The past two weekends in Sydney have been festivities of football grand finals. Our streets, stores, cars, buses and trains have been decked out in streamers and balloons supporting the teams playing.
In Sydney, we are lucky. We have four codes of football – Soccer (football), Australian Rules Football (AFL), Rugby League (league) and Rugby Union (union). Our home is a League and Union “home”, although some in the house would say more League than Union!
Last weekend in Sydney saw the League grand final between Melbourne Storm (purple) and Parramatta Eels (blue and gold). Supporters went overboard and the city was awash of bright colours. The weekend before was the AFL Grand Final held in Melbourne between Geelong and St Kilda. Although held in another state, it didn’t stop the supporters in Sydney dressing up in red, black and white or blue.
Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) – Home of the AFL Grand Final
This got me thinking about the sports I have played over the years, the finals I have entered, won and lost and the good and sad times associated with getting to those finals. There is nothing worse than losing a grand final, its bad enough losing a preliminary or semi final. I always went out to “win” (and I guess I still do) and losing is not something that came easily (and again I guess nothing has changed here). I always tried to be a “good sport”, hold my head up high in defeat, but that didn’t really make it feel any better. It just made my Mum proud of me for not “losing it”.
Sport was such an important part of my growing up. At dinner tonight, we spoke about my school reports – “Christine should spend more time working on her scholastic abilities than she does on her sporting abilities! The pride I always felt when competing for my school, my club, my association was enormous. I loved it. It opened up so many opportunities for me. It allowed me to grow mentally and socially, Being involved in sport allowed so many friendships to evolve.
I loved all sports, but the two I excelled at were swimming and netball. I had a mean backstroke and was a fabulous defence! I even qualified as an “A” grade netball umpire. As time went on, I changed direction and went back into classical ballet, which I had started as a very young kid. To get through my exams I studied as a ballet teacher – the examiners were not looking for dancers with the figure of a ballerina – just a dancer who could do the steps, look reasonably ok, and have the ability to demonstrate and explain each movement. Margot Fonteyn I was not!! There was a method in my madness!
Sadly I don’t play the sports I once did, however I try hard to keep fit and active at the gym. Every now and then I get this little inkling to head back to a dance studio – unfortunately pictures of the Sugar Plum Fairy keep coming to mind!!
I now watch James play union and league finals and always feel every win and loss he has. His determination is similar to mine – neither of us like to lose!!