Monday, August 29, 2016
Monday Forum - Rugby, professionalisation and the return of the Australian Parliament
My enjoyment of the match was not helped by the surrounding group of rampant Kiwis. In fact, the tiny group watching was nearly all Kiwis. Meantime, the sports tab area nearby was crowded to overflowing.
It is no secret that I follow and enjoy Rugby Union. It will therefore be no surprise that I have not enjoyed the recent decline in Rugby. The national team peaked for last year's World Cup, although it was not good enough to win in the end. However, the excitement of the World Cup and Australia's relative success, indeed the recent success of the Australian Women in the Sevens at the Olympics, mask a continuing decline in the Australian game.
In a piece in Rugby News, Bret Papworth argues that part of the solution lies in the re-direction of funding to the grass roots. I have some sympathy for this position, but there is (I think) more to it than that. It seems to me that the Australian Rugby Union in its desire to survive and grow in a competitive sports market over-extended itself and the game itself. In seeking to expand and maximise the TV money, it lost sight of those who follow as well as play.
There is another issue as well. The physical demands of the modern game, the body sizes required, the sheer increase in skill levels, are actually crowding out the smaller and not so good who just want to play because it is fun.
In a different direction but still staying within the gladiatorial arena, the Australian Parliament is about to resume after a long election related break. What are the issues that you are watching?
As always, feel free to go in whatever direction you want!
Same Sex Marriage
Tonight it looks as through the same sex marriage plebiscite is dead, but is it? It is if Labor votes against it, but will Labor do so? Will be interesting to see how it plays out.