Thoughts on sport
The final competitive games are coming to an end for about half the teams, as the finals series starts next week for ages 12 to senior.
It has been a disjointed season, with rain, rain and more rain, causing frustration for weeks at a time. The season is not over yet, but we are at least within a handful of games of fulfilling the fixtures that began way back in March - and have been subject to major review every week since.
As we approach the twilight of the football season, I wish to make a few observations which I offer for reflection. First, sport is for everyone, but most notably it should be for kids, with the primary purpose of allowing them to have fun.
There is no greater joy than watching the youngest players as they delight in kicking a ball and take pride in wearing their footy gear, longing for the weekend game with their mates. If we could encapsulate the values that small children display so easily and retain them through all aspects of sport, what a beautiful world it would be.
The parents who give their children support and encouragement are vital to how they develop as individuals, with our words and actions influencing the environment for us all. How wonderful it is to see mums and dads who give positive support to their children, sharing effort, joy and satisfaction achieved through participation.
We witness so many exceptional, courteous and talented children and although most may never score a goal or win a grand final, the overwhelming evidence is that local kids set the standard that our sport should seek to attain.
We do not however live in a utopia and there continue to be a few loud-mouthed Neanderthals who tarnish an enjoyable sporting event as they yell and curse, showing scant regard for anyone. Football Far North Coast unashamedly says to these individuals, stay away from our game, as your selfish, aggressive behavior is completely abhorrent. The ranting and often incoherent comments are often directed at our match officials who, contrary to popular myth, are not highly paid professionals and surprise, surprise, are not infallible.
On a more encouraging note, grassroots sport relies on the good grace and generosity of volunteers and without them, sport will grind to a halt. To everyone who has made a positive contribution to season 2012, thank you.