Posts Tagged ‘sport’

Day 283 – Sport for Women

“You’ll get nothing out of sport”, I was once told that, many years ago, by an individual who shall remain anonymous! Approximately 10 years on I’m glad I didn’t listen. In fact I’ve used it as a motivation ever since, not just in sport but for anything I’ve wanted to achieve. Its been a phrase that calls to mind the effort that’s needed to overcome resistance and a reminder of the rewards that can follow. It’s something that has been imprinted into my brain.

Why am I blabbing on bout this now? Well the day I was last supposed to update my blog I attended a launch Zumba class to promote the Sport for Women Day in March 2011 ( Sport for Women hopes promote exactly that by combating negative portrayals of women’s sport in the media as well as other initiatives. One of the questions asked on the day was what were some of the ways to keep girls from leaving sports at the typical teenage years, when they are increasingly distracted by school, work and social factors and sport takes, a sometimes permanent, back seat? I had always been mad about sport, fanatical about playing and supporting and couldn’t understand why more people didn’t take it up, but here was a question that got me thinking, this time from a different point of view.

2 years ago I went back to college to study photography and the demands of that, along with work and injuries meant I let sport take more of a back seat. It’s often easier to let stress fool you into needing another hour in the library or on the computer instead of a trip to the gym, it’s easier to believe you don’t have time to do something your mind tells you will hurt. But does the mind lie? It took me until this launch to realise I had been going down the same path that I had been campaigning people not to take.

I mean for most people who see a ‘list of benefits of sport’ in some article or website it reads like skeptical Oprah-esque ‘glance at it but ultimately it is exaggerating to make you buy into something’ scheme. Words like ‘beneficial for the development of social skills’ or ‘contributes to his/her mental well-being’ can be the type of scientific speak whose subjective use we are worn down by through public advertising. It makes you want to ignore you saw it and sit down on the couch to another bag of chips and an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

And I had been doing a lot of that, or telling myself my brain needed an extra hour in bed to rest from all the study instead of an hour on the treadmill to revive it for another day. Or forgetting that sport took me from being a painfully shy, almost reclusive 16 year old to someone who could talk to the walls, and probably has done, albeit while under the influence of alcoholic substances! Even mentioning alcoholic substances or unhealthy food, it prepares you for a life where those things are a luxury, not a way of life.

In the modern developed world we are used to seeking short term highs, watching a movie instead of reading a book, getting a Facebook comment instead of spending time organising a get-together with a friend, getting a sugar fix from a can of coke rather than a banana. Yet psychology tells us we are more content when achieving long-term goals. Sport is one of the best ways I can see to buck this trend. There is an awareness that some things take a constant, continued effort and that they are worth that effort. But it’s more than that, it’s a feeling that you have spent what time you have putting your life into a positive spiral, not one of regret, armed with a host of new friends, a few trophies and more experiences than most people fit into a lifetime.

And yet it’s difficult to get up an hour earlier or want to put in more effort when the day has already made you tired. You give up and something stops you from going, or doing. My advice going forward is something I give to myself also, figure out what in your life is telling you not to do something, stick 2 fingers up at it and walk out the door.

You’ll get nothing out of sport? I’ve got everything from it and I’m sure so many more would say the same.

Happy 2011 and new years resolutions to all!


Day 76 – Game Day

Its been such a busy weekend, between recovering from college, playing AFL, photographing AFL, attending birthday parties, etc.. The photo above was taken at the Sydney Uni v Wests U18s game. There was a great atmosphere, something about having a game at night just adds to the occasion even though I’m not sure why?! I couldn’t tell you how the game went as I generally can’t when I’m photographing, I’m more concerned with the sharpness of the picture than the sharpness of the kicking! But judging by the amount of times the ball was down near the Uni forwards I reckon they won!

I really enjoyed our game earlier too, as you tend to do when ya win by over 100 points! Win, lose or draw though I think its great to be involved on any level with sport, surely those who aren’t somehow miss out? It reminds me of something that I was talking about when out that night, that arty people and sporty people generally don’t mix. I mean our college is one of art and design but not associated with any sporting clubs, neither would I know of many classmates who play. On the other hand not many of my teammates would be into getting out the paints and canvas after the games! Now I realise I’m talking in a big generalisation, and as a rule I think generalisation are crap, but I wonder about this one. Maybe its just that people only have time for one or the other?

Its funny I guess because I regard AFL as an art form, (as well as being the best game in the world!) and when you think of it, the Ancient Greeks and Romans did too with their sports, their sculptures were of Olympic heros, amongst other things. Since then, however, from the Renaissance right up to modern art and beyond, there have been paintings of almost every theme but sport is sadly lacking, especially amongst the greats. I mean did you ever see Da Vinci,
Picasso or Van Gogh paint about a soccer match? And yet it can be, as the cliche goes, poetry in motion. Then you add in the rivalries, the traditions, the rituals, the way it pushes people outside their boundaries, in positive and negative ways. So much that can be used to inspire a work of art, but that rarely is.

Quote of the day: “I always turn to the sports section first.  The sports page records people’s accomplishments; the front page has nothing but man’s failures”  ~Earl Warren

Also more photos from the Uni v Wests game at

Day 56 – Gosford

So a 4.45am start saw me head off to Gosford this morning for the annual pre-season gaelic football and hurling tournament. I played a few matches, hurt a few limbs, got a bit sunburnt and dehydrated, oh and we lost the final, not a great day overall. A interesting sober bus journey later, with 15 or so drunken hurlers and uncomfortable seats got me home about 10.30pm, feeling like I’d been run over by a truck!

Funny thing happened, my housemate was asked how did we get on in the tournament and she said “oh we got to the final”. My reaction was “we lost”. I was told I must be a glass half empty kind of person, in truth I just think the glass is too big for what’s in it! With regards to sport I don’t think there’s anything worse than loosing a final, because to play in one you have to mentally build yourself up with the thoughts that you can win. Otherwise there’s no point in even stepping on the pitch. To have that hope smashed, to me, is just the most gutting feeling. It doesn’t even just apply to sport, it applies to everything and anything one hopes for. Sport just plays out the smashing in a more crueler concise structure.

With the heat and unflattering sun I didn’t get out to take many photos. I did take a few of one of the St. Pats goalkeeper’s hurley from behind the net. What I like about it is the interesting way my f/2.8 lens deals with the goal net. It’s so out of focus that it’s barely noticeable and can only be seen in little waves at the top of the photo. Nothing else really interesting or deep about it I’m afraid!

Quote of the day:

Father Dougal: Didn’t you tell me once that Father Jack had a trial for Liverpool?
Father Ted: No… no, he was on trial, in Liverpool.


Father Ted: More bad news, Dougal. I’ve just been speaking to Father Ned Fitzmorris. He tripped on a paving stone and one of his kneecaps fell off. There’s no way around it…I’m going to have to put him in goal.

Day 13 – Oceania Canoe Sprint

Well apologies I haven’t posted in a while, the weekend has been pretty fun, busy and frought with bad internet connections! On Saturday I was out in Penrith at the Oceania Canoe Sprint Championships taking photos and utterly enjoyed it. More canoeing photos are at

Anyway it wasn’t just because of the fit athletes I enjoyed taking the photos but I must say take a look at the bodies on all of them! I’m in the wrong bloody sport!! They should add another chapter into diet books, how to lose weight and look fantastic – take up canoeing!

The photo above was one of about 600 I took between Saturday and Sunday! I could go into great philosophical detail about why I chose that one above all the others but I didn’t say I was going to explain everything in this blog!

So if you’re intrigued by canoeing, get down to see the Oceania Slalom next weekend at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium!

Quote of the day: “Thats one to tell the grandkids”!! – again thats one I’m not explaining!