Monday, June 20, 2011

Make the right call

I had a meeting with this guy from the council about sporting facilities for our school. I want a massive 300,000 dollar multi purpose arena and no-one is wanting to fund any part of it. I was trying to explain why the simple things are easy to do and that schools cant sit back and do nothing. So take this as an example of why we cant sit there and do nothing.

Several years ago we bought 6 outdoor basketball hoops and backboards (10k) for school. We made sure the hoops were low, so that 5 year olds can throw a hoop. As we only go to year six we didn't need to go to ten foot hoops, but we made sure they were removable so that the vandals wouldn't ruin our gear. Here we are 8 years later with about 5 teams playing regularly and hundreds of kids have put in thousands of hours of games/fun/practice over the years. My son and his mates are all still playing basketball regularly for their high schools. I go watch his games and kids from all sorts of schools and backgrounds are all over basketball.
Six years ago a young guy who arrived at school saw the older boys hooping and decided that he wanted to play. This young boy is on the short side and when he started it was quite cute to see someone even holding a ball that seemed so big. Obviously with the low hoops and smaller balls the game became achievable. Now six years on Tauhir is a very very good player, he isn't the tallest about but he can play. So much so that he is going to a worldwide basketball training camp in Florida sponsored by IMG. His family are digging into their pockets, raising cash and helping their young fella chase a dream. If he went to a different school would he even be playing basketball?
I'm not patting our school on the back here, i'm saying that without opportunity kids wont play or participate.
Ever wondered why NZ doesn't produce tennis players, it's a dead sport in NZ because the kids don't play it. Softball is dead. Cricket is dying. Hockey, partially dead. The list goes on, don't get me wrong your school may be going great at hockey, seems everyone in Palmerston North has hockey (insert weird here) but Tennis, it's all over, you once were brilliant but now you are custard.
So get the facilities and let the kids decide what gets kicked for touch.

So answer this: why don't the sports do something? Soccer NZ had a team at the world cup, the all whites were famous for 6 weeks. Now 1 year later what have they done to promote soccer, to deliver the knockout punch. Here is what they did. Play two crap games against Mexico and Australia and lose 3-0 twice, then moan about why the shouldn't have played.
Why didn't they set up a mini soccer field at every school, put in posts with nets, kids crave facilities, they want to put the ball in the back of the net (who doesn't). Lets get this straight, i can't stand soccer but i do love sport and i recognise the importance of all sport, so I built two mini soccer fields with post and nets, because kids come first.
Maybe my next Tauhir will play at a world cup.
Will yours kids play anything without opportunity?
Stop spending your money on admin blocks!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The value of sport

Sport : It keeps you healthy, having fun, learning skills, building co-ordination, creating teamwork and lots of other educational winners. Ask any old timer for the memories sport has given them and it always ends up with friendships. I remember some great games, and amazing moments but more than that I remember what people said, what they did, how they reacted, and the stories that followed those games. I remember the people, the laughs, giving your mate a bit of stick, stories of who scored the best try, and even who didn't pass me the ball in the final at Okara Park when I was certain to score and you dummied and got snotted (insert Lee Tamaki here). My friends, Lo, Ace, Dana, Pops, Smokey, Fili, J, Nail, Baldie, Smelly, Raenuts, Mew, all the Sionies the list is endless, they are the reason we play sport. The thing is that sport, even from a very young age builds these moments, these events, things that stay with you for a lifetime. A few years back there was a brilliant team, the Otahuhu College 1stXV, they were absolute underdogs, they played an entire season undefeated and went on to win the Auckland Championship for the first time in many many years, it was amazing to see this small school do the damage. They had a world class player, Orene Aii he was sublime, sensational, and has gone on to be a terrific player with a successful career all over the world. Ask Orene if he ever got a match winning drop goal and he will smile, not for the fact that they won the final with a miracle drop goal those many years ago, but for the boys who played in his team, his schoolmates.
This week at school I have been following the rivalry that two lads have been talking about, Saturday will be a step in a friendship that might be blogged about in 40 years or more, talked about between mates for yonks. The two of them aren't interested in anything but this game, guarantee the teacher will be getting the post-mortem next week on how the game went, god knows shes heard all the banter this week.
Waitakere White vs Waitemata Black Under 8's, 9.15 Saturday, tickets available on tiketek.
This is one I wont miss!

Thats the value of sport.

Oh and Lee Tamaki you owe me bro, 2 crayfish and a few woodies and we are all square, but I probably (definitely) wont forget. My idol Sid Going scored tonnes of tries at Okara and I was denied my first one by you cuz, damn right I'm still spewing, even though we won the final.

Latest pictures in the Waitakere win 12 tries to 8.