I spent a good part of Saturday in Selly Oak Park, at the Selly Oak Festival. It was time well spent; it’s good to be outdoors, away from my computer and books, talking face to face with lots of interesting people. There was a dog show with categories for things such as the waggiest tail, a falconry display, vintage motorcycles, food and football. The outdoor gym was officially opened and various community fitness taster sessions were on offer. I had a go at Tai Chi but I did not try the unicycle, hula hoop or anything else in the circus skills workshop.
The football was an under-11 tournament, played on a pitch with a far from level playing surface and muddy indentations by the goals. It’s a pity that so little of the money sloshing around at the top tiers of football trickles down to the grassroots level. Every great footballer starts out as a small kid kicking a ball around. If we want to build a good England team that can make it into the last 16 of a World Cup, it would be wise to invest in good all-weather facilities in all of our communities and not just at the National Football Centre.