School Holiday Fun at RHH

How did you spend your school holidays?

Fishing, camping, bushwalking, videos, eating ice cream, playing with your mates or just sleeping in til lunch time?

Some of my fondest and most treasured memories of school holidays were the weeks I would spend with Grandma and Grandad on the family farm at Myalla, west of Wynyard.
Grandma would buy me an ice cream to eat each day, rent some videos and cook a sponge cake while Grandad would take me wood cutting, up to the diary and, and these were the best days, take me fishing.Camping

There was also a great chance to hang out with cousins you only see every few months when holidays were on or at Christmas.

So, when we are in between terms for Uni, how do I spend these “holidays”?

It’s school holiday time and Sarah brought the kids in to have lunch with me which was great. Just because it’s holidays from Uni, work doesn’t have the same breaks <insert snipe remark about school teachers here>.

I have been using the time to really get ahead at work so that when Uni starts again I am ready to rock and roll and nail both down.

The only issue I have is that any thoughts I have about getting into the garden or going to Horseshoe Falls at Mt Field National Park have been shot in the leg…the knee to be precise.

A few weeks ago, a good mate of mine suggested that I get a little bit fitter and have fun playing a team sport. Yep, sounds about right.

“You can lose a bit of weight,” he said.
“You can meet new people,” he added.
“You will be fitter,” he concluded.

So, I did, as you do.

I went along to the back blocks of Brighton to play a trial game with the DOSA Football Club. My only stipulation was that I would only play round ball if I was allowed to use my hands. I thought my time as a hockey keeper would come in handy (see the pun I did there).

Started off like a Ferrari with a flat tyre as the first couple of goals fizzed past be at the back post and suddenly I realised something I’ve rarely felt. I might not be so good at this.

We got about half an hour in and I found my two left feet a bit but then came the moment that would ruin my school holidays. No fishing, no footy, no bloody anything.

I ran out to collect a through ball which had as striker running onto it. We crashed like Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez in Melbourne in 2016. I was Alonso.

After six weeks of hobbling around like a half shut pocket knife I finally went to the doctor who shipped me off for an MRI scan. I went back in and he told me I hard partially torn my anterior cruciate ligament, have an insufficiency fBob 2racture on my tibial plateau and torn meniscus. Yep, well played Billy Bustalot.
I didn’t quite go the full Bob Murphy but it seems I went close. Mum always said “you’re allowed to go close.”

Referred to a butcher, I was expecting to be on the public list for the next 12 months. Here’s a trap for new players. If you have private health and comeagutsa, report to the doc ASAP or they won’t cover you. I waited and was told that I should have been in to see the doc within 72 hours.
I was told that there was no waiting so my little Thursday morning was thrown into a spin when he said I would be under the knife on Monday!

My frequent flyer miles with the Tasmanian Health system will get a good boost. I mean, this will be knee op number three to add to a hip (same injury as Lleyton Hewitt except I dDr Nickidn’t bust it winning Wimbledon), tear duct (as a baby) and an appendix which was, in the doctor’s words, “agitated”.

My school holidays are in tatters. All those jobs that I wasn’t looking forward to doing and procrastinating over will now just have to wait. Bu as Toby Keith sang, “wouldn’t change the course of fate, if mowing the grass just had to wait.”

It looks like I’ll be working from home, waited on hand and foot by my eight, six and two year olds minions and driving Sarah up the wall. Perfect chance to brush up on the new Laws of Cricket, finalise some recruitment material and save myself $4 a day on coffee.

Maybe my holidays won’t be so bad after all.


Work Integrated Learning and Teamwork

Quarter time and a chance to get a few words from the coach.

Unfortunately, I am the coach so the word will come from me.

There are a couple of key learnings from this term which I plan to touch on here.

I’m now officially a quarter of the way through the UTAS Associate degree in Applied Business, specialising in Sport, Recreation and Leisure.

It’s been full on. Some people think I’m mad for trying to juggle a family, full time job and full time University studies and, to a degree (like the pun?), I guess I am.

There are so many topics within the course that I could cover here, some have already been blogged about, but on aspect I think is a great selling point to this course is the work integrated learning.

Through both term one and term two I have been lucky enough to be able to use real world experience and on the job tasks as assessment pieces and case studies for the course. For example, I devised an umpire recruitment plan for work, it just happened that an assessment task for term two was to create a campaign. This assessment task brought a really good mark, just a pity it was only worth 30% of the overall mark and not the 50% overall mark!

I think it is a strength of the course that work experience can be used. It makes the course a lot more accessible and lightens the workload.

It’s not just work, some students in the course have been using there experience as volunteers at several clubs around the state displaying an understanding of the topics and benefitting their respective clubs by taking part in the course.

Then there is the team work aspect.

WGruffshen I played hockey, cricket, footy and even rugby the team was key. Anything for my team mates but since my last game as part of a hockey club when I blew my hip up I’ve been on individual pursuits.

Umpiring cricket is very individualistic and, in a lot of cases, a very selfish pursuit. We talk about on field team work and how we work as part of a collective but 90% of what is learned and taken into a game is done individually. There are situations where umpires come together but I wonder how much of the team ethos is really being displayed. In my experience, hockey team mates would take you to the hospital if you needed it, drive your car home, help you move house or just drop by for a stubby after work. Cricket team mates will lend you a bat, come to your wedding and, again, have a stubby with you after a game.

I haven’t seen much of this in seven years in the umpiring world.

I wouldn’t know the wives of more than half of the umpires, if they have kids, where they work or what sort of music they like. Umpiring is such an individual pursuit but we are told to bring our families along for the ride on the pathway, wherever that may lead us. But we seem so reluctant to this. We keep business and pleasure separate. We work out alone, we run alone, we study the Laws of Cricket alone and we often suffer in silence when things don’t go well. We certainly don’t celebrateUnpacked Bag our success as a group. If nothing else we sit back and wonder why it isn’t us going to carnivals, umpiring at the MCG or even progressing from third grade into the twos.

If we as umpires really are a team, why don’t we act like one? The few social gatherings I have been to that haven’t been sanctioned events by a governing body have been great. Cards Against Humanity, BBQ, bring the kids, couple of stubbies and away we go.

Back to what I learned about teamwork. It’s been a while (as Staind once sang I have always thought I worked well as a team player but learned in a big hurry that, like most things in life, teamwork is a case of use it or lose it. I struggled initially working with my cohorts due to not wanting to be the one not contributing and then feeling like I was taking the whole thing over. I relearned to listen to my partners and bounce ideas off each other. It was a great test of my skills, which I think I passed.

So, it’s a couple of weeks off and then into the units “Business Finance” and “Sports Administration”.

Looking forward to starting the second quarter and, with any luck, learning as much about myself as I am the units.