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This week I have been mostly thinking about…the Commonwealth games

The games had a pretty hectic build up, the issues surrounding the preparation of the athletes village and a number of the venues were well documented. Lots of comments were made on the whether the games could and should take place and how all the disruption would effect the athletes. The latest issue raised by Matthew Pinsent is about spectator numbers and how a country with a population around the billion mark can’t fill the stadia.

I know the Commonwealth games is huge event and is a big deal for India who as a rapidly developing country wants to show itself on the International stage and these problems are having an adverse effect on that. That’s for the organising committee to deal with. From the athlete’s point of view they should see it as a sporting event like any other. It is open to disruption and while you want it to run smoothly, they often don’t. I remember playing rugby matches where due to severe traffic we didn’t arrive at the ground until 15 minutes before kick off or having to get changed in the showers because of building work in the clubhouse. It happens and you have to deal with it.

I remember reading a piece by Brian Ashton, the former England and England academy rugby coach on this subject. He talked about professional athletes having everything done for them, not having to think for or organise themselves and made the point that if organisational issues came up they would have a large negative on the players. It would be possible to prepare for this type of disruption by occasionally altering training venues or times at short notice or by not bringing certain bits of kit. If doing this I’d make a note of it beforehand so as to not get tarred with the same brush as the organising committee.

Neil Welch

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