Posted by: travelrat | August 7, 2016

Travel Theme: Sport


DSC_0105When I was at school, we didn’t get much of a choice in the way of sports. Rugby in winter, cricket in summer and athletics. I can’t recall that we received much coaching … but I do remember that you only made the team if you were any good. If you didn’t, you got sent on a cross-country run. I did get rather good at that!

Fortunately, joining the Air Force gave me access to many other things to try … tennis, badminton, squash, basketball … the ones I particularly liked were archery and orienteering. But, cross-country remained a firm favourite. It was the one that called for the least financial layout for kit, and one I could practice almost anywhere.

That’s anywhere in the world … I vividly remember running along a forest track in Germany, and coming across a wild boar … fortunately, he was more intent on his own business. On Cyprus, a half-marathon was interrupted when I, and one or two other competitors, heard a wail from an adjacent field. We beheld the strange spectacle of an elderly Cypriot hanging by his arms from an olive tree. He had, he explained later, been standing in the back of his donkey, gathering olives in the traditional manner, when the donkey had suddenly taken off.

We found him a couple of fields away, blissfully ‘making little donkeys’ with a new-found friend.

The thing with cross-country running was that I saw much, and had some great experiences, even though I never won anything. But, that’s a sport in which winning isn’t everything:

‘And when the Great Scorer comes to write against your name

He’ll ask not if you won or lost, but how you played the game’

This week’s contribution to the ‘Travel Theme’. See more at


  1. hahaha, the donkey story is amazing.

  2. […] Travel Theme: Sport | Travelrat’s Travels […]

  3. Pity the IOC don’t have the same view of sport as you do, but still, once the games start we can enjoy the thrills, and after it’s over and we get back to analysing it all, maybe something will change! But I’m not holding my breath. It’s a close call whether the IOC is worse than FIFA or not.

    • They once did; I have a copy of the Olympic rules from the mid-60s, and the first words were ‘Nobody profits from the Olympic Games …’ And, I have a friend who was prevented from competing in the Olympic shot-put because he’d once signed forms for a professional football club.

      However, these days, I don’t think you can be anything like competitive if you have to do a bread and butter job besides just being an athlete.

      I don’t, though, agree with the philosophy that ‘to come second is to come nowhere’ … probably engendered by the media, saying things like someone ‘has to be content with bronze’. I tell you, if I’d ever won a bronze medal at anything, I’d be more than ‘content’

      Anyway, rant over … looking forward to the triathlon!

  4. Agreed, let’ just enjoy what is offered.

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