To win at all costs?
While it could be argued sportsmanship went missing, Carey played within the rules but that didn’t stop the protests from the English players and supporters. Their cries of “Aussie cheats” could be heard 13,000 kilometres away.
More recently, the Adelaide Crows missed out on a finals berth because of a poor goal umpiring decision in the home and away match against Sydney. The AFL later admitted the goal umpire was wrong and if a review had been called, the point would have been changed to a goal. Little comfort for the Crows.
But it doesn’t always end badly. It was another world title for our women’s netball team in August while the Matildas enjoyed a great world cup finishing in the top four.
Sport and controversy, sometimes, go hand in hand.
This week both the AFL and NRL finals begin. Fans of those sports whose teams are still in the running will no doubt be cheering from the sidelines and hoping for the ultimate triumph.
There will also be some community sports’ finals, providing a great opportunity for families to come together to cheer on their sons and daughters, relatives and friends. Yes, the goal is to hold up the premiership trophy and celebrate a victory but winning is not everything. Sport is a wonderful way to bring people together and the social interaction and friendships that result can be long lasting.
Importantly, playing fairly is an important part of living out our Christian faith. We should always strive to respect the rules of any game or competition. We should be honest in all aspects of life, including sportsmanship which means not cheating or taking advantage over others for personal gain.
It is important that we use these moments on the field or court to show fairness and understanding, even if our opponents have different values than ours.
Being a good sport requires more than just following basic rules. It involves showing compassion towards others, regardless of a win or a loss!
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