If we agree that our children will be inspired and informed by the noble activities of their greatest sporting heroes, we accept they’ll also be disillusioned and damaged by the misdeeds of their very worst?
And where’s the line between these role models we contend teach the virtues of sportsmanship and the only real ambassadors who market the sometimes-mixed messages and potentially damaging products of the corporate paymasters to the youngest and most gullible fans?
No wonder some think “role modelling” is an abrogation of a duty which should land solely with parents and why some celebrity athletes eschew the thought they need to be considered guiding lights.
There are currently quite literally not enough playing fields, and locker rooms to include the number of young women turning up to play cricket, Australian Rules and touch rugby, while the impressive number of women playing soccer, netball and basketball stay strong.
A large portion of the anger about the misappropriation of government financing from the “sports rorts” affair was generated by the high demand for specialised female sports centres and, in this instance, the failure to offer these for clubs struggling to deal with overwhelming demand.
In the last few weeks, the origin of the surge in female participation has been writ large, female athletes from several Australian sports performing wonders in high profile competitions throughout the country.
Even if you don’t think your kids should mimic their actions, it’s indisputable these enormously talented girls are why so many children are getting off the couch and turning up at a local sports club in record numbers.