Sep 30, 2007

My Sporting Life, Part Two

As the dust settles within the sprawling bohemoth that is Telstra Stadium, and as Melbourne celebrates its NRL victory with beers, and as Manly commiserates its loss with....well, beers, I guess - thoughts once again turn to the team sporting achievements of my own youth.


The only sport I played through the entirety of my five years at high school was volleyball. I still adore volleyball, even though I haven't played for years. I could never serve, nor spike at any great speed, but I was a dab hand at a dig and set quite daintily. Besides, there were six players on a reasonably small court, so I figured if I missed there'd be someone close enough by to fix my errors.

Trouble was, the coaches seemed to notice my errors, and it was with great pride I ended up on the Open C volleyball team in Year 12. This was the third-string team, expected by all accounts to fail miserably. However, we perserved, and ending up winning the premiership. I like to put it down to skill and enthusiasm, but the truth is we were just slightly less crap than our opponents. That's the true key to victory.

I particularly remember one game, where, all of a sudden, when we were a few points behind in a crucial game, I was suddenly blessed with the ability to serve. Unlike my brother, who mastered the high-speed, high-impact jump-and-smash-the-shit-out-of-the-ball style of serving more commonly seen at the Olympics, I had not even managed to get my arm around the underarm serve. I'll punt the ball with all the strength my puny pecs could manage, but it would still flop embarrassingly short of my side of the net, or my terrible aim would see it shoot off at a 90-degree angle. Either way my turn at serving would never last very long. But this one day I booted across over ten successful serves. It absolutely turned the game around for us, and I've never been so impressed with myself.

At least, that is, until I took up what would be my final team sport at St Paul's School for Miscreant Boys and Oh Yeah, Now Girls As Well.


I mentioned in my previous post about the sad decline of our powerhouse hockey team. I played in Year 10 in the Open B team. Come Year 11, I made it back onto the Open A with many of the same girls from that double-premiership winning side. However, the competition was much tougher, and our coach insisted we have fitness training at 7am twice a week. It required a lot more work to do less well in competition, and stopped being as fun as it had been in previous years.

It was lucky then, in my final year, St Paul's finally introduced soccer for girls. Many of us hockey girls defected to soccer because a) it was virtually the same game, only no sticks b) our coach was one of our male classmates and c) it just looked like a barrel of laughs. And with more important things that sport weighing on my mind (like whether or not I should even bother trying to pass Maths B), it was just what the doctor ordered. Our soccer season began as a debacle and finished a triumph of carefree gaiety over skill and discipline.

We wound up being given the boys' old team jerseys, because - can you believe this - they didn't LIKE them and had ordered new ones. Yup, that's what it was like being a girl at a male-dominated school. We had to bring our own white shorts, which are always fun for girls to wear, which we teamed with these bright red-and-white checked jerseys. We didn't really care that much, come to think of it. At least we looked the part, all lined up in our uniforms. And it gave us the edge on the opposition - they had to wait until we started playing to discover we were all shit.

That's not strictly true. There were good sportswomen on the team. But the season was a very late addition, we only had three games, and we'd had very little practice time. Again, I tried to make up for my athletic Asperger's by jumping around and shouting at the top of my lungs. My friend Briony and I, bored one Maths B lesson, came up with a team name: the St Paul's Streakers. We then proceeded to piss off the entire First XV rugby squad by bastardising their non-official team song and turning it into our own:

We're St Paul's little Streakers, loved by everyone
We love to play our soccer, and go on naked runs!
Singing la la la la, ladies are the best
St Paul's little Streakers, we're better than the rest!

We took great pride in yelling that at the top of our lungs at any opportunity. You can't say we're not a classy bunch, us private school girls.

Somehow we managed to score a victory in one match, but lost the other two. I remember our coach Will, who had the patience of a saint, later thanked me for turning football into a "combination of ballet and Xena". To this day, that remains one of the best compliments I have ever had.

Sadly, organised sport hasn't been a part of my life since those heady school days. I did circuit gym classes for a while, if that counts. Also, I got pulled in as a ringer on an indoor netball team a couple of times (I was still crap, and wound up playing - you guessed it, Goal Keeper). The closest I come to team sports these days is ironically on the Nintendo Wii.

So if you'll excuse me, I'm off to kick someone's arse at tennis again...


  1. Why viewers still use to read news papers when in this technological
    globe all is presented on net?
    My web page hot penny stocks for 2011

  2. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on
    blogs I stumbleupon every day. It will always be useful to
    read through articles from other authors and practice a little
    something from other sites.
    Also visit my page pet odor

  3. hey there and thank you for your information –
    I have definitely picked up something new from right here.
    I did however expertise several technical points using this site, as I experienced
    to reload the site lots of times previous to I could get it to load correctly.
    I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I'm complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I'm adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective
    exciting content. Make sure you update this again very soon.
    Here is my web blog -

  4. Hello there! I just would like to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent information you have
    here on this post. I will be returning to your web site for more soon.
    Stop by my web blog ...

  5. With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My website has a lot of exclusive content I've either authored myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any techniques to help stop content from being ripped off? I'd
    really appreciate it.
    My weblog -

  6. If some one desires to be updated with hottest technologies after
    that he must be pay a visit this site and be up to date daily.
    Feel free to visit my web page :

  7. At this time I am going to do my breakfast, when having
    my breakfast coming yet again to read further news.
    my page:

  8. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I
    clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all
    that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say great blog!
    My web page ;

  9. Does your site have a contact page? I'm having problems locating it but, I'd like
    to send you an email. I've got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.
    Also visit my webpage : motor club of america presentation

  10. Article writing is also a fun, if you be familiar with afterward you can write otherwise it is
    complicated to write.
    Also visit my web blog ASSI PLAZA

  11. I think what you posted was actually very reasonable.
    However, think about this, suppose you typed a catchier title?
    I mean, I don't want to tell you how to run your blog, however suppose you added a post title that makes people want more? I mean "My Sporting Life, Part Two" is kinda plain. You ought to look at Yahoo's front page and note how they write
    article headlines to grab viewers to click.

    You might try adding a video or a related picture or two to grab
    people interested about what you've written. Just my opinion, it could bring your posts a little bit more interesting.
    Check out my website : stripping

  12. Hi there, I enjoy reading through your post. I like to write
    a little comment to support you.
    Also see my web page - Popflops

  13. What's up, I would like to subscribe for this web site to take latest updates, thus where can i do it please help out.
    Here is my blog ; 11 inch crystal balloons 100 count

  14. I enjoy reading an article that can make men and women think.
    Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!
    Also visit my web blog : back pain

  15. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually understand what you're talking about! Bookmarked. Please also talk over with my website =). We may have a hyperlink trade contract among us
    My blog post

  16. I blog often аnd I tгuly apprеciate
    your content. This great article has truly pеaked my intеrest.

    I am goіng to take a nоte of youг website anԁ κeep checking foг nеw informatiοn abоut
    once peг week. I subѕcribеd to your RSS
    fеed too.
    Here is my webpage ... loans for bad credit

  17. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like
    yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.
    Look into my webpage ; Business broker Los Angeles

  18. Hello thеre! I could haѵe sωorn
    I've visited this site before but after looking at some of the articles I realized it's new tο me.
    Anуways, I'm definitely pleased I came across it and I'll be bοοk-marking it anԁ сhecking back rеgularly!
    My blog post ... loans for bad credit