The start of the new calendar year is full of opinions on getting active after an indulgent festive period. However, one thing that struck me this year was the amount of sport I could watch whilst indulgently eating. The British culture (in contrast to other nations) is to not stop playing professional sport over Christmas and New Year but cram in an extra helping. It then got me thinking about how much sport I watch, in particular, whether that was more of a reason for me putting on an extra pound or two. Once I got over the physical consequences of eating too much rich food, I then began to ponder- do I watch too much sport? Yes, I watch too much sport. But, too much televised sport.
Positives of this:
- it is free or part of a wider monthly television subscription cost;
- I can do it from the comfort of my own home;
- I am able to watch world class sportspeople pretty much 24/7.
Negatives of this:
- it has narrowed what level of sport and genre of sport I actually watch;
- I am sedentary and often individually watching;
- the essence of live sport is somewhat lost (the noises, smells, atmosphere, climate etc).
In reality I watch too much sport on television as it is convenient, cost effective and constantly available. I decided, therefore, to make the effort and explore options of live sport in my local area, Birmingham. Frustratingly there is no overall guide or listing of sport for my area. You have to know of or search individual websites to seek out schedules and costings. Live sport could go a long way in collectively showcasing itself, especially as the television guide is considerably easier to explore. I did persevere and based on my own preference, willingness to travel and knowledge of the area I compiled some options:
The other options I looked into were: Basketball (Worcester Wolves), Netball (Severn Stars), Golf (variety of regional events), Horse Racing (Worcester Race Course), Dog Show (Crufts at the NEC) and Ice Hockey (Coventry Blaze).
Overall a real variety of options, but already a number of barriers:
- the amount of log in’s and accounts I would have to create to pre-book, then the inevitable spam emails I will receive;
- for certain sports the one off nature of the events makes the constraint of specific dates and pre-booking difficult to coordinate;
- the expense, although I do understand why it costs so much, live sport is definitely a luxury;
- the clunky and clumsy nature of club websites and promotion is difficult to understand what is on offer.
A conclusion from this blog is that it is far more accessible and easier to consume television based sport than live. I definitely have fallen victim to this and rely too much on televised sport. But, to change this and go to more live sport events I will have to consider barriers of booking, expense and time.
A good start will be booking tickets to see Wasps!
Or stopping my PhD and designing an Amazon like booking site for live sport. On a wider note the industry of live sport must consider its current systems; as otherwise the television will further erode peoples motivation to bother watching it live.