IN their introduction to the chapter on sport in the classic book The Australians, the authors write,"...(our) history and environment have put into the Australian's bloodstream a feeling for games and competitive sport which seems to be necessary to his (and her) fulfillment."
For many families across the length and breadth of the Kowree Naracoorte-Tatiara area there is an excitement about this weekend because it's grand final time in the 'footy and the netty,' and of course, not forgetting the hockey.
For those competing, Saturday's game is the climax of a lot of time, energy and money being spent during the course of the season.
And while the attitude of many may be "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing", the reality is there can only be one winner - to the victor the spoils! (and rightly so).
However, I like the teaching of this statement, "The way a person wins shows much of your character and the way one loses shows all of it."
In my sporting career I've known the thrill of success and the despair of defeat. Win or lose, the main thing is the knowledge that you have given it your best shot.
Life in many respects can be likened to a sporting arena complete with its bumps and injuries and joys and thrills.
What happens though when it comes time to "hang up the boots?"
The Bible tells us that God, the umpire of life, has ready for those who "have fought the good fight,(and) finished the race" a "crown of righteousness" which He "will award...on that day" (2Tim.4:7,8).
To receive this award one must have been a member of God's team, a position open to anyone who believes that Jesus, through his death and resurrection, has paid the penalty for their wrongdoing. Are you on this team?
And to everyone involved on grand final day - players, officals and parents - win or lose, may you enjoy the moment.
GRANT SPANGENBERG, Naracoorte.