Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.
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Comment Posted: 10/03/2008 22:24
I totally agree with your observations on the negative mindset that exists around Scottish sport and even more disappointing is the David Sole anecdote. We seem to have acquired this attitude in recent times and I put it down to a ‘negative drizzle’ that has seeped into every pore of Scottish society. I keep hearing “what do you expect, we’re a small nation”, that’s not an excuse. New Zealand have an equivalent population to Scotland yet you won’t get the All Blacks walking onto the rugby field hoping they might win! Somehow we have lost our identity and have become a pale shadow of our proud heritage and tradition.
My Grandfather, who fought in the First World War, often told me of the German Soldiers that they captured, who always talked about how terrified they were of the 51st Highland Division, also known as the "devils in skirts" or "ladies from hell". German intelligence, which like the British kept a record of those enemy divisions that were opposite them in the line, had a league table of the divisions that fought harder than others, the 51st were the top of the German's list. My Grandfather used to put his kilt on and re-enact his exploits on the battlefield and would show me the way he ‘swaggered’ into battle. The courage he found to fight in this gruesome war was spurred on by the skirl of the pipes and the battles won made him proud to be Scottish.
Something needs to be done about the lack of enthusiasm for participation in sport in this country. If this mindset continues to exist then depressingly we would be better not participating at all. That would at least stop us from moaning about how bad we are at everything.
On a more positive note, with people like yourself, bringing the confidence issue to the fore, I look forward to the time when the Scots rediscover who and what they are, learn to walk tall, rejoice in the beauty of their homeland and take pride in their ability to exploit its rich heritage. As James A Froude, the English Historian once said: “No nation in Europe can look with more just pride on their past than the Scots, and no young Scotchman aught to grow up in ignorance of what that past has been.”
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