Letter: Red card for Vinnies

March 8, 2002

The use of sport to legitimise and promote violence and aggression rekindled memories of school ("Is it safe in the locker room?", THES , March 1). No one appeared to enjoy bullying children more than the sports teacher. It was the slipper for forgetting or having a dirty kit and standing in the cold showers for an eternity while the teacher had a good laugh. If you were not blessed with talent you were ridiculed.

I was dismayed on entering teaching to be shown the "torture room" at the back of the PE staff changing room where difficult pupils could be sorted out.

As Jim Denison rightly says, sport does not have to be like this. It can help develop some very positive and healthy qualities of mind and body. Times might have changed, but as long as society rewards the violent behaviour of such famous players as Vinnie Jones and Martin Johnston, the scales will be tipped in the wrong direction.

Richard W. Cox
Director of sport, Umist

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