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7 August 2019

Fun and Games

by Syd Briscoe

ESPN: “Don't Retire, Kid” - 90s

Major sports network ESPN tackle the problem of youth engagement with team sports in this hard-hitting film. Taking the form of a press conference, the spot sees a nine-year-old announce his retirement from all sports... because "the pressure it takes to play is too much".

While we're sure this will lead more than a few viewers to wander down the 'back in my day' road, it's undoubtedly the case that kids have faced parental pressure to succeed on the field for time immemorial. Add to that harsh coaches or a chronic lack of support, and what's supposed to be a game simply isn't fun anymore.

The concept is anchored by a strong performance from the boy playing the retiree, who manages to successfully channel the weary tone of a veteran in spite of his age. If only more was done with the static on-screen banner.

When all is said and done, though, if parents want to gripe about the sofa-bound 'Fortnite' generation, this film suggests they should be more committed to making other activities just as fun.

Cinematographer: Nathan Swingle

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