Gavel: Why don’t players speak out?

AS soon as a sportsperson shows some personality either they get hammered for being an individual or quickly become over-exposed in the media.

Tim Gavel.

Tim Gavel.

A case in point is Western Force winger Nick Cummins, who provides gold for the media every time he gives an interview. So much so that he has become the target for every media outlet after a Force game.

There is the potential for burnout and “Nick fatigue”.

Should the media be more encouraging of sportspeople to state their honest views without fear?

It is harder in one-team towns with players often hit with the same questions time-after-time, especially if the side is losing.

And I admit, as a commentator and one-time media trainer, to being as guilty as anyone of this.

The media managers and the minders of sportspeople need also to play a role or risk producing a generation of sportspeople saying the same thing.

It is obvious that sportspeople are afraid, at times, to honestly express themselves in the face of social media being a melting pot for everything that is said. The result is bland “wallpaper” comment that does little to promote sport.

There are exceptions. Lauren Jackson can be great and Brumbies’ winger Joe Tomane usually has plenty to say and much of it is interesting. In fact most of the Raiders and the Brumbies have interesting stories to tell.

IS it time to fast track the new indoor stadium in Civic because I am not sure the Brumbies and the Raiders can wait six years, which is the estimated time frame for the new stadium? They need to see an improvement in a shorter term.

I have been overwhelmed with suggestions to encourage people to go to events at Canberra Stadium.

Many have suggested the stadium is the problem – too old, too far away from Civic, and not enough shelter from the cold and the wind. There were suggestions for free Wi-Fi so fans could interact and see game replays on mobile devices. There was also a united call for cheaper and more foood options and some suggested improving public transport.

Going to games is a unique experience, one that can’t be replicated on television and the overwhelming impression I have from e-mails and calls from punters is that they would if the venue was more central and covered.

 WITH the proposed new stadium set down for the site of the Civic Pool there is discussion about a major competition swimming pool for Canberra, which is missing out on major swimming events that bring thousands of people to carnivals.

A pool has been planned for the Stromlo Forest Park precinct. Is that a better venue for major championships? It has more room to build a bigger facility, it also has more room for parking and it could integrate with other sports at Stromlo such as triathlons.

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