Readers’ letters - December 14

Youngsters play football on a beach, a reader comments on children and sport. See letter
Youngsters play football on a beach, a reader comments on children and sport. See letter

We need team spirit

A recent discussion on BBC Radio 5 live was on the subject of a boy aged five, mad on football, who has been told he’s not good enough to play for his school.

I find it hard to believe, but see no reason to doubt the truth of it.

Even so I’m sure most will agree when saying that whoever decided to disappoint a child in such a way should be severely castigated, especially after offering an opinion on a lad of such tender years.

Far too much emphasis is put on winning these days. And while those who excel as children or young adults are invaluable in any side, others also have to play their part if a side is to succeed. It’s known as team spirit. Often while those who stand above the rest at school fade from the scene in later years, others come through to show genuine talent as they mature. Any player, worth his or her salt, can often learn more in defeat than in victory and those sensible enough to learn the lessons taught by both are indeed wise, and can become not only better players, but more mature men and women in later life.

Without losers, there can be no winners, and those who constantly lose are as important in any sport as winners.

In fact those with a genuine love of the games they play and constantly lose, are to be most admired, for such as these are the true sportsmen.

I understand the boy’s parents are willing to get him coaching away from school in order to maintain his interest.

I’m sure all will wish him well.

Ernest Lundy via email

Kill and hope for the best

Looks like the battle against Islamic State will be long and protracted, the defence secretary, Michael Fallon, has said in broadcast interviews. Defeating Isis in Iraq would be difficult enough but destroying it in Syria, the campaign “call me Dave” has now joined, was going to be much harder.

There is a plan of sorts, helping both the Iraqi army and the Kurds, for retaking Iraqi territory held by Isis.

But there is nothing remotely coherent by way of a strategy for destroying Isis in Syria it would seem.

It is optimistically based on air power and a small band of US special forces up to now. Asked if there was a coherent plan for defeating Isis, Gen Mike Flynn, who retired last year after three years as the head of the US Defence Intelligence Agency, said in an interview: “No. No. We don’t have one at all. It’s totally incoherent and it’s piecemeal.” So there we have it, just keep bombing, killing and hope for the best!

Terry Palmer,

Address supplied

Spend on British need

Once again winter is here and, as we see on the news, there have been very bad floods up north in Cumbria, but no bother, call me Dave, our man from No 10, will come to the rescue.

We will hear the same old, same old, we will do all we can to help and yes, we will learn lessons from this, so nowt new there then.

If this had happened abroad it would have been a state of emergency and we would be sending money by the bucket full.

It’s about time call me Dave from No 10 cut back on all the £16bn sent abroad to countries that don’t need 

It’s about time we saw some charity beginning at home, instead of telling us all that we can’t have money because of all we spend abroad.

B Leonard

Address supplied