Lord Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organising committee, has formally denounced the current state of sports education in the UK following a fact-finding visit in Herefordshire.
Attending the afternoon sports day at Huntwell Road Primary School, Lord Coe seemed surprised at the lack of stadium-quality seating, uncomfortably perching himself on an undersize chair hastily borrowed from the year two classroom. He also commented on the poor conditions for the competitors, noting that the soil and turf track lacked any special tarmac coatings.
After enduring three solid hours of baking sun, with no opportunity to purchase refreshments or access toilet facilities, a sunburnt, dishevelled Coe appeared tired and grumpy at his evening press conference. 'Where was all the preparatory work? The months of training, the controlled diets? How do they expect to perform to their very best wearing ill-fitting shorts and black canvas pumps?' asked a bemused Coe. 'Poor discipline; corrupt judging; mixed-sex competition; so much is going wrong at the very beginning of their sporting lives, it's no wonder we don't bloody win anything any more.'
He said some of the blame must lie with selector Mrs Chamberlain, head of year 3. 'They really need to pick their team better. It's almost as if they've not chosen their best and have just thrown every pupil from Key Stage One into the races,' he said. 'Only one of the athletes I saw had any pace to speak of, and that was over eight seconds for a short twenty metre run. Her technique was also exceptionally poor; her arms were flailing wildly and she was far too absorbed in grinning at the crowd instead of concentrating on delivering her best time. How the hell did she make it through qualifying?'
'To top it off, the day culminated with an unnecessarily complicated relay race combining a huge array of non-standard disciplines - crawling under netting, throwing golf balls into buckets, balancing bean bags on their heads and such like,' he said. 'It's not it's-a-fucking-knockout, and such a difficult event has no place as part of the early sporting curriculum.'
'I was also a little shocked to see that no-one bothered to halt the event or disqualify errant competitors, despite many of them straying so wildly away from the stated rules,' he complained, reserving his most unexpected news for the end of the meeting. 'I would like to incorporate some aspects into the London games, however – particularly by replacing the 110m hurdles with a convoluted hula-hoop challenge. After the successes I saw, we ought to at least win a bronze for that by 2016!'