You gonna catch the Olympics?

I wish but I can’t. It’s not gonna be on ABC radio.

The Olympic Games is a massive event for any country or region to host, summer and winter.

But there is definitely scope and need for reshaping how the event is structured – and broadcast!

Putting this issue aside, I was in Gunnedah yesterday to speak with coaches in the region, hosted by Northern Inland Academy of Sport (NIAS) which is based in Tamworth and receives NSW government/NSWIS support.

Sports there range through rugby union, league, AFL, Netball, athletics, swimming, tennis.

One AFL coach had to detour before arriving to help fight fires.

Like many parts of the country, the drive there was through barren and parched land, although there were no significant fires nearby.

While the purpose of the day was to talk coaching, discussions moved across many issues.

But one aspect of a regional location like Gunnedah is that sport unites a community.

It assimilates new persons, or ‘blow-ins’ like me to the locals very quickly.

It provides direction, hope and spirit to those children, youth and adults who play, and to the volunteers, Mums & Dads who support and drive the distances to allow competitions to happen.

Representation for your school, club, district, region and beyond is still cherished.

There are trophies in cabinets, testimony to past sporting achievements as well as the present. Photos on the wall are not only of local ‘heros’, but there are pictures hung of Australian teams.

When it comes to sporting facilities, coaching, being able to host carnivals & events, many regional areas of Australia do it tough in good times – let alone what is being experienced now and has been for some years in parts. #lookafteryourcoach

So when those ‘leather-chaired’ decision makers sit to consider the future of the Olympics; or the capital city based leadership of the ABC discuss their charter to serve all Australians, city and country – I hope they truly comprehend the impact of their choices.

GUEST SPEAKER

That sport is woven through the fabric of regional life.

Anything done to unpick and unravel this fabric has the potential to do further damage to the incredible resilience of those who reside ‘west of the Divide’.

#lookafteryourcoach