Britain’s Olympic chief says it is wholly unacceptable that so many top athletes have been privately educated.
For anybody who has visited a large private school – as I have (attending a wedding – not as a student) the disparity between facilities and opportunities against state education is vast. The school I visited had two golf courses! This of course is not necessarily typical but it shows clearly that this problem is down almost entirely to funding.
At my school in the West Midlands in the mid eighties the equipment we possessed was woeful – no high jump mat thicker than six inches, only four cricket pads and two bats, one (maybe two) javelins. I could go on.
It was only in a quiet moment years after leaving school that I realised that the four hundred metre track marked out for sports day each year was done by an aging caretaker who definitely did not have the acumen to do it properly – if you think about it, it’s actually very hard. I always thought that running almost sideways around the bends was just not right!
This is down to money – if we want successful sports men and women coming out of state education the government needs to invest heavily. The teachers can only work with what they have.