Re: Needs more padding
when you realise how much money you pissed up against the same
No different to any other male-dominated hobby, where serious money is paid for "the right gear". If you're a fly-fisher, your rod and reel together could well cost a grand. A serious "starter" road cycle is £500, with the real men's machines over two grand. Photography has always been about spending a minimum of two grand on a collection of camera bodies and lenses. In golf, otherwise sane men pay silly money to dress like Rupert Bear, even sillier money to be part of a club of like-minded nerds, and eventually end up spending £300 on a single club, when they could buy an entirely adequate full set of 12 clubs for less than that. A ten pin bowling enthusiast will be tempted by bowling balls costing the fat end of £500. Let's face it:most men are suckers for any form of hardware related to their hobby, so a bit unfair to single out the VR brigade. Even on appearance there's a male need to look weird in a collective manner: So as noted, golfers dress like Rupert, fishermen have an entire parallel universe of dedicated apparel, ten-pinners have to wear clown shoes (its the law, I believe), and cyclists seem bent on making themselves look like insects. VR enthusiasts don't look any more twatty than those others, do they?
Bizarrely, there are two hobbies where this appears to break down: Firstly, road running, where for some reason you're pushed to be able to spend more than a couple of hundred quid tops, and even fully togged up you don't look unduly weird. This smacks of either ignorance or lack of ambition on the part of the shoemakers and clothing companies.
And secondly (disclosure: my sport of choice) Couch Potatery. I am now at 8th Dan, and regularly take part in regional championships, and mentor our local youth squad. This involves no kit other than a pair of horrible old grey joggers, a holey t-shirt (plus a telly and sofa that I had already), and some consumables such as beer and pork scratchings (much cheaper than cycling, where a 100ml bottle of chain lubricant can cost up to twenty quid).
I'm hoping that CP will be a demonstration sport in Tokyo, and if Team GB can see the massive medal potential that our talented and dedicated CP'ers have, we should get development funding, and be contending for medals in 2024. As a community we're particularly proud that our Paralympian CP'ers are always part of our core squad - none of this double standards and discrimination that we see in gymnastics or field events! CP is open to anybody able to find a sofa, some time and imbued with a degree of laziness. It is blind to race, gender, religion, sexual orientations, blindness, disability, social class.
My only worry is that CP might go the way of rugby, and from the first flush of success we will then see the amateur sport lose out to well-funded professionals, enjoying lucrative sponsorships from people like DFS, Marks & Spencer Home, top regional sponsors like Lee Longlands, or supplier-sponsors like Mr Porky Pork Scratchings. And once you get to that stage, you're into performance enhancement, doping scandals and all the rest - I want CP to stay CLEAN, stay AMATEUR. YOU can make a difference! Write to the IOC, demanding that CP is a demonstration sport in Tokyo, write to your MP demanding that measure be taken to ban professional CP, and pester UK Anti-doping to proactively develop tests and measures! TUE's would normally be a problem, but so many of the top CP'ers have Asperger's that it would actually be a far more level playing field than in athletics or cycling.
I think I might have gone a bit off topic there. Oops.