Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Year's Eve and

today's headlines are not about the poor individuals who are still without power after three days. Even the media doesn't have a lot to say about their predicament.
We didn't lost power this time. Middle Cat's household did. They were without power for sixteen hours. They are on the same section of the grid as the local shopping centre - which was effectively closed for a day.  We are on the same section of the grid as a local hospital. That means they usually try and get things up and running again as quickly as possible. Yes, we are lucky. This is the third major blackout in the state this year. 
All the government can apparently suggest is fining the power company so that they get the power back on faster. The government didn't even want to to talk about the issue. They were busy talking about a new registration scheme for cats as well as dogs. (We cats approve of the registration scheme up to a point.)
But even the registration scheme didn't make the front page. That was reserved for the story of a boy "forced" to leave his school because he doesn't want to play cricket for it. He wants to play in district matches instead. He's supposed to be a very promising young cricketer.
Middle Cat's boys went to the same school. Neither of them are outstanding at sport but they knew they were expected to play for the school. It is one of the things you agree to when you enrol a child in the school.  There are good reasons for this, especially by the time the students reach the last few years of school. 
It is not actually about the honour and the glory of playing sport for the school. It is about what is best for the student. The school has considered the balance between academic and other activities. Consideration has been given to the time involved. Consideration has been given to the relationships it builds between members of the teams. Yes, it is competitive. It's the nature of the school - and every other school like it. They see life as competitive - learn to live with that now. Middle Cat's boys both turned down other opportunities because their understanding of the work-life balance was that all, not just some, of school came first so that life could come first later.
The school also knows that, however good you might seem to be now, a career in cricket is no certainty - and it won't last a lifetime. Even if this young cricketer said, "I'll teach it when I can't play it competitively" he is going to need formal qualifications to do that. He is going to need a certain level of academic success. 
If this young cricketer is as good as they say he is then the club he wants to play for will wait because he is still very young. In two years time he will be about the age that most young cricketers start playing at this level. He will have completed school. It will be about the right time to make more informed decisions.
I know many people will disagree with this. For many people a potentially glittering career in sport will be more important than any sort of academic achievement that can lead to a lifetime of other employment. High achievers in sport are gods to be worshipped by many. 
The likelihood of this happening is low, even for the most promising of young sportspeople. The school knows this and it is why they have the policies they do. They may cave in to public pressure - but I hope they don't. It won't be in the best interests of the student.

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