With your back between your legs

They are Britain’s best sporting prospect – they are our best bet in any Olympics and they are dominating the World Championships which are currently being hosted in Britain this week.
But I suspect you don’t know what I am talking about. It’s been my sport of choice – as a participant for nearly three years now and I love it – it’s about teamwork, setting individual goals, core strength and endurance.
So what am I talking about? Rowing – I row for Bradford Amateur Rowing Club and I am a late convert to the sport.
Today Britain's men's coxless four successfully defended their title at the World Rowing Championships at Eton. Steve Williams - who won Olympic gold in Athens - Peter Reed, Alex Partridge and Andy Hodge finished half a length clear of fast-finishing Germany.
Zac Purchase also claimed a gold medal with a comfortable victory in the lightweight men's single scull. Moreover, Britain is set for further glory tomorrow with the Men’s Eight in with a chance of a medal.
But you would struggle to find any information on this in our national press. Now I know we are football obsessed in this country (I’m looking forward to Liverpool’s victory over West Ham today) but give us a break. In the last World Cup we hardly covered ourselves in glory. The football team, led by insipid management, was a set of over-paid, uninspired players who were simply out-classed.
However, the British Rowing Team, largely amateur in outlook dominate their sport and yet the coverage generated in the press is negligible. Why is that? Is it because it’s supposed to be the sport of Posho Public School Boys? It’s not – at my club there is not a rounded vowel in the club house.
Moreover, more and more working class kids are getting involved as signaled by a soon to be screened TV series – Redgrave’s Liverpool VIII, which shows 40 lads from Liverpool train for the Wimbledon of the rowing world – Henley.
I accept that it’s not the most brilliant of spectator sports but any other country in the world would have British rowing’s success on their front page.
Alas, we now live in a mono-culture dominated by football with the odd bit of flag waving for cricket and rugby – particularly when we are doing well in it. But have a thought for rowing…

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