Now this really is contentious. Nothing annoys me more than the "Taking part is more important" argument as it is too often used as a feeble excuse for lack of effort and general lowering of expectation, and that especially applies to the way it is bandied about in the psyche of sport as we see it in many of our local schools.cvrda style social sailing and -I don't know, how do I put this? "winning-is-not-the-main-point"
Indeed I would point at this attitude for being responsible more than anything for a decline in the broad base of many sports.Even those in which we may have a high pinacle of success. There is a widely held delusion being fostered that you can be what you want to be simply by wanting to. It is a wannabee culture that is fueled by programmes such as Pop Idol and the X Factor, where desparately bad artists are paraded and encouraged by greedy progammers to believe that they can cut the mustard at the highest level when they could not even make the cut for their local High School Musical chorus.
Have these people never heard of the concept that it takes a minimum of 10,000hours of practice to make an olympic champion. Thats about 4hours a day, 7 days a week for about 8 years.
Certainly I have a feeling that there is a very stong ethic in CVRDA races that "wining-at-all-costs-is-not-the-main-point" but I have been assured that the events are undoubtably competitive and one has only to list the acheivements of many of the members in this assotiation to find that many if not most have achieved success at a high, even very high level in a variety of other fields. The vigourous discussions in this forum about handicaps and the like show a high level of enthusiasm for winnig coupled with good humour and desire for fair play on a level playing field.
Like the boats they sail many have seen possibly their pinnacle and are now at a stage of realising that you cannot win races unless someone loses, and so good loosers (not necessarily good sports, but by this I mean "as good as the winner" loosers) are essential if the sport is to remain competitive and thus appetising to participate in.
Mediocrity in sport must not be allowed to masquarade as an inclusive ethic. In contrast to this our sportsmen and women at all levels must respect the effort made by those that have provided them with competition. No-one should be allowed to believe that they can win with "The effortless ease of Gods" (H. Abrahams, in Chariot of the Gods)