Friday, August 03, 2012

Sporting class

Peter Wilby bemoans the fact that,
Only football, eschewed by many public schools because of its proletarian associations, remains almost entirely dominated by state school alumni at the top level.
Er, hasn't he heard of Rugby League then? The sport was founded as a specific response to the attempts by the Rugby Union to exclude working class players who were beginning to dominate the upper echelons of the game. I have posted in more detail on this before.

In many ways his article is a fine piece, but Rugby League is a classic example of the interweaving of social class with sport, which is historic, systemic and not solely the result of educational inequality. Ironic too that a working class sport with a strong Northern regional identity should escape the notice of a London-based left journalist writing about social exclusion and social exclusivity in British sporting life.


Much of his analysis (of state school failure, not private school facilities) seems to have fallen apart with a raft of gold medals over the weekend by, er, former state school pupils.  Read John Harris.

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