The full tables for YouGov’s weekly Sunday Times poll are now online here. There are a couple of questions on the Boris bandwagon, but mostly it deals with the Olympics.

Taking Boris first 39% of people think that David Cameron should remain Tory leader at the next election, 37% think he should step down. As might be expected the largely majority of those wanting David Cameron to go are supporters of opposing parties – the overwhelming majority of Tory supporters (79%) want him to stay, with only 14% thinking he should stand down. Were Cameron to go, Boris Johnson would be the most popular replacement, but is only picked by 24% of people and a third of Tory supporters, so it hardly suggests a great groundswell of support. William Hague is second on 14%, 34% of people say don’t know and 16% say “somebody else”.

The Olympic questions were almost a pleasure to receive on Friday. Most polls of the British public are a litany of grumble and complaint (partly, of course, because of what papers ask about – people being happy with things doesn’t normally make good news). People’s opinion on the Olympics is almost unremittingly positive. People now think hosting the Olympics was the right thing to do by 57% to 29% (compared to 53% to 35% before the Games started), 71% of people now think the Games will be a success, compared to 60% before they began.

74% of people think the Olympics so far have been well organised, and 69% think they are lifting people’s spirits. 11% of people say it has made them more likely to take up sport themselves, though of course, it is one thing to tell a pollster this and a different thing to actually put it into action!

There was also an overwhelmingly positive reception for the opening ceremony. Amongst those people who watched at least some of the opening ceremony, 60% said it was very good, 29% good. Only 10% had a negative opinion of it. 68% said it made them feel proud to be British. Asked to pick their favourite parts of the ceremony the Queen’s appearance with James Bond came top on 29%, followed by the lighting of the cauldron and the opening sequence showing the industrial revolution of British social history (both on 18%).

There was very little sympathy for Aiden Burley’s comments about the ceremony, only 15% said his description of it as “leftie multicultural crap” was fair. Despite the positive reviews for the ceremony people still though too much was spent on it, though there has been a significant shift since July – 52% of people still thought £27m was too much to spend on it (down from 67% in July), 32% thought it was about the right amount to spend (up from 16%).

There are very positive reviews of the BBC’s coverage of the Games. 87% of people who are watching at least some of the Games say the BBC has done a good job in covering it, 82% think the commentators have been well informed. So far respondents say they have most enjoyed watching the swimming (19%) and cycling (17%).

On Ye Shiwen, 46% of respondents think she is probably not using drugs compared to only 15% who think she is. 52% think it was wrong of John Leonard to voice his suspicions.

On Olympic sport, Squash – the only sport asked about that is not an existing Olympic sport or planned to become one – actually had the highest proportion of people thinking it should be. 64% of people thought Squash should be contested at the Olympics, with only 18% saying it shouldn’t be. There was also high (63%) support for trampoline gymnastics remaining an Olympic sport. People thought beach volleyball should be an Olympic sport by 49% to 32%, BMX cycling by 45% to 36% and rugby sevens by 45% to 36%. Golf, due to be introduced at the 2016 Olympic games, was only seen as something that should be an Olympic sport by 21% of people, with 62% thinking it should not be.

Finally Michael Phelps was seen as the greatest Olympian by 20% (of course the survey was conducted on Thursday to Friday, and Phelps has won several more medals since then!), with Steve Redgrave in second place on 17%.


238 Responses to “YouGov on the Olympics so far”

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  1. Interesting to see that now Murray has allegedly a long standing rivalry with
    Federer.Actually many other players of lesser and equal standing to Federer
    Have beaten him over the years.Sour grapes,you bet.

  2. @Phil – “the views of Conservatives ought to be the ones to watch, on the grounds that such views will be closer to those of the Conservatives actually taking the decision… 79% want him to stay.”

    Labour had an 11% lead over Thatcher’s Tory party in 1990, two years before a GE, they had been trailing Labour for 18 months.

    I’m wondering if there was any polling on the percentage of Conservative voters who wanted Thatcher to stay.

    MPs were beginning to worry about their seats, but she seems to have been brought down by high profile colleagues rather than the rank-and-file.

    Cameron seems painted into a corner at the moment. The assertion this week that Osborne (main ally and political brain) will remain as chancellor until 2015 appears to underline his dependence on a limited powerbase within the parliamentary party. Powerful media players and high priests of Toryism harry him on every side.

  3. There’s an interesting political under current running regarding the links between education and Olympic success, started I think by Lord Moynihan commenting that we must do more to get more state school educated Olympians and that Team GB is dominated by privately educated athletes.

    This was taken up by Cameron, Gove, and even had Rupert Murdoch tweeting about the lack of competition in state schools (like, that’s something he knows anything about?).

    What is interesting is that the raising of these concerns may actually tell us more about the prejudices of those stating them, than the actual facts.

    The Telegraph has found that around 20% of Team GB are privately educated – ahead of the proportion attending such schools, but not dominating the team.

    In the Guardian, John Harris points out that many of our gold medalists (Ennis, Murray, Wiggins, Farrah, Pendleton and others) are all state school educated, with quotes from several of them praising the support and inspiration they got from their comprehensive school sports teachers. (He even points out that Sir Steven Redgrave went to a secondary modern).

    What’s interesting is that while everyone agrees that we need to improve access to sports across state schools, those from a privately educated background seem to labour under the false impression that it is people from their own backgrounds who are primarily delivering the current sporting success.

    My suspicion is that this is part of a largely unconscious but very deep prejudice that tends to infect such people, encouraging them to dismiss the achievements of the state sector in areas like education and health.

    It’s interesting to see a measurable example of this, but it raises significant questions about the personal views taken by politicians from a restricted background (across all parties I must add) in wider public policy formulation, and how damaging to good governance that could be.

  4. Billy Bob
    The book to read at this point is Alan Clark “The Tories”, I think it is called. He thought this book would make his reputation rather than the Diaries but I think it was too brutally honest.
    Old Nat
    Yes, our medals per head would out do all the examples quoted? There is a gold post box just outside my office. We will have suitable civic recognition, I am sure.

  5. Rupert Murdoch went to Geelong. His free church ancestors would be spinning thinking of him attending an Anglican institution.

  6. Billy Bob “harry him on every side”

    You make ole Dave sound like my hero Richard III

  7. BARNEY CROCKETT

    “We will have suitable civic recognition, I am sure”.

    Good. While I am not into medal tables, it’s good for communities to support their local folk, and celebrate their success.

    Mind you, if the “alternative” medal tables that I sometimes link to were used to calculate medals against per capita GDP, NE Scotland would drop down the list quite significantly. :-)

  8. I am just suprised that the Olympics have had no effect on the voting intentions- most people would now plump for Labour whilst the Tories are almost- polling at John Major/IDS levels:

    Its like a firm bloc of selfish people have made up their minds that, “Yes the Olympics might be going well but the good Olympics is not Giving Us More Money, It does not alter the fact that the Tory-led Government is Cutting Our Benefits- Were hard up, We want more money, and We are Going To Get it- by Voting Labour!!- Even if future generations may have to pay for it!”.

    That there are indeed folk like that makes me ashamed to be British- folk don’t care so much that their country is hosting the Olympics, they have no appreciation of all the hard work and effort put in, and the fact that- so far- the authorities have handled things remarkably efficiently. They don’t think about how much their demands could- if enacted into policy- threaten future generations with higher tax bills- they are primarily concerned with the size of their Giro Cheque- to them nothing else really matters! Pure Here-and-Nowist Selfishness!

  9. IAN PENNELL

    “Even if future generations may have to pay for it!”.

    Doesn’t that equally apply to the monies borrowed to pay for the Olympics?

    I’m enjoying the competition – but I also enjoyed previous Olympics and Commonwealth Games where the expenditure was much less extravagant.

  10. Ian:

    Re the long, imaginary sentence in your paragraph two, I must say I find it very amusing to think of “a firm bloc of selfish people” [how many would that be by the way?] chanting that in unison.

    I particularly liked the creative use of capital letters which has a lot to commend it.

    It has echoes of Monty Python and I’d love to be involved in a video of it. Probably best done with a firm bloc of actors dressed as the Gumbies, all in welly boots.

    Thankyou for that, twas good political satire.

  11. Amber – ah, yes, that is what I meant to write. Whoops.

  12. Just to paraphrase my observation about Labour staying high in the Polls despite a well-organised Olympics in which Britain has already won 16 gold medals is due to the pure “Here and Nowist” Selfishnes of a large number of voters- thats not what it is1

    It is pure “Only Me, Totally Self-Centred, I Dont Care About Anything Else or Anybody Else, Here and Nowist” Selfishness. Otherwise why would people want to vote for a Party which would leave Britain bankrupt and- in the longer run- in a much worse recession. When all that debt has to be paid back-with interest- thats the opposite of a “Fiscal Stimulus”.

    The high taxes Labour would impose on businesses and the rich would drive away businesses- causing firms to sack thousands and shut- whilst the former CEOs flee (with their £ millions) to Hong Kong or Monaco- where they arent going to be fleeced! Even if folk could work this out- it is not difficult to, lets face it- they would still vote Labour!

    Apologies for the little rant, but its the only logical explanation as to why Labour are 44% in the latest You Gov poll. If it was just worry about the economy being in recession- why aren’t they looking seriously at UKIP- which has a number of sensible economic policies- plus getting Britain out of the European Union. UKIP are on just 8%, by the way- perhaps the voters are not so patriotic which is why the Olympic Games in London and 16 British Gold Medals has not dented Labour support.

    People KNOW Labour would keep Britain in the European Union, just like the Tories would- but in these mildly austere times people turn on the Government over benefit cuts and/or tax rises. Many voters don’t really want the Party that would actually benefit the economy in the long run- they just want more money NOW to spend on things they like- chocolates, nights out ‘on the razzle, to be more obviated of the “need to work”, to buy more DVDs and a new I-Pad; and the Party they see most likely to give them what they want NOW is Labour.

    If you analyse the voting intentions of the non-working classes that is basically what it comes down to- they dont really think about anything else except their next Giro, how big it will be and how to go about making it bigger.
    Maybe I’m a tad cynical.

  13. @barney crockett

    Thanks for the reference – The Tories: Conservatives and the Nation State 1992-97. Copies are available for less than the price of a Sunday newspaper.

  14. Ian – you aren’t actually a REAL ex-Python are you???

  15. IAN PENNELL

    “Maybe I’m a tad cynical.”

    There are lots of things that you might be “a tad”. :-)

    That you see your view as “the only logical explanation” brings lots of descriptors to mind. If I tried hard, I might find a complimentary one.

  16. I’m with Ian – I can’t believe people don’t think the same as me either.

  17. Billy Bob
    I think he persuaded the publishers it would be a huge seller but it seems people couldn’t believe politics was quite so Machiavellian. Its a great read. The world of whips, party chairmen and members of the 1922 committee, not ministers.

  18. Paul,

    No, I am not an ex-Python, or a particular fan of them! I do work in an establishment that until recently had a bit of a Faulty Towers reputation around it- perhaps a little of that rubbed off on me!

    That said, I do like to use capital letters when I get a bee in my bonnet and want to forcefully make a point. I get a little bit empassioned when discussing the large numbers of takers in this country- that contribute little, care little, and who cost a great deal.

    And to contemplate that they are now so numerous that they have the balance of power in Britain- leaving those who work hard and pay taxes (and who really care about issues other than how much money the Government is giving them)- effectively disenfranchised- gives me a rather horrid feeling inside!

  19. Ian P
    Labours standing cannot possibly be due to benefits. Benefits to the non-retired are un-popular and protecting them loses you votes. In the key swing seats few (under retirement age) will be on benefits and many of them will not vote. Labour’s present position presumably rests on a feeling that life was a bit better under Labour, they seemed (in retrospect) reasonably competent and worked away. They didn’t make so many mistakes about taxing pasties or whatever. Boris is a laugh but they don’t really understand the average person.

  20. IAN PENNELL

    “I get a little bit empassioned when discussing the large numbers of takers in this country- that contribute little, care little, and who cost a great deal.”

    Yep. MPs are a real problem.

  21. Yes, that should have been 1922-97.

  22. Barney

    Agreed that in the current political environment, where the ideological differences between left & right in mainstream UK parties have largely disappeared, competence is the critical issue.

    Certainly true in Scotland, but UK opinion still seems to be based on who is the least incompetent, rather than most competent.

    For the good governance of England – and the reserved powers that apply to the rest of us, that perception probably needs to change.

  23. Ian Pennell

    Selfishness and voting Tory have always gone hand in hand. ‘Me ..Me .. Me ‘ was the essence of Thatcherism after all.

  24. I shall compose a Flaners and Swann song..

    “Why don’t sensible people learn to think like me?
    when I’m clearly in the right oh why can’t they agree?
    Why does everyone have a vote, surely they can sEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
    That I’ve got all the answers – they can have them all for free

    ………………………..

    i shall continue overnight but, so far, I’m quite pleased with it.

  25. GRAHAM

    “Selfishness and voting Tory have always gone hand in hand.”

    That’s just as stereotyping a comment as “Jews are ….”.

    I’ve previously confessed to being bigoted against Tories – but I’m a saint compared with that attitude! :-)

  26. PAUL CROFT

    How about this real Flanders & Swann song as an inspiration?

    Some folk like music, some folk like tea,
    Some folk like women, they’re not for me.
    Here is my motto, simple and terse:
    Everything’s lousy, and going to get worse!
    Oh, I wish
    Oh, I wish
    Man had never evolved from a fish.
    Oh, I wish I were dead,
    Wish I’d been dropped on my head,
    Broken my neck, lost the toss with a bull,
    Parachute jumped and forgotten to pull,
    Oh, I long to be dead,
    Wrapped in a casket of lead,
    Wish I’d been drowned in a barrel of stout,
    Dived off the pier when the tide was still out.

    The grave, the grave,
    Is a fine and private place,
    The grave, the grave,
    And who the hell wants to embrace?
    I wish, I wish I were dead,
    Laid out with a lilly in bed,
    Wish that I’d drunk some carbolic for fun,
    Tested the trigger while cleaning my gun,
    Or just shriveled up in the heat of the sun,
    Oh, I wish I were dead, dead, dead,
    Oh, I wish I were,
    Oh, I wish I were,
    Oh, I wish I were,
    I wish I was dead.

    It has that nice sense of counter-Leibnizianism.

  27. PAUL CROFT

    I had forgotten your chronic pain condition when I posted that, so it may have been wildly inappropriate, in which case apologies.

  28. @Ian Pennell
    ” I get a little bit empassioned when discussing the large numbers of takers in this country- that contribute little, care little, and who cost a great deal.”
    Indeed. I can sense just how much you dislike pensioners, the scroungers courted so ardently by the Conservatives because they like to vote, but you manage to hide your anti-tory anti-pensioner feelings in the rest of your posting.

  29. @ Alec

    ‘My suspicion is that this is part of a largely unconscious but very deep prejudice that tends to infect such people, encouraging them to dismiss the achievements of the state sector in areas like education and health.’

    I believe that this effect also occurs for the current crop of journalists and media bods. A recent survey, by Open Democracy, of 24hrs reporting on the BBC indicated that 67% of the reporters were privately educated and over 20% went to Oxbridge. My own survey of BBC news reporters indicated an even higher % were educated privately and that in addition to the 20% being Oxbridge graduates, overwhelmingly they held degrees in English or languages. The only science graduate was Sarah Montague who if I remember correctly took a Biology degree.

    IMO these backgrounds explain an enormous amount about the inadequate way in which the news is framed…

    And talking about a lack of scientific understanding. I believe that the nearest thing to a scientific background in the the cabinet is Theresa May’s geography degree, a clear majority took PPE.

    IMO the lack of diversity amongst our politicians, coupled with the same lack for our news sources, explains a lot about how we find ourselves with draconian reforms to education and health with remarkably little coverage or analysis by the mainstream media.

  30. ON

    That’s ok, its just pain thankyou.

    I’ve just woken up with the chorus…….

    “I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about the welfare state

    the labour party’s rubbish, the tory party’s great!!!!

    Its only my opinion but I know you will agreeEEEEEEEEEE

    the only people wot should vote are those wot think like me”

    and I commend this song to the house.

    HEAR HEAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    CROFTY FOR PM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. ON

    Thinking of the F and S song – in all modesty I don’t think it would be right to deprive the world of my talents prematurely so I shall hang on grimly, ta for the thought.

  32. @PeeWee

    Apparently there are 10.5M GB pensioners; 1.5M (14%) of them are still working.

  33. Ian P:

    Have you ever considered that what the “non-working classes” may actually be wanting is the chance to work?

    I ask in case your reply gives me another verse for my great song.

  34. @ Paul Croft

    LOL :-) Fabulous song.

  35. @ Old Nat

    “My son drew my attention to the manifesto of the Texas Republicans

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/texasgop_pre/assets/original/2012Platform_Final.pdf

    Included is “Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

    I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a political manifesto which wants to ensure that kids aren’t to be helped to think for themselves – but just to be clones.

    Quite incredible!”

    I heard about that. It’s almost a self-parody isn’t it?

    And yeah, they don’t really don’t like independent thought. It frightens them or bothers them I think. My mom’s dad was a near life long Republican and he fit the mold too. He disliked independent thought and discouraged it as much as possible. But that’s not anything he ever admitted to or would have ever admitted to. That makes the Texas GOP all the more surprising.

    One reason I’m such a First Amendment purist and one reason why I’ve always been an advocate of protecting First Amendment rights of minors is that kids need to learn how to think for themselves.

  36. Verse 19 of “A Bee In My Bonnet”

    “I suppose the common man should vote
    even ladies [if they must]
    But a problem there for all to see
    Is knowing who to trust
    So we’ll fill the slips in for you
    That’ll help you to decide
    And furthermore you’ll be quite sure
    You’re on the winning side.”

  37. @ Old Nat

    “I’ve previously confessed to being bigoted against Tories – but I’m a saint compared with that attitude! :)”

    I think I might be biased against the Tories too but for all the wrong reasons. I’m like a small child who’s been mauled and badly injured by an angry German Shepherd or Doberman Pincher. Because of this experience, I loathe and fear all dogs regardless of breed or individual friendliness. Resultingly, this fear and suspicion extends to even a friendly and loving dog like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Well maybe.

    I get so partisan and I get so angry sometimes, I have to remind myself to take it back and take it down a notch. Not everyone who opposes your political view is automatically the enemy or an evil, horrible person.

  38. Amber: I was inspired by your LOL – never had one before though, naturally, I do laugh at my own jokes a fair bit.

  39. There’s been a lot of shots of Prince William and Princess Kate at the Olympics (at least on NBC). I have to say (not being a fan of royalty) that they come off as extremely likeable. They also give the appearance of being a normal couple and a newly married couple who are still actually in love with each other.

  40. @ Alec

    “There’s an interesting political under current running regarding the links between education and Olympic success, started I think by Lord Moynihan commenting that we must do more to get more state school educated Olympians and that Team GB is dominated by privately educated athletes.

    This was taken up by Cameron, Gove, and even had Rupert Murdoch tweeting about the lack of competition in state schools (like, that’s something he knows anything about?).

    What is interesting is that the raising of these concerns may actually tell us more about the prejudices of those stating them, than the actual facts.

    The Telegraph has found that around 20% of Team GB are privately educated – ahead of the proportion attending such schools, but not dominating the team.

    In the Guardian, John Harris points out that many of our gold medalists (Ennis, Murray, Wiggins, Farrah, Pendleton and others) are all state school educated, with quotes from several of them praising the support and inspiration they got from their comprehensive school sports teachers. (He even points out that Sir Steven Redgrave went to a secondary modern).

    What’s interesting is that while everyone agrees that we need to improve access to sports across state schools, those from a privately educated background seem to labour under the false impression that it is people from their own backgrounds who are primarily delivering the current sporting success.

    My suspicion is that this is part of a largely unconscious but very deep prejudice that tends to infect such people, encouraging them to dismiss the achievements of the state sector in areas like education and health.

    It’s interesting to see a measurable example of this, but it raises significant questions about the personal views taken by politicians from a restricted background (across all parties I must add) in wider public policy formulation, and how damaging to good governance that could be.”

    This is an interesting post. I’m actually surprised that only 20% of the athletes are privately educated. There are an enormous amount and variety of sporting events at the Olympics but many of them are in sports that traditionally are going to be available to the wealthy and the upper middle class. Most of these athletes typically start training for their sport at a very young age. So access is all the more important.

    Someone who starts learning how to ride horses at a young age at the country club or grows up in a family home with a pool they can practice swimming in (especially true in the UK) is probably going to come from a wealthier family and is more likely to be educated privately.

    Also, when you consider the resources needed in order to get specialized training and to continue training and competing in some of these sports, it’s all the more likely that these Olympians come from wealthy backgrounds and are likely to be privately educated.

    Of course, Olympic sports that are more accessible and don’t require much to train (basketball, pretty much all the track and field events, volleyball, etc.) are going to have Olympians who come from less well off backgrounds and are more likely to be educated in public/state schools.

    In the sports that Britain is traditionally good at (“anything that requires sitting”), rowing, equestrian, cycling, canoeing, sailing, with the exception of cycling, all of these are sports that generally tend to attract the wealthy.

    I don’t think this demonstrates any kind of failure of the public educational system. Think about it this way. Do you want massive public investment in your local schools to go into building extensive sports facilities in the hopes that you one day might produce some top rate Olympians or do you want it to go to something educational that will benefit all students?

  41. @Paul Croft

    I do laugh at my own jokes a fair bit.
    ———————
    Me too; it’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it. :-)

  42. Laura Trott is another GB gold medalist from a comprehensive school – a specialist sports college.

    @Ian Pennel – there are lots of logical reasons why polls show Labour on 44%.

    One possible reason I posted about a couple of days ago is that Cameron isn’t reaping the credit from the Olympics. If you go by media coverage, Salmond appears to be a loser, Boris a winner, but Cameron squeezed out. He has tried to appear with medalists and get on the screens but this doesn’t seem to have helped him overcome the Eclipse of Boris.

    I suspect this is damage by comparison. While I doubt any long term polling impacts, the internal Tory party dynamics have been destabilised by the Boris effect and it looks like Cameron will fail to get the poll springboard he was hoping for to lead into a Autumn relaunch.

  43. @Socal – ” Do you want massive public investment in your local schools to go into building extensive sports facilities in the hopes that you one day might produce some top rate Olympians or do you want it to go to something educational that will benefit all students?”

    What we want is private schools, who are registered charities, to talk their charitable objectives seriously and open their facilites to a wider range of people.

    The Master of Wellington College (top private school) was brought in by the government to encourage this, and he recently launch an utterly devastating attack on his own colleagues in the private school sector, saying they had shown absolutely no interest in taking on a wider social role. He was extremely scathing of them, and blamed them for insularity and defensiveness. They get significant tax perks as charities.

    BTW – we have already had good levels of investment in state school sports facilities – its one of the reasons why we are doing so well at the Olympics.

  44. There is only one logical reason why Labour are on 44%… 44% of the people surveyed by YouGov (after a bit of statistical shenanigans) said they would support them. All else is supposition, amusing though it might be. And remember, there is no requirement for voting intention to be logical.

  45. Shell are this morning reported to be pulling out cash reserves from the Euro area and are putting a risk premium on trades in the periphery nations.

    This could be the beginning of some significant cracks in the Euro if this sentiment takes hold.

  46. Hm. Does Boris know where Corby is?

  47. Think Labour will win Corby if they put up a good candidate.

    Will the Tories go for another celebrity ?

  48. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/06/louise-mensch-quitting-as-mp-for-corby-to-move-to-new-york_n_1745947.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

    I’d never have guessed she had a family from the amount of time she spent twittering, appearing on TV etc.

    David Cameron’s ship really is sinking, when his erstwhile supporters resign ‘to spend more time with their families’ just when Boris might be looking for a seat. ;-)

  49. Re sport in schools.

    Worth noting the Australian system on sports is different. If you want Government money you need,as a sport , to have local clubs which cater down to Juniors and up to Seniors. That’s it. School sport in Australia is a ‘bonus’, not where it starts. Why? No PE department can cater and train to the top level which dedicated local coaches can do. Equally if your sport is developed all the way down to local, the system for talent spotting excellence, and passing them up the ladder is clearly developed.

    Yes, some top private schools can have top sport, but that’s a bonus.

    Leave schools to do academic work, that’s what their key focus should be. In sport terms their job should be to pick late developers and send them rapidly tyo the local clubs for training…

    Last time I was at the Australian Institute for Sport I watched the elite under 10s being trained for gymnastics by the top coaches. No local school can ever match that…

  50. A test of Labour`s real lead coming up…If Cameron can keep Corby,his stock could rise.

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