As I was brought up in Wales, there were 2 sporting activities which were compulsory in school. During the winter months, rugby and then when the rain and mud had abated, cricket. I hated (and still do) both equally. My physique is not designed for rugby being far too elfin like in physique - I suppose I could be a corner flag....maybe.
I became the obvious target for the neanderthal kids in my school if I accidentally caught the ball. "Tackle him" the games teacher would yell with gusto. I tried a number of tactics - throwing the ball away (no good) I would just be sent to fetch it and used for tackling practise. Running away didn't seem to work either, odds of 15-1 against me were obviously not in my favour. Opting not to participate didn't work either and so week after pitiful week the torture would continue.
Eventually logic, or rather I, found a way out. In hindsight it is blindingly obvious. Get sent off. Granted I had to wait for an actual game to achieve this but it wasn't long in the coming. Apparently, rugby appears to be a battle in the mud between two packs of animals intent on destroying each other - well, it bloody well is. My first sending off was accidental, I knew you had to stop the player with the ball and although it is perfectly ok to stamp on a player whilst they are on the ground, tripping them up in full flow is not allowed.
"S - Off!" demanded the games teacher and off to the library I was sent. In the peaceful solitude of the library I read up on the rules. Aha, I thought - another fine method to be employed. So the following week with what seemed like a rhinocerous on acid galloping in my direction and cries of "Stop him" ringing in my ears - I did just that. A very neat side step at the last second with my outstretched arm at throat level. "Off" demanded the games teacher "But why" I protested none too innocentally "You said stop him and he's stopped isn't he - you should have been more clear in what you wanted".
The by-now scarlet in the face games teacher was hopping up and down shouting "You'll never play rugby in this school again". Good, I thought, that's the end of that shite then.
Onto summer and the infinitely boring game of cricket. Why anyone would want to stand there whilst someone throws a rock hard ball at you is beyond my comprehension. On top of that, you have the fielding team. The ones that have to go scuttling after the ball like an over anxious puppy if the batsman does manage to twat the ball. Yeah, that's a great game then. Not much chance of getting sent off in this game so the alternative was just to be so incredibly shit that no-one wanted to play with you - ever !!
Fortunately, my games teacher had already figured out that I was very good at running, as my brief rugby career had proven, so he asked me to try cross-country running. Now this was much more my style. No one chasing you trying to stamp on your bollocks and no one throwing things at you for no apparent reason. I liked this and thus stuck with it.
Rugby and cricket - stick it sir, preferably stumps up your arse sir....