|Amateur Sport the way it used to be|
We didn't get paid for playing but the reward of reaching rep. team status, playing for your province, was reward enough. You might get a free meal if you were visiting another club and of course representative kit was provided by your rugby union. That was the sum total of the 'perks'.
But then rugby went professional and the marketing men and player's agents moved in. Salaries were paid and rapidly spiralled upwards. Now we are in the absurd situation& where the once cherished All Blacks are no longer a team but a 'brand". To compound the idiocy the "brand" has been further diluted so we don't just have an All Blacks team any more, we also have an All Blacks Sevens team.
But this is not the only problem with morphing what were amateur sports into 'entertainment products'. Two very ugly consequences have recently emerged. This past fortnight we have had confirmation of just how corrupt sport betting is.
According to Chris Eaton, ex-FIFA head of security, gambling houses in South East Asia form the foundation for organised crime gangs to generate huge profits from sports match-fixing. Singapore has been fingered as playing a pivotal role the fixing of about 680 overseas football matches says an Interpol and Europol report.
Scarcely had we digested this piece news than the sport-mad Australians revealed that the use of banned drugs in Australian professional sport was rife. The report can be seen here.
" Despite being prohibited substances in professional sport, peptides and hormones are being used by professional athletes in Australia, facilitated by sports scientists, highperformance coaches and sports staff.
Widespread use of these substances has been identified, or is suspected by the ACC, in a number of professional sporting codes in Australia. In addition, the level of use of illicit drugs within some sporting codes is considered to be significantly higher than is recorded in official statistics.
The ACC has also identified that organised crime identities and groups are involved in the domestic distribution of PIEDs, which includes peptides and hormones. ".
So all in all it is a very sad indictment on what sport as we once knew it has become; hardly the motivation to encourage youngsters to take up a physical challenge in a field of their choice.