The Ghosts faithful at the grand final at Geoff King Motors Oval in 2019.
The Ghosts faithful at the grand final at Geoff King Motors Oval in 2019.

BEHIND THE DESK: Has sport held us together during COVID?

WHERE would we be without sport?

I would often find myself wondering this in my life and while I had experienced the brief in-between period between summer and winter sport, COVID has brought more clarity to the question.

When the pandemic first hit in late March and sports started shutting down it was my first realisation of just how much it means to me and so many other people.

It was clearly the right decision as people’s lives will always be more important than any sport out there, but boy was it tough. Especially as a sports journalist, it was torture.

I’m not alone in living and breathing for it, whether it’s AFL, NRL, A-League and cricket here in Australia or a personal favourite, the English Premier League and other European competitions.

When it all shut down I would find myself checking my phone for news and scores but alas, nothing. Sure there were one or two competitions still running and there were even some novelty tip competitions where you could pick and choose things like the weather, which news channel will get the most views and average fuel prices, but it just wasn’t the same.

Iluka’s Daine Laurie of the Panthers looks to offload the ball during his debut in the round 13 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Canberra Raiders at Panthers Stadium on August 08, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Iluka’s Daine Laurie of the Panthers looks to offload the ball during his debut in the round 13 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Canberra Raiders at Panthers Stadium on August 08, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Then they all started to come back: NRL, German football and eventually community sport as well. Hats off to the incredible efforts of those who managed to get it all going again.

As important as these national and international competitions were, community sport was an even bigger boost and it was an incredible feeling to see sport back on our fields again.

Kids were grinning ear to ear, adults were jumping for joy and the seniors who had been couped up away from society could finally get out and get moving again.

The lockdown helped save lives, but the return of sport across all levels may have been just as effective.

We’re still not all the way there yet but as things begin to loosen up even more lets celebrate those amazing people behind the scenes, the administrators, referees, parents, coaches, volunteers and the players themselves for making it all happen.

Life is a rollercoaster and sport is a vessel through which we can channel our passion, let go of our frustrations and just be in the moment. Long live sport.