Our View (24-4-2018): Should we introduce sport on Anzac Day?

ANZAC Day is full of traditions and all of them bring people together to celebrate positive Australian values.

In many other areas of the state, and beyond, the traditions include local sport in the afternoon, and maybe it’s time for Yorke Peninsula to consider the same.

The YP Football League and Netball Association led the way for many neighbouring competitions by introducing Anzac medals in 2009 and 2010. The Private Bruce Plane and Lieutenant Annie Merle Trenerry Anzac Memorial Medals are awarded to the best players in the footy and netty each year during the round closest to Anzac Day. They have quickly taken their place among the most revered individual honours in each competition.

To move football and netball to Anzac Day for one game per year would have its challenges, but other leagues have taken the plunge with great results.

Written permission from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs is needed to start a public sporting event before noon on Anzac Day, or games could start at noon and finish in the evening. The league is already interested in night matches and Moonta plans to host the first official home-and-away game under lights in a couple of weeks, so that shouldn’t be a major issue.

At the moment, the official Anzac games are rotated so each club can participate. That could continue or, for logistical ease, the same two sides could play every Anzac Day as occurs in the AFL with Collingwood and Essendon. Perhaps the Anzac medals could be awarded during Saturday games and a separate award could be introduced for the Anzac Day game. These are all issues the YPFL and YPNA could work through.

According to the Australian War Memorial, the qualities which came to be viewed as the Anzac spirit include courage, endurance, discipline, mateship and initiative.

Football and netball seem to be a perfect fit for the first four values. Will our leagues take the initiative as well?  

Nick Perry, Editor
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