The Culture of Winning

26 11 2012

Winning is great. There’s no doubt about that. The feeling of winning a final, or
scoring a goal is something that we all love. But why is winning so important?
Why should not we enjoy the game, not the result? As a keen footballer and
cricketer, I have felt the pain of losing and the ecstasy of winning. The recent
Olympics and the current Paralympics do show many variations on the
importance of winning.

For some athletes such as Lam Shin of South Korea, losing is
unbearable. She lost in a semi-final match but refused to leave because she felt
she controversially lost. Now I understand that the Olympics is one of the most
important times in an athletes life, but to spit the dummy and to act like a child
is not the way to go. On the other hand though, British Olympian Tom Daley
only came third in his specialist event and had disappointing results in the others.
Despite this he was clearly happy with his bronze medal and even jumped in the
pool with his team mates. That’s the way to behave is it not?

This win or die trying mentality is not only affecting adult Olympians, but is also
affecting the youth of today. Maybe it is because of what they see on TV or even
the influence they receive from their friends and parents. This leads to many
games where they are ruined by the attitude of the players. Foul play and foul
language have marred many games that I have played in which previously had
expectations of being a fun (but serious), game. Why do people turn angry when
things are not going their way? Why do they have to resort to acting like children
whilst using words that would be inappropriate for even adults? It is a question
that I ask myself after most games and an issue that will most likely grow worse.

Parents are not blameless either. Even though it is in good nature for a parent
to encourage their child to win or to give advice on what they are doing wrong,
this interference can influence a child to place so much importance on winning.
This is the major issue that I have. I like it when my dad congratulates me on
winning and I appreciate the advice that he gives me because I love sport. Now
I am not saying that my dad is not perfect and blameless, but he does not care
about me winning or scoring goals just whether I try my hardest for my team.

This may seem like a biased view but I believe that is how every parent should
act regarding sport.

It would be an uphill battle for me to attempt to change people’s perspectives
on sport, as I know that I am not perfect. Even though I like to think that I show
good sportsmanship and am humble in victory whilst being grateful in defeat I
know that sometimes I may do the wrong thing. But that is the nature of sport
and I personally believe it is wrong. This article is not to have a go at people and
blame people, just to make them think about their attitude and behaviour towards
the pursuit of success and the culture of winning. In the future this may create a
better sporting atmosphere where no matter what the score or the result, we can
all get along and have fun.


WILD OATS XI Sails Into Protest Storm

24 02 2011

When people think about sailing they just think you go out and steer the boat into a straight line towards where you want to go. No – this is not exactly the case. It can sometimes involve going completely the opposite way you want to go and a lot of tactical thinking.  

When you are involved in competitive sailing there is a minefield of rules and behaviours that you need to follow. There are tough choices to make. This involves climbing up masts and racing around the boat to get sails in place. There is always the danger of getting a penalty for breaking even just the smallest rule. You are at the mercy of the wind most of the time.

Wild Oats XI is a 5 times Rolex Sydney to Hobart Line honours winner. Skippered by Mark Richards in the 2010 Race, Wild Oats XI sailed into Hobart under Protest for failing to make a safety radio schedule over their HF Radio. They were protested by the race committee and given provisional line honours when they crossed the finish line. But later the next day the protest over Wild Oats XI was dismissed. All their hard-earned effort was not in vain. They were officially the Sydney to Hobart race winners for 2010.


Maybe he still has it …

27 07 2010


Diego Maradona, one of the past’s greatest footballers, an amazing world cup legend, is surrounded by controversies such as drug abuse and health issues.  At age 49 Diego Maradona is back. He returned to the world stage in 2008 when he joined to coach the Argentinean international team. He has now returned for this world cup and people didn’t expect a former international drug addict to possibly lead Argentina to what could possibly be a world cup victory.

When Argentina joined this world cup campaign there was a lot of criticism over Diego’s head and rightly so. He had a rather shaky start in the qualifiers. They had a lot of losses including one of the biggest losses in Argentine’s history and they had Diego fined and banned for abusing media journalists. However, Argentina managed to eventually qualify for the world cup. Now with the group stages almost over, Argentina has earned three points from three games and has only let in one goal with seven goals on the score sheet. Argentina has now qualified for the next round and will have to confront Mexico in the next round which will hopefully be a win.

Diego has also developed a great team as he has given immense attention to the likes of Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Diego Milito, Gabriel Heinze, Juan Veron, Maxi Rodriguez and many more.  This amazing team has been great for Maradona and has given him  opportunities to develop his team even further.

So perhaps a former footbaler who took a downhill turn can now recover and become one of the most famous international coaches by leading Argentina to victory in this current world cup campaign. Maybe Diego Maradona does still have it.


By Peter

Is the Penalty Unfair?

26 05 2010


On the 22nd of April, the rugby league club The Melbourne Storm admitted to ‘under the table payments’ in order to keep their superstar players for a number of years. The confession came after a whistleblower reported of the Storm’s deception. They used two contract books in order for the NRL not to be aware of the dealings. In a press conference the NRL announced that they would be stripping the club of 2 premierships, 3 minor premierships,  giving them a $500 000 fine, and  take back the $1.1 million in prize money. The club is not allowed to accumulate points this season.

I think that the penalty is quite unfair and that this punishment  a bit over the top. The fact that the Storm can’t accumulate points this year means that fans may stop coming to games which could end up costing the club more money. Not to mention the fact that they won’t be able to keep players due to the huge lack of funds. This  means it will take a while for the club to recover from this dramatic situation. I think it is a bit unfair on the players that they also had all their achievements taken away because a lot of these players were not aware of this situation and are understandably feeling really annoyed!  

Overall I believe that the penalty is really unreasonable and that this may not be the way to solve the situation. It is also excessive that many players and supporters are now suffering from the mistakes of a handful of greedy people.



Adelaide Crows lose again

26 05 2010


The Adelaide Crows slump to their sixth straight at the hands of bitter rivals Port Adelaide Power at AAMI Stadium. The Crows were leading at every change until the Port Adelaide team kicked six unanswered goals in final quarter to win by 23 points. One of the few positives to come from the match for the Crows was Graham Johncock’s return to form with 22 possessions in the Crows disappointing loss.

 Many fans and media alike are putting the blame on Neil Craig and his constant choice of playing the Crows more senior players rather than their young talent.  This  is showing clearly how the Crows are playing  their game in the 2010 season – not their wisest move.

They are regularly leading in the 3rd quarter but they lose the games in the fourth quarter when their more senior players are tired, showing that they are more unfit than the younger ones. To solve this problem I think that Neil Craig should more regularly play his younger and more fit players because this would help the Crows dominate to the final siren with the same intensity that they started the game with. Also the younger players would gain valuable experience from playing with some of the best AFL players in the country.

It seems to me that if the public can work out the issues of this team, so can their coach!


Bayern Stun United

23 04 2010


Manchester United have lost 2-1 in dramatic fashion against a determined Bayern Munich team in the first leg of their quarter-final clash in Munich on Tuesday.

The match was highly anticipated as a replay of the famous 1999 Champions League Final where United came out on top with two goals very late on. 

Manchester United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, was less than impressed with his team’s performance.

“We didn’t play well and we kept on giving the ball away,” said Ferguson.

“Bayern were better than us and we can’t deny that either.”

He also said that they were pressed really hard and as a result they cracked a bit. The last goal was a terrible one to give away.

Sir Alex was assured, however, that the game at Old Trafford would be a different one and the team would  be much better. No doubt about that.” We have an away goal and that is an advantage.”

The Red Devils drew first blood with in-form striker Wayne Rooney putting home a deflected free kick only a minute into the game. This was Rooney’s 34th goal of the season.

 Bayern, however, bounced back from an unimpressive start to dominate possession for long periods. Right-sided midfielder Franck Ribery was running proceedings. Munich had United under the pump until Bayern’s Ivica Olic sprayed a great chance right in front of goal, unmarked. United were trying to play their star Rooney through on the break, who was terrorising his opponent’s defence with his pace.

Munich started the second half at a startling pace, taking several shots keeping Edwin van der Sar on his toes. With just over 15 minutes to go, a “Gary Neville deliberate hand-ball”   gave Ribery a free kick. The ball was driven from long-range only to be deflected by Rooney into his own net.

During a chaotic final ten minutes, both teams pressed for a win. Bayern dealt the final blow with Olic cutting through United’s defence to give them a 2-1 victory, heading to Old Trafford for the second leg.

Sadly, star striker Wayne Rooney  might be out for an extended period with an ankle injury. This is also a worry for Fabio Capello’s England squad which will head to South Africa in July for the World Cup with Rooney as a pivotal figure. Hopefully all will go well.


Manchester United’s debt

23 04 2010




English Premier League side Manchester United is owned by Malcolm Glazer who resides in Florida, USA. He owns 75% of the club and his brothers take up 50% of the Board of Directors. Manchester United is therefore owned and run by one family residing in another country.

Malcolm Glazer is the President and CEO of the First Allied Company, a food processing company. He, along with his family, has an estimated net-worth of US$2.2 billion.   

Manchester United’s parent club, Red Football Joint Venture, which is owned by Glazer, is said to have debts in excess of £716.5m. Yet Glazer has over $2.2billion in other companies which he could easily transfer to pull the club out of the hole. Unfortunately he does not do this.

Green and gold scarves have become a more common vision at United’s games throughout the year. These are in the colours of the ‘Newton-Heath Football Club’ which changed names to become  Manchester United in 1902. Various signs and banners are also erected during home games to show their  disgust towards the American based Glazer. The fans want their club to win and you can’t win with massive amounts of debt or a president who does not care.

Although Malcolm Glazer says the club is not for sale and the Chairman says he is “running the club the right way”, I think he should invest in the club and pull them out of debt or give up his position and go away.