Saturday, February 17, 2007

Eric Takes a Proactive Approach to School Sports

Eric was the only London councillor to attend a meeting at the home of Harlequins Rugby, the Stoop at Twickenham last week. He joined 51 top sports coaches to look at strengthening the participation of young people in local sports clubs.

Pro-Active South London plays a key role in supporting School Sports Partnerships and is looking to acheive a target of 85% of pupils engaged in at least 4 hours of quality physical activity each week.

This can only work with the help of local clubs and coaches so it is rewarding to help encourage the leadership and co-ordination necessary to make this happen. Eric's love of all sports shines through in this type of meeting. He is interested not just in the champions and sportsmen and women of the future, but engaging young people in a healthy lifestyle which will set them in good stead for the future. School sports has plenty of positive spin-offs in areas where we involve ourselves as councillors. Health and educational benefits are obvious but the social aspect and the diversion away from anti-social behaviour is just as important. Finally as a Harlequins season ticket holder, Eric rarely needs an excuse to travel to Twickenham, though I daresay it was more comfortable than sitting in the stand spectating.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Scully in freefall at Wallington Girls

Wow! Just got back from an hour's grilling from 140 girls in the sixth form of Wallington Girls' School. The daunting feeling that I felt at the beginning left me as quickly as my prepared notes within a couple of minutes of the start.

I was introduced to several members of staff and the Head Girl and made to feel very welcome. My brief, originally talk about politics for an hour, became what makes Conservatives different. After a brief introduction telling the girls who I was, it became a Q&A session. I was really impressed with the willingness to really test me on subjects that interested them and standing up for themselves when they disagreed. Maybe I'm a sucker for punishment but I would rather have a feisty audience anyday over a quiet bunch of wet fish.

Having covered transport, selective education, youth clubs and crime, it occurred to me that much of the anti-Conservative feeling put across by some was from the feeling that Conservatives stood for the rich and selfish and from a frustration of politicians in general. There again, there were plenty that just didn't agree with me as well.

I hope that I was as honest and straightforward as I could be and left them with a little more confidence that the Conservatives were worth considering as an option. If any of you that were there read this, let me know what you thought in the comments section below. Either way it was a fantastic experience that I am happy to survive but would love to repeat. I guess this is how people feel when they safely land at the bottom of a skydive.