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Monday, March 20, 2006

Kerryn McCann's marathon

Yesterday, I went to the MCG with my family to watch the first day of the C'wealth/Stolen?wealth games Athletics meet. Along with 80 000 others, we watched various events, among which the women's marathon stood out, as always a particularly gruelling competition. Here are some snaps we took at the end of the women's marathon.

I loved the marathon as a child and watching Robert De Castella in the 1984 LA Olympics was a major reason for my taking up of running at a young age. I ran a half marathon at 12, and again at about 24. I suppose I am getting close enough to 36 to have to consider what is next, but that is getting off the topic!

Anyway, Kerryn McCann is 38 and was virtually written off as past it by the stadium commentators at the beginning of the race. She has two kids, a six year old and a young one - and we were encouraged to give her encouragement, as she approached the stadium, a young Kenyan athlete just behind her. This is a competition so different from others, like gymnastics, which seems to be given over to younger and younger athletes. She looked spent as she entered the stadium on the large TV screen and sure enough the Kenyan athlete ran past her as she was running in. But the roar of the crowd egged her on.

From somewhere, Kerryn found the strength to sprint back past the Kenyan athlete, and as she later related, she was carried the last 300 metres of the track by the strength of her crowd support. I can vouch for that- it was a roar.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Rugby 7s training

This morning I was going for a jog when we saw that the Aussie 7s team was training at the oval where I normally do yard duty. So the whole family took a walk down there, where we enjoyed watching the rigours of training before the Commonwealth games. In one of the most injurious sports you'll every come across, even when they weren't doing full tackles by any means, someone did get hurt and had to sit out the rest of the day.

We aren't really rugby followers, true Melbournites after all, but when they had been given a sticker of the Wallabies, the kids stuck it in their project books and asked for autographs! We discovered later, that the guy who really stood out has played for Fiji as well as Australia and for a long time at the Brisbane Broncos. His name? Lote Tuqiri...

Friday, March 10, 2006

The True Royal Family (Black GST)

What are the groups that are feeling excluded from the party that seems to be the Commonwealth Games? Well, the Black GST is an example. This group is calling for "Genocide to end, Sovereignty to be acknowledged and a Treaty to be made". Wouldn't it be about time?! Here is their news:
Where: Kings Domain Garden

When: 8.30am around the Sacred Fire
Each morning we sit around the Sacred Fire and plan out the days actions according to the vibes of the day. Come along and visit the campsite to learn something from the oldest known culture on the planet. It is rumoured the next big action will be Sunday March 19th Countless smaller, maybe more pertinent & original actions will occur between now and then - especially if you join in. Just walking down the street is causing enough commotion for Aboriginal people in Melbourne at the moment. In the meantime the cultural floodgates are open with the learning 24/7. Between smoking ceremonies, welcoming ceremonies, live bands & the occasional film, this would have to be the best opportunity for Australians to visit and learn about a culture that feels it has little respect. Also, some have noted just how lucky we are to be on not only sacred land , but also in heart of all the action. Come and set up camp in this proudly non-violent "dry" zone. A real community bond is growing - imagine how good life could be if white Australians no longer suffered from 'Whiteman's Whiplash' - that frozen look that comes across the guilty party when their head snaps the other way as they walk past an Aboriginal human being, subconsciously realising that they know nothing of the people that have lived on this planet for longer than any other. Time Is Now!

Another group excluded from this celebration is the homeless of Melbourne. Urban Seed has said that marginalised and homeless people have experienced prejudice, misunderstanding and fear because of the increased public scrutiny of the Games. See the full article here.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Whaling くじらをかうこと

Well, I got in trouble recently for emailing a letter encouraging people to sign a petition lead by Greenpeace
Anyway, I forwarded the letter to a Japanese Teacher's Network and got howled down. One guy even emailed me, assumed I wasn't a Japanese teacher and asked me who put me onto the network.

So, what of whaling?! Greenpeace says on that link that Sealord tuna, which we can buy in Aussie Supermarkets is 50% owned by Nissui, who is a major owner of the commercial whaling operation. I am now studying an Environmental subject and just might use this issue for my tut presentation. Its not a completely cut and dry issue... Here is a picture of a Southern Right Whale, of which, according to some estimations there are less than 300 left in the world.