties of sport inflicted on me at school. I hated every single moment of it.
Exertion in the cause of a useful end (i.e. manual labour), I can deal with. Exertion to no purpose (i.e. sport) leaves me with a sense of having totally wasted the time and effort involved, in producing nothing apart from physical discomfort.
Fair enough. It would be interesting to see a comparison between countries and how much they spend to achieve the same results though I think it would be most useful to see a comparison of ‘like for like’ in as much as possible e.g. Western European countries against each other for example where coaching costs and such might be more easily comparable. The LTA in Britain for example has a pretty big income I believe yet they still don’t tend to have as many high-performing stars as other European countries despite running the highest profile and probably most ‘inspirational’ Grand Slam championships of them all. That can’t just be down to the weather. Maybe it has something to do with the club system/ elite nature of the sport (perhaps). In Ireland tennis has the same sort of old-fashioned club system. Sorry to go back to tennis again for example. It’s the only sport I know anything much about…