Dear Parents and Carers,
I am not a sports fan, but I do enjoy watching Wimbledon and so it was that at 9:30 last night I started watching an enthralling match with Andy Murray which was already in its fourth set. Murray is an interesting character having gone from being reviled for his on-court outbursts to being the darling of the crowds for winning a gold medal in the London Olympics and then Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016.
Murray is now so popular that my son said ‘I love Murray, he’s such a legend!’ I think this has less to do with his sporting prowess than with other aspects of his story with which we can all empathise. We are impressed that he has been in the finals of 11 major tournaments, which is highly unusual for a British tennis player, but what we all relate to much more is the human emotions which he has displayed. There were the tears of relief and joy when he won Wimbledon and then the tears when he broke down having had to pull out of the Australian Open in 2018 because of serious problems with his hip which seemed to put an end to his career.
Since then Murray had undergone various bouts of surgery which have given him a metal hip and he has shown remarkable resilience in fighting to regain some of his former glory. This story of battling against the odds is one which resonates with us and we want it to succeed. It helps that Murray has other admirable traits. He has done a lot of work raising money for charity and he is a champion of the women’s game arguing that women should receive the same prize money as men. Murray has been asked why he doesn’t just retire and stop punishing his body which has been through so much. His reply in a recent article was:
‘Don’t be sad for me! I like doing this, and I’m choosing to do it. No one’s forcing me.’
Murray is exemplifying a growth mindset which we try to promote in school. He is not letting setbacks stop him from trying but instead he redoubles his efforts to find a way round the problem. He may never be number one in the world again but he has made it through to the third round of Wimbledon (as he has done every time he has entered the tournament) and that in itself feels like a victory.