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Comrade Hillary

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Well SPARC have come out with their funding programme at the elite level for the next six years and shock horror, sports like basketball, rugby league and softball are nowhere to be seen in the A-List party.

And why would that be?

Surely not because they are blue collar sports which are popular in places like Glenfield, Te Atatu and Petone.

Let's take a look at who made the decision on rugby, cricket, netball and six Olympic sports getting the lions share of the pie shall we?.....

Head of SPARC is Nicholas Hill. Born in South Africa, immigrated to the UK as a child and then came to NZ where he played rugby for Otago University U20.

The we have Chairman John Wells who was chairman of the World Netball Championships 99 Limited, and who is keen on recreational cycling.

... Christopher Doig, former chief executive of New Zealand Cricket.

Jenny Ross, an academic from Lincoln University in that diverse sporting melting pot known as Christchurch where sports like rugby, cricket and rugby compete for peoples attention along with rugby and rugby.

Tina Karaitiana from Gisborne who served seven years on the Board of Netball New Zealandand represented NZ and the Oceania region on the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) Members Council. Tina continues to actively participate in the sport of netball in umpiring.

Rob Fisher, who was Chairman of the New Zealand Rugby Union between 1997 and 1999 and is former Vice-Chairman of the International Rugby Board and former Director of the Rugby World Cup.

And a handful of others who we've all never heard of and will never hear of.

So let's see then shall we. They say they are targeting sports that can win their world championships or win gold medals in London in 2012.

Well... um... who is more likely to win a world championship? Cricket or softball (who have won the last three world championships), or even league (who won the tri-series last year)????

If you want to use arguments about how softball and league are not sports with strong international competition I have one word for you... NETBALL.

New Zealand has pretty much sewn up the next world netball championship long before we even get there. It is a two horse race and the other horse isn't that flash.

Or another argument they have used... we have chosen sports where a win will mean a lot to New Zealanders. Let me just ask you this. What has stuck in your mind longer?

The non-existent tournament victories of our New Zealand cricket team or the 24-0 thumping our Kiwi side gave Aussie last year to win the Tri-Series, beat Aussie in a series for the first time in 50+ years and to hold them to zero points for the first time since the 1980s??? The Kiwis draw 20,000 plus every time they play a test in New Zealand and a large TV audience. The NRL is on our TVs every weekend for 30 weekends a year. It is on our nightly sports news. Rugby League has a huge following in NZ and we have over 70 NZers running around in the NRL at the ELITE LEVEL.

Nick Hill just gave a bumbling nonsensical interview and question/answer session with callers on radio sport and somebody needs to start asking the real hard questions which I've touched on above.

SPARC is a wankfest for corporate business pricks and prickesses to play God with bloody hard working sports in New Zealand.

Heads should roll.

Helen. You are a Mt Albert Lions fan. David Lange was a Mangere East Hawks fan. Get to work and give these elitist expletives the boot.

It used to be that the only true amateurs were the seriously rich. Now it'e obvious that today's altruistic are the softballers. They still go to their nationals and stay in camping grounds and overseas trips cost the players a packet. Yet they are damn good. We used to have great pitchers and so so batters but of late we have been able to regularly outhit the North Americans. Yes softball is a recreational game in the States and Canada but thousands play it.Shame on Sparc.
Fucking brilliant post Yamis.

At the Commonwealths this year I was chatting on a tram to one of the New Zealand badminton team.

He'd fucked his leg about 4 weeks before the tournament and so was in a spectator's role there.

He was saying another fucked thing about Sparc is the way it judges good performances.

For example, a rowing team is always going to post a time - for arguments sake lets say in Manchester ou rowing team rowed 1km in 2 minutes.

In Melbourne they rowed 1km in one minute 30.

Uh huh, says Sparc the rowing team is showing it has improved and they should get more $.

However, in sports where it is you against an opponent - lets say Badminton, a lot of other factors can determine your success.

Say for example, in Manchester the badminton player has a relatively easy draw and makes the semi-final.

In Melbourne that player may have may have hit the top seed in the last 64 and been eliminated.

By the same process Sparc will say look how much worse Badminton has got - the semi-finals compared to last 64 and funding can be slashed.

Sparc will not take into account their draw or these other factors which is bullshit.
Great piece. Read the Listener interview with Hill and find out what a truly lightweight half-wit he is.

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