Category Archives: sport

Who pays for women’s sport?

Women’s sport. The media is raving on about it and how the girls should get equal pay and conditions (business-class flights).

I’m all for equality but let’s face it, I don’t see how the sports can afford it.

Netball. A sport played by four nations. Possibly the most boring competition. It seems Australia is always paying NZ (close games) or Great Britain and/or Jamaica (not so close). That’s it. Oh, yes, plus that world powerhouse, South Africa. Sure, netball attracts great crowd here but how are the other nations going to afford it? Jamaica and South Africa aren’t exactly economical sound.

Women’s cricket and soccer attracts two and a dog to their games.The skill might be there but the crowds aren’t. How long (if ever) will the gate number increase. Sponsors want to see not just bums on seats but a crowd which adds to live telecasts. It’s quite embarrassing to watch the soccer and cricket with empty grounds. Does that then affect the TV audience, which may not get too excited by the lack of colour, movement and sound only a crowd brings. If TV viewers are low, then sponsors won’t be interested.

Women’s tennis. Hang on they only play three sets, while the men play five, then they want equality.

The problem is there’s only so many hours in the day you can watch sport and there’s such a small fan base in Australia, yet everyone wants to be professional. Who’s going to pay for it?

I say get rid of all professional sport. The AFL and rugby league players don’t deserve to be paid anyway, and certainly don’t deserve any government funding. In WA, the taxpayer foots the bill for a new stadium, while all the AFL gave was less than a year’s salary for its CEO.

Sports are milking it (us). Gave up watching yonks ago, though I love the professional surfing. They have a great model (live streaming is brilliant) and they don’t ask for anything.

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Relishing the rugby

Finally we can start (hopefully) to begin enjoying rugby union again.

The prospect of this weekend’s Australia v NZ game is one of the most anticipated I can recall for a long time. I’m hoping the “new boy”, Radike Samo, proves the decider for the Wallabies.

It’s a great story, isn’t it? His age and the fact he hasn’t played a Test for seven years.

Then, we have the World Cup. My “backup” team is Samoa, and I hope Japan and Canada go well.

Bring it on.

PS: Interesting I last wrote about James O’Connor being a spoilt brat back in June. Events of the past two weeks have proved that assessment correct.

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James O’Connor: spoiled, little boy

James O’Connor displayed the utmost arrogance in dumping the Western Force. How can a 20-year-old kid dictate terms to a rugby team? He can’t, so the Force did the right thing and ended negotiations.

O’Connor reckons he’s bigger than the game. That’s evident by his actions, and by his web presence and comments made to the media: that he wants to develop his brand.

Most telling is his Twitter account, which has 21,000 followers and he only follows 104. In a social media context, that’s unbelievably selfish.

It would be nice to think other Australian clubs could teach the telanted upstart a lesson by not giving him contract, or give him one worth less than he had in WA. That’s unlikely, given teams’ win-at-all-costs attitude.

However, it’d be nice to think there were other teams out there with the same fortitude as the Western Force.

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AFL’s poor grasp of integrity

These AFL criminals wear their jail time like a badge of pride. The cross-fist salute is an abomination. The AFL has again shown what a pathetic grip on integrity it has by not condemning the displays. Not offensive, my backside. Tell that to the victims. If it was Demitrou’s son Krakoeur had bashed, then it’d be a different story. ANd nothing from Collingwood. I would hope the club would have the decency to censure this imbecile and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

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Channel 7 contemptible

I don’t know what Channel 7 does in the eastern states, but here in Western Australia they treat rugby union viewers (and I suspect many other sports-watchers) with contempt.

First, they telecast the Wallabies matches against NZ and South Africa at midnight. Second, they don’t replay the game on a Sunday, when there’s more chance people will watch the game.

Telecasting a rugby match at midnight means most people will record it, watch it later and skip through the ads, so the advertisers are wasting their money.

Why couldn’t they schedule it, say for 7am? Take today’s TV program. There’s some movie called Ghost Dad on at 3.30pm. It got one star in the TV guide. Why couldn’t Seven replay it then?

I’m not sure what universe TV programers (particularly those in WA) live in, but it sure as hell isn’t a real one. The logic defies me.

Channel 7 do not deserve the rugby union. Kerry Stokes obviously isn’t a rugby fan.


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Puzzling support of Torch Relay

I found it strange that Aboriginal elders welcomed the Beijing Torch Relay to Canberra yesterday.

For one oppressed people to welcome the Chinese, who oppress the Tibetans, is just weird.

Also just as troubling is aboriginal Olympic gold medallist Nova Peris’s decision to run with the torch. Honestly, athletes just don’t think further than sport. The same goes for you, Thorpie and SMH journalist Jacquelin Magnay.

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Summer swimming. Someone pass me the soap.

GREG SMITH

We are going soft as a nation … of swimmers.

I remember the time when you’d visit the local swimming pool on a boiling summer’s day. You’d be aching for the plunge in to the crystal, clear water. That first dive was a shock to the system.

Boy, oh boy, how it would wake you up from the lethargy of sitting around in front of a fan spewing hot air.

Fast forward some 20 odd years or so. I’m still sitting around a fan. Time for another swim. I’m a regular (have been for more than 40 years).

Unfortunately, these days I don’t look forward to the plunge. All the pools are heated – even in summer. Last week, when we wilted in Perth’s hottest-ever December Day (44C) the temperature in the pool was 30. Most of the time, my local sets it at 27.

By the time I’ve done four laps I’m starting to sweat. But for the water surrounding me, I could be in a sauna.

I’m all for heated pools in winter. But honestly, why the need for heating in summer? The aim is either to cool off, or (if you’re energetic) not emerge after a training session looking like a prune.

I can recall that the temperature could vary from 20-28 without heating. It sometimes dropped even more in Sydney (where I grew up) when we got a few cloudy days and some rain. But heck, it gave you character. And nothing could have been colder than training under Terry Gathercole at an unheated Victoria Park pool in September-October. Gathercole was a hard task master. We were just skinny rakes, shivering our way through 90 minutes of torture. But he always said: “if you get out now, don’t bother coming back”. Even Bondi Baths, where Harry Nightingale taught me to swim as an eight-year-old, was relatively pleasant.

These days I often hear people say, as they dip their toes in before swimming, how cold the (heated) water is. Fair dinkum, wimps, that’s what.

Yes, yes, I can always swim in the ocean, and I do … a lot. But often it’s filled with stingers. And if you’re training, you need the option of a set distance and a large clock to monitor your interval sets.

There’s another good reason for unheated pools. By turning off the gas, electricity or coal, local councils could do the environment a favour.

Now, of course, if you live somewhere north of Bundaberg or Carnarvon, everything I’ve written is irrelevant. Your pools will always be that tepid temperature, often with a milky tinge.

However, you could always pretend you’re in Rotorua … or maybe even take along a bar of soap.

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Kiwi a Wallaby!@#$!%@

New Zealander Robbie Deans has been appointed national rugby union coach. What the?It doesn’t matter. Seriously. NZ’s loss is/will be our gain. I’m sure he will guide us better than the previous two coaches we’ve had. But Deans got off to a bad start on the Rugby Heaven web site, pictured with a black and white (Kiwi colours) rain jacket.

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Melbourne Cup

I’ve heard some irresponsible broadcasting, but this morning’s rubbish during Channel Seven’s telecast of the Melbounre Cup was the worst.

Commentators, including Bruce McAvaney, were encouraging children to bet on the Cup.

Thanks, Bruce and Co., for helping to contribute to one of the country’s most insidious addictions.

I’m all for a punt on the big day. But encouraging children? They even had the hide to interview two seven-year-olds about their tips.

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The people I meet are not on the street

Many of the people I meet are on the ocean. Strange, but true.

It’s because I do a lot of surf ski paddling, from my “base” at Scarboro Surf Life Saving Club.

Yesterday morning I “paddled into” Boots and Dobbo, two members of neighbouring club Trigg Island, just two kilometres “up the ocean”.

I hadn’t seen them for almost a year, so we had quite a bit to chat about … 400 metres out to sea.

Just another great start to the day. I wonder who I’ll paddle across tomorrow?

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