Etikett: sports

The evolution of a sport – and a nation

Wimbledon Park on Sunday morning. Lots of courts and lots of tennis.

I had almost forgotten. What it can be like when a nation comes to a stop, because of sports. Perhaps it was not quite the type of Stenmark halt that Sweden came to in the 1970’s, when the alpine giant speeded down the slopes. But for 2021, it is spectacular how many of the British spent their Saturday night in front of the TV watching the Women’s US Open final. In fact, it was so special that it deserves an English blog post from me.

As it happened, I spent this weekend in London. And not just in the city, but in Wimbledon. Perhaps the most tennisloving part of the planet. My friends tell me about how the neighbors compete at doing the greatest tennis decoration of their house and garden, during the weeks of the All England Championship every year. This could be explained, at least in part, by the view that greeted me during my Sunday morning run through Wimbledon Park. There is a lot of tennis played in that park. It may not have increased from Saturday night, and Emma Raducanu’s fantastic win at the Arthur Ashe stadium where she entered the championship as a qualifier, but there sure is every chance to get involved if you are interested.

As the British papers write about this being the greatest moment of British tennis ever, transforming elite performance into mass participation has never been an easy thing. Something tells me the British might just be able to do that though. Yes, tennis is still (considered) elitist and expensive, but here is a champion of the multicultural country of the modern day. She must be a dream come true for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), and why not for the Queen herself, given that Emma is already believed to be in line for the New Year’s Honour’s list. And if somebody can manage that conversion, from elite to grassroots – and back again, perhaps it is the LTA. They have got the money, the personnel and the desire. And they certainly have the support of the British media. Now, it is up to you guys.

Just do it!

Alla dessa medaljer, podcast 7

Bilden från ett besök på US Olympic Centre i Colorado Springs, USA

Det var länge sedan men, nu är det dags igen! Den här gången blir det en podcast om utbildning, och den för idrotten ack så viktiga tränarutbildningen och tränarutvecklingen. Då vi från Riksidrottsförbundet, Sveriges Olympiska Kommitté samt Svenska Parasportförbundet och Sveriges Paralympiska Kommitté lyssnat på presentationer av specialidrottsförbundens elitutvecklingsplaner är just tränarfrågan den kanske viktigaste och mest centrala. Världens bästa idrottare behöver världens bästa tränare. Jag samtalar med Kent Lindahl om hur individer, föreningar och förbund kan göra för att komma dit. I samtalet nämns en viss motivationsteori, Self Determination Theory eller självbestämmandeteorin, där Kent väljer att inte gå in på förklaringen bakom. Här kan du dock läsa mera om den.

För dig som behöver hjälp att komma igång – läs här. Du kan också lyssna eller prenumerera i Itunes.

How about nearby sports?

The other day I had one of those amazing mornings that only a golf course, a good friend and a sunrise can offer. 9 holes mean there is plenty of time for discussions of the kind that very seldom occurs inside the four walls of an office meeting room. My friend is involved in a bidding process for the so called ”förbifart Stockholm” which will create a smoother way to pass Stockholm in years to come. Of course he is not bidding for the whole project but I am going to stop short of even trying to explain what it is he does. Förbifart Stockholm is budgeted at just over 30 billion kronor (€3 billion) and I am sure nobody will be surprised if it turns out more expensive. Judging by the number of cars on the roads around Stockholm already I am sure most would consider this investment necessary, though expensive.

An interesting question that arises is why we are so fond of our cars. My friend tells me about a conversation they have had over coffee at his workplace. He, and his colleagues were all in agreement that the main reason to still own a car is that we need it to take our kids to sports. That raises an interesting hypothetical question about what would happen if 31 billion kronor were used to build sport facilities close to where people live, instead of on building a road?

As I sit down to prepare a presentation that I am giving at the International Physical Literacy Conference in Umeå I come to think about this. Through our project leader for ”Places for sport” I learn that all of us are much more likely to be physically active if there is a nearby facility that makes this possible. In addition I learn that there are norms that govern how many parking lots that need to be built when developing housing facilities for x number of people. But there are no norms that stipulate the number of sports facilities that should come with a new set of houses. Over a coming number of years the plan is for Stockholm to have 140 000 new apartments. Isn’t it time to say that equals y number of sports facilities? It sure would be interesting to find out how many cars that would keep off the streets!