Did you ever win a cup?

When you were at school, did you ever win a cup? The Mathematics Cup? The Science Cup? The Sports Cup?

It seemed that every year at Prize Giving a handful of kids won all the cups. Three or four of them left with so many cups they could barely carry them.

That was not me.

But my younger brother and sister played tennis as juniors and our house was full of the silver cups they’d won. Hundreds of them. Well, perhaps not hundreds but that’s what it felt like to me.

One day, the parents of another tennis player said to me, ‘How does it make you feel with all these cups on show? Where are the cups that you’ve won?’

I hadn’t won any, of course. But despite appearing in a TV sitcom at the time, the comment got to me.

So I decided then and there to buy myself a cup. It was a little silver cup about 5 cm high on a tiny black plinth. I had it inscribed, The Robin Cup – for being Robin.

And it sits on my mantelpiece to this day.

I think we should all buy ourselves a cup and have it inscribed. It would be a constant reminder that being ourselves is enough. We don’t have to pretend to be an idealized version of who we think we should be. Or cleverer or more confident than we actually are. When we are being ourselves, we have nothing to prove. We can relax. We are being authentic. And for that, we deserve a cup.



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