Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Why sport is so much more than taking the court for me.

Adelaide Lutheran Sporting Club

Sport. A huge part of Australian culture. A huge part of a small country towns culture.

I grew up living and breathing sport. If I wasn’t taking the court playing netball on a Saturday, I was swimming laps or shooting hops or running for athletics.

Sport was my life. To be honest, my attitude sucked. I was a hormonal teenager. I took the court, played hard, sometimes back chatted to the umpires, then I left without saying thanks to my couch and ate my pie and strutted my stuff around the oval.

I honestly had no idea about what went on behind the scenes to enable me to take the court every Saturday. No idea at all. I just played.

When I moved to Adelaide a great friend of mine introduced me to the Adelaide Lutheran Sporting Club. My attitude towards sport changed.

I have since played for the club for 6 years. In that time I have been on the very active Social Committee, I have been the netball representative, coached, umpired, played and I have had the fun job of helping to organise the annual netball trip shenanigans.

I have realised just what makes a club run successfully…the people behind it.

The size of some peoples hearts astounds me. Many who volunteer their time work full time, study, run businesses, have families and usually have their fingers in many other pies.

From the trainers, to the bar operator, to the amazing guy who feels our bellies with delicious food every Thursday and Saturday night, to the netball and football presidents who put in hundreds of hours every year to keep the club running, to the umpires, timers, scorers, social committee team, maintenance, website designer, newsletter writer and so much more! The list goes on.

These people volunteer their time out of the goodness of their heart.

The club has a great sense of community. People are only too happy to cover the bar for an hour before their game, the players are always keen to get their kit and caboodle on to party at the social events, money squares are passed around to raise money for injured players, girls stay back to time for other players games, people help out behind the kitchen, some even rock up on a Sunday after a social event to clean up and many help to run a BBQ every Saturday morning for the youngsters. It's amazing.

You don’t realise how much hard work goes in until you become involved. Until you treat sport as more than just rocking up and playing on the day.

There’s nothing wrong with just playing. Not at all. But I promise you will feel a greater sense of community, belonging, achievement, satisfaction, pride and awareness if you put your hand up to help off of the court.

I would NEVER bitch about club presidents, secretaries and those people that put their hands up year after year to help make a club run. They deserve a medal. They are what keep clubs going. They are who keep your subs down, help with grading, make sure umpires are available each week, do the paper smacher work, attend meetings and so much more.

So next time you rock up to play, say a big thanks to your coach, tap your president on the shoulder and let them know just how much you appreciate them, and at the least, get back to the bar for a feed or a drink to support your club.

The people behind the scenes are what keep a club running.

They deserve your support.

Maybe next time the call is placed for people to join committees, or become a club representative, or help out with teas, or umpire, or score, or to grab a sponsor, you might consider putting your hand up. It isn't as scary as it seems.

Look after yourself and those around you.

Kirsty xxx

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