Bay Bitch: streaming on

The morning of the City2Surf

I wandered down to the Bay Run only to find a depleted group of sportsters moseying around. There wasn’t much lycra that morning, only lots of stretched T-shirts and drooped shoulders. The sportsters look deflated, deprived of their more competitive comrades who had left them behind for a bigger, brighter event that promised more accolades, adrenaline and kilometres.

One of the wonderful features of the Bay Run is that everyone can tread the path and enter at any point without being screened or scrutinised about their time, number, grade or religion. You can enter at any point and leave at any time. You can also rejoin without any questions being asked. It is a true equaliser!

That morning was reminiscent of my son’s search for a school. The students that reach the required score in the NSW Department of Education selective test are pulled out from the group and sent to a special school for brighter students or enlisted to a special class in a mainstream school. They understand that they are superior and are showered with special excursions and extra curricula activities. The students who don’t make the grade understand that they are somehow inferior as no special treatment is afforded to them. The graded start groups in the City2Surf reflect this type of elitism.

Obviously the NSW Department of Education have not heard of Jane Elliot’s “Blue eyes–brown eyes” exercise which proves that if you are deemed superior you become arrogant and bossy and if you are labelled as inferior you become timid and your performance suffers. Those lonely sportsters reminded me of children who don’t make the grade. Some are lucky enough to opt out of public education but unfortunately not enough!

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