What, exactly, is wrong with Adelaide?
What is wrong with Adelaide? We call ourselves the ‘Festival State’, but far from being overrun by action we appear to be operating as a surrogate nursery for the rest of the country’s sporting events; they are born here, we suckle them, and then they unceremoniously move elsewhere. And they never call!
We lost another of our great sporting events last week, The Rugby Sevens carnival. I was lucky enough to attend two weeks ago for the carnival’s last Adelaide showcase with my son, but had I realised it was a rugby funeral I would have worn black.
The Deputy Treasurer and Minister for Tourism John Rau was unconcerned, however, by the loss of yet another great sporting event. He shrugged his shoulders and said ‘the fact is we can’t win everything’. Well, yes Minister, but why are we losing so many?
There is much to be proud of in South Australia, and the Minister was right to list great events including the Fringe Festival and Womad, but how have we manage to consistently lose so many others?
The Grand Prix raced off in 1993, The Jacob’s Creek Golf Open teed off in 2006, the Australian Hard Court Championships went out of bounds in 2007, the Tasting Australia Festival has recently had its budget starved, and now the Rugby Sevens event has been booted out of the park (please forgive my puns, but anger has this effect on me).
Let me be clear, this is not the fault of the people of Adelaide, who support and attend these events in their droves. But things like these need funding, they need support, and most importantly that need a government which is willing to defend them from interstate rivals with loose cheque books.
In lieu of that happening, I think proud crow-eaters should support the creation of an event so quintessentially South Australian that it can’t be stolen. Why don’t we replace the Rugby Sevens carnival with a lightening carnival made up of all the South Australian National Football League teams?
We have a rich history of supporting our SANFL teams, so why couldn’t we have a Rugby Sevens style lightning carnival using our local Aussie Rules talent? A modified format, round-robin series with finals and would be hugely entertaining, and would no doubt draw a great crowd. This is an event which could be held in the lead-up to the start of the SANFL season each year. It would provide kids and families a great way to get up ‘close and personal’ with their local teams – something which really differentiates the SANFL from its more remote cousin the AFL.
I remember playing in lightning carnivals as a child. They were always the highlight of the season. With obesity levels on the rise in our young people and the Government fighting a losing battle in encouraging children to put down their iPhones and exercise, why don’t we look at new ways of engaging children with competitive sport? These fast and exhilarating carnivals are the perfect foil to the low attention spans of younger children, and are easily replicated on the playground.
South Australians are great supporters of sport, and are endlessly frustrated by the march interstate of our popular festivals and carnivals. However, instead of lying down and letting the scrum run over us, let’s create something for our state and our children. We have all the talent we need right here, and I know that there are many families who would love the opportunity to cheers their teams on together.
If that fails, we could always start up a Farmer’s Union Iced Coffee guzzling carnival. Heaps good.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…