Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Times Are Changing

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Times Are Changing

Article excerpt

with Rob Whatley

THERE is a definite change in sport in the past 20 years and it will be two-fold in the next 20 years.

The sporting population 20 years ago would commit to a structured sport season that fit in with the long-held belief of those from generations before.

That being it is a winter or summer sport, you trained at least once, but most times twice, a week and there was a big-deal grand final at the end of the season.

It was the lifeblood of the community and life revolved around your family being involved and socialising afterwards.

Work was something that did not affect your sport and you left early to accommodate it if required.

Today's world has seen sports adjust to accommodate their market but, more noticeably, social seasons and sports have sprung up everywhere.

In many cases you do not have to play the mainstream sport model to be involved.

There are 10-week sport seasons to accommodate school terms and allow for social groups of friends to engage with each other.

Rarely will the week be defined by playing but it is a great thing to exercise in a semi-formal format. Work often gets in the way. The social environment allows for that to happen and be okay.

In 20 years time, what will the landscape look like?

I believe there will be a high percentage of the community that will not want to train when they could play instead or will be training for individual sports where their busy work life can accommodate them, training when they are free (from 5am through to 10pm).

The social aspect of the sport will be the priority as many are playing second-choice sports because their friends do and they have been invited.

Commitment will be at an expected level but teams will have many spare and fill-in players to accommodate work and family commitments.

The age range of the sports will spread even further, with it common to see 30 to 40-year age gaps spread across the field or court.

The one thing that structured sports have failed to keep up with is the ability to structure registrations on the potential availability of half-season players. …

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