Fandom: Are you a sports fan? Tell us about fandom. If you’re not, tell us why not.
I am not opposed to being called a sports fan. I have participated in a few over the years. I played cricket in primary school, for political reasons, although at that age I am not sure I fully realised I was protesting. What I knew was that it was boys only and some of my girl friends wanted to play. I forced the school to accept my sign up and was the first girl to play cricket. Even then I hated restriction. The team photo was one of the first times I wore a dress and from memory it was a shocking bright orange lol.
I remember that my brother and I had an informal deal when we were younger. We were both good at sport and school work. But he enjoyed and put effort into sport so I put mine into school work. My brother is easily as smart as me but he hid it behind his “class clown” persona. Many school holidays were trips with his sport teams, that dad often managed. I caught up when I fell in love with hockey and playing goalie.
My family used to get up at ungodly hours of the morning and watch the All Blacks playing. We would be half dead at school that morning but it was worth it. We would huddle under blankets and cheer every moment, when not bemoaning mistakes or opposition scores. Back then I knew the name of every NZ player and shock of all shocks some statistics too.
I also used to watch the NZ Warriors, which as they lost their winning ways were then called NZ Worriers. I still wear a really early version of their team top. I also have a British Lions top that I got when they toured NZ. I will watch both rugby and league if they are on but won’t deliberately chose to do so. I will watch no version of cricket … shudder.
Now I watch gymnastics, hockey, triathlons and the sports in the Olympics/Commonwealth Games. I love heading to Taupo to watch the major triathlon races live. I have completed in triathlons, I like switching between three disciplines in one race. I love running, swimming and cycling so one race with all three is great for me. Love does not equate actually being good at it!
So I am a sports fan if it is judged on the past and my viewing or playing. Maybe not so much at the moment if it is based on what I am doing or rather, not doing. But I do like reading sport people’s stories – does that count?