Why are there code wars?
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Reading more than 400 comments on the article about Andrew Demetriou’s actions brings up the question. Why are there code wars? The love of sport in Australia is something that we brag about constantly to the world.
Ask any primary school age child, “What are Australian values?” and one of the first answers to come up is consistently, a professed love of sport.
It is something that we proudly display together as a nation in the countless global sporting events that we participate in.
This is displayed at the Olympics where we have a competitor in practically every event available.
At the Winter Olympics we have gold medal winners, a fine achievement considering the relative lack of snow in Australia compared to other countries.
This love of sport has earned Australia a reputation around the world as a sports mad country.
Now let’s imagine that there is no NRL, A-League, domestic cricket or (Australian) Super Rugby competitions.
The only major professional sporting competition running is the AFL. What a different country we would have.
The AFL would have large crowds, but nobody to boast to. They would have TV deals, but with no other competition from other sports. No other competitions to poach players from. It would be a lonely competition. Imagine the boredom suffered in the off season.
Now let’s imagine if the NRL was the only major professional competition running in Australia.
What would the people of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and South Australia do sports wise, who have little to no interest in the game of Rugby League.
They would lose the ability to measure the strengths and weaknesses of their game against those of Rugby Union. They would have nobody to share players with. Nobody to trade secrets of strength and conditioning with. Without soccer, they wouldn’t have a target of player participation to reach for.
Imagine likewise the A-League was the only competition in Australia.
Without the AFL, NRL and Super Rugby setting benchmarks for attendences the A-League would not attempt to expand their supporter bases, increase membership and ticket sales, or have any opposition in places where they attempt to expand the league.
The main strength of the A-League is having the ability to make a stand for Australia on the world stage, through the Asian Champions League.
The Socceroos would get a boost, having all with talent to perform on the highest global stage the World Cup.
However, the game would become stagnant without competition.
Every code in Australia needs the others for the good of their own game:
- The AFL is crucial to the Australian sporting landscape is it provides benchmark for administration, management and support at club level and media coverage. It also is a game proudly unique to Australia.
- The NRL is an essential Australian sport as it provides a fatastic state vs state rivalry though state of origin, and a truly competitive competition where any team can beat another on their given day. It too maintains a great supporter base.
Rugby League offers a chance for children with a range of skills to get active and involved in a team orientated environment.
- The A-League offers a significant amount of value to the Australian sporting landscape. It gives Australians a true feel of globalism when to witness a team from their region participating in a sport played in every corner of the globe by a staggering 750,000 professional players.
It’s skill and somewhat less physical nature offers a diverse sport to the three other codes in Australia.
It also offers a chance on the global stage that no other sport in Australia can. It is also the leading sport for maintaining health and physical activity in Australia.
- The participation in Super Rugby by Australian teams is also a magnificant aspect of the Australian sporting landscape. It offers the chance for Australians to view sporting sides from other countries week in week out. It is a truly unique sporting experience that has made the Super Rugby popular with Australian audiences.
It has also added more flavour to matches where Australian sides verse eachother. The Wallabies are a much loved national sporting team which provide a chance for success at a near global level at the Rugby World Cup. The passionate Bledisloe cup matches are a great exhibition on the Australian sporting calender.
There have practically zero instances of ping pong players slagging off at pole vaulters efforts or the strength of their sport in Australia, or vice versa.
Participants of Rugby codes have never got annoyed at golfers for the lack of comparative contact in their ball sport.
Athletics participants don’t pay out swimmers over the lack of speed in comparison the running events.
So why do participants and administrators from each code have such a disharmonous relationship?
All sports in Australia need eachother for the benefit of their own game, and all of these sports assist to provide Australia with the global image of a ‘sports mad’ nation.
Whether it’s badminton or volleyball, curling or synchronised swimming, we are all Aussies having fun doing what we love, let’s forget squabbling and just have fun!