From the Grandstand by Col Hennessy


Well with everyone exercising more regularly and more energetically during these Covid times, you could be forgiven for thinking that this week’s column is from your resident fitness trainer espousing the benefits of an appropriate cooldown session after any workout. It’s not!  Actually, it’s more important than that. 

It is an official movement created by former Wallaby captain David Pocock. He has over 350 listed supporters from over 30 sports. It’s all about climate change and its growing importance in the future. Essentially it is a call to arms for those who want to protect the future of the planet.  Pocock is not new to taking a stand and highlighting different issues. He would not sign anything to be married (officially) when he ‘wed’ his now wife until such time as the law was changed to allow same sex couples to do the same. He also established a charity in his native Zimbabwe to address the inequality that exists in that country. It is called the 80/20 foundation and seeks redress that inequality.

‘What has all this got to do with sport?’ I hear you say. Well, if you remember I often like to quote one of my heroes Nelson Mandela who said “Sport has the power to change the world. Sport can create hope when there was only despair” This is such an example. Our PM loves his sport but by all accounts, is a bit slow in signing up to the 2050 climate goals most countries have signed up to. Maybe these signatures will be as compelling a that piece of coal he brought into parliament. He did see to it that changes were made to financially reward those athletes who won medals in the Paralympics just as we did in the earlier Games.

Of course, who do I go to when I want an opinion on such matters – our local Greenies, Harry Johnson and Greg Clancy. They were not aware of this movement but were obviously supportive. Harry in keeping with the theme of the last month replied that it was a gold medal performance by Pocock. He even went as far as to suggest (tongue firmly in cheek) that perhaps one of the new sports on display in Brisbane in 2032 should be firefighting.

Now if it is good enough for Nathan Cleary to sign up for this cause, you should consider it too. Just Google the title in the headline and go from there. You will only be asked to list your reason for such interest. Is it for your kids, your country, the land itself?

Already some administrations are questioning the long-term viability of cricket being played over summer days. We are making allowances at the tennis in January when court temperatures can reach over 50 degrees. When mayor Jim Simmonds and I umpired the cricket, we were always pleased to be appointed to Iluka which was surrounded by the rainforest and the sea breeze wafted through nature’s air conditioning. Long may it continue well after 2050.