May the Force be with us

David Pocock.

THE rumours surrounding a possible move by Wallabies’ skipper David Pocock from the Western Force to the Brumbies won’t go away.

Pocock has put his future on hold while in camp with the Wallabies, but it hasn’t stopped talk that he is considering a move.

There is a perception that Pocock has a strong belief in the Brumbies with Jake White in charge and a move to Canberra would enhance his prospects of playing in a team capable of playing in the finals.

One of the main obstacles could be his asking price and with the Force desperate to keep him, he may feel obligated to stay with Perth because of his overall role with the team, which isn’t confined to the playing field.

Pocock would be a major gain for the Brumbies. Apart from his obvious playing ability, he has a strong social awareness with much of the money he makes from rugby going to African charities.

 

Pat McCabe.

Walking the talk

WHILE I’m on the issue of footballers and their work off the field, the people involved in Special Olympics in Canberra told me that they invited Wallabies’ and Brumbies’ centre, Pat McCabe, pictured, to speak to their athletes. Not only did he speak to the athletes and their carers, but he also helped pack up after the event!

 

David Shillington.

The quiet helper

RAIDERS’ skipper, David Shillington, is another keen to put back into the community: he works with disadvantaged kids. It is something he did off his own bat and didn’t seek publicity for doing so. I applaud these athletes who manage to find time for others and respond to the needs within their community.

 

Susan Powell.

Never give up

IF ever you were looking for evidence of people never giving up you don’t have to go past the Paralympics.

Canberra cyclist, Sue Powell, is one that comes to mind. She took up cycling at the age of 39 to keep fit after suffering permanent nerve damage. Since then, she has set world records and won a world championship.

She is now preparing for her first Paralympics, competing in road and track events in London. But preparing for the track isn’t easy in Canberra with the Narrabundah Velodrome a poor excuse for a facility. It’s dangerous and exposed to the elements, yet Sue has managed to make it through to the highest level that an athlete can reach. We’ll be cheering her on.

 

Lance Armstrong.

All about trust

CALL it blind faith, call it naive, but in sport, trust is everything.

Without it, competitive sport lacks the emotional connection that sets it apart.

Watching Lance Armstrong win seven Tour de France titles, we believed that his herculean performance was the result of hours of hard work and sacrifices. The inference that he allegedly achieved what he did because of performance-enhancing drugs has always been in the background, but it has been easy to dismiss the allegations of drug use because he has had 500 or so tests with not one positive result.

The latest allegations, with fellow riders and doctors lining up against him, again tests the resolve to support him.

I have been asked a number of times: if athletes want to use drugs, then why not let them?

But would we offer the same sentiment if we were talking about match fixing, bribery, tanking or faking injury to gain an advantage?

Don’t we want to see sport as a human endeavour, with a set of rules that allow people to compete as equally as possible?

I would like to think that any form of cheating needs to be eradicated. That’s not to say that faking injury to get a penalty, as we see in soccer especially, or AFL clubs making sure they don’t win to ensure a draft pick, is the same as systematic blood doping or performance enhancing drug use.

But if we let one form of cheating go unchallenged, who is to say that it won’t be seen as a green light to go one step further.

The essence of sport is the belief that we understand that every competitor is competing on an even playing field.

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