School Sports Again?

At last Tony Blair has realised the obvious, in the light of the Olympics he has discovered that our schools are not encouraging competitive sports. The decline in sports at school came about years ago when some bright spark suggested that it was unfair to youngsters that were not so good at athletics and games to have competition at all. The powers that be jumped on the idea because they could see it as a financial winner. They sold off the school sports grounds!

Now I remember being just average at sports but I loved them and endeavoured to improve and make the school football team. I was never a star but have continued with competitive sports all my life and feel sorry for the youth of today. Fortunately the sports fields at Leasam still belong to the Education Authority so let us see the goal posts going back up and an annual sports day for those youngsters who do want to compete. Perhaps it could be that one day we will win the World Cup again and our athletes would do even better at the Olympics.

                            Too Demeaning!

The work done by the Rye in Bloom group to clean up the corners of the town untouched by the local authority cleaning services has highlighted two factors. First the attitude of young people to the society they live in. It was not nice to see that rubbish was dropped intentionally by some youngsters even while the volunteers were picking it up and when the ‘in bloom’ committee suggested to the authorities that young offenders sentenced to periods of community service could help with the clear up they were refused on the grounds that the task would be “Too demeaning”. What rot, I thought the idea of community service was to get the offenders to put something back into the community instead of going to jail. How much softer can we get?

Secondly, why should volunteers be required to keep our town clean and tidy?We all pay extortionate rates to Rother District and East Sussex County Council, what do we get in return? A vastly inadequate street and toilet cleaning service and a police service that is so badly run by its top echelons that response to a recent 999 call from Landgate was two days!

                                   GO RYE?

Now might be the time for people who care for this town to follow the lead the people of Folkestone have set and form a GO RYE! group. A group who could put pressure on the District and County Councils to return this town to Borough Council status and allow us to set or own taxes, plan our own future and decide our own destiny.

There are many good councillors, top class professional and trades people living in this unique place, let them come forward and rescue Rye from the threat of vast house building projects that will turn it into a suburban scrawl. The population of Rye is 5,000, it was 5,000 in 1946 and it was only a little under 5,000 at the beginning of the 20th. Century. So why do we need hundreds of new homes? Don’t let them kid us it is for the young people of Rye, they will far out price most of their pockets. The fact is that a large percentage of any new dwellings will be purchased as second homes. There are enough of these in the town already causing some streets to be so under populated in weekdays and winter months that it damages the neighbourly cohesion that has been such an important part of Rye’s success through the years.

Some of the activities and achievements of GO FOLKESTONE! are recorded in Town Crier in the middle section of this month’s magazine.

“Rye’s Own” September 2004

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