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Manners put the beauty in sport

Published on Apr 11, 2014 1:28 PM

HEY, you, the plodding runner with headphones on, lost in your contented world amidst a crowd during a community leisure run or competitive race. Have a nice day, but unplug your ears. Listen for my footsteps. Move left. I'm coming through. This is my Sunday, too, this is my race as well, this is my trail also. Not just yours.

Hey, you, the hand-holding lovebirds during a mass cycling event. Hey, you, the blase golfer walking in my putting line. Hey, you, the fan with the unmusical, distracting camera. Here's a suggestion from those who sweat alongside you at an event: Have fun. Strive. But take a moment to remember Emily Post.

A gentle guide from an older time on good manners, who wrote about which forks to use, Post also said: "Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honour." At a dinner table, but also a sporting field.

Tramping feet and humming wheels are the alluring sounds of a nation finding its athletic feet. But the masonry of this sports culture we are building does not extend only to helmet to wear, technique to adopt, litres to drink.

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