Category Archives: Revolution

Train to Tokyo

Last September, as the new school year was starting, a colleague and I heard a few stories on social media of kids that were not able to take part in school PE because they didn’t have any kit – not that they’d forgotten it that day, they really didn’t own any suitable kit.

This shocked us – we’re both very active and love what doing sport, being active, just moving does to our bodies and our minds. We were amazed that this was happening in the UK and we both felt that those kids were missing out on something fundamental to what being a kid, or even just a person, is all about.

Rather than just forget about it we looked into ways we might be able to do something about it.

We’ve thought, chatted, asked for advice and then thought some more and think we have a plan that can make a big difference to kids’ lives. We want to develop a daily sport / exercise / movement programme for school kids. Our goals are very simple:

– The primary goal is to be a ‘trojan horse’ that will actually allow us to give away sports kit to any school child that needs it. They can then be active when and how they choose – whether at school, at home, or in clubs and teams – without being limited by a lack of kit.
– The secondary goal is to create an interest in sport so that more kids want to take part and enjoy sports – to inspire sport as a way of life for all.

pumpsWe have the outlines of a plan and want to create a pilot programme with a couple of different schools. We hope that a successful pilot will then allow us to go and ask for funding from a variety of organisations so that we can start to roll this out.

This is where you come in – please help us raise some money to create the trial.

We think we need £6,500 to run this trial.

That money will fund the cost of the kit and printing posters & wall charts etc and petrol costs and all other expenses. But, and we have to be honest about this, it will also cover some of the time it will take to make this happen. We’ve already spent a lot of time on this and as passionate as we are about it, we unfortunately can’t give up the massive amount of time needed completely for free.

The Pilot

For the pilot we will target two different schools and hope to have the involvement of at least one class in each, in different year groups.

We will support the schools throughout the year as they run through the programme, but we will also use their feedback to improve and update our programme.

As soon as the pilot is underway we will be using it as a proof point to try and gain access to other pots of money – from government and local government, sports teams and organisations and the commercial sector. The pilot will just be a stepping-stone to a greater roll-out of this programme.

The Programme – Train to Tokyo

olympic_rings_on_white_206913The programme will be a series of games, sports, exercise routines that will earn the kids points and get them closer to Tokyo – the hosts of the Olympics in 2020.

To achieve this, all the children in a class will be given a set of kit (shoes, shorts and t-shirt) that will allow them to take part in sport, whether at school, at home, or in clubs and teams. The kit will be subtly branded and so the kids will form a ‘team’. We also hope to be able to persuade local and national companies to offer discounts to kids that are wearing their kit.

The exercise programme will be a quick and easily adaptable one that can be incorporated into the school day – it will be similar to the ‘Daily Mile’ programmes that are starting to gain popularity. However, we will also try and focus on some of the less well known Olympic sports.

Where possible we will develop links with sports organisations and sports people to arrange visits from Olympians to schools. If a kid isn’t enthusiastic about football, netball or athletics, we hope to show that there are many, many more sports out there that they could enjoy.

We will also create a programme for schools that will go way beyond just physical exercise. By setting it out that the kids are working towards Tokyo we can introduce a range of other educational elements. Geographic targets allow for the introduction of geography, language and religion lessons to be included, while the points themselves can be included in maths lessons.

Of course this is about more than just school sport. Schools will be how we will deliver this to kids, but we want to create interest and excitement for sport in the kids that otherwise would be left out. We want to light a fire that cannot be extinguished and create a new generation of active people.

Consultancy

We already have teachers on board who are offering valuable advice about how this can be incorporated into classrooms. We will creating a board of experts that will advise on everything from the educational requirements of our programme, through the financial aspects to the creation of fitness programmes.

Payment

We are not at this stage a registered charity, nor even a formal business. That will come. At present we are an idea and a passion that we want to get working on – but we need your help. However, we also need your trust.

If you can help us out financially then we ask that payment is made to Joshua PR (my business). A completely separate account will be created for this and the incomings and outgoings of this account will be tracked and managed by the bookkeepers and accountants that currently work for Joshua PR. We will also make this available to anyone that donates if they request to see it.

But right now, we can’t simply set up a JustGiving page, so we ask you to trust us.

Summary

There are kids out there, in the UK, that are not physically active simply because they don’t have the kit to be able to be active in. They are missing out on all the benefits of an active lifestyle – the health benefits, the mental benefits and the life lessons, friendships and self-confidence that can come from sport.

We think we can do something to help alleviate this situation. We are asking for your help.

If you’re able to donate, please get in touch and I’d be happy to chat it through more and also provide details for your donation.

Thank you.

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Billy Bragg

I can’t pretend that I was a huge fan, but I’ve always liked what I heard and always admired his politics and his passion. So when he played a gig about 2 miles from my house – well I had to go.

It was part of the annual Gate to Southwell Folk Festival (which lasts all weekend), but at times it felt like a strange mix. Playing to an inherently conservative (with a small c) audience of older (I was one of the youngest audience members) of folk music fans; in a strongly Conservative (with a large C) electoral area, it would be interesting to see how the politics and passion would play out.

Initially the set was very folky as Bragg talked about how he now embraces the folk scene – and how it will allow him to grow old and still be welcomed in the scene. He played his folkier tracks and also some Woody Guthrie numbers he’s been working on.

I can’t list the songs played as I didn’t know them to begin with, but even stood on his own on stage (apart from one person in the wings who was making him cups of herbal tea!) he held the audience’s attention throughout.

The second half of the set became more political and songs and talk of the unions and of keeping the faith and losing our cynicism to eventually overturn the Government were well, if not over-enthusiastically, received by the audience.

But then it was back to familiar territory and the encore finished with a good old-fashioned sing-a-long to New England.

The audience, young and old, c/Conservative or not, left humming along to themselves and probably musing on the fact that at the end of the day nearly all great music is about falling in or out of love.

I thought Bragg was excellent and I’m off now to try and find some of his CDs.

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Life decision made – I’m gonna be an MP

I’ve been watching a lot of the election coverage with interest – partly because of a natural interest in politics, but mainly because of a deep seated conviction that I could do better than most of the muppets that appear on my TV screen every day.

So I’ve decided… I’m going to become an MP.

Obviously not at this election, possibly not from the next one, but I will do it – it is now my new ambition and I am deadly serious about it.

As you can see, I’ve got some fairly strong political ideas / ideals (Basic income for all and I know how to stop radical extremists…). It’s now just a question of working out how I can best to fit these views into the current parliamentary structure, or if I need to try and stand as an independent.

It’s going to take some big changes to life and work (I hope I can still swim – Parliamentary Channel Relay Team anyone?), but I can no longer sit around and let other people do this important work that I feel I can do better.

As soon as I have got my head around a more concrete plan I’ll let you know. In the meantime, watch this space…

UPDATE

No I’m not – it was an April Fools! 🙂

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What’s happening to Basic Income?

I’m certainly not an expert in politics and would never claim, neither political philosophy, or the workings of politics and the parties. Both interest me, but I’m very much an outsider looking in.

However, I posted the other day about the Basic Income. It’s a policy I have privately endorsed for a long time and something that the Green Party in the UK appeared to add to its manifesto for the upcoming election.

Then it dropped it (read about here in The Telegraph). Or did it (a comment on Reddit)?

To be honest I don’t know what the exact answer is. I can understand how and why other politicians (and the newspapers that support the existing system) would challenge the Green Party and suggest that these policies have been dropped, or should be. But I don’t want to get all ‘conspiracy theory’ on you.

I wouldn’t expect it be adopted just yet no matter who has it on the manifesto, or which party wins at the next election (or which collection of parties as I expect it to be a coalition again). This is an idea that is radical enough to need time to sink into the human consciousness, to need time to percolate through and become a mass movement for its introduction.

So given that, at this stage all I want is for it be debated and discussed.

I don’t even know if I *want* it introduced, because I don’t pretend to understand all the ramifications yet. So I just want it fairly and maturely debated (unlikely I know, but we can dream).

Anyway, on politics, here’s a good article in the Guardian about voting for what you want – not what is the lesser of evils.

– – –

Back to swimming / running nonsense again soon, promise.

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Milky tea

Come the revolution…

People who assume that milky tea is weak tea – those people will the first against the wall. I like my tea “fairly strong, fairly milky”, what’s so difficult about that?

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Come the revolution

The other day my friend @wonky_donky and I were discussing who would be for the chop once he was king. At the time we were discussing charlatan social media “gurus”. Once @wonky_donky is king this will all change – and this is a revolution I could vote for (although I think I may have misunderstood the concept of revolution).

Anyway, it got me thinking, who would be lost to this world when I run the world. There would be a few:

– People who set off for a new lane, just in front of you. I mean just in front you, like JUST IN FRONT. You may be on a training plan, but maybe so am I – I’m just swimming further than you.

– Drivers that drive at 42 mph in a 60 zone, but at 39 mph in a 30 zone. Do I need to say any more?

– Masterchef. I don’t normally watch it, but I saw a bit the other night, is it always that pretentious, pompous and pointless?

Come the revolution, these would all be gone.

Don’t worry, they’ll be more to come. I have awoken a monster!

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