It’s not me it’s you …


It is with regret [cue digital red crossing out pen]
It is with sorrow [cross out again]

It is with huge disappointment, that we have to announce the cancellation of this year’s presentation evening.

Shock! Horror! Gasp! Has sensei done a Warren Beatty and read out from the wrong envelope?

Nope he hasn’t. Now some £110 the poorer, I’ve decided to stop chasing this farcical aspiration so that my club secretary can devote her time elsewhere and I can stop worrying about trying to fill a hall.

The presentation evening had, and always has had a three fold objective:

1) To reward certain students for their efforts over the year (student of the year etc)
2) To provide funds in support of a charity we choose to support.
3) To have a little get together and some fun

That’s it. There is no Caribbean cruise or DB9 fund, well there is, but as I say, it’s £110 lighter now. So why at the eleventh hour have I cancelled?

Let’s analyse it shall we:

Over 20 students at Lewsey Community Centre, number of tickets sold – 2!
Ticket sales for Charles St and Putteridge combined – 18!

Pathetic? Apathetic? Couldn’t give a rats ****?

You may think so, I couldn’t possibly comment.

Our previous 3 Presentation events raised almost £1000 for the Dreamflight charity and were supported by approx 60 people at each event. We even managed to run an enjoyable quiz night on one occasion.

I’m trying to find reasons why I’ve failed. Why have I not been able to convince those students and parents that this was a just, worthy and enjoyable cause?

After much soul searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that: “It’s not me, it’s you.”

No really, it’s you!

Violence and aggression drives my coaching agenda. How people deal with it without resorting to a physical response is just as important as how they deal with it on an intellectual and physiological level. Part of that psychology, particularly in children is to coach the whole child in terms of confidence building, encouragement, improving social skills, building respect for themselves and others – I don’t believe that many parents buy into this.

It’s akin to the: I send my kids to school, teachers teach them, why should I engage them in their studies at home, teachers get paid to teach not me!

I have had to inform the parents of all the trophy winners that I will be presenting their child’s trophy within a normal class setting. No room filled accolades, no cheering, no loud applause, no chorus of digital shutters recording the moment for family prosperity – how pathetically mundane and uninspiring is that?

To be honest, I’m also a little ashamed. Ashamed that I tried to build this thing into a celebration of commitment and success with an added charitable contribution, ashamed that obviously a celebration of achievement only has value on an insular level, ashamed that all the support we garnered in previous years has gone – and most importantly ashamed that I’ve let those kids down.

The reverse side of all this is that we can save ourselves the bother of organising any back to back competitions (like I told the kids I would) or the ‘No growth in Comfort’ events we used to run, because you’ve proved, as a collective, that you are not interested in these activities or supporting our aspirations outside of sending your children along for 2 to 4 hours training.

Ultimately I am here to serve, the currency I expend is me, my time, my intent, my determination, my humour, my compassion, my tolerance – let’s just say that for the immediate future, you might find yourself a little short changed.