Australians take enormous pride in the exploits of their sporting heroes – but the needs of grass roots community sporting organisations are often overlooked. For Hurlstone Park Wanderers Football Club (HPW), in Sydney’s Inner West, its urgent need for improved facilities was a low priority for the local council. Wet weather, overuse and poor drainage combined to see 40 per cent of HPW home matches cancelled during the 2011 season.
Ever wanted to tell your boot camp instructor to shove it?
Ever wanted to say “I’ve had enough of this pre-dawn madness, I’m going on holidays”. If so, maybe it’s time that you did.
Alcohol and sport have had a long, intimate and often uncomfortable relationship.
To their enormous credit, however, the South Sydney Rabbitohs enthusiastically accepted our invitation to become involved in the Last Drinks campaign, and already their involvement is helping the campaign to reach an important new audience.
It’s purpose is to reduce the amount of alcohol-fuelled violence in the community – and in the process to make life safer for the front-line police officers, doctors, nurses and paramedics who deal with it every weekend.
At last, Australian sport’s Great Rematch is upon us.
Is it the Collingwood vs St Kilda Grand Final Replay replay? No.
Anthony ‘The Man’ Mundine vs Danny Green? No.
Michelle Ford vs Tracy Wickham? No.
I’m talking about Craig Foster vs Ange Postecoglou.
For readers who may not be familiar with Round 1 of this epic contest, let me paint you a picture …
It is Remembrance Day, 11 November 2006. The Young Socceroos have just crashed out of the Asian Football Confederation Championships in the quarter finals, losing 2-1 to South Korea. By failing to make it through to the semi-finals, they have also failed to qualify for the Under 20 World Cup – to be played in Canada the following year.
The Australian media has been quick to condemn Commonwealth Games athletes Hassene Fkiri and Shane Perkins for their televised displays of sporting petulance. They apparently let us all down, giving people the impression that Australians are actually bad losers.
C’mon! Why pick on these athletes, when they are simply upholding a great Aussie tradition?
Indeed, the evidence shows that we’re actually a bunch of world-class, Gold Medal-winning tantrum throwers, who love nothing more than gobbing off and flipping the bird – to officials, fellow competitors and even our team-mates.
I was once called a ‘Fringe Dweller’.
I was making a rare appearance for Lindisfarne first grade in the Tasmanian Cricket Association. We had a strong team, with several State players, and would play in the finals the following week. But we lacked depth – which was why I managed to sneak into the first eleven every now and then.
“I can’t believe we’re getting beaten by Lindisfarne,” ‘an ignorant North Hobart supporter was overheard saying on that fateful day.
“They’ve got some good players, but Prins and Pickett are just Fringe Dwellers.”
The insult cut deep. We lost our semi-final, and I immediately retired from grade cricket. Sadly, no one really noticed, and my retirement went unreported in the Hobart media.
(Ironically, the Hobart Mercury did report that I was a ‘debutant’ on at least five separate occasions. Apparently I never made much of an impression on the local cricket writer).
But now, I can finally revel in my status as a Fringe Dweller – because Fringe Dwellers are about to strike back.
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