Let’s carry the torch for all our young achievers

rossparry.co.uk/syndication/Chris Sedgewick'Picture shows South Yorkshire schoolgirl 16 year old Tala Lee Turton ballet dancer, accepted by the Bolshoi Academy Russia
rossparry.co.uk/syndication/Chris Sedgewick'Picture shows South Yorkshire schoolgirl 16 year old Tala Lee Turton ballet dancer, accepted by the Bolshoi Academy Russia
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The streets of Conisbrough will be lined with cheering locals this week as the Olympic Torch is carried aloft through the town.

The nation has cottoned on to the fact that sharing a great sporting event will make memories that will never be forgotten.

And as Olympic fever starts to grip the nation, it is gratifying to know that our athletes have an excellent support and training network paid for through the National Lottery.

A total of £2.2 billion has been contributed to the sporting and cultural elements of London 2012.

Obviously much of this has been spent in the capital.

Contrast this with the plight of sixteen year old ballet dancer, Tala Lee-Turton of Wombwell.

Tala has arguably reached a similar peak of physical achievement and has been offered a place to train at the Bolshoi Ballet.

She’s in desperate need of a sponsor, but is unable to find any form of Government - or private support.

What kind of an example are we trying to set?

These days it is not hard to find detractors of our young people,

We hear all about how they can’t be bothered to turn up for work, text their boyfriends/girlfriends at job interviews, and fail to show any gumption for the world of work.

But when push comes to shove and real excellence earned through relentless sacrifice is shown, as in Tala’s case there is often no reward.

Cynics might say that it is a lesson in life better learned young that things don’t always fall into your lap.

Some - usually those born with a silver spoon in their mouth, or who have been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time will say:

“If you really, really want to achieve something in life you will always find a way to get it”.

But what is the point of trying to instill the value of hard work and dedication if we as a society aren’t willing to fess up to our side of the bargain?

In too many cases it’s not young people who are failing, it’s us.

And in terms of Lottery funding I wouldn’t mind betting that a disproportionate amount of the tickets sold are bought around these parts by people chasing their dreams.

It’s about time we saw some of it used round here that wasn’t funnelled into a multi-million hair-brained white elephant experimental vanity scheme.

* Talking of talent: Last week I used a picture of a prize winning design by Conisbrough tattooist Johnny D Matthews. Just for the record I think his work is brilliant.

And it is another example of the creativity of young people in South Yorkshire.

If you’re going to have a permanent piece of body art - get it done professionally.