2015 Rugby World Cup
2015 Rugby World Cup

Exploring alternative reasons on why English/British sports teams continue to struggle on the grandest stage

With the Rugby Union World Cup having started recently and England being knocked out at the first hurdle, we have heard once again many commentators discuss why British sporting teams aren’t achieving the success they arguably should be.

When discussing British sport we sadly hear the common myth that foreigners are ruining the chance for home-grown talent. We know that having the best players from around the world playing in our top league’s benefits us vastly.

Yet if we look up and down the country, we see young Brit’s forced to play on rough and often unplayable pitches with poor second-rate equipment provided, making injuries commonplace during games.

As a result of the cuts to local authorities from Whitehall there just simply isn’t the money to provide better facilities to play on, as local councils up and down the country desperately work to try and maintain essential services on an ever tighter budget.

My sympathy lies with the local authorities who are only responding to the pressures placed on them from the national government. My problem is with a national government that fails to understand the importance of community investment. As a result of their failed understanding of the need and importance of investment, we are seeing the chance for the next generation of athletes to turn professional through the amateur route fall dramatically.

In a country as successful as ours both economically and in terms of sporting ability, we should have better options for our youngsters. We should be able to provide the necessary investment to help give them an opportunity at success and benefit all those hard working across society and not just in sport, because if we cannot, how can this government claim it has provided an economic recovery?

This government continues to insist that they have performed an economic miracle and put this country back on its feet. However, not everyone has benefited from this recovery and still we cannot provide adequate equipment and facilities for the next generation of British athletes.

While this may only be a minor factor for some, I believe it plays a big part in our (lack of) success and suggests to me that we will never have success like the greatest nations of the world if we do not have an adequate grass roots game.

Ben Pickles, Bingley Branch

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