On day one of the course I focused the lecture on defining sport and discussing and debating the key characteristics of it. There are eight widely accepted characteristics of sport, some of which I think are debatable. But the students have to know them anyway. For me one of the most interesting aspects of this type of discussion is finding out what students personally think sport is. And for me this is the most powerful thing in the world – that they think about and offer up their own personal opinion on the concept.
The quote above was scrawled onto the blackboard during the first lecture by Usher in both English and Chinese. I edited it a little (unedited quote can be seen here). When I read it Usher’s viewpoint seems highly aligned with health (both physical and mental) and community benefit. There is nothing in it that goes close to a focus on elite sport. Except for one word – “constraint.” Usher’s use of the word “constraint” for me highlights the gratuitous logic of sport – that is an attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles.
Talk soon. Jason.