Education > On the run from bullying

Posted on February 2, 2017
Photo by Sgt.Jonathan Steffen

Photo by Sgt.Jonathan Steffen

Our anonymous writer shares his experience of how sport helped him escape the abuse from his peers

Like many boys, I dreamed of getting past everyone else and becoming the best, but as a footballer, not a runner. I grew up playing football wherever possible.

At school I would wear my new Spurs shirt and people would make rude comments because everyone supported Arsenal. I was named player of the year that season, but bullying became a frequent issue.

I was too quiet and weak not to have been bullied, and kids didn’t want some Spurs fan stealing their chance to score and getting all the glory.

When you’re being bullied, even your friends turn on you. You become introverted and volatile. All the talent I had was no use to me.

My schoolmates ignored me. So I decided to dress in standard black sweaters and old track trousers and walk with my head down.

When you’re being bullied, even your friends turn on you

I could not bear another moment of being bullied because of a game. I vowed never to play football again.

Sport never leaves you completely. You still have dreams of winning gold trophies and medals. So I looked around for another sport and joined the local running club, Enfield and Haringey. The kids there were very welcoming.

It wasn’t long until I made new friends, and became increasingly fitter and faster in the process. It was great, feeling my heart pumping faster than a rocket knowing it was getting stronger.

Then came summer time, the track and field season. My nerves began rattling: my first year of competition.

You begin to train even harder. Then came the day of the nationals at the biggest athletics stadium I had ever been to: Birmingham. Everyone was so psyched for their events.

Dreams can come true, if you work hard enough: they are shadows of our potential

You need emotional discipline to hack the pressure you face on the starting point, to take your mind away from the crowd and think only about the race. I was too young, too inexperienced and I lost the race.

You learn a lot whether you win or lose, and I learnt how to control my emotions. I stopped getting too anxious in races, but I also became a lot friendlier to other people.

People began to notice my talent a lot more at school when I won school races and borough championships. You feel so much better about yourself when you do well at what you love doing, and when your schoolmates see you, your lifestyle begins to change.

People you don’t know talk to you, even the popular ones. I was respected and that is all I wanted. When you’re respected, people don’t judge you and you can become the person you choose to be.

Dreams can come true, if you work hard enough: they are shadows of our potential.

Exposure
We have not included the writer’s name to protect their identity.

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One Response to On the run from bullying

  1. Cynthia Holly Spencer February 6, 2017 at 3:54 pm #

    Bullying is something that can’t be wiped out, it’s always existed in some form and will somehow manage to remain in the future. I think this piece that’s been written is great, finding a way to get out of something tough is what many victims of bullying urge to find. You have to work hard to achieve you goals in order for people to like you, but what about those who have done everything out of their way to find a route out of bullying? What about those who go home everyday and wonder what is the point of life if there isn’t anybody out there to cherish it with them, seeing as everyone is out against them? Generally bullying is something that comes to a close by the time school’s over, and it’s time to move forwards towards college, or university. That’s usually for the lucky one’s anyways, sadly others may face bullying for long periods of their lives-others to the end.

    For a lot of people, there isn’t an escape from bullying, there’s only just a hope that it will someday end. There are times that hope dies, and times that it grows. Once again, that’s for the lucky ones. Many don’t even find a way to collect hope, because there’s always an eagerness to find an escape.

    So how can those who have no sight of an escape manage?

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