Sunday, 8 November 2009

Hackney and the 2012 Olympics

So this whole redevelopment of the East End of London will not only bring with it the many social fruits associated with such massive urban regeneration projects, but also the promise of a generation of brighter, smarter and fitter kids. Apparently.
The logic is that all this hullaballoo of the Olympic variety, with the added catalyst of various government-funded local initiatives, will encourage hoards from the disenfranchised youth of the area to grab a hockey stick or bathing costume, or maybe a pair of spikes and baton, and rush with glee to one of the many soon-to-be-developed sporting arenas. Much sporty participation will ensue as well as team playing and increased social cohesiveness. Fitness, brightness, fabulousness and any range of -nesses whose absence have been the cause of a couple of generations' worth of social malaise will improve.
All well, good, noble and so forth, but where on earth do all these bright young things (and a not so bright, nor quite so young Medievalist) go to actually buy the sports kit in order to participate in such a utopian programme? Not Hackney Central, that's for sure. If you're looking for anything other than "sports fashion" - which I take to mean combinations of polyester football shirts, pale pink tracksuit bottoms and black hoodies - Hackney Central, one of the more accessible high streets in the borough, is not where one should go. Thank you, JD Sports, purveyor of flammable mediocrity and Third World-exploiting rags.
Thus for 2012, bare feet and a hockey sticks made of MacDonald straws will have to do instead for the youth of the borough. But as MacDonalds are one of the sponsors, that probably will all work out rather nicely...

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