Friday, September 14, 2012

Post Season Hazards

This article which refers to Paul Marsh's  call for a summit on athlete's work - life balance is important. Losing John McCarthy in Las Vegas is something which has had a profound effect in Adelaide this week. There has been no criticism of the club, the players, the inquiry in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas police. There have been no critics and praise has been offered where it is due. It has cut across all age groups and all people. It doesn't matter whether we care about football or not, care about Port Power or not, the resonance of losing a 22 year old player who was doing so well, reverberated through our state. It may well have reverberated through the whole of Australia. We are deeply concerned because we have all been talking about it but in a quiet, considered way. We are so sorry for his parents and cannot think how they must be feeling. Every parent with sons who plays sport and to a high level is troubled and concerned. We won't be stopping our children playing sport but we worry now for their safety. Port Power has had a horrible year and we are conscious of that so everyone has pulled together to ensure the club itself knows we do not see this as a Port Power issue. It is interesting how everyone has been very clear in their support for the Power so they know they can draw on our community strength to get through this. This is something we must all deal with and so Paul Marsh is suggesting something practical where we can look at the issues, the post season problems, the blokey culture perhaps - whatever it is which might have contributed to this pathway. A lot of women have wondered why players cannot celebrate the end of season at home in Australia or at home with their families. What is wrong with that? They spend a lot of time away playing , a lot of time dedicating their lives to fitness and condition so what is wrong with celebrating with their friends and family? Guys tend to think well, take them away, let them let off steam and then precisely what Paul Marsh has said - the post season carry on is now a concern. Perhaps it's our society. Perhaps its our culture so the next question I heard this week is what culture are clubs actually trying to engender in their players? What is it they want to achieve as part of the club culture? Post season is a part of that. We've accepted that as a community we all need to work on this and we all need to be part of the solution - if not, we shall be part of the precipitate and what is currently precipitating is making us so aware that his parents must be dealing with a really unthinkable situation right now and we are thinking about them a lot. We are also thinking a 22 year old just lost his life and so it's not letting off steam and it's not partying. It's not what we want. Even if we knew nothing about John McCarthy we are all now aware we have a young man who represents all our young althletes and we need to get this right. I hope people will listen to Paul Marsh and follow his lead and so we can all create something better for our young people. 

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