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"It’s a nightmare": Star golfer's cause of death revealed

<p>Two-time PGA Tour winner Grayson Murray has died at the age of 30. </p> <p>Golf officials announced his death on Sunday morning, with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan releasing a statement. </p> <p>“We were devastated to learn — and are heartbroken to share — that PGA Tour player Grayson Murray passed away this morning,” Monahan said. </p> <p>“I am at a loss for words. The PGA Tour is a family, and when you lose a member of your family, you are never the same"</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Murray's parents later confirmed that their son took his own life, just one day after he withdrew from the second round of the Charles Schwab Challenge - a PGA Tour event  - due to illness. </span></p> <p>“We have spent the last 24 hours trying to come to terms with the fact that our son is gone,” his parents, Eric and Terry Murray said in a statement.</p> <p>“It’s surreal that we not only have to admit it to ourselves, but that we also have to acknowledge it to the world. It’s a nightmare.”</p> <p>"We have so many questions that have no answers. But one. Was Grayson loved? The answer is yes. By us, his brother Cameron, his sister Erica, all of his extended family, by his friends, by his fellow players and — it seems — by many of you who are reading this. He was loved and he will be missed.</p> <p>“Life wasn't always easy for Grayson, and although he took his own life, we know he rests peacefully now.”</p> <p>They have also asked for privacy and for people to honour Murray by being kind to one another. </p> <p>Murray has previously been open about his battle with depression and alcoholism, according to <em>The NY Post</em>. </p> <p>He talked about turning the corner in his life and being eight months sober, after winning the Sony Open in Honolulu in January. </p> <p>“It's not easy,” Murray said immediately after winning. "I wanted to give up a lot of times. Give up on myself. Give up on the game of golf. Give up on life, at times.”</p> <p>Murray tied for 43rd last week in the PGA Championship, which earned him a spot in the US Open next month at Pinehurst No.2 in North Carolina.</p> <p>The PGA Tour commissioner said he spoke with Murray's parents about halting play, but they insisted the golf tournament to continue. </p> <p>“We mourn Grayson and pray for comfort for his loved ones. I reached out to Grayson’s parents to offer our deepest condolences, and during that conversation, they asked that we continue with tournament play. They were adamant that Grayson would want us to do so," he said. </p> <p>Monahan flew to Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday to be with players, and many of them wore black-and-red pins on their caps - the colours of the Carolina Hurricanes, Grayson's favourite NHL team - to honour the golfer. </p> <p><em>Image: Daniel Lea/Csm/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p>

Caring

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Never say never: Ash Barty's surprising new career move

<p>Ash Barty is set for a return to Wimbledon this year, but not in the way you'd expect. </p> <p>The Aussie legend who retired from competitive tennis in 2022 at the age of 25, has been persistent about not returning to the court. </p> <p>Since her retirement, she <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/game-set-and-match-ash-barty-ties-the-knot" target="_blank" rel="noopener">married </a>her long-term partner Garry Kissick, and the pair welcomed <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/best-year-yet-ash-barty-shares-pregnancy-announcement" target="_blank" rel="noopener">their son</a> Hayden in July 2023. She has also written some books and played a few golf tournaments around the world. </p> <p>In November 2022, when promoting her memoir <em>My Dream Time</em>, Barty was asked if she’d ever consider a move into the commentary box, to which she replied: “No, never.” </p> <p>But now, she is making her return into the spotlight, particularly the commentary box as she has been announced as part of the BBC’s team for Wimbledon.</p> <p>“A host of Wimbledon champions will be joining the studio," BBC’s content boss Charlotte Moore said. </p> <p>Barty will be joining Nick Kyrgios and former Aussie Wimbledon champ Pat Cash for the Summer of Sport event in London. </p> <p>“This will include John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Pat Cash, alongside Tim Henman, Tracey Austin, Annabel Croft and Johanna Konta," Moore said. </p> <p>“Joining the line-up this year will be 2021 champion Ashleigh Barty and, if he’s not playing, 2022 Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios, so anything could happen there.”</p> <p>While her attitude towards taking a commentary role has changed, she has not changed her stance on making a comeback on the court. </p> <p>“I don’t have the time – I don’t have the time to train, I don’t have the time to prepare, and I have so many great memories out on this court and now I just get to create new memories,” she said late last year.</p> <p>“I’m certainly not coming out of retirement.”</p> <p><em>Image: JONO SEARLE/EPA-EFE/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p>

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Does hosting the Olympics, the World Cup or other major sports events really pay off?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ivan-savin-678930">Ivan Savin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/escp-business-school-813">ESCP Business School</a></em></p> <p>After a long battle, <a href="https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20240213-paris-booksellers-stay-olympics-macron-bouquiniste-france">Paris’s beloved <em>bouquinistes</em> will be staying put</a> this summer. The decision, announced on 13 February by the French government, came after considerable public backlash to the police prefecture’s original plan to move part of the iconic Seine booksellers elsewhere for the inauguration of the Olympics Games on 26 July.</p> <p>Meanwhile, less than six months away from the event, Parisians continue to grumble over a <a href="https://www.ouest-france.fr/jeux-olympiques/cest-aberrant-ce-maire-vient-dapprendre-que-sa-ville-accueillera-les-jeux-de-paris-ab1fa968-cfd1-11ee-89c0-6cefac77e04a">lack of consultations</a> with locals, warnings of <a href="https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20231130-paris-vehicle-traffic-to-be-heavily-restricted-during-2024-olympic-games">gridlocked traffic</a>, closed metro stations, extensive video surveillance and other grievances. So for host countries, what was the point of the Olympics, again?</p> <p>In academia, the debate about the potential positive and negative effects of large-scale sporting events is ongoing. Although these events are often associated with substantial economic losses, the long-term benefits are the main argument in favour of hosting them. These include the development of material and soft infrastructure such as hotels, restaurants or parks. Big games can also help put the host region on the map as an attractive place for sports and cultural events, and inspire a better entrepreneurial climate.</p> <h2>The pros and the cons of big sporting events?</h2> <p>The cost of these benefits, as the Parisians have realised, is steep. Host countries appear to suffer from increased tax burdens, low returns on public investments, high construction costs, and onerous running cost of facilities after the event. Communities can also be blighted by noise, pollution, and damage to the environment, while increased criminal activity and potential conflicts between locals and visitors can take a toll on their quality of life. As a result, in the recent past several major cities, including Rome and Hamburg, <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/6-cities-that-rejected-the-olympics/a-46289852">withdrew their bids to host the games</a>.</p> <p>A common feature of the economics of large-scale sporting events is that our expectations of them are more optimistic than what we make of them once they have taken place. Typically, expenditure tends to tip over the original budget, while the revenue-side indicators (such as the number of visitors) are rarely achieved.</p> <p>When analysing the effect of hosting large-scale sporting events on tourist visits, it is important to take into consideration both the positive and negative components of the overall effect. While positive effects may be associated with visitors, negative effects may arise when “regular” tourists refuse to visit the location due to the event. This might be because of overloaded infrastructure, sharp increases in accommodation costs, and inconveniences associated with overcrowding or raucous or/and violent visitors. On top of that, reports of poverty or crime in the global media can actually undermine the location’s attractiveness.</p> <h2>When big sporting events crowd out regular tourists</h2> <p>In an <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1527002523120639">article published in the <em>Journal of Sports Economics</em></a> with Igor Drapkin and Ilya Zverev, I assess the effects of hosting large-scale sporting events, such as Winter and Summer Olympics plus FIFA World Cups, on international tourist visits. We utilise a comprehensive dataset on flow of tourists covering the world’s largest destination and origin countries between 1995 and 2019. As a first step, we built an econometric model that effectively predicts the flow of tourists between any pair of countries in our data. Subsequently we compared the predicted tourist inflow in a hypothetical scenario where no large-scale sporting event would have taken place with the actual figures. If the actual figures exceed the predicted ones, we consider the event to have a net positive impact. Otherwise, we consider that it had a “crowding out” effect on “regular” tourists. While conducting this analysis, we distinguished between short-term (i.e., focusing just on the year of the event) and mid-term (year of the event plus three subsequent years).</p> <p>Our results show that the effects of large-scale sporting events vary a lot across host countries: The World Cup in Japan and South Korea 2002 and South Africa 2010 were associated with a distinct increase in tourist arrivals, whereas all other World Cups were either neutral or negative. Among the Summer Olympics, China in 2008 is the only case with a significant positive effect on tourist inflows. The effects of the other four events (Australia 2000, Greece 2004, Great Britain 2012, and Brazil 2016) were found to be negative in the short- and medium-term. As for the Winter Olympics, the only positive case is Russia in 2014. The remaining five events had a negative impact except the one-year neutral effect for Japan 1998.</p> <p>Following large-scale sporting events, host countries are therefore typically less visited by tourists. Out of the 18 hosting countries studied, 11 saw tourist numbers decline over four years, and three did not experience a significant change.</p> <h2>The case for cautious optimism</h2> <p>Our research indicates that the positive effect of hosting large-scale sporting events on tourist inflows is, at best, moderate. While many tourists are attracted by FIFA World Cups and Olympic games, the crowding-out effect of “regular” tourists is strong and often underestimated. This implies that tourists visiting for an event like the Olympics typically dissuade those who would have come for other reasons. Thus, efforts to attract new visitors should be accompanied by efforts to retain the already existing ones.</p> <p>Large-scale sporting events should be considered as part of a long-term policy for promoting a territory to tourists rather than a standalone solution. Revealingly, our results indicate that it is easier to get a net increase in tourist inflows in countries that are less frequent destinations for tourists – for example, those in Asia or Africa. By contrast, the United States and Europe, both of which are traditionally popular with tourists, have no single case of a net positive effect. Put differently, the large-scale sporting events in Asia and Africa helped promote their host countries as tourist destinations, making the case for the initial investment. In the US and Europe, however, those in the last few decades brought little return, at least in terms of tourist inflow.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/222118/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ivan-savin-678930">Ivan Savin</a>, Associate professor of quantitative analytics, research fellow at ICTA-UAB, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/escp-business-school-813">ESCP Business School</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/does-hosting-the-olympics-the-world-cup-or-other-major-sports-events-really-pay-off-222118">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Tennis star "heartbroken" as injury puts life on hold

<p>Aussie tennis star Storm Hunter has suffered a devastating injury just one day before the nation's qualifying tie against Mexico. </p> <p>The 29-year-old has had to put her Olympic dream and plans to crack the world’s top 100 on hold, after she fell and ruptured her right Achilles tendon. </p> <p>The incident occurred on Thursday’s final practice session for Australia’s Billie Jean King Cup qualification tie against Mexico on Friday. </p> <p>Hunter took to Instagram to announce the bad news, with a picture of herself during one of the games.</p> <p>“I am devastated and heartbroken but incredibly grateful to be around the team and I know I have a great group of people around me that will help me get back on court as soon as possible,” she wrote. </p> <p>“Thank you so much everyone for the messages of support and love, I’m excited to stay for the tie and support our Aussie girls.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5pE4RDPdpG/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5pE4RDPdpG/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by STORM HUNTER (@stormcsanders)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In a following update, she shared a photo of herself in crutches holding a bouquet of flowers that she received from the rival team. </p> <p>"Thank you team Mexico for the flowers" she captioned the photo, with a heart emoji and the Mexican flag. </p> <p>Recovery time for a ruptured Achilles is at least four months, but can take up to a year depending on the injury. </p> <p>This means that the tennis star is set to miss the Olympic Games in Paris later this year, where she could've featured in all three disciplines.</p> <p>She was set to team up with Ellen Perez for the clash with Mexico, but has since been replaced with Daria Saville. </p> <p>“Storm went to take off for a ball and unfortunately has sustained a very serious injury, so she’s going to be getting an MRI tonight,” Team captain Sam Stosur said on Thursday. </p> <p>“Obviously the tie still continues and we’ve made a decision. Dasha’s going to go in place of her to play tomorrow, but obviously we’re all rallying behind Storm and wishing her the very, very best and the quickest recovery possible.”</p> <p>Hunter has had a career-high singles mark of 114 at the start of April, and finished 2023 as the world No.1 in doubles alongside Elise Mertens. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

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How much sport will you be able to watch for free under proposed new Australian broadcast rules?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-fujak-290599">Hunter Fujak</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-rowe-16403">David Rowe</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p>Watching sport on television and other screens is integral to the <a href="https://researchdirect.westernsydney.edu.au/islandora/object/uws%3A57259">cultural lives of many Australians</a>.</p> <p>This is why, in 1995, the anti-siphoning scheme was introduced to ensure sport “<a href="http://www.tandfebooks.com/isbn/9780203758397">events of national importance and cultural significance</a>” would not be captured exclusively by pay TV at the expense of free-to-air coverage.</p> <p>There have been enormous <a href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429402265-5/television-tony-bennett-modesto-gayo-david-rowe-graeme-turner">changes in television</a> since and this analogue-era legislation is increasingly out of step with the modern digital media landscape.</p> <p>Critically, under current definitions, streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon fall outside a scheme restricting subscription broadcasters like Foxtel.</p> <p>The federal government <a href="https://anthonyalbanese.com.au/media-centre/labor-will-support-local-tv-free-sport-in-the-streaming-age">promised</a> before its election in 2022 to review the anti-siphoning scheme. Its subsequent <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r7132">Communications Legislation Amendment (Prominence and Anti-siphoning) Bill 2023</a> is designed to close the “<a href="https://theconversation.com/streaming-platforms-will-soon-be-required-to-invest-more-in-australian-tv-and-films-which-could-be-good-news-for-our-screen-sector-198757">regulatory gap</a>” that has emerged within media law since Netflix’s launch in Australia in 2015.</p> <p>The Senate referred the bill to its Environment and Communications Legislation Committee. Its report has just been released and will help shape Australians’ access to sport media content.</p> <h2>The importance of prominence</h2> <p>“Prominence” refers to the discoverability of individual media applications, such as Netflix or 9Now, on the user homepage of smart televisions.</p> <p>The federal government is troubled by overseas services like YouTube and Amazon being immediately visible on smart televisions through commercial licensing agreements, effectively “burying” Australian free-to-air TV.</p> <p>Public service broadcaster SBS, for example, <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/anti-siphoning-prominence-laws-australia-free-to-air-tv-channels/87bc8ddd-4120-4542-864e-2c84a781411e">claimed</a> during Senate hearings that one television manufacturer demanded both a placement fee and a 15% share of revenue to feature on the television’s homepage.</p> <p>Prominence is crucial in sport because anti-siphoning legislation is based on the principle that, although in <a href="https://www.thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2023/03/06/tv-habits-australia">general decline</a>, free-to-air TV is still the most effective, <a href="https://accan.org.au/files/Reports/ACCAN%20Research%20Snapshot%20How%20Australians%20Watch%20TV.pdf">low-cost, readily-accessed</a> vehicle for delivering premium sport to a majority of Australian households.</p> <h2>Anti-siphoning</h2> <p>While often criticised by <a href="https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/have-your-say/anti-siphoning-scheme-review">subscription media companies and many sports</a> as anti-competitive, anti-siphoning legislation is significantly responsible for the continued abundance of free major sport on our televisions.</p> <p>In a portent of the risks ahead, <a href="https://www.cricket.com.au/news/3807634/amazon-prime-video-secures-icc-broadcast-rights-in-australia-t20-odi-world-cup-world-test-championship-2024-27">International Cricket Council</a> World Cups will disappear from free-to-air television between 2024 and 2027, after the world governing body signed an exclusive four-year deal with streaming platform Amazon.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/afl-boss-flies-to-us-for-talks-with-media-companies-20220425-p5ag16.html">AFL</a> also reportedly met Amazon in 2022 as part of its media rights negotiations.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/regardless-of-the-rules-sport-is-fleeing-free-tv-for-pay-and-it-might-be-an-avalanche-154640">Loopholes</a> in the scheme are also being increasingly exploited. This problem was exposed in 2018 when <a href="https://www.cricket.com.au/news/3296093/tvs-antisiphon-list-and-cricket-explained">Australian one-day international cricket matches</a> went behind a paywall, despite being listed as free-to-air events.</p> <p>As <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/streaming/nrl-calls-for-technologically-neutral-overhaul-to-sport-broadcasting/news-story/31fc06ab986e12c7e6f720df33d23ad1">Foxtel</a> told the Senate hearing, both Nine (Stan) and Ten (Paramount+) are now hybrid networks, able to move acquired sports from free-to-air broadcast to behind a streaming paywall.</p> <p>At present, free-to-air networks cannot be compelled to acquire the rights to any sport, broadcast them if they do, or refrain from on-selling them to a pay platform.</p> <h2>What are the implications for sport and other viewers?</h2> <p>The majority Senate report broadly supported the federal government’s existing <a href="https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/rowland/media-release/exposure-draft-prominence-regulations-released">exposure draft</a>.</p> <p>Regarding prominence, this means free-to-air channel “tiles” will be highly visible when you turn on a new smart TV. A 12-month phased implementation of a prominence framework was recommended by the committee – and would only apply to new televisions.</p> <p>The committee also broadly accepted the draft bill’s anti-siphoning provisions, which will affect what and where sport is viewed by fans.</p> <p>First, the listed events will be expanded by 30% and incorporate more women’s and parasports. They include the AFLW and NRLW finals, NRLW State of Origin, and the Summer Paralympic Games.</p> <p>To provide counterbalancing benefits to subscription broadcasters, sport events not acquired by a free-to-air broadcaster will become more quickly available to subscription platforms (12 months before an event starts, rather than six months before). This provides subscription platforms with greater lead-in times to plan, organise and promote their content schedules.</p> <p>The most controversial recommendation related to the scope of anti-siphoning laws, affecting how Australian viewers can access sport in the medium term.</p> <p>It supported the government’s position, on grounds of excessive competitive advantage, that anti-siphoning should only apply to terrestrial broadcasting. This excludes digital rights for live streaming through broadcast video on demand apps such as 9Now, Seven+, iView and SBS On Demand.</p> <p>Commercial free-to-air broadcasters called this a “<a href="https://www.mediaweek.com.au/industry-reacts-to-prominence-and-anti-siphoning-findings/">nightmare scenario</a>”, as they <a href="https://www.freetv.com.au/access-to-local-tv-services-and-free-sport-under-threat-unless-laws-are-strengthened/">estimate</a> 50% of households will be watching TV online by 2027.</p> <p>For viewers without televisions connected to aerials, this could make major sport events on free-to-air TV unavailable. Although terrestrial TV is still the most <a href="https://intellectdiscover.com/content/journals/10.1386/jdmp_00098_1">universally available screen sport vehicle</a>, aerials are no longer routinely installed in new housing developments.</p> <p>Research by the <a href="https://www.acma.gov.au/television-research">Australian Communications and Media Authority</a>, though, indicates that free-to-air network claims about disappearing TV aerials are somewhat exaggerated. Nonetheless, as modernisation was a central justification for the anti-siphoning reforms, the strategic compromise over broadcast video on demand apps will inevitably be scrutinised.</p> <p>Notably, in a dissenting minority report, the Greens were unhappy the bill did not go far enough in either prominence or anti-siphoning. They reserved their right to reject it unless suitably amended to guarantee global corporations could not capture Australian sports rights.</p> <h2>What happens next?</h2> <p>The amended bill must pass through Parliament to become law, and its final shape and the fate of any amendments are as yet unknown.</p> <p>While it is widely, though not universally, acknowledged action is needed to protect free screen sport viewing, intense disagreement remains among competing interest groups over what is to be done now and in the future.</p> <p>To safeguard their viewing interests, Australian sport fans will need to watch these formidably technical debates as closely as their favourite sport contests.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/226499/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-fujak-290599">Hunter Fujak</a>, Senior Lecturer in Sport Management, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-rowe-16403">David Rowe</a>, Emeritus Professor of Cultural Research, Institute for Culture and Society, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-much-sport-will-you-be-able-to-watch-for-free-under-proposed-new-australian-broadcast-rules-226499">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Kochie called out over "disgusting" remarks

<p>Port Adelaide president David Koch has come under fire over remarks he made while discussing Jeremy Finlayson's homophobic slur towards another player. </p> <p>Finlayson is under AFL investigation after he admitted to aiming a homophobic slur at an Essendon player on Friday’s game at Adelaide Oval.</p> <p>The player Finlayson directed the comment towards is not yet known, but on Saturday night, Port Adelaide confirmed that a “contrite Finlayson made the club aware during the three-quarter time break” of the incident “and apologised to the victim on the field after the final siren last night”. </p> <p>On Sunday morning, Koch appeared on <em>ABC’s Offsiders</em> to discuss the incident with host Kelli Underwood, veteran journalist Caroline Wilson and AFL footy boss Laura Kane. </p> <p>“There’s no excuse for it. Jeremy was incredibly remorseful, actually told the coaches at three-quarter time that it was inexcusable, went and apologised to the player after the game,” Koch said. </p> <p>“That’s no excuse whatsoever. It’s in the heat of the battle, should not have done it and we’ll wait for the AFL to go through its process.”</p> <p>When discussing what sort of punishment the league could hand down to Finlayson, footy boss Kane questioned whether it may be similar to Taylor Walker's six-week ban after he used a racial slur. </p> <p>But Kochie wasn't on board with linking the two incidents, and said that the the league had set a precedent with the ruling it handed down to North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson.</p> <p>“Not ruling it out (an internal investigation), but, umm, you know, if you look at comparisons and benchmarks that have been set,” Koch said.</p> <p>“With a 55-year-old coach premeditated, target the player, walk up to them is very different to a player in the heat of battle when there was a lot of niggle in the game, the pressure again - absolutely no excuse, not condoning it whatever, and should not be part of the game, but if you’re going to look at a comparison, that would be the benchmark there.”</p> <p><em style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">ABC’s Offsiders</em><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> host </span>Underwood pressed further and asked him: <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">“If </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">I put it to you, it’s in the same category as Taylor Walker’s racial slur, what would your response to that be?”</span></p> <p>Koch responded: “I don’t think that’s realistic. I think the benchmark has been set in terms of...”</p> <p>Wilson interjected: “With Alistair Clarkson which I thought was too light." </p> <p>But Koch insisted:  “OK. But the benchmark has been set.”</p> <p>The comments from the former Sunrise presenter was slammed on social media. </p> <p>“This is pretty disgusting from Koch," wrote Columnist Greg Jericho. </p> <p>“Yeah nah @kochie_online. A slur is a slur is a slur. You say you don’t condone a player using a homophobic slur on the field and that there’s no excuse but in the same sentence practically excuse it by saying it occurred ‘in the heat of battle’ and a ‘niggle’. So disappointing," another user wrote. </p> <p>“Terrible take from Koch. We are benchmarking abuse now. Not making excuses but … homophobia and racism have no place in the game," a third added. </p> <p>“@kochie_online as a leader of our football club this statement is beyond disappointing. A slur against a marginalised group is exactly the same the nature of it is irrelevant. You need to do better!” a fourth commented. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty/ ABC</em></p>

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Dreading footy season? You’re not alone – 20% of Australians are self-described sport haters

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-fujak-290599">Hunter Fujak</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/heath-mcdonald-92440">Heath McDonald</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>With the winter AFL and NRL seasons about to start, Australia’s sporting calendar is once again transitioning from its quietest to busiest period.</p> <p>For many, the return of the AFL and NRL competitions is highly anticipated. But there is one group whose experience is very different: the approximately 20% of Australians who hate sport.</p> <p>We are currently conducting research to better understand why people feel this way about sport and what their experiences are like living in a nation where sport is so <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1329878x15616515">culturally central</a>. We have completed surveys with thousands of Australians and are now beginning to interview those who have described themselves as “sport haters”.</p> <h2>Australia, a ‘sports mad’ nation</h2> <p>Australia has long been described as a “<a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14660970902955588">sports mad nation</a>”, a reasonable assertion given the Melbourne Cup attracted crowds of <a href="https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/catalog/2178266">more than 100,000 people</a> as far back as the 1880s.</p> <p>Australia’s sport passion is perhaps most evident today from the number of professional teams we support for a nation of 26 million people, one of the highest per capita <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Heath-Mcdonald/publication/326140082_Are_Sport_Consumers_Unique_Consumer_Behavior_Within_Crowded_Sport_Markets/links/5e9465fd92851c2f529c4322/Are-Sport-Consumers-Unique-Consumer-Behavior-Within-Crowded-Sport-Markets.pdf">concentrations</a> in the world.</p> <p>In addition to our four distinct football codes – Australian rules football, rugby league, rugby union and soccer – we have professional netball, basketball, cricket and tennis. In all, there are more than <a href="https://www.clearinghouseforsport.gov.au/kb/structure-of-australian-sport">130 professional sport teams in Australia</a> today (across both genders).</p> <p>Australia also hosts – and Australians attend – major sport events at a rate wildly disproportionate to the size of our population and economy. <a href="https://www.blackbookmotorsport.com/news/f1-australian-grand-prix-record-crowd-melbourne-albert-park/">Formula One</a>, the <a href="https://ausopen.com/articles/news/record-breaking-australian-open-ao-2024-numbers">Australian Open</a>, the <a href="https://nbl.com.au/news/nbl-sets-new-season-attendance-record">National Basketball League</a>, the <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/nrl-attendance-records-tumble-as-fans-flock-back-to-footy-20230902-p5e1ib.html">National Rugby League</a> and <a href="https://mumbrella.com.au/64-of-aussie-population-watched-matildas-new-deakin-research-claims-797902">Matildas</a> have all recently broken attendance or television viewership records.</p> <h2>Why people hate sport</h2> <p>The ubiquity of sport in our culture, however, conceals the fact that a significant portion of people strongly and actively dislike sport. Recent <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14413523.2023.2233342">research</a> by one of the co-authors here (Heath McDonald) has begun to shine light on this cohort, dubbed “sport haters”.</p> <p>Sport haters account for approximately 20% of the Australian population, according to two surveys we have conducted of nearly 3,500 and more than 27,000 adults. Demographically, this group is significantly more likely to be female, younger and more affluent than other Australians.</p> <p>Their strong negative sentiments are reflected in the most common word associations <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14413523.2023.2233342">study participants</a> used to describe sport. In the case of AFL, these were: “boring”, “overpaid”, “stupid/dumb”, “rough”, “scandal” and “alcohol”.</p> <p>While the reasons for disliking sport vary from person to person, research shows there are some common themes. The first is in childhood, where negative experiences participating in sport or attending games or matches can lead to a life-long dislike of all sport. As one professed sport hater said in an <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/1zxfyt/guys_who_do_not_like_sports_can_you_explain_why/">online forum devoted to men who don’t like sport</a>: "My brother would force me to play soccer against my will all the time as children. I think that is where my resentment for physical sport comes from because the choice was taken away from me by my twat of a brother."</p> <p>Sport hatred can also derive from social exclusion or marginalisation. Sport has historically been a male-centric domain that <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0277539587900525">celebrates</a> masculinity and can lead to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-20/taylor-swift-effect-sports-fandom-nfl/103486274">toxic behaviour</a>, which can exclude many women and some men.</p> <p>Sport has also had to overcome racism, perhaps most symbolically visible by AFL player Nicky Winmar’s <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-04-17/nicky-winmar-indigenous-afl-racism-anniversary/102222960">iconic protest</a> in 1993. In addition, individuals with a disability still face <a href="https://www.sportaus.gov.au/integrity_in_sport/inclusive-sport/understanding-our-diverse-audiences/people-with-disability#:%7E:text=People%20with%20disability%20receive%20the,than%20adults%20who%20don't.">barriers</a> that result in lower rates of sport participation.</p> <p>Here, the current <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-20/taylor-swift-effect-sports-fandom-nfl/103486274">Taylor Swift effect</a> is noteworthy. The singer’s attendance at National Football League games, including the Superbowl, resulted in huge spikes in television viewership. Through her association, Swift helped make the sport more <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096969892300317X#bib122">psychologically accessible</a> for many women and girls.</p> <p>The <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=AvjrDwAAQBAJ&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PT125&amp;dq=Contesting+national+Culture&amp;ots=1_lQuBpKK7&amp;sig=dMb-5s0PgpUumUTSFeEKZiNq0dg#v=onepage&amp;q=Contesting%20national%20Culture&amp;f=false">cultural dominance</a> of sport also fuels its detractors, with many critical of sport’s media saturation and its broader social and even political prioritisation. (The <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-16/macquarie-point-stadium-dominates-election-campaign-day-one/103473124">debate in Tasmania</a> over the controversial AFL stadium proposal is a good case in point.)</p> <p>From a media perspective, Australia’s particularly strict <a href="https://theconversation.com/regardless-of-the-rules-sport-is-fleeing-free-tv-for-pay-and-it-might-be-an-avalanche-154640">anti-siphoning</a> laws have ensured that sport remains front and centre on free-to-air television programming.</p> <p>Sport’s cultural dominance also fosters resentment for overshadowing people’s non-sporting passions and pursuits, as well as creating societal out-groups. Journalist Jo Chandler’s <a href="https://libraryedition.smedia.com.au/lib_a/Default.aspx#panel=document">2010</a> description of moving to Melbourne is no doubt shared by many: "In the workplace, to be unaligned is deeply isolating. Team tribalism infects meetings, especially when overseen by male chiefs. In shameful desperation, I’ve played along."</p> <p>In life, it’s fairly easy to avoid most products you might dislike. But given sport’s ubiquity, simply tuning out is sometimes not an option.</p> <h2>The Anti-Football League, a club for haters</h2> <p>In 1967, two Melbourne journalists, Keith Dunstan and Douglas Wilkie, launched an anti-sport club in response to this growing cultural dominance. In his founding address to the <a href="https://www.academia.edu/7584522/Football_is_a_Fever_Disease_Like_Recurrent_Malaria_and_Evidently_Incurable_Passion_Place_and_the_Emergence_of_an_Australian_Anti_Football_League">Anti-Football League</a>, Wilkie made clear who the club was for: "All of us who are tired of having football personalities, predictions and post mortems cluttering our newspapers, TV screens and attempts at alternative human converse – from beginning-of-morning prayers to the last trickle of bed time bathwater – should join at once."</p> <p>Membership quickly reached the thousands. Soon, a Sydney branch was launched, bringing national membership to a high of around 7,000. According to sport historian Matthew Klugman, members found joy in being “haters”.</p> <p>"…they wanted to find a shared meaning in their suffering, not to extinguish it, but to better enjoy it."</p> <p>This led to some curious rituals, with members ceremonially cremating footballs or burying them. An Anti-Football Day was also launched, taking place on the eve of the Victorian Football League Grand Final.</p> <p>The club would go on to experience periods of both prosperity and hiatus over the years, but has been dormant since <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/vale-keith-dunstan-gentle-footy-hater-cyclist-and-master-of-words-20130911-2tklh.html">Dunstan’s death</a> in 2013.</p> <p>With eight more years to go in Australia’s so-called “<a href="https://this.deakin.edu.au/career/golden-decade-of-sport-ahead-for-australia">golden decade of sport</a>”, which began with <a href="https://www.fiba.basketball/womensbasketballworldcup/2022">2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Sydney</a> and culminates with the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, it may be time sport haters to start a new support group.</p> <p>If you consider yourself a sport hater, and are interested in contributing your experience to our ongoing research, please provide your contact information <a href="https://researchsurveys.deakin.edu.au/jfe/form/SV_a4CqHyqipjYj5SC">here</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223733/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-fujak-290599"><em>Hunter Fujak</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Sport Management, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/heath-mcdonald-92440">Heath McDonald</a>, Dean of Economics, Finance and Marketing and Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/dreading-footy-season-youre-not-alone-20-of-australians-are-self-described-sport-haters-223733">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Socceroos great hospitalised following chest pains

<p>Mark Bosnich had a health scare this week that landed him in hospital. </p> <p>The former Socceroos and Manchester United goalkeeper was exercising at work when he began to experience chest pains. </p> <p>Not wanting to risk it, the  52-year-old made the quick decision to get himself checked out at a hospital in Sydney. </p> <p>The Aussie football great took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to update fans on his condition, straight from his hospital bed on Wednesday night. </p> <p>“Will not be able to see you all tomorrow morning,” he wrote, along with the schedule of matches for the Champions League airing on the streaming platform Stan. </p> <p>“But will be fine by Friday … but join us here in Oz from 6.35am (aedt).”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Will not be able to see you all tomorrow morning,but will be fine by Friday…but join us here in Oz from 6.35am(aedt) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChampionsLeague?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ChampionsLeague</a> Rd 16 <a href="https://twitter.com/PSG_English?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PSG_English</a> VS <a href="https://twitter.com/RealSociedadEN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RealSociedadEN</a> & <a href="https://twitter.com/OfficialSSLazio?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OfficialSSLazio</a> vs <a href="https://twitter.com/FCBayernEN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FCBayernEN</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/StanSportAU?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StanSportAU</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/UEFA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@UEFA</a> .xmb <a href="https://t.co/LRL5D9YtOu">pic.twitter.com/LRL5D9YtOu</a></p> <p>— Mark Bosnich (@TheRealBozza) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheRealBozza/status/1757715714583191600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 14, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>Bosnich was missing from Stan Sport’s Champions League coverage on Thursday and his on-air colleagues, Max Rushden and Craig Foster, explained what had happened. </p> <p>“For those of you who don’t know, he (Bosnich) had chest pains, he’s had a stent put in,” Rushden said during coverage of one of the matches. </p> <p>He was making a lot of noise … and he said ‘I’m going to get it checked out’.</p> <p>“He did, he’s OK. He’s back tomorrow but we are sending you our love Boz, it is very quiet without you.”</p> <p>Fellow Socceroo Foster added: “We miss you buddy. I hope you’re well and feeling OK.”</p> <p>Bosnich's hospital admission didn't stop him from keeping up with the matches as he shared a photo of himself tuning in to Champions League on a tablet, and thanked everyone for their well-wishes. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Thank you all for your wonderful messages….will be back 2morrow on <a href="https://twitter.com/StanSportAU?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StanSportAU</a> for <a href="https://twitter.com/EuropaLeague?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EuropaLeague</a> Knockout <a href="https://twitter.com/acmilan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@acmilan</a> vs <a href="https://twitter.com/staderennais_en?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@staderennais_en</a> on air from 6.35am(aedt)…xmb <a href="https://t.co/bVxj93CCWv">pic.twitter.com/bVxj93CCWv</a></p> <p>— Mark Bosnich (@TheRealBozza) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheRealBozza/status/1757893486920302943?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 14, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>During Thursday's game, Rushden was keen for anyone watching to heed the warning from Bosnich.</p> <p>“If you’re not sure about anything, health-wise, get checked,” Rushden said.</p> <p>“Men are useless at talking about it and doing anything about it.</p> <p>“The sooner you find anything is wrong, the better it is. That is our message and that is Bozza’s message too.”</p> <p><em>Images: X</em></p>

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Nick Kyrgios admits tennis career "may be over"

<p>Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios is seriously considering retirement as he revealed that he is "at a crossroads" in his career. </p> <p>In a column written for <em>The Sydney Morning Herald, </em>the <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">28-year-old </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> said that despite his desire to compete at the highest level, he might never make it back to playing professional tennis. </span></p> <p>He also said that he has enjoyed being away from the courts doing the media rounds.</p> <p>"I sat down with my agent, Stuart Duguid, a couple of days ago to talk about my future," he wrote.</p> <p>"The reality is, there is a part of me that knows my time in the sport may be over. And I'm OK with that.</p> <p>"It's a conversation that needed to be had. I'm at a crossroads in my career and have reached a point where life after tennis is a prospect that excites me."</p> <p>He also added that despite knowing he can still compete for titles, his body is letting him down, as he continues to recover from his <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/nick-kyrgios-pulls-out-of-australian-open-a-day-before-first-match" target="_blank" rel="noopener">knee injury</a> in January 2023.</p> <p>"I sit there and watch some of the players on tour and know within myself that this generation is not as strong as some of the players I have gone up against," he wrote. </p> <p>"I know I can be one of the best in the world and win major tournaments -- if my body lets me. The fire still burns, but it's not my everything."</p> <p>The <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">2022 Wimbledon finalist</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> also confirmed that he won't be making himself available for this year's </span>Paris<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> Olympics, saying that the </span>treatment he got from the Australian Olympic Committee in the lead-up to the 2016 Rio Games was one of the key factors. </p> <p>"I was No. 13 at the time and had a genuine chance at winning a medal. For them to forbid me from representing my country for behavioural reasons is something that I just can't forget," he said.</p> <p>He added that his "mentality has changed", and despite still having the desire to play for his country, his decision is final. </p> <p>Kyrgios has barely been on court after withdrawing from last year's Australian Open, but he has been commentating on the tournament for Eurosport, adding that his future may be in the box, rather than on the court.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Sports journalist dies during Australian Open broadcast

<p dir="ltr">Renowned sports journalist Mike Dickson has passed away while reporting on the Australian Open. </p> <p dir="ltr">The father-of-three was just 10 days away from celebrating his 60th birthday when he collapsed on Wednesday, with his heartbroken family confirming the news of his passing. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We are devastated to announce that our wonderful husband and Dad, Mike, has collapsed and died while in Melbourne for the Aus Open,” his wife Lucy wrote, also attributing the statement to their children Sam, Lucy and Joe.</p> <p dir="ltr">“For 38 years he lived his dream covering sport all over the world. He was a truly great man and we will miss him terribly.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Australian Open organisers said tournament officials were shocked by the news of the popular journalist.</p> <p dir="ltr">"We are shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Mike, our long-standing colleague and friend. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family," the organisation said on X.</p> <p dir="ltr">The UK Daily Mail reporter’s passing has led to scores of tributes including from tennis greats such as Tim Henman and the organisers of the US Open and Wimbledon.</p> <p dir="ltr">The organisers of Wimbledon said it was “deeply saddened” by Mr Dickson’s death. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Mike covered so many of our Championships during his remarkable career in journalism and brought so many stories to so many sports fans around the world.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The US Open said he was “one of the most well respected journalists in the industry,” while the World Tennis Association said Mr Dickson was a “highly respected figure on Tour among players, coaches, staff and everyone connected with tennis”.</p> <p dir="ltr">British tennis player Tim Henman held back tears on TV when discussing Mr Dickson, saying, “It’s incredibly sad that he passed away in Melbourne. He was a great friend of the tennis community”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p> </p>

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Nick Kyrgios' honest thoughts on Shane Warne's open letter

<p>In 2015, late cricket legend Shane Warne posted an open letter Nick Kyrgios on social media, calling out the then hot-headed tennis player's fiery behaviour off-court. </p> <p>"Dear Nick, we all realise you're only 20 and have a lot to learn buddy, but please don't waste your talent," the letter began. </p> <p>"Everyone in the world, especially us Australians want to respect you. You need to respect the game of tennis and yourself. We all make mistakes.</p> <p>"You're testing our patience mate, show us what you're made of and how hungry you are to be the best in the world. It's time to step up and start winning, no excuses," he added in the scathing letter. </p> <p>"We all make mistakes. It's how we learn from them and the way we conduct ourselves when we lose that shows true character. You're testing our patience mate," he concluded. </p> <p>A then 20-year-old Kyrgios had just beat Spanish champion Rafael Nadal during the 2015 Wimbledon, but also attracted a lot of controversy after insulting Stan Wawrinka at a tournament in Montreal, Canada. </p> <p>This was a particularly difficult time in Kyrgios' career, as he was suspended for 28-days and got a $34,705 fine from the ATP.</p> <p>Since the incident, Kyrgios has managed to get his professional life back on track, and in a recent interview with Piers Morgan on his show <em>Uncensored</em>, the tennis star shared that he never read the letter. </p> <p>"I saw it and didn't read it. I'm never going to be the first one to go out on social media and put someone down," he told the host. </p> <p>He added that he believed that Warne would be proud of how far he's come. </p> <p>"I look back at that letter and at how far I've come and I'd say he would be proud for sure. I’ve had a pretty successful career. I feel I've won a lot more than I've lost." </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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"A moving time": Hunter Valley bus crash victims honoured at AFLW grand final

<p>Avid footy fans Nadene and Kyah McBride were among the ten wedding guests killed in the <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/more-than-we-can-bear-hunter-valley-bus-crash-victims-identified" target="_blank" rel="noopener">horror bus crash</a> on the June long weekend.</p> <p>They are survived by grieving dad and husband, Graham McBride, who was also on the bus at the time of the crash, but only suffered neck and arm injuries. </p> <p>On Sunday, their lives and love for the sport have been honoured during the during the AFLW grand final between North Melbourne and Brisbane. </p> <p>“We thank all of those involved in community football for their tireless efforts in making our game the best it can be,” the game's MC and Seven commentator Nat Edwards said as they brought out the cup. </p> <p>Nadene, who was the founder and coach of the Singleton Roosterettes, has been named an official AFLW community hero. </p> <p>Her daughter Kyah was a star player in the team, and was also part of the Sydney Swans AFL women's development squad.</p> <p>Graham joined the guard of honour as his wife and daughter were acknowledged. </p> <p>He paid a touching tribute to his loved ones before the game. </p> <p>"Nadene has done a lot for football so to get their recognition back hits home," a teary-eyed Graham told <em>Nine News</em>.</p> <p>"Everyone enjoyed being around the girls, they made you smile," he added. </p> <p>In another interview with 7News he told the publication:  “I think that cup will be full of happy tears and sad tears. It’ll be a proud moment." </p> <p>”(Nadene) bled Sherrin in her veins. Footy was everything to her.</p> <p>”I’m going to do it for my girls ... I bloody love them and they love their football.”</p> <p>Just months prior to the tragic accident, Nadene and Kyah celebrated their teams win. </p> <p>“For Singleton AFC when we first started, we were actually not very good,” Nadene said in a Ladbrokes video that resurfaced following the crash. </p> <p>“One of our biggest deficits was about 263-to-nil I’m pretty sure. We only kicked two goals for that whole season, and I kicked them both and I was playing centre halfback.</p> <p>“We’ve come a massive way since then and in 2020, miraculously and through a lot of hard work, we actually took out the premiership.</p> <p>“We beat a team we definitely shouldn’t have beaten on the day and we did.”</p> <p>Bus driver Brett Andrew Button was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/52-new-charges-levelled-at-hunter-valley-bus-driver" target="_blank" rel="noopener">charged</a> over the crash and remains before court. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty/ Nine</em></p>

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Football star's tragic loss just three months after wedding

<p>English football star Josh Vickers has shared the heartbreaking news that his wife Laura has passed away, just three months after their wedding. </p> <p>The Derby County goalkeeper, 27, took to Instagram on Sunday to share an emotional tribute to his late wife, with a bittersweet photo of the couple on their wedding day on June 1. </p> <p>"I have written and unwritten this so many times and still can't find the right words to say and don't know if I ever will," Vickers began his tribute. </p> <p>"On Tuesday evening my wife lost her long battle against cancer."</p> <p>"Laura is the strongest, bravest and most loving person I have ever met. </p> <p>"Even though everything she was going through, she continued to smile, never letting anything get in the way of having a good time and making a lifetime of memories," he continued. </p> <p>"I will cherish every moment we spent together from the first time we met to the moment you peacefully passed. </p> <p>"I know that you will be looking down on me and continuing to inspire me every day."</p> <p>He then thanked everyone who has supported him through the "incredibly difficult" time and praised his friends and family for being by his side. </p> <p>"I Love You Always &amp; Forever 🤍" he concluded the heart-wrenching tribute to his wife. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CxkZoz6ICvo/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CxkZoz6ICvo/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Josh Vickers (@joshuavickers)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Friends and fans took to the comments to share their support for the grieving goalkeeper. </p> <p>Teammate and Derby forward Martyn Waghorn wrote: "We're all with you mate." </p> <p>"We’re all thinking of you, Josh," Arsenal's official Instagram page added. </p> <p>A few other team members and football players sent their love with a bunch of red heart emojis. </p> <p>"So very sorry to the loss of such a bright star - what a true inspiration she was , thinking of you, family and her friends ❤️" wrote one fan.</p> <p>"Thoughts are with you and with the family," wrote another. </p> <p>Although details of Laura's death and battle with cancer are not fully known, Vickers has previously shared how proud he was of his partner for <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BztT57OHRus/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">undergoing chemo</a> in 2019. </p> <p>"I'm so proud of you!!!! 8 chemo sessions done and stage 1 completed," he captioned the collage of photos including one of Laura graduating, and another of her undergoing treatment. </p> <p>"These last 6/7 months have been far from ideal, but with everything you have been through, you have continued to smile and inspire me every single day," he added. </p> <p>The Derby team have shared their support for their fellow teammate by holding his "Vickers 31" shirt during a match against Carlisle yesterday, after the goalkeeper was absent from the game for personal reasons. </p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

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Connection, camaraderie and belonging: why the Matildas could be making you a sports fan for the very first time

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sarah-tillott-1462234">Sarah Tillott</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/southern-cross-university-1160">Southern Cross University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/diarmuid-hurley-1462235">Diarmuid Hurley</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/southern-cross-university-1160">Southern Cross University</a></em></p> <p>With over seven million Australians hooked onto the world cup viewing, many who have never really been interested in sports have recently found themselves screaming at the TV, cheering in pubs and hugging complete strangers.</p> <p>Have you found yourself in this new legion of sports fans, and wondering how you got here?</p> <p>It is likely down to many factors. There is of course the incredible talent on display, the <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/world-cup-2023-matildas-captain-sam-kerr-gives-prized-gameworn-top-to-young-fan/b9e35f75-6d11-4148-af3a-ac3cd0c95c0c">kindness</a> players are showing on and off the field, and women and girls relating to players <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-15/matildas-world-cup-sam-kerr-mary-fowler-inspire-diverse-fans/102713288">who look like them</a>.</p> <p>But it is also to do with the visibility and exposure of the game; the influence of our families and friends; the ways we are hardwired for connection; and the addictive nature of neurotransmitters.</p> <p>Like many Australians, we will be sure to not miss tonight’s game when Australia plays England in the semifinal – but first, here’s a look at all of these new emotions you may be experiencing.</p> <h2>The social contagion</h2> <p>With Australia as a host nation – and the incredible success of the Matildas – there has never been more visibility and focus on women’s football in Australia.</p> <p>Positive emotions and behaviours are contagious. Psychologists refer to “<a href="https://positivepsychology.com/emotional-contagion/">emotional contagion</a>” or “social contagion”, which describes how emotions, attitudes and behaviours spread through groups and crowds.</p> <p>In general, people just want to feel good! We enhance that feeling by forming positive social connections with other humans, sharing in a common experience, having a common goal and putting aside our differences.</p> <p>Being on the same side means we have something to share and celebrate in and, more importantly, someone to do it with.</p> <p>You’re likely feeling like you are part of something greater, and that has us all reaching for more by getting together to watch the next game.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">This. Is. Football. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/matildas?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#matildas</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/tilitsdone?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#tilitsdone</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWWC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWWC</a> <a href="https://t.co/guLoCdIGpv">pic.twitter.com/guLoCdIGpv</a></p> <p>— Mikey Mkoka-Nicholson (@Mikey_Nicholson) <a href="https://twitter.com/Mikey_Nicholson/status/1690322529024720896?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 12, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>Another reason you might find yourself getting behind the world cup is everyone loves a good story – and this competition has them in spades.</p> <p>This world cup has had its share of ups and downs: superstar Sam Kerr’s injury; the crushing low of defeat to Nigeria; the high of the must-win-game against Canada; the electric edge-of-your-seat drama of the penalty shootout against France.</p> <p>We all share in these highs and lows.</p> <p>Sports can help <a href="https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11110513">create positive social cohesion</a> by bringing people together. There is something very comforting about winning or losing as a group - whatever the result, we aren’t doing it alone!</p> <p>Sports <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-sport-can-break-down_b_7927724">breaks down barriers</a>, forms <a href="https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci11110513">pro-social bonds</a> and <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/02/north-and-south-korea-have-shown-us-the-unifying-power-of-sport/">helps people unite</a> through a common goal. We get lost and escape into a world of togetherness, which feels great!</p> <p>The ability to laugh, cry or hold hands with people (both strangers and friends) in nervous moments is felt deep in our body. It is undeniable, palpable and reinforces our connectivity. These heightened emotions fast track our sense of belonging to a group.</p> <p>Meanwhile, there is something very primitive going on deep in the brain that may explain this phenomenon.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Goosebumps.</p> <p>From all corners of the country 🫶🇦🇺<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Matildas?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Matildas</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWWC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWWC</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TilitsDone?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TilitsDone</a> <a href="https://t.co/ERIusC7HEZ">pic.twitter.com/ERIusC7HEZ</a></p> <p>— CommBank Matildas (@TheMatildas) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheMatildas/status/1690657319527600128?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 13, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>Our brains <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-we-are-wired-to-connect/">are wired</a> to work in groups or tribes. Historically, working together towards a common goal improved our ability to survive.</p> <p>In a contemporary setting, when we belong to groups we unite through the notion of achieving a common vision. The “self” blends with the social. We evaluate our environment and look for links of commonality to achieve social harmony.</p> <p>This comes back to the notion of feeling good. When you are sharing a sporting event – watching together or talking about it after – you are sharing a safe space you can relate, engage and belong to.</p> <h2>Shared experiences</h2> <p>The reality of what sports can do to unite and change the way we connect is palpable through this world cup.</p> <p>We are all sharing a common experience which enables us to talk to complete strangers at the bus stop, on the train and when we are ordering our coffees at the local café.</p> <p>This shared experience enables us the confidence to strike up new conversations: sharing our pride, our fears and our emotions.</p> <p>We fast track our connections with people through sharing our vulnerabilities. Connections that could generally take years to form are happening in seconds. The moments to form those connections are more frequent as the success of our team continues.</p> <p>Matilda’s defender Claire Hunt <a href="https://www.matildas.com.au/video/230810huntpresser">spoke</a> of the collective belief the team has in their abilities. This collective belief has spread out from the team and their diehard supporters to become a source of national pride.</p> <h2>We belong</h2> <p>Sports creates a connection to something greater than yourself, an ability to ride the highs and lows of a team as you journey with them for the entire match!</p> <p>Notice the feeling of your heart beating through your chest (and that feedback coming through your smart watch as the high pulse rate alert is screaming at you!); feeling like you want to vomit and cry from the anticipation; the <a href="https://www.apa.org/monitor/oct05/mirror">tensing of your muscles</a> during every attempt at goal.</p> <p>Through Australia’s collective love, support and excitement behind the Matildas, we are in the process of forming our identity and becoming part of a family.</p> <p>We relate to people, we connect to people, we belong.</p> <p>These feelings have powerful effects on our wellbeing. Belonging <a href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780203148211-19/role-emotion-engagement-coping-development-motivational-resilience-ellen-skinner-jennifer-pitzer-heather-brule">enhances self-esteem</a>, improves <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167213499186">psychological and behavioural functioning</a>, and improves <a href="https://psychology.org.au/for-members/publications/inpsych/2019/june/making-sense-of-belonging">the quality and meaning</a> of our lives.</p> <p>As our energy starts to rise, we begin to release <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/happy-hormone">positive endorphins</a> such as serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline. Dopamine <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/dopamine-the-pathway-to-pleasure">enhances</a> our feelings of pleasure, satisfaction and motivation. Adrenaline <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/adrenaline-junkie">makes you feel alive</a>. These neurotransmitters increase our sense of wellbeing.</p> <p>They are addictive and we are left feeling that we want more.</p> <p>Even as a newly minted fan, you are now part of the Matilda’s family and they’re counting on the Aussie social contagion to push through those cramping muscles, tired bodies and sweaty palms.</p> <p>You are about to be a part of history and those neurotransmitters won’t want to miss it for the world!<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/211526/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sarah-tillott-1462234">Sarah Tillott</a>, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/southern-cross-university-1160">Southern Cross University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/diarmuid-hurley-1462235">Diarmuid Hurley</a>, Lecturer, Faculty of Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/southern-cross-university-1160">Southern Cross University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/connection-camaraderie-and-belonging-why-the-matildas-could-be-making-you-a-sports-fan-for-the-very-first-time-211526">original article</a>.</em></p>

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"I was heartbroken": Why Sam Kerr had to hide her gender

<p>Sam Kerr is known as one of the greatest strikers in women's football. And now, with the Matlidas on the way to the World Cup semifinals, we are learning more and more about the challenges Kerr faced as a junior Aussie Rules player in South Fremantle, WA</p> <p>Kerr, who grew up in East Fremantle, south of Perth, did not have an easy start to what would be an exceptional football career, as she initially started playing for the boys' team when she was around five or six.</p> <p>Kerr, was the only girl who played junior Australian rules football for South Fremantle, but that didn't deter her from fulfilling her dreams.</p> <p>“I knew I’d be the only girl on the team but that didn’t worry me at all,” she wrote in her new book My Journey to the World Cup.</p> <p>Kerr said that her teammates assumed she was a boy because she had “short hair and blonde tips”, but didn't do anything to correct them as she was comfortable with it.</p> <p>So she decided to keep her gender a secret.</p> <p>"I didn’t want them to treat me any differently just because I was a girl," she said.</p> <p>“I remember one of the boys crying when he found out.</p> <p>“But as good as I was out on the field, and as much as I loved playing the game, the physical differences between the guys and me eventually became too pronounced and the play was too rough," she added.</p> <p>“One day, I came home from a game with yet another black eye and bloody lip, and that’s when my dad and brother both said, ‘Nup, this isn’t happening anymore’.</p> <p>“I was getting battered around so much out on the field that it was getting to be a big problem. Dad and my coach both sat me down then and said it was getting far too dangerous for me to continue to play," she said.</p> <p>Kerr revealed that she was devastated that she wasn't allowed to play football anymore because there were no girls' teams in her area for her to join.</p> <p>“They said they were sorry, but that I wasn’t allowed to play football any more. I understood the reasons why, but I was heartbroken.</p> <p>"Back then, there were no girls’ teams in my area for me to join, and to know that I’d never play a sport that I loved so much ever again was devastating.”</p> <p>By the age of 12, she switched to association football, but a year later she was spotted by Perth Glory striker Bobby Despotovski who has fascinated by her raw talent and athleticism.</p> <p>By the age of 15 she made her professional soccer debut and earned her maiden Matildas cap and the rest is history.</p> <p><em>Images: Ryan Pierse Getty Images/ Nine</em></p>

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Swimming legend Susie O'Neill breaks world record at 50 years of age

<p>Susie O'Neill has broken a world record at the age of 50 in a triumphant return to international swimming at the World Masters Swimming Championships in Japan.</p> <p>The two-time Olympic gold medallist won the 50m butterfly, breaking the world record and championship record for the 50-54 age group. </p> <p>She touched out Britain’s Michelle Ware record by 0.52sec, with a time of 29.08 seconds, securing gold for her age group. </p> <p>The swimmer nicknamed Madame Butterfly during her career, proved that she's still got it after winning her first competition and butterfly race since the Sydney Olympics in 2000.</p> <p>This comes two months after she set another record when she swam an excellent time at the Masters championships in Queensland as part of her 50th birthday celebrations, which qualified her for the world championships. </p> <p>She agreed to compete at the relay event in the Masters championships to celebrate her 50th, with her <em>Nova 106.9 Breakfast </em>co-hosts Ash Bradnam and David Lutteral, plus one of their listeners.</p> <p>In a post-swim interview O'Neill told her co-hosts: “I felt like vomiting at the end to be honest,” </p> <p>“In the olden days I was nervous before the race, but I was calmer when I went out behind the block. This was like the opposite. I was calm before, but as I walked out behind the blocks I got a bit dishevelled compared to normal. Really jittery.</p> <p>“It was time to go out, and my goggles had come apart. My hands were shaking - and I couldn’t put my goggles on because they came apart at the nose-piece.</p> <p>“So, I had to get a lady to help me, and the girl that I ended up just beating was trying to calm me down. My nerves hit me really, really badly.”</p> <p>“I got a massive surge of adrenaline, and I reckon it helped me,” she said.</p> <p>O'Neill added that she initially didn't realise she had broken a record. </p> <p>“I wasn’t sure when I first finished.”</p> <p>Despite the challenges, the swimming legend relished in the camaraderie with a few swimmers that she had met in the past. </p> <p>“I met so many people in the marshalling area that I knew. For example, there was a Canadian girl in that race, and we swapped clothes in 1989 when we came to Japan for the Pan Pacific Games,” she said. </p> <p>The swimmer told Channel 7’s <em>Sunrise </em>that this was a one-off and she has no plans to continue racing. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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Sports presenter slammed over "Barbie" comments

<p>The BBC has issued a statement after a cringeworthy interview with a sports presenter went viral. </p> <p>Chris Hughes, a former <em>Love Island</em> contestant, was chatting to Aussie cricketer Maitlan Brown during Southern Brave's match in The Hundred.</p> <p>As the interview began, Hughes referred to Brown as a "batsman", with the rest of the interview only going downhill from there. </p> <p>Hughes then asked how Brown had been settling in and bonding with her teammates. </p> <p>"We watched Barbie the other night all together and it was really good team bonding and the group is gelling really well together," Brown replied.</p> <p>Hughes then quipped back, "You're a little Barbie yourself, aren't you, with your blue eyes."</p> <p>As Brown laughed awkwardly, Hughes added, "She's blushing now."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The absolute state of this <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCSport?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BBCSport</a> </p> <p>"Batsman"</p> <p>"You're a bit of a Barbie yourself"</p> <p>So much great young journalistic cricket talent in the UK, and you hire that clown <a href="https://twitter.com/chrishughes_22?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@chrishughes_22</a>, because demographics, innit <a href="https://t.co/f7FwAtQjR9">pic.twitter.com/f7FwAtQjR9</a></p> <p>— Always Look On The Bright Cider Life 🍎🏏🍎🏏🍎 (@somersetpodcast) <a href="https://twitter.com/somersetpodcast/status/1686411647903006720?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 1, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>Since the interview, Hughes has copped criticism on social media with the BCC stating they have addressed the issue with him.</p> <p>"We have spoken to Chris and explained that his comment was not appropriate," a BBC spokesperson said.</p> <p>Hughes has been the subject of an online slating since the interview, with many criticising his comments and wondering how he even landed the gig in the first place. </p> <p>One person wrote on Twitter, "This is what happens when you get a Love Islander to present cricket... Oh dear."</p> <p>"Whether Chris Hughes made the Barbie remark yesterday with the intention to belittle or embarrass Maitlan Brown or not is irrelevant. As is whether Brown in fact took offense to it. The effect and imagery was the same," another commented.</p> <p><em>Image credits: BBC</em></p>

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Melissa Doyle shares major family news that left her “bawling”

<p>Former <em>Sunrise </em>host Melissa Doyle has shared some amazing family news about her son Nick Dunlop. </p> <p>The 21-year-old, who is part of the Australian Rowing Team, has had a major win after taking home a gold medal in an international regatta held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.</p> <p>The journalist and proud mum couldn't hide her excitement as she took to Instagram to share a few snaps of her son and his team. </p> <p>"Really trying hard not to be an embarrassing mum, but failing," she started the caption. </p> <p>"Bawling like a baby. Gold! World Champions!! Back to back gold!" </p> <p>Dunlop is a coxswain for Washington University in the US, which means he was responsible for steering the boat and co-ordinating the power and rhythm of the crew. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cu_etjOxupN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cu_etjOxupN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Melissa Doyle (@melissadoyleofficial)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Dunlop represents Australia internationally, and proud mum Doyle couldn't help but gush about her stunning week in Bulgaria. </p> <p>"What a week in Plovdiv! An absolutely gorgeous town - rich history &amp; magnificent food. A gold medal certainly makes it even better!" she captioned another set of photos with her son. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CvEVz6HtUUV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CvEVz6HtUUV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Melissa Doyle (@melissadoyleofficial)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Doyle's friends and fans took to the comments to congratulate the family. </p> <p>“So amazing Mel. Huge congratulations Nick for all your hard work,” <em>Sunrise</em> host Natalie Barr said.</p> <p>“Amazing!!!!! Congrats Nick 👏👏👏,”  TV presenter Sonia Kruger wrote. </p> <p>“A m a z i n g 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌 congrats to Nick and the whole crew,”  <em>Morning Show </em>host Kylie Gillies added. </p> <p>"Frame that for the family wall 🙌😍" wrote one fan. </p> <p>"Congratulations and awesome effort Nick! What a special holiday ❤️" commented another. </p> <p>"Congratulations Nick. Cry as much as you want. You are a mum first and foremost," commented a third. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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"Gross exaggeration": Sporting officials slam Dan Andrew's Comm Games spending

<p>Dan Andrews has been the subject of a blistering attack by sporting officials just hours after announcing the 2026 Commonwealth Games would not go ahead. </p> <p>The Victorian premier broke the news in a press conference on Tuesday, saying the <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/i-m-not-here-to-apologise-dan-andrews-fires-up-as-comm-games-is-scrapped" target="_blank" rel="noopener">event has been cancelled</a> due to ongoing funding issues. </p> <p>He shared that the event, which was due to be held in numerous regional Victorian towns and was first expected to cost $2.6 billion, would now blow the budget out to a whopping $7 billion. </p> <p>However, following Andrews' announcement, Commonwealthh Games Australia Executive Officer Craig Phillips said the premier's cost update doesn't add up, with the $7 billion figure being a "gross exaggeration". </p> <p>“Beyond disappointing for us,” he said on Tuesday. </p> <p>“It’s a comprehensive let-down for the athletes, the excited host communities, First Nations Australians who were going to be at the heart of the Games and which millions of fans that would have embraced the sixth home Games in Australia.”</p> <p>Phillips also accused Andrews of telling misinformation surrounding the process in which the government put its hand up to host the event. </p> <p>After being confirmed to host in April 2022, planning documents showed the intentions were to establish hubs in Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and Gippsland, each with an athlete’s village.</p> <p>Shepparton was also planned to host events, and the MCG would have hosted the opening ceremony.</p> <p>In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, Phillips made bombshell claims government officials ignored advice to save costs by moving events to existing stadiums and facilities in Melbourne. </p> <p>Phillips also said Commonwealth Games Australia was not notified about the changed budgetary estimates until the government had already made its decision.</p> <p>He said, “The detailed budgetary implications announced today have not been sighted or discussed with the CGF or CGA ahead of being notified of the Government’s decision." </p> <p>“The stated costs overrun, in our opinion, are a gross exaggeration and not reflective of the operational costs presented to the Victoria 2026 Organising Committee board as recently as June."</p> <p>“Beyond this, the Victorian Government wilfully ignored recommendations to move events to purpose-built stadia in Melbourne and in fact remained wedded to proceeding with expensive temporary venues in regional Victoria."</p> <p>Many were up in arms over the Games being cancelled, including Victorian opposition senator Anne Ruston, who has called on prime minister Anthony Albanese to “take responsibility” for Victoria’s decision to cancel the Commonwealth Games, arguing it has dented Australia’s international reputation.</p> <p>“I say to the prime minister: Australia’s reputation has been damaged today and you should be very worried about the damage this does to Australia’s international reputation,” Ruston said. </p> <p>“This is a terrible decision for Australia but it is also very disingenuous and I think as we dig into the decision this morning, which we will do through our Senate inquiry, you will see that the Victorian government is hiding its incompetence behind a smokescreen of saying this is a budget blowout.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p> </p>

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