Wednesday, 19 August 2015

We are about to waste $2.5 billion

on broadcasting yet more football over the next six years. This is just one type of football of course, "Aussie Rules". 
The "deal" has been announced as headline news in the state newspaper - along with news about the resignation of a football coach. Apparently all this is "important".
I was sufficiently infuriated to hurl myself at the keyboard and stroke it none too gently in order to send a letter to the editor. They may not print it but I needed to relieve the stress of seeing yet more sports indulgence.
There is far too much attention paid to sport in Downunder. Yes, sport is important. It is important when it involves people actively playing it for the purpose of taking physical exercise and mixing with others while doing it. It ceases to become important when it involves being a couch potato - sitting or lying on the furniture or the floor, snacks and drink at hand. At that point it is not important it is dangerous, especially if you make a habit of it. If you make a habit of doing that alone then it is even more dangerous.
In the past week I have heard of three once thriving groups which have closed their doors. They no longer had enough members to keep going.
One was a music group but apparently people have simply stopped playing the instrument involved. Their numbers have dwindled from over a hundred to just eight - all of them older players. 
Another was a gardening group - for a local beauty site. They worked for years to produce a beautiful area but the numbers have dwindled from around eighty to just five.  The council is taking it over but they won't do it the same way.
And the last was a tennis club. Yes, a tennis club. This was a sports group. It should have thrived. They did what seemed to be all the right things. They invited younger people in. They offered classes to "juniors". But the facilities had, by law, to be upgraded. They had to comply with a raft of new rules and regulations. 
In the end a club with almost three hundred members just thirteen years ago had dwindled to thirty-four.
"It was just too difficult for us to comply with everything," said the person who was telling me about it, "We can't afford to do everything we would need to do."
Perhaps if some of the $2.5 billion was spent on even just that tennis club we would be better off? 

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