Since catching Olympic fever this summer, I’ve started to view the antics of our village children in a different way.
I’ve always known that Hawkesbury turns out talented children, as anyone could see from the children’s entries section of the Village Show. Hawkesbury Primary School is renowned for producing great all-rounders, not least because it offers an impressive array of after-school clubs, from cooking and cross-country running to journalism and orchestra.
There is also an extraordinary choice of children’s activities elsewhere in the village. Many are so popular that they are fully subscribed, even for the older age groups, who tend to drift away from such activities in urban communities.
These opportunities are only made possible by the dedication and hard work of the adults who run them. There are also clubs set up by the children themselves, encouraged by the school to make good use of lunchtimes and enjoyed by children of all ages. Our children are lucky to have so much purposeful, fulfilling activity readily available to them, as well as our gorgeous rural setting – and they know it.
Since the London 2012 Olympics, I’ve become even more impressed by our children’s activities. Inadvertently, I’ve found myself transforming into an unofficial Team GB talent-spotter. Seeing a child cycling at speed down the high street, I fast-forward to the 2020 Olympics and picture them surging ahead in the Velodrome. Spotting a child swing with ease across the monkey bars in the playpark, I imagine them, eight years on, performing on the parallel bars in the Olympic Gymnastic Arena. Will the proposed village skate park, nearing completion of its fundraising appeal, generate members of the 2020 Team GB BMX team? I never knew BMX biking was an Olympic sport till London 2012, but it made impressive viewing.
Now there’s a good reason to help the HawksNest Skate Park appeal cross the finishing line this autumn! London 2012 may be over, but for the children of Hawkesbury Upton, the adventure may be only just beginning.
This post was originally written for Hawkesbury Parish News (September 2012 edition).