Opinion

Sport unites, empowers us

By Shepparton News

Unfortunately, in any game there has to be a loser and yesterday’s hard-fought Goulburn Valley League football grand final battle at Deakin Reserve between Kyabram and Shepparton was no exception.

Our congratulations go to the Bears, who dug deep to deliver a nail-bitingly tense finish to beat the Bombers by two points.

Our commiserations must go to Kyabram, whose stunning record of 62 consecutive wins was ended by Shepparton’s last minute win from behind.

As individual games always produce a loser — this past huge weekend of sport is proof that when it comes to country sport in general — everyone is a winner.

Sport in country communities generates enough passion, commitment and energy to bring people together from all walks of life and from all economic, cultural and racial backgrounds.

From the umpires to the gatekeepers and the sandwich-makers — there’s a place for everyone.

Through the highs and lows of each season, players, coaches and club leaders provide role models, leadership and support for whole towns through an intricate social web, which inspires members of the wider community in business and education.

While small towns across Victoria struggle to preserve sporting clubs in the face of population changes, we must count our blessings at least here in the Goulburn Valley we have the numbers to make up such dynamic and energising contests as witnessed yesterday.

If the passion and energy generated by our sports teams could be stored in batteries — it would surely be enough to power our towns year-round.

As it is, the economic fall-out of this weekend of country sport will generate enough spending power to keep our hotels and pubs in business for the next few weeks.