BBC have got their Olympic coverage just right
I NEVER thought the Olympics would be so good. Stunning venues, cheering crowds, joyous competitors burst into our homes courtesy of the BBC.
The Corporation has surely regained its reputation following the Jubilee fiasco. Yes, I know the security provision was botched and the ticket selling was both daunting and a disaster but nothing can mar what we are seeing now.
The coverage is so good we are there! We’re there at the poolside and the Velodrome. We are trackside with the athletes. Their feelings are ours. I defy you to watch without ending the viewing session emotionally drained, as well as thrilled.
There are some among us who despise the whole business. They are surely the poorer for it. From the moment the torch entered Cirencester Market Place you could sense the growing enthusiasm that the Olympics would bring to the nation. For all the right reasons we have so much to cheer about.
So far the two highlights have been the defending Olympic swimming champion Rebecca Adlington winning bronzes in her two events and Nailsworth’s Peter Reed successfully defending his title in the Men’s Coxless Four.
Some were disparaging about Rebecca. She had not got a gold therefore she had failed. What rot! “Getting a bronze is a real achievement,” said Rebecca. “I am proud to have done so.” Good for her. Fine competition such as that shown on our screens is about so much more than winning gold.
There was as real buzz in Nailsworth on Saturday morning when Reed won gold. I was in that most lively, yet underrated of Cotswold towns when he was welcomed back after his Beijing success. It was uplifting. I am so much looking forward to being there again. Deer Park School should welcome him also. Their former pupil has done them proud.
The Olympic triumph has shown how one of our major sports has gone wrong. I refer to cricket. Whereas the domestic competitions are so well served by Sky and at venues like Cheltenham, Arundel or Tunbridge Wells you come in close contact with the game, it is so different for our national side.
Central contracts have taken them away from the counties that produced them. Apart from international matches, they hardly play. If we do not see them how can we identify with them? We have reached the heart of Ennis, Farah, Wiggins and co. We are not allowed to get under the skin of Trott, Strauss, Peterson and co. Worse still - for how much longer will we want to try.
I hope Gloucestershire's Jack Taylor is never taken from us in the way our current test team have been. Jack is just the sort of cricketer who should be playing first class cricket for our county. Attending a Cotswold comprehensive school and learning his cricket at the County Academy was how Jack learned the game, but probably just as important was his family background.
The Taylors of Great Tew are a fine cricketing dynasty. There is another one on the way. Younger brother Matt is a left arm swing bowler who, now the school term has ended, is winning matches for the County Second XI. We will see him soon. Watch this space.
It was disappointing when Gloucestershire lost at Swansea, but the blow was lessened by the fact that Robert Croft administered the coup de grace. He has been a worthy opponent, playing in the way all cricketers should. Happy retirement, Crofty.
Balancing cricket and football in the next month will be difficult but one date in the diary is fixed – Saturday, August 11, when Forest Green Rovers entertain Cambridge United.
Despite an 11th hour injury crisis, FGR look strong and well prepared. The Stadium looks magnificent and the tea and cake is as good as ever.
A strong squad has been assembled and promotion is a real possibility. More goals are needed, however. Mrs Light and I are quietly confident of a play-off position.
A word of encouragement for Cirencester Town, and perhaps promotion can come their way. Pre-season form has been promising and if they have a good run perhaps gates will grow.
I close by mentioning the name Coley. Many will know Chris because of his racing involvement or as the mainstay of Gloucester Gypsies. Perhaps others may know him because of his sports quiz involvement.
Fewer will know of his brother Ian who has a shooting school between Seven Springs and Andoversford. That may now change as Ian is coach to our Olympic shooting team and competitors have sung his praises. Yet again this is evidence that the 2012 Olympics are reaching all parts of the county and country.
I now return to the sofa, TV and the drinks cabinet. Well done, Andy!