Sunday, 20 September 2009

A Sporting Chance

I enjoy sport, or at least I used to before the era of professional sport killed most of the codes I enjoyed.

Rugby was a much better game as an amateur code and I played a lot of it. It also used to appear on free to air television in New Zealand but rarely does so now.

Win at all costs seems to be the prevailing sporting ethic and it is a sad indictment on htose who play and administer games.

The South African Caster Semenya is the latest victim, with that country's senior track official now admitting he lied about gender tests being carried our prior to the runner's winning performance in Europe.

Then we have the Formula 1 fiasco which demonstrated that Renault cheated to ensure they won last year's Singapore Night Grand Prix.

This is not the sort of publicity that Singapore wants at this crucial time before the next Grand Prix, scheduled to start in a fortnight's time, as it takes the gloss off the event.

In the aftershock of a major recession event ticket sales have been hard hit and sports cheats make life even harder for organisers to attract support.

A few months ago Singapore hosted the Asian Youth Games.

Yes, there were a few teething problems and home support was disappointing. The refreshing thing was that it was about gifted amateur athletes doing their best - the true ethos of sport.

I expect next year's Youth Olympics will be held in Singapore in the same spirit and the country will the better for it.

Ultimately as the saying goes "Cheats never prosper" and long may this remain so.

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