Some­times ‘cor­rect­ness’ is to­tally in­cor­rect

Sunday Mail - - SPORT - CHRIS MCDER­MOTT

AUS­TRALIANS love sport. They al­ways have.

Cricket, foot­ball, soc­cer, net­ball, ten­nis, golf, ath­let­ics, swim­ming, bas­ket­ball, hockey, lacrosse, horse rac­ing, grey­hounds, eques­trian, gym­nas­tics, cy­cling.

Male or fe­male. Boys or girls. Young or old. The op­tions have never been greater.

So why are some of us so de­ter­mined to change things, to al­ter the rules?

There is a push to stop record­ing scores in some ju­nior sports. their

Is mass par­tic­i­pa­tion re­ally in ev­ery­one’s best in­ter­ests? More is bet­ter … for whom? The sport? The spon­sors? Let’s not get con­fused be­tween phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and sport. Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity is a must. It should be a pri­or­ity for ev­ery school.

Healthy body, heathy mind — every­body wins.

But not ev­ery­one must play a sport and not ev­ery sport needs to com­pro­mise its prin­ci­ples to ap­peal to the masses.

We should be ask­ing our­selves why we need hun­dreds of thou­sands of play­ers to jus­tify our ex­is­tence, not how to get the masses to play a given sport.

Surely find­ing one’s pas­sion and drive to wake up in the morn­ing and be bet­ter by the time you go to bed is the first step. In­de­ci­sion is the prob­lem. Great minds dis­agree and con­fu­sion reigns.

Colum­nist Gra­ham Cornes is a clas­sic ex­am­ple.

His ar­ti­cle in yes­ter­day’s Ad­ver­tiser, said ex­actly that. “Per­haps a com­pro­mise needs to be reached.”

The Gra­ham Cornes I knew didn’t com­pro­mise for any­one.

Did NBA sen­sa­tion Ben Sim­mons ever com­pro­mise?

Did his par­ents? Did Ed­die Betts or Jake Lehmann?

Did Jess Tren­gove, Anna Meares, Nat Von Ber­touch, Erin Phillips ever com­pro­mise? I think the an­swer is no.

They chose a sport, in most cases from a very young age, and their par­ents sup­ported them. The same could be said for thou­sands of other kids, not so fa­mil­iar to us, right around the coun­try, with par­ents sup­port­ing them and run­ning them all over the state to al­low them to fol­low their pas­sions. What’s the prob­lem? If we are go­ing to point the fin­ger at sport, should we not then point the fin­ger at ev­ery ac­tiv­ity that doesn’t do what we are de­mand­ing sport does?

Isn’t ed­u­ca­tion the same? Aren’t we graded from five years of age?

Aren’t art and drama, mu­sic and dance the same?

There’s even been a sug­ges­tion from an AFL club to make the grand fi­nal a “best of three” se­ries to make it “fairer”! What the? Thank­fully for­mer Gee­long great Jimmy Bar­tel, now a me­dia com­men­ta­tor, quickly dis­agreed and hope­fully put an end to that idea. It’s cor­rect­ness gone mad. Mak­ing life easy doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily make life bet­ter.

Hard work still mat­ters, as do rules.

They do at home, at school, at work and at play.

The world is an ever-chang­ing beast. I get it, but just be­cause some­thing is old doesn’t make it wrong.

Sport is any­thing but bro­ken. It might need an oc­ca­sional Band-Aid or TLC but there is no need for ma­jor surgery on games that have sur­vived decades and decades and given so much to so many.

And if it ain’t bro­ken, we all know what not to do!

Pic­ture: BIANCA DE MARCHI

ON THE RISE: Golf star Jack Thomp­son prac­tises at Grange.

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