Tuesday, 17 April 2018


Of late I have been reminded of the scourge that is politics in sport. On two different fronts I have nearly been drawn into political squabbles, which is something that I have deliberately tried to avoid for as long as I have been involved in sport. Not something I am happy about.

If there is one thing I don't have much time for it is when people insist on making sport political (that and broccoli). In my experience this politics comes to the fore most prominently in relation to sporting clubs. Whatever the reason, whether people are making plays for power in a club, personality clashes, over inflated rivalries, money, whatever really, I just can't stand it. To me getting caught up in club politics and the petty back stabbing, name calling, rumour milling etc that goes with it demonstrates a small mindedness in regard to a sport. In my experience this small mindedness demonstrates an inability for a person to see past their own self interest and what is immediately in front of them and instead see the bigger picture in relation to their chosen sport.

From my experience in sport, the higher up in a particular sport you go, the less important sporting club affiliation seems to become. All sportspeople start in a club but usually the ultimate pinnacle of a sport is the national team. At that national level which club you came from fades into insignificance as everyone gets on with the business of being one team. Sure, after the World Championships, the players will then go back to being club members, but usually these players understand that there is a bigger picture, the club is only there to feed the national team, people from rival clubs may one day be team mates again. I have found that after that point club rivalries start becoming a lot less serious, as people really are competing against other mates. The drive to become involved in club based politics decreases because people get a better feel for the bigger picture.

This is a gross generalisation and over simplification, but where I find club politics to be most prevalent is in amateur sport and among club administrators who may not have been involved in the sport at a high level. It is these people who may not have a great appreciation of where their club fits in the bigger picture of the sport, who may not understand that by pushing for personal gain they are hurting their wider sporting community.

Where ever this sporting politics occurs though it makes my blood boil. It is such a distraction from the actual sport and generally serves no purpose but the interests of an individual or a small group. At best it wastes time, money and energy and at worst it can destroy sporting clubs and sporting careers.

I have never had time for it and I don't intend to start having time for it now.

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