Telling your tales

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS/SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

A se­ries of free work­shops to record per­sonal sto­ries and lo­cal his­tory will be hosted by Ranui Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion from this Fri­day.

The com­puter suite up­stairs at Porirua RSA, used by E-learn­ing Porirua, will be avail­able for those who wish to write then tell their sto­ries.

The as­so­ci­a­tion’s co-chair­per­son Ch­eryl Brown said it was im­por­tant that what was recorded was in peo­ple’s own words.

So far she has put to­gether a num­ber of ac­counts, talk­ing to Bill Be­van and John Ryan.

Ranui is a sig­nif­i­cant part of Porirua’s his­tory with links to the Mexteds, Siev­ers and Mun­gavins.

‘‘While cap­tur­ing the his­tory is im­por­tant, we want to col­lect the sto­ries of peo­ple in this area be­cause it helps to shape iden­tity and cre­ate com­mu­nity. Some of them are en­light­en­ing tales about grow­ing up around Ranui and Porirua,’’ Ms Brown said.

‘‘There is a very strong be­lief around right now that dig­i­tal sto­ries is a way to bring about so­cial change; it’s a use­ful tool for re­flec­tion and ed­u­ca­tion.’’

Each story will only be about three min­utes long, recorded us­ing a lap­top in a quiet room. Images brought along can be scanned to en­hance the rec­ol­lec­tions. Go to: ranuires.ning.com. The work­shops are this Fri­day, Satur­day and Sun­day, 10am to 4pm. Con­tact Ch­eryl Brown on cheryl­brown@star.co.nz. New Zealand has cer­tainly em­braced the cult of the sports coach.

It is an age ago since Glenn Turner be­came the New Zealand cricket team coach in 1985, and wasn’t al­lowed to be called ‘‘ coach’’. He was ‘‘ cricket man­ager’’.

‘‘The term coach is con­sid­ered de­mean­ing to the play­ers,’’ Turner ex­plained to me. ‘‘ At the point they’re at in their ca­reers, they don’t like peo­ple to think they need a coach.’’

So Richard Hadlee, Martin Crowe, Ian Smith, Jeremy Coney, John Wright, John Bracewell and the rest could take ad­vice from a cricket man­ager, but not a coach.

Those days are long gone. In­ter­na­tional sports teams now don’t have just one coach. They have a ver­i­ta­ble army of them.

The crick­eters have a head coach, an as­sis­tant, and field­ing, bat­ting and bowl­ing coaches, plus as­sorted other hang­ers-on.

Top rugby teams have coaches, as­sis­tant coaches, for­wards coaches, backs coaches, de­fence coaches, li­ne­out coaches, scrum coaches, kick­ing coaches and more.

Judged by how many there are, and how much pub­lic­ity they get, coaches must be in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant. Amaz­ing then that for many decades sports teams got by with­out them.

I’ve been scan­ning the news­pa­pers over the past few days for New Zealand coach sto­ries.

There’s been the John Wright saga, of course.

Wright, the New Zealand cricket team coach, has quit be­cause he doesn’t get on with New Zealand Cricket’s No 2 man, John Buchanan. The de­bate seems to be about which of them is more ex­pend­able.

In rugby, Wayne Smith and Pat Lam have been the coaches get­ting the most ink.

Smith turned down a plum coach­ing job in Eng­land, ap­par­ently be­cause he loves New Zealand rugby so much ‘‘ his blood is black’’, ac­cord­ing to one writer.

Makes you won­der why he both­ered to ne­go­ti­ate with the English of­fi­cials, if his heart was in New Zealand to that de­gree.

Pat Lam is be­ing held re­spon­si­ble for the Blues’ ap­palling run this year.

Such is the lot of the coach. There’s been lit­tle fo­cus on the play­ers’ de­fi­cien­cies – out- of­shape, poor at­ti­tude, in­suf­fi­cient skills and bad decision-mak­ing un­der pres­sure.

Stephen Kear­ney is cop­ping it in rugby league. Just as he seemed to be over-praised when the Ki­wis won the World Cup in 2008, now he is ev­i­dently the one per­son to blame for the Parramatta Eels’ dis­mal ef­fort in win­ning only one match this Na­tional Rugby League sea­son.

Even net­ball has got into the act.

Two week­end pa­pers ran sto­ries about how Cen­tral Pulse (and for­mer South­ern Steel) coach Robyn Broughton had been hard done by in her coach­ing ca­reer be­cause she wasn’t shoul­der-tapped for the Sil­ver Ferns job years ago. It’s all ter­ri­bly shal­low. Just think about Gra­ham Henry.

He is now Sir Gra­ham, and in de­mand ev­ery­where as a speaker, a coach­ing ad­viser and a sage on all things, re­ally.

Yet if Stephen Don­ald’s penalty against France in the World Cup final last year had swung one more me­tre to the right, Henry would be a fig­ure of scorn, the only All Blacks head coach to lose two World Cups.

Coaches sit on the side­line pow­er­less, while their rep­u­ta­tions and fu­tures are in the hands of young­sters out on the field.

It’s a pre­car­i­ous ex­is­tence.

Story time: Tim Davies-col­ley from E-learn­ing Porirua and Ranui Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion’s Ch­eryl Brown in the RSA’S com­puter suite where the sto­ry­telling work­shop will be held.

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