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Thursday 07-Dec-2017
【香港01】欖球明明又衝又撞,何以英國人視為紳士運動?

奧巴馬的長女Malia在哈佛大學過了還沒有一個學期,便被拍下與男同學Rory Farquharson公開親熱。這位Farquharson不是美國人,而是土生土長的英國人;雖生於「異國」,但竟能同時獲得哈佛大學和「第一女兒」的青睞,這位年僅十九歲的Farquharson到底是何方神聖?雖然Farquharson不是什麼達官貴人之後,但若要形容這位小伙子,便不得不套董慕節先生當年相贈馬榮成的一句:「金鱗豈是池中物,一遇風雲便化龍。」

 

其實未遇風雲,這尾金鱗已經是人中之龍:Farquharson是Rugby School的Head Boy。要數英國其中一家最歷史悠久的私立學校,Rugby School必定榜上有名。你我熟識的欖球運動,即是Rugby,便是由這家學校發明的。這家學校的學生,很多都文武全才,而Farquharson做得這家學校的Head Boy,當然是文武全才的表表者。Farquharson不僅學業成績出眾,更是Rugby School的Rugby Team代表,名符其實是欖球精英中的精英。欖球打得好,在英國是一件很高層次的事;香港人對欖球運動不熟悉,所以都不明白欖球有什麼「了不起」。

 

我以前都不知道「欖球」在英國有什麼象徵意義,直到有一次去到一位女同學的家吃晚飯之前,這位女同學問我:so,do you want to impress my father?被她這樣一問,面都紅晒。I guess I do,why?之後,她便千叮萬囑跟我說:Remember to tell my dad that you play rugby。我確實是打欖球的,但我不明白為什麼打不打欖球是這樣重要,後來才知道欖球竟然是一種紳士的運動。

 

或許外地人都覺得這種英國文化很奇怪,但英國人確實對運動有這樣的階級觀念:足球是草根的玩意,欖球才是貴族的hobby。當然,我對這種觀念也十分不認同,畢竟運動無分貴賤,但當我聽過其中一位英國學校的校長解釋,我又似乎明白為什麼英國人對足球和欖球會有這樣的定型。

 

Barnard Castle是一家著名的Rugby學校,出過很多位欖球精英,而這家學校的校長Tony Jackson同樣喜歡足球和籃球,但他跟我說了一句話,便讓我明白為什麼部分英國人對欖球有如此高的評價了。這句話蠻深奧的,要慢慢咀嚼。

 

他說,football is a game for gentlemen played by animals,意思是,足球本身是一項紳士的運動,但參與者有如動物一樣,無視規矩,要幾茅有幾茅;相反,rugby is a game for animals played by gentlemen,即是欖球本身是一項需要經常埋身搏鬥的運動,參與者好像猛獸一樣又衝又撞,但他們都很守規矩,因為他們都知道不合規的衝撞可以嚴重傷害對方身體。

 

欖球真的這樣gentleman,足球真的如此animals嗎?這個我不敢說,但我在英國的確觀察到一個現象:看欖球比賽,你會看見賣熱狗和啤酒的小販;看足球比賽,你只會看見很多控制秩序的警察。

 

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Education Experts

Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.

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MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

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