This is Leaon, the fastest 100 metre runner of all time. He has exactly the right bone and muscle structure, mental confidence under pressure and dedication to his training to run the 100m in 9.49 seconds. So why haven’t you heard of him? Because the last time he ran the 100m was at a school sports day 18 years ago when he finished 3 seconds ahead of second place, broke the school record and then got on with the rest of his life and no-one gave a fuck. There were no scouts to spot him, he didn’t join a running club, didn’t get expert training and didn’t get fed all the ‘vitamin supplements’ he could cram into his body without growing a second penis. So now, instead of Usain Bolt sitting at home seething with jealousy, his smug, gurning endorsements occupy as much space in the world as a billion insomniac German holiday makers with an unlimited supply of towels.
And this is where some relatively simple technology can revolutionise the face of sport. Now imagine if there was a website that recorded the times of all the runs that a child has done at school from the age of 5. Initially primary school teachers would go to the website to fill it in and then P.E. teachers would be charged with the responsibility. I mean it’s not like they’re doing anything else apart from wearing tracksuit bottoms, abusing fat kids and trying to convince everyone that P.E. it is a real subject. These stats would be monitored by local athletics clubs and even UK Sport, to see if it was worth having a look at someone not currently on the radar and nudging them in the right direction of running clubs if they were interested.
Then why not include a variety of running, jumping, throwing and accuracy based games on the curriculum from an early age to spot the other track and field stars of the future. Eventually you could even have a motor racing simulator that used near perfect real world physics and real life racing tracks. The sim could run competitive races so that if you’ve got a 17 year old unemployed school dropout from Dundee, regularly beating the throngs of unisex jeans wearing, Clarkson-esque midlife crisis suffering, car obsessed tossers, then it may be worth sticking him in a Formula 3 car for a day and seeing how he gets on.
So, not only are you spotting the potentially huge amount of talent that has slipped through the gaps, you are also increasing knowledge, understanding, accessibility and appreciation of a wide range of sports and there is a third benefit that will also make a huge difference to people’s lives.
It is at this point that I have a confession to make and reveal an ulterior motive behind this invention. Basically this is just a convoluted way of eradicating the 18stone waste of Primark Clothing sitting in the pub, talking loudly about what highly trained professionals should be doing, as if he is some sort of authority because he has spent the last 15 years ignoring his wife and kids to watch anything that passes for sport on Sky. This is because anyone with a computer and a spare 10 minutes can accumulate enough knowledge and experience to tell ‘Captain Sport’ that he’s talking out of his fetid, gargantuan arsehole and further tell him exactly why he’s wrong. All in a cock-sure, booming voice so everyone can hear of course.
So this is my proposal to improve British sport. It’s either this or follow the Chinese model and turn all the orphanages into win or die sporting battery farms.Follow @mritdean