Thursday, 10 April 2008

Aspirations at the Ready for Future Health

You will not know this man but someday he might be the one to change your life. He is not a miracle worker or even a Rambo style saviour.
He will not come and rescue you from that dreaded mother-in-law’s visit, or from your constantly nagging wife. However, he may save you from the dreaded gynaecologist, the easily avoided Dietician, and endless months of physiotherapy and possibly make you live longer.
So please before you pick up your fourth jam doughnut of the day and third Coke of the hour and throw it harmlessly down your clogged up throat think of this man and what he wants to do.
He may have a 1973 fashion sense, a boyish grin, and a funny nose, but do not let put you off. He has the determination and enthusiasm to get you off your lazy arse and go and do some exercise and play some sport.
How? You ask.
Well, firstly, this man's name is Stuart Owen, he wants to be the Head of Sport in the UK, and more importantly, he has a vision.
Not impressed? There is no reason to be yet. There is still more to come.
Owen’s qualities will shine though and he will definitely became much more noticed; he has a dry charm of a young Tony Blair, an uncanny resemblance to Gary Lineker, the looks of Vernon Kay and people skills which are even beyond me.
He will revolutionise the way we think about exercise and sport; he is going to make Britain into sporting and exercise legacy, which will be the envy of the world.
His ambition in life is that when he reaches his pension age, which will probably be 107 when he does, he can ask anyone in this country if he or she exercise regularly and he or she will reply yes, without making anything up. He wants to change these peoples livelihood and to get them feeding on life.
Still not impressed?
In an average month only a mere 20 percent of people in the UK participant in any sport or exercise once a month, a figure that makes Owen cringes.
Therefore, this will be the man to make your children put down that Play station of theirs, leave the comfort of the sofa watching mind washing garbage, and get out into reality to have fun. He is going to change mentalities and produce more merits for those who contribute to sport; he is going to press the government, sport England, schools, and local communities hard to make sure they produce more opportunities to play sport.
We need a next generation of people to look after the sport in this country, it needs to do more to hit government targets, and before we catch up to those overweight Americans as the largest nation.
The 20-year-old is still learning the advanced aspects of sports development and coaching education at the University of Bath. With no doubt, he will finish with top marks, and he will be ready to articulate his significance to the public.
There needs to be the next round of people to be the head of Sport England, UK Athletics, and other similar organisations to improve the attractiveness of playing sport. These people will lead us into a very important era, as technology is becoming a monopoly and domineering parents worried about their children going outside, it will be difficult to get sport and exercise popular and Owen has no doubts that he will be able to do this.
Simply by, changing mentalities, getting more people to think like him. Then influence those individuals so they can influence others for a series of a knock on effect.
He is not particularly worried about the elite athletes; he is more concerned about the average ‘Joes’ out there, you and me.
This is the view that he has and how he wants to help the participation in sport from all sectors of the community. He does not want everyone to be a professional athlete, he wants the whole of Britain to be healthy and enjoying all the sport out there available to him or her, and wants exercise to be more of a pleasure than a chore.
The graduate said, ‘talent is something you’re born with, and I want to reach the average Joes and encourage them to play sport. The bigger sports today are publicised so much that the public prefers to watch a game rather than have the enjoyment of actually playing in one. What these so called ‘big’ clubs need to do is reach out to supporters and encourage them to play and get involved and perhaps they will have fans that are more energetic and vocal instead of wasting money on overpriced pies and sitting and bickering.’
The Conservative Government, from the 1970s, should take the majority of the blame for the decline of the participation in sport as they began to damage the foundations and the negative attitudes.
When Margaret Thatcher was in office, she introduced academic competition between primary and secondary schools; it was then sports interaction declined. Sporting achievement was not recognised in the Tories, Thatcher was more interested in academic fulfilment.
Owen believes this was a dark moment in sport and sees encouraging signs in the New Labour Government. The Sports Mark award scheme has raised the profile of sport in schools as well as Labours backing for the 2012 Olympics to promote participation.
With London, winning the 2012 Olympics, Owen, like Sport England, was pessimistic about the games being held in the capital.
He said, ‘I’m not sure whether the Olympics will leave a lasting legacy amongst the normal public as I don’t believe enough people will be interested in it to have a long term effect.’
‘I’m sure it will help contribute a massive wave of wealth from advertising and exposure but the money being spent on the Olympics should have been used to help Britain’s health and the sports in this country as well as providing more facilities to be available for the everyday child and making these facilities cheap and more accessible.’
The Olympics fund has been spiralling out of control and it is no surprise that Sport England did not fully back the idea. Sport England’s actual funding has dropped significantly due to the Olympics and those two weeks in September in 2012 will take a lot of exertion.
However, Owen said, ‘the impact of the games will be huge for our countries prestige and worldwide fame, if not for our public, and for those athletes initially involved. I really hope the games will have the influence the government were expecting. The idea of having 80 percent of the public doing five amounts of 30 minutes exercise per week maybe far-fetched but it was their guideline for Olympic glory. I believe having everyone exercise or playing sport for 45 minutes stints three times a week would be more worthwhile and realistic.’
The good point is that our government are heading in the correct direction but they do not exceed themselves. Having longer impact times would encourage people to think more openly about the extent of exercise they would do. It is all about changing mentalities.
He feels the current government still do not do enough for sport. ‘There has never been a specific branch for sport within the government.’ He said,’ the existing one includes culture and media. Sport is worth 15 billion to the UK economy; wouldn’t it be beneficial to have one detailed division for this?’
Owen wants a specific board where experienced and well-educated athletes can have their say in sport in the UK.
‘An executive board should be introduced in government as sport is getting progressively bigger and financially expandable. On this board should be people like Lord (Sebastian) Coe, the people who make a divine difference in sport and it should be these people who influence sport from the grassroots level.’
The introduction of the National Lottery put sport on the map again with finances going to Sport England and other sporting societies. Initially before the separate funding of the National Lottery, our government gave more money, surprisingly to Arts and Culture. More recently, there has been more effort from Sport England and leading retail shops to encourage sports activities. Support acts like Tesco’s successful Sports for Schools scheme, which youngsters from every school have every right to take advantage.
Sports have been became more accomplished from the 1990 World Cup finals when Paul Gascoigne’s famous stream of tears gripped the nation’s viewing. Then Sky Sports changed the way we watch football with the introduction of the Premiership, since then football has become a globalised advertising market for all consumers to, literally, feed on.
One of the major problems Owen identified was the lack of exercise school leavers do as they are influenced by all of these fantasy sports.
He said, ‘When you leave compulsory education there is nothing to say you have to do sport or exercise. I want to introduce a compulsory session of sport in colleges and sixth form to make sure their sporting activities flourish.’
‘By the time teenagers reach 16 or 17 they start getting more interested in computers, booze, sex, and drugs. This is something which needs to be slowed down or even stopped.’
With the ever-increasing number of senseless teenagers who get pregnant, the government cannot afford to overlook this view. The introduction of more activities would be essential for future generations.
Owen also believes that compulsory schools should have longer days. He wants an extra 45 minutes of sport being introduced every day at schools, they should start at eight and finish at three with physical education being involved daily.
He said, ‘with more of the younger generation starting school earlier and being involved in actual physical exercise in schools the more tired they will be.’ This will help prevent teenagers getting into unnecessary mischief and provoked delinquency.
The son of an insurance broker feels that sport and exercise could be an attractive proposition for everyone. He calls for a decline of competitive sports and more individual sports and activities being included in the curriculum.
He said, ‘the government needs to get a message to the whole of Britain that sports are fun and it doesn’t mean you have to be good to be involved.’
‘The phrase ‘can’t kick, won’t kick’ is commonly known, and it does emphasis this point. The fact that someone will say you cannot do sport means you will not do it. The physiological barrier needs to have a break-through for people to be involved. ‘
Owen wants to introduce an ‘Alternative Sports Week’ every year, which will become popular for schools, colleges, social and youth groups, universities, and institutions, as they would give a wider spectrum of sports available.
‘More sports are being drafted in and being advertised in Britain. Sports such as Skateboarding, American Football, Yoga, and Archery have become increasingly popular. These sports should be drafted into Physical Education as well. He continued, ‘We need every pupil out there wanting to be involved from a young age. Let us exploit what they want to do, we want all these people to take an interest in their chosen sport and develop that interest and hope it continues when they finish school.’
The Bath University graduate believes that a part of the reason why sport activities have declined is that athletes have became so out of touch of reality. They feel no obligation to help younger people or they are reluctant to help advertise sport to younger children without the attraction of luscious contracts.
Bath University’s Team Bath has many famous sports men and women who have graduated or are still currently studying. Sport stars such as Matt Stevens, Craig Pickering, Dr Stephanie Cook, Colin Jackson, Mark Foster, and Jason Gardener all contribute to Bath University to help younger athletes and regular people who attend the university.
Nevertheless, Owen is keen on a fellow alumni role in society. David Meek was a Bath graduate who became the President of Sport England in the late seventies and he was responsible for attracting a healthy chunk of the National Lottery funding.
Owen wants to aspire to great heights and believes one day he can become the Director of National Sport where he would oversee numerous of projects and activities for England to have influence properly averted.
The main problem he is constantly worried about is the obesity levels as he is determined to make them decrease radically, he wants England to follow fellow commonwealth country Australia. He believes that the Australians become World Olympic champions because of the amount of sport they play and are encouraged to do.
With his forthcoming career in sports, Owen wants at least a 50 percent cut in obesity before he retires. He feels a great sense of responsibility for the state of health in Britain and hopes he will be able to make Britain a ‘fitter and healthier nation’ and a legacy to the world.
Still not impressed?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who is this Stuart Owen bloke, sounds like a bit of a hero....wish i was him.