Worlds Apart or kindred spirits?

Is there really that much difference between sports and the plight of writers everywhere?

The idea of the musclebound athlete and the bookish writer are often shown to be worlds apart. But are they? Really? Probably a lot less than we think. Both exist because of a love of what they do, a talent for their field and the willingness to dedicated themselves to improving and mastering their craft. The similarities, however, don’t stop there, both fields are often chronically underfunded at grassroots level, reliant on grants and talented people giving up their time for free. Be that professional authors delivering workshops to wannabe writers, poets doing cut-price workshops in schools or the legions of coaches who spend their Sundays freezing at the side of an under 9’s game in villages across this green and pleasant land.

Yes, there are parts of both sectors where huge amounts of funding can be found. But that is the exception and not the norm. The vast majority of writers do so because of the love, not the payday, just in the same way that there are hundreds and thousands of footballers competing each week for the glory of playing the beautiful game and not the promise of a big-money move to Madrid.

It was seeing this link and understanding that as writers the acceptance to be published in whatever way that comes serves as nourishment for the soul, and motivation to ‘play again’, that is why have agreed to sponsor the Player of the Match trophy for this season for a local youth football team.

The club has a commitment to providing a quality football development setup in a challenging area where many of the clubs come from outlying villages in a predominantly dispersed rural area. This makes finding coaches, players and the funding for kits and equipment a real challenge.

The Impspired player of the Match trophy will help to be the footballing equivalent of publishing the player. Providing them with the encouragement to play again. The recognition of their hard work and a chance for their dedication and training to be rewarded in shiny metallic form.

So here’s wishing all the best to Hykeham Tigers for their 2019/20 campaign.

by Steve Cawte

Charlie winning Player of the Match

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