Saturday, October 22, 2005

Off line -- on the field

Sport England declared 21 October 2005 to be "E-mail Free Friday" encouraging staff and sports fans not to use email for one day opting instead to walk around the office to communicate with colleagues on a face to face basis. This was coincidental timing for me since I was on a flight from Brussels to Minneapolis so I had an "email free Friday" which allowed me to read five (5) newspapers and some reading materials for work.

I read about Sport England's declaration in the Daily Telegraph so I reviewed their website for an overview of their work,, which is focused on encouraging people to "Skip the Telly" (quit watching TV for those of you that don't speak British English) and to get active. Granted this is a government supported organization but I do like the approach where people are encouraged to get active via sports versus government mandated menus and obesity taxes.

Sports are an essential part of society with benefits not limited to the following:

  • Develops both our competitive and cooperative instincts via team work and "win/loss" outcomes
  • Teaches children sportsmanship which is an extension of civil society
  • Generates a full range of economic activity including: ticket sales, sales of Hummers and related bling bling, sports equipment and clothing sales, creation of youth sports teams, fantasy sports teams, television programming and films, and gambling (of course this is good and bad since it can corrupt sports)
  • Helps reduce health care costs
  • Balanced against tribalism of course sports team do create a greater sense of community

Speaking of sports I must leave now for some old fashioned American football in Ames, Iowa where I am attending Homecoming at my alma mater, Iowa State University, . We are playing Oklahoma State University and we really need a win today to have any chance of a post-season bowl game and to generate checks from alumni such as myself!! That is another issue -- alumni relations -- I plan to address in the future in terms of what my British friends need to adopt to enhance their university system.

Live strong,


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