Those of you who know me in real life may well know that I am a Chelsea supporter. Over the past few days there have been a range of inquests as to why England are already out of the World Cup when they haven’t even played all their group games. One of the reasons suggested is that they chose a young inexperienced left back over Ashley Cole, still regarded by many as a world class player when they knew they would be up against very talented forwards in the group stages. Miroslav Klose is 36, he is now the leading goal scorer for Germany in World Cups – if he had been English it is very unlikely he would have been chosen for the squad. England took Frank Lampard, made him Vice Captain but haven’t played him yet! I don’t understand that!
Ageism works both ways. Preferring experienced older people over younger or vice versa. As someone who trains youth workers as part of my role I am well aware of the way that young people can get marginalized but I am also becoming more aware of the messages sent to the more elderly – and in some spheres this means over 30 or 40 or 50 let alone older than that! Perhaps what is heard sometimes is you still have a lot to give but you are not needed any more or are not our preferred option. There seem to be plenty of stereotypes around about older people too. What does this say about those of us in upper middle age? What do we have to offer? How are we perceived as to what we have to offer? Has the pendulum over swung the other way?