Rugby league is a hard, physical sport, almost gladiatorial in nature.  The team that won today simply did the basics better than the other team.  I was sat next to an ex international player who was enlightening me on the finer points of today’s game and the game of yesteryear (he last played a competitive match in 1989 and had a reputation as one of the games hard men.  He was actually sent off because of an incident in the interval).  He had also played at the highest levels and still loved being involved in the game at the grass roots.  Later this week I am having diner with another two ex international players from the other code.

I asked my son to pick me up as I had to drop my car off at a local garage on the way back from the match.  He arrived an hour and a half early at the Rendezvous point and blamed me for the confusion.  He was so cross that it was difficult to not laugh as we drove back.   It didn’t help when I told him that he needs to listen to the information given to him and ensure that he understands the instructions before doing anything. I decided not speak anymore until he had calmed down.

This is the first general election that he can vote in and for most of the journey back we discussed the merits of each political party.  He asked me for my view on what is the best way to vote.  I was very young when I was introduced to politics.  My Mother and father had strong political views but all of my brothers were able to grow up with very different political outlooks.  Both my parents had the ability to let us decide what is best for the country and not overpower us with their views.

Will be making my plan for the next week shortly and think about the leadership questions that I will have to answer at the conference I am attending on Wednesday (we are being told three questions and the rest will be random or from an audience).  In answer to my twitter comment, one of the most influential people in my early career was a soldier called Al Slater.  I will normally never name anyone onmy blog but in this case I name Al because he was killed in Northern Ireland by the IRA.  He was without doubt an excellent soldier and he once told me the following.  “Floyd, to be good in life all you need to do is the basic of any task very well.  Advanced training is the basic things done exceptionally well.”

India:

One of the nicest things that happened on the trip to India with that the under 18  cricket team had to undertake a charity project during their time in Bangalore.  They had to chose the charity, organise a day event and raise enough money to help the charity that they were supporting.

They chose a charity called “Dream A Dream”, which helps disadvantaged children to learn leadership, communication and team work skills through sport.  The cricket team under the guidance of one of the support staff produced one of the best days on the tour.  They looked after 60 children, played cricket all day, ran a mile for sports relief and then handed over a lager cheque to the founders of the charity.  The charity started with 12 volunteers and now has thousands.  Next year I intend to spend a couple of weeks helping them on one of their projects.  The most important aspect was the effect it had on 17 young men (and support staff).  It allowed us to see young children have fun, play together, support and encourage one another throughout the day.  They were an example to all of us.

All the players came away with a special humility that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Off to the gym to think…………….

Now time to finish and look forward to a wonderful week……..Take care.

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