I REALISE I am not going to be popular with many citizens of Sheffield when I say that I do not want a statue of Jess Ennis erected anywhere in our city.
It has nothing to do with pigeons. I just don’t agree with the adoration of sports men and women to levels that can almost be described as hysteria.
I might also add I do not agree with honours going to these people either, not because I don’t think they deserve it but because I do not think we should have an honours system that rewards people for basically being extremely good at what they do.
In my view it is not fair to argue that because some British individuals have statues then Jess should have one too.
It is not right to compare Jess with the likes of Nelson, Churchill and the men of Bomber Command.
In the case of Nelson and the fighting men of the RAF, they gave their lives for this country and history shows why we should be forever grateful to them.
Churchill was a statesman of supreme ability who led this country through one of its darkest periods and also won the Nobel Prize. Whilst winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games is very difficult are we really suggesting that an athlete’s achievement is on a par with those I have mentioned?
I realise that all of this is subjective but let’s get real and keep our feet on the ground.
I’m sure I’ll have many people hissing at me and calling me a killjoy but let’s analyse and think what we are suggesting for Jess. I don’t want to see a tacky, stone-faced replica of a warm-hearted girl who is the pride and joy of our city and who was the face of the games.
I’m sure we can think of a better, more tangible legacy to reward Jess. Perhaps we could ask her to be the driving force behind a sports scholarship for a lucky athlete that shows promise or something along those lines?
By all that is right we should celebrate what Jess has done but it should be tempered with a sense of realism and recognition that athletes, no matter how worthy, are not gods.
RA Cundy, Waterthorpe Glen, S20