Archive for the ‘School Sport’ Category

Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader Injured in On-Field Stunt

Injured Ravens Cheerleader. Image:

A cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens has been seriously injured after a fall mid-routine. The cheerleader, whom the Ravens have refused to identify, was flipped in the air but missed being caught during the Baltimore vs Tennessee game.

Paramedics rushed to her aid on the sidelines. However, the girl was taken to hospital where she received treatment for head back and neck injuries.

A spokesman told waiting reporters the woman was given the all-clear to leave hospital. She walked out under her own power.

This is the second controversy this month for the Baltimore cheerleaders.

Last week NFL cheerleader Molly Shattuck, 47, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of third-degree rape, for counts of unlawful sexual contact, and three counts of supplying alcohol to minors. Ms Shattuck was arraigned in Sussex County Superior Court, in Georgetown, on Wednesday and released on a bond of $84,000.

The charges were laid on September 26 when a 15 year-old boy told police Shattuck had begun a relationship with him. He alleged the relationship culminated with sexual activity at a vacation rental home in August of this year.



The Titan’s Navel-Gazing Begins

In the aftermath of a turbulent Rugby league 2014 season no other club will be navel gazing as intently as the Gold Coast Titans.

The club is currently conducting a comprehensive internal review to uncover the reasons behind its continued lacklustre performances, both on the field and in the grandstand.

They can start by looking at their talent-spotting procedures.

Luke Keary. Image:

Luke Keary. Image:

Luke Keary, part of the premiership winning Souths side, had been overlooked by the Titans. In 2011 the Burleigh Bears colts coach, Paul Bramley, told the Titans about Keary; suggesting he was a better half than any currently at the Titans club.

Bramley received only a lukewarm response. Recruiter Mark Gee and under 20s coach Rod Pattison promised Bramley they would ‘have a look at him.’

But Keary was only used as a defender in training drills. He wasn’t even given a chance to show what he could do in attack. For almost two months he was little more than a tackle dummy for a side the selectors had already put together.

Bramley said, “I called the Titans and asked them if they were giving him a shot and they said no. So I told Luke to drop it and just concentrate on us.

“He ended up playing Q Cup a couple of weeks later, and was excellent for us for the rest of the year.”

On Sunday Keary held the NRL trophy above his head and cemented his place in the highest echelons of first grade NRL.

How to Make your Child Feel Like a Sporting Legend

The final battle is here. The crowd is roaring around you. Half roar for you and half roar against you. The grass at your feet is glistening and fresh. Soon it will be mud. Your teammates surround you on the field. Only one thought remains in your synchronised minds: we must win. You have bled for this moment. You have dreamt of this moment. You will cherish this moment.

The 38 centimetre trophy sits on the side of the field. 4.5 kg of silver gilded in gold is staring at you, beckoning you to claim it on the world stage. On one handle, there is a head satyr and on the other, there is the head of a nymph. Generations have come and gone. Only the best in the world have held that cup in their hands. And now, it’s within your grasp.

This will be the tale of the rugby union team that makes it to the finals in the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, vying for the magnificent Web Ellis cup.

web-ellis-cupIf this story teaches you anything, it’s that trophies have a symbolic significance in the sporting world.

But chances are your kid is still in school and has no plans to take on the world stage of rugby union. They might not be stars on a professional sporting level but it’s still nice to make them feel like stars in their little league matches.

Rewarding hard work with positive reinforcement is a great way to build confidence during those crucial, formative years of a child’s life. If anything, you do not want to be like Marshall Eriksen in How I Met Your Mother.

There’s a fine line between encouraging kids to win versus telling kids that winning is everything. Trophies are a great, positive way to reward kids for their hard work. Even though they might not be getting a gold plated Web Ellis cup made in 1906, getting any trophy can be a big deal to them. Having their glass trophies sitting on the mantelpiece or in the trophy cabinet make them feel proud of their achievements. child-trophy

They also help to mark different moments in a child’s life, much like a photo album. One trophy might remind you of the time your kid copped a basketball in the face right after scoring a three pointer. Another might remind you of the soccer match when your kid scored an own goal and got so wonderfully excited before realising the error of their ways. Or another might actually remind you of the time your kid won the swimming carnival race after months of practicing.

Whether it’s a trophy for winning or for participation or ‘most improved’, every golden cup serves as a reminder of how much your child has achieved throughout their schooling years; how they’ve learnt of hard work, perseverance and team work. We might not all win a rugby world cup but at least we can be recognized for the little victories that mark our childhood lives.

This article was brought to you by Noble Awards, the masterminds behind trophy creation.


Gold Coast on Trial over Pumas – Wallabies Game

Gold Coast rugby fans will be tested tonight as Cbus Stadium plays host to a test match between the Argentinian Pumas and Australian Wallabies.

Pumas vs Wallabies. Photo:

Pumas vs Wallabies. Photo:

In a year that can best be described as ‘dreary’ the Gold coasters have drifted away from all stadium sports. The hapless Gold Coast Titans have given fans little to cheer about; beginning the season well but getting progressively worse with each game.

And the ARL is aware of this. They do not want their beautiful game besmirched with a poor attendance between two sides; both of whom deserve a packed stadium.

The lowest attendance figure ever for a test match is 15,438; between Australia and Fiji. This was in the nation’s capital Canberra back in 2010. The ARL does not want that record broken.

The Titans have not drawn a sell-out crowd this year. The best attendance was for a match against their close rivals the Broncos of 20,500. Cbus stadium still has another test match locked in. But whether it will be awarded any more will depend, to a great extent, on tonight’s numbers.

In a previous visit to the Gold coast the Pumas attracted 22,278 visitors. And their side is, if anything, even more impressive now.

Captain Agustin Creevy has been given the nickname ‘Sonny Bill’ for his freakish ability to off-load under pressure. His pack are big and fit and have shown they are well-disciplined and smart. On top of this, many of the Argentine side boast international experience, having played in respected sides throughout Europe.

Glamour Australian sides, like the Western Force, have had their sights on a few of the Pumas already. Hulking speedster, Manuel Monetero – a trim, taut and terrific 105 kg winger (yes, you read that right – WINGER!), is off contract at the end of the season. And the Force is reputedly targeting him.

Creevy has played for English club Worcester and is attracting a lot of interest throughout Rugby clubs around the globe.

And while the Pumas haven’t always been able to produce victories on the field, they have always been very, very competitive.

If the Wallabies think they’ve got an easy game ahead of them tonight, they’re wrong.

Lame Duck ASADA Waiting to Die



The noose is tightening around the ASADA drugs probe with lawyers for the Essendon AFL club lodging an injunction to have the probe dismantled.

34 Essendon players, who have been on the ASADA list since 2012, have been sent ‘show cause’ letters. These are letters asking the players to do ASADA’s job for them – effectively asking the players to prove their innocence so that ASADA doesn’t have to prove their guilt.

The injunction form the Essendon lawyers seeks prevent the Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel form being able to take the next step in this endless saga – placing the 34 players on another list: the Register of Findings. The Register of Findings is the step before infraction notices are issued to the players for doping. And then the whole thing goes to court.

Last week the players were granted an extension until July 11 to respond to the ‘show cause’ letters (another delay). But lawyers are now moving to end the pointless, endless debacle once and for all.

And who could blame them?

Nothing has happened from day one of this probe. Nothing is happening. Nothing will happen with the endless extensions and zero investigations and reporting from the panel.

ASADA have at every stage sought to do nothing and delay the process of the inquiry. The latest step comes as lawyers for Essendon complain that their requests for ‘appropriate undertakings’ have been ignored. “We have written three times to ASADA’s lawyers seeking their co-operation to ensure this matter is dealt with quickly by the court and that pending a quick hearing, the investigation and show cause process be halted,” said Josh Bornstein, a lawyer representing the Bombers.

Of more benefit to everyone would be an inquiry into stupefying lack of results from ASADA and a disclosure of the amounts of money they have wasted.

What kids’ soccer matches teach us about teamwork

If you’ve ever watched a kids’ soccer match, it’s understandable if you found it hard to follow.


As soon as the ball comes into play, all the little legs rush towards it in a clumsy wolf pack, leaving every other part of the field exposed. There’s always the kid who loses his or her configuration and accidentally scores a goal for the other team only to have the ecstatic excitement shatter into red-faced embarrassment. And no matter how loud the frantic coach on the sideline shouts, the young team just can’t seem to comprehend what “stay in your position” means.

Shamefully, as adults, we’re often not much better. Whether it’s in a sports team or a workplace, we often forget to step back and look at the bigger picture.

One of the most important things in team sports in to communicate. Kirstyn Haywood, a team-building expert from People for Success, recently said: “In a team, it’s essential to listen to those around you.” “It’s impossible to organise all the elements in a team when everyone is doing their own thing”, Haywood said.

She’s right. Every person in a team has something different to offer and the best way for all the pieces to complement each other is by speaking and listening to one another.

By placing teammates in different parts of the field, each gains a different vantage point that can be shared with the others. Often, it’s the defending back line who is best positioned to tell the striker when the opposition is creeping up

When we are connected, we can work seamlessly in sync like a well-oiled machine. When we see the whole field, we can create and implement the most effective strategy.

For any team, growth comes from training and setting goals. Getting your team together regularly to train and practice executing well-planned tactics is a great way to build teamwork. In addition, fostering an environment of ambition, determination and clear goal setting is essential for motivating your team. When they can visualise success, they can reach it.

A little disorganisation is fine when it’s a bunch of five-year-olds running around in the mud on a Sunday afternoon. But when the stakes are higher and the trophy is waiting to be won, actively promoting teamwork and solid communication is the best way to win the match.

The Grom and Inamuragasaki

This is a story about just how the Grom, an online surf store, rescued a holiday.

The parents of one my son’s high school buddies were taking their family on a trip to the resort town of Inamuragasaki, on the main island of Japan. They had been there several times before. They loved everything about it: the people, the food, the sheer amount available to do…

_K4_9775When my son’s friend suggested bringing his buddy (my son), the parents seemed quite open to it. Of course, I was more than thrilled to be rid of him for a few weeks (don’t get the wrong impression, my son and I have a good relationship, but you can get too much of a good thing). He had a little of his own money saved, from doing odd jobs and a bit of pocket money. I filled in the rest. ‘It’ll be a good experience for him,’ I thought, ‘visiting another country.’

But it didn’t turn out the way either of us expected.

For on the day of their arrival the boys were stunned – Inamuragasaki had the best surf either of them had ever seen.

The parents, I must hasten to say, had never brought their family to Inamuragasaki. as_surf_japan_dm_drop_576Neither of them were surfers and hadn’t thought to mention it. Of course both boys were too busy surfing to research the holiday destination; and so found themselves at one of the most fabulous surfing spots in Japan without any boards.

And here is where things get interesting – Both boys found it would be cheaper and faster to buy boards from the Grom and have them shipped to Inamuragasaki than to have me wrap and send them myself. Neither boy wanted to buy a local board (they only do and will ever use Elnino boards; in fact they’d rather give up surfing than use anything else) and so this turned out to be an excellent solution.

The parents loved it too – both boys spent the entire holiday surfing, leaving them plenty of time to do whatever they wished. Plus it wore them out, so there were few, if any, ‘teenage incidents’.

The Canningvale Calendar

“Trust me, this is the best way.”

The swim team of a small rural town in outback Queensland had decided to enter several interstate swim meets. Their team had done reasonably well against other nearby clubs. Some of their swimmers had pretty decent times for their age groups. Their coach, Jon, was lobbying hard to get the funds to take the kids away. “The experience of swimming at these meets,” he said, “would be invaluable.” Plus everyone just needed a break from the same incessant, punishing training.

The usual ways of raising funds were not working. Sausage sizzles and lamington drives sent the wrong sort of message (neither sausages nor lamingtons being healthy foods for swimmers). And so Jon put the question to the swimmers, “How can we raise the money to attend these meets?”

It was a good idea. One of the swimmer’s parents was Michelle, a photographer. She suggested the idea of selling calendars; each month containing a photograph of several of the swim team. The kids loved the idea! Modelling for a photo’ shoot, raising money to attend a sporting event they’d dreamed of, it was their idea of heaven. jordan-s

‘Well we have the models,’ Michelle said, looking with pride at her son as he laughed and joked with his team mates. ‘Now we need the props.’ And this was where she stunned everyone.

Michelle had previously worked as an artistic director for an advertising firm. She’d learned through her career that having the prettiest models in the world didn’t amount to a hill of beans if you accoutred them incorrectly. So having the swim team standing around in ratty swimmers bathrobes, with towels that were frayed to ribbons, just wouldn’t do.

And so Michelle went online. Her advertising firm had done work for Canningvale. They sold luxury beach towels and sumptuous bathrobes online. And this was what surprised everyone. Looking for beach towels online, in Queensland, the sunshine state, was almost heretical. But Michelle wouldn’t hear otherwise.

“I’m not taking a dozen excited teenagers into a department store to see how they look in different colored bathrobes and beach towels. That’s assuming the department store has what we need.”

Jon could only agree.

BEACABQ793CVCV_Beach-CottonTerryCabanaStripe-Aqua_S_1With her practiced eye Michelle could pick which colors worked best with each swimmer. She got all their sizes and imagined how best to frame each of them, nestled in the rich colors and soft textures of the robes and towels.


Within a few days Canningvale delivered everything exactly as she had ordered. Rich reds and deep browns (the swim team’s colors) predominated. But Michelle had ensured everyone had robes and towels the color and style that would suit them best.

The photo shoot went off without a hitch, all the kids loved being under the hot lights, striking poses and staring haughtily at the lenses.

The parents’ and local community were stunned with the results. “Is this my little girl?” “Aren’t you getting strong son?” “Watch out Hollywood!” Were the least of the comments on the Facebook page Michelle created for the fundraising.


The idea of a calendar was a raging success. The swim team raised enough money to attend the meets. They even had enough money left over for a small holiday when they’d finished.

TheGrom – Into the Great Unknown

Where Brave Men Fear to Tread

I don’t know about you, but I am mortified by gift shopping for my kids. I’ve got to get it right. I’m expected to get it right (after all I live with them). And I’m expected to do it alone.

Take my boy, Cody, for instance: Cody likes to surf (so far, so good). It seems a safe bet that buying him something, anything, to do with surfing will ‘get it right’ in the gift department (still going strong). But walking into a surf store, at my age and with my totally non-existent surfing background, is like walking into a futuristic, alien shopping mall.

It’s actually quite intimidating. Some thatch-blonde girl sashays up with a barely concealed sigh and goes through the motions of being polite. We’re talking entirely different languages. Plus I don’t know what I’m looking for.

SoftboardSooner or later the attendant gives up and leaves me to ‘browse’ (apostrophes should be around the ‘leaves me’ rather than the ‘browse’). So now I have no idea of what I’m looking at and no one to make sense of what I’m seeing.

In this instance I’ve previously resorted to gift vouchers. But they lack warmth.

This year he wants me to buy him an Elnino softboard. What on God’s green earth is that? In my confusion and frustration I’ve turned to my trusty old friend, the internet.


Initially I expected surf gear to be way too cool to be devalued by being on the internet. I was wrong. The best place I found was Why best? Because it has the widest range of ‘stuff’ (I still don’t know what I’m looking at) I can choose from and – here is the big winner for me – I can write questions.

It’s a lot easier to formulate the right questions when you’re in your office at home – without some dreadlocked hippy swaying impatiently from foot-to-foot. Plus you don’t have to endure the withering silence following the asking of an (for them) obvious question. Like this: I found this thing called a tail pad, is it to protect the surfer from the fin or the fin from the surfer? In other words, is the fin protector put on the fin to go surfing or when the surfing is finished?tp33-team-blue-marble-192x240

Cody would roll his eyes if I asked that.

Physical education in Schools


Physical education in schools plays a central role in breaking down barriers to participation in sport,” the report says. “It provides significant health and social benefits. It was concerning to learn from experts Australia-wide that the education system no longer reliably provides the platform upon which much of the nation’s sporting activity is based.”

That proposal has universal support in the national sports community, which has noted with concern the dramatic drop in the physical abilities of young athletes coming into the elite system in the past 20 years as physical education has declined in schools.

“The young athletes we saw 20 years ago were vastly superior in all-round fitness and general co-ordination,” says Australian Institute of Sport athletics coach Craig Hilliard. “The ones we see now lack fine motor co-ordination.