Posted tagged ‘JJB Sports’

The Bucket List #4 – The Pole Vault

August 20, 2012

Insiders at JJB Sports have issued a Mark Twain like comment by saying that reports of its impending demise are premature. Nonetheless the share price for the sportswear and accessories firm is in free fall. Rivals (Sports Direct and JD Sports) have strengthened their place in the market. Mismanagement is blamed for the financial crunch that has put the company on the edge. Even the country wide feel good factor of a successful Olympics has not helped sales.

To me a sports shop should cater for every sport, however minor that sport should be. If you are a synchronised swimmer and you’re needing a peg for your nose, JJB should have it not the local hardware shop. Similarly if you’re a high jumper, high jump mats should be on display. Discus safety cages are another thing you never see. Can you imagine practising your speed-building rotational method Shot Put in the house without a cage? Carnage is the appropriate word to use here.

Usain Bolt, by common consent, was the star of the Olympics and will have inspired a new generation of sprinters. I’ll give JJB some credit here. They do stock running shoes. But when I asked an assistant if I could buy a set of sprint blocks, a starting gun and a winner’s podium they meekly answered, no. I bolted out the shop.

It annoyed me that there was a plethora of golf balls and golf gloves available on the shelves. Rugby was adequately compensated with kicking tees and mouth shields. If minority sports like these two are well stocked why don’t they have a crossbow, a saddle or hurdles for sale. And don’t get me started on pole vaults. Now pole vaults might be 14ft in length and cumbersome, if stacked vertically they wouldn’t take up much floor space. I didn’t see any pole vault cross bars, either. I am a frustrated pole vaulter just as pole vaulters are frustrated bloggers. Come on, when was the last time you read a blog by a pole vaulter? Me, I’d love to just once have a shot at pole vaulting.

I was on the way home when I saw this fifteen foot brick wall. I think there was a prison on the other side, I’m not sure. Call it deus ex machina if you will but sitting handily at the side of the pavement was a big stick and I mean a big stick. In much the same way you never walk by a ball without kicking it you never walk by a big stick without picking it up. So I picked it up. I took twenty paces backwards. Holding my big stick like a lance I launched myself at the wall. I dug the big stick in at the foot of the wall and soared to the skies. I might end up in jail, you never know.