Monday, March 4, 2024

Blogpost: For the love of sport

Blog-piece by Martin Healy

For the love of sport

WIMBLEDON ladies tennis champion is Serena Williams again. We have all been tennis experts for the fortnight. The British weather has behaved itself and Henman hill at Wimbedon has proved its worth for the many fans who go without tickets. An American called Zach wins the British Golf Open championship, now there is a surprise.

The Ashes cricket series is upon us and England take the first test and Australians take the second test match. When i arrived in England as a young man, i was always astounded the way complete strangers would stop me on the street, call me mate and then demand to know what the score was in the test match. My wife’s family are all mad cricket, my son plays wiki with Belhus and i have learnt to know the score in the big games, especially against Australia.

There has been no football or Rugby matches for since April. I have not missed all these dark, wet, cold winter days. This is a year without a football world cup or European Championship. These past few months, the Convent rounders teams were very successful and my boy has played cricket at Belhus.

During this summer term, there are gaelic football games across North London in Greenford, Harrow, Edmonton and our club in Goodmayes. Next year, the McCurtains GAA club will set up in Thurrock so I am on the hunt for potential Gaelic football players.

It has been a nice close season break but the other week we were back at Oakfield, thurrock rugby club for the kids presentation evening and now our attention is starting to focus on some preseason training for the boys. The coaches will start back in mid to late August. In September and October, we have the rugby World Cup, so we are getting excited about that in the rugby fraternity.

However, all of these activities and clubs cost money. There are the inevitable diary clashes as fixtures for each sport can overlap. The costs though are the big thing. There is the annual registration, the kits, the boots, gum shields and other equipment. There is the monthly subs, the transport and travel costs, the match fees. Parents, including myself, have to check with young Jonny "are you sure you want to do this?"

Costs vary from one sport to another. Costs tend to be the inconvenient truth but having overcome this hurdle, the main thing for parents and grandparents is that our kids enjoy their sport whatever it is that they opt to do and fair play to all the coaches, officials and mentors who give so much so grassroots sport is kept alive and kicking across our borough.

Winter football and rugby fixtures are published. Diaries are updated, away we go for another season, hurrah!


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