Britain's failure to achieve consistent international sporting success may be transformed into victory by 2012, the Ministry of Sport announced today.
It has been revealed that, since the early nineteen-sixties, a secret government department has been developing new competitive sports and training British individuals and teams in them.
The plan has been to launch these new sports at strategic moments such that British success would be assured until other countries had read the rules, trained their own participants and begun to win again.
The Sports Research and Development Establishments at Porton Down and Aldermaston have remained closely guarded secrets. The cover story that they were weapons research facilities has succeeded in masking their real functions.
This concept came from America where the legendary Area 51 was used to develop the sports of baseball and American football to be so complex and obscure that only American teams could dominate them.
The propaganda that Area 51 was a military research facility developing technologies derived from recovered alien spacecraft was a masterstroke of public relations which kept secret the true purpose of the site for decades.
In Britain, the invention of soccer and its launch in 1965 led to World Cup victory. More recently, the introduction of curling in the autumn of 2001 led directly to a gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The latter success was, however, tinged with some disappointment. Sliding a kettle along ice whilst frantically sweeping ahead of it with brooms was undoubtedly one of the silliest sporting ideas ever developed. It also turned out to be one of the most tedious. Fifteen million people throughout the British Isles felt obliged to remain tuned to the Olympic final. Tragically, over ten million fell asleep before the end and very many others simply lost the will to live.
The need to develop new winning sports for Britain has led to examination of activities for which the British are naturally inclined. The advent of competitive queuing, however, did not fulfill its promise. Being an endurance sport, the Japanese quickly gained dominance and, indeed, last year's world championship continues as the sole remaining competitor, Jamaswi Harakosho, extends his world record wait beyond twelve months. The remaining rail commuters reverted to their cars many months ago.
Competitive obesity had also appeared promising until the Americans became aware of this and generated contenders on a scale that no other country could hope to emulate.
When it appeared that the Olympics might be held in Northern England, much work was done on developing a 'New Modern Triathlon' consisting of pigeon racing followed by train spotting followed by morris dancing.
With the Olympics coming to South London, however, the local sports of drug dealing, mugging and shooting were substituted. This triathlon is now well into its training phase, and the Ministry of Sport are confident that it, and other new sports about which we are not allowed to report, will be world beaters for British athletes by 2012.