Sport is ridiculously important. As a teacher or coach you have a profound effect on kids by working with them on a completely different level. I must have coached 200 teams over the years. Coming to this realisation seems to be stating the absolute obvious but I have a chap at school who has one avenue for success, sport. Through sport he and I have built up a relationship. Tomorrow I am off to see him play for the first time and I'm really looking forward to seeing my little mate give it heaps. There wont be much conversation, likely a well done mate, and a pot of chips for him and his little brother.
I remember back to 1990 when young Lilo walked into my team and that gold tooth grin has been part of our friendship ever since.
Over the years we teach kids and have good memories but the bond between someone who cares, someone who has been in "that" team, someone who you have laughed with, built respect for, had success with, is special. Ask our office lady, The Beav, she was there the other morning and in walked a huge samoan courier, it was Mo'o a lock from years gone by, and there we were facing off after 17 years. The smile comes, so does the hug, the respect for each other, and then he's off like all good couriers. Nothing needs to be said.
Tomorrow nothing much will be said but being there will be everything.
Update : It was a gr8 morning, my mate will be stoked on Monday Morning - I bet he is at school too, which means mission achieved.
I took a few shots, and bumped in to 5 other Summerland Kids, my mate scored a beaut try too, maybe another Lilo in the making?