When I was 13, I won the Junior Discus in the school's annual Sports Day. Before that glorious moment, all my moments had been inglorious. I had poor coordination and no ball sense at all, which made me a liability in soccer and cricket. But for one day, I was FIRST, BEST, a WINNER! Just shows what long arms and desperation can do.
Nothing like that ever happened to me again, so despite my self-imposed regime of fitness training and my determination to be Wellington Grammar School's answer to Wilson*, I went back to being the boy everyone wished was somewhere else on Games Afternoons.
So I became a rebel. By 15, I held a different record: the highest scoring number of canings in a single term. By the way, don't let anyone tell you that a caning on your arse carries a sexual tingle. It doesn't. It just bloody hurts. But I wore my stinging buttocks with pride.
The reason for this posting is that today I listened to a radio programme on the subject of Rugby Football, and whether it is a suitable sport for youngsters. My answer is a resounding yes. Soccer and cricket demand coordination, ball sense and speed, and if you don't have those, you are nothing. The great thing about Rugby is that there is a place for everyone from the great lumbering oaf who doubles as a battering ram to the speedy weedy little gonzalez who can whizz the ball away from a scrum
And do you know what they were whingeing on about in the radio programme? Is it dangerous? Is it more dangerous than soccer? Grrrr.
But, I have no sporting career whatsoever (apart from the discus event), so I am in no position to comment. Mind you, when it comes to kicking against the pricks, I probably have no equal.
*Wilson is in this pantheon: