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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

A Variety of Sports


This week the prompt shows a game of Canadian Gridiron players In action. Their superhero style outfits make them look very strange, although I realise that the helmets and heavy shoulder padding are designed for ultra protection from possible injury. Here in Australia four major football codes are widely played, and the players wear comparatively little protection, apart from occasional headgear. Aussie Rules players specialise in sleeveless jumpers and short shorts!  Depending on State preferences, they play Aussie Rules, Rugby League, Rugby Union and soccer. Gridiron is not widely played in Australia, but we do have a relative who plays in a local competition.

  My late father-in-law Robert Featherston appears to have been a keen sportsman in his younger days and I thought you might enjoy seeing some evidence of this from his photo collection.  The first photo is of him on the field, ready for action. I'm not sure where or when it was taken, but it may have been before he joined the RAAF in 1941. His son/my husband says he was told that his father played rugby for Victoria, and this may well be what Bob is dressed and ready to play here, although there's no accompanying description. If that is correct, it must have been pre WW2.



The next photograph is an action shot, with a prematurely balding Bob down on his knees in the thick of things, during what I think is an Aussie Rules game, as some of the other players look to be the same as in the following team photo. When Bob returned to Australia after 3 years of imprisonment as a POW in Poland, he was sent to a one teacher school in the small town of Willing South, in Gippsland Victoria. His wife Mary says she always felt  that in light of Bob's gruelling experience as a POW, it was rather mean of the Education Department to send him away to such a small and isolated place, far from his family in Geelong. He joined and played Aussie Rules with a local  club, Gormandale FC, probably for companionship as much as a desire to play, and as the third photo shows, the team won their local premiership that year, in 1946. Strangely, when I had a look on the club web site, I saw that the honour board records recorded that a premiership had been won in 1947 but not 1946, so I've sent the secretary a copy of the photographic evidence and am hoping the records may be set straight as a result.  Credit where credit is due!







Some fifty years later in the mid 1990s, several of Bob's grandchildren showed sporting prowess too. One swam competitively and a couple of the girls became gymnasts. Kim, one of our boys, was good at a variety of ball sports, playing  tennis, soccer, baseball and later volleyball at district representative level,  while his sister Claire played a good left-handed catcher for her softball team, the Kissing Point Black Sox, and was also part of a state championship winning team. Below are a few sporting photos of Claire and Kim.

Winners are grinners - U14  State Softball champions, Dubbo NSW 1993. Claire is on far left, 2nd row. A black and white photo that has effectively become sepia toned.

Claire the catcher in action, c. 1994/5


North Shore baseball rep players in the dugout, c. 1996


Soccer U14 Ku-Ring-Gai district winners - not surprisingly, Kim has the ball.

Sadly their grandfather was no longer around to enjoy their achievements, but I'm sure he would have approved.

Here is another action shot for you, showing a rugby lineout. I took it at the high school one Saturday afternoon in the winter of 1996 when the Barker College Rugby First XV were playing.  The school was running a photographic competition at the time and surprisingly enough I won that week with this photograph and scored myself the prize of a handy little pair of binoculars. My photo was also printed on the cover of the weekly football program a few weeks later. Meanwhile our son was playing soccer, not rugby! Both this and the  b+w soccer team shot were taken and developed by yours truly at a time when I was into that kind of thing. 



On a previous trip to London last year, I looked out a window overlooking Peckham Rye Park and spied this set of four Aussie Rules goalposts in the nearby park, so clearly someone must be playing the game over there. Then just this week we received this appropriate photo of our little cutie, with her uncle Kim's Aussie Rules Sherrin in hand, getting in practice for her grandfather's upcoming visit.

Go Geelong! Not doing too well this year, so they need a bit of support!




                             

   Geelong socks for Isabelle when she's watching on TV with her English Dad, who is a Liverpool fan.

For other sporting blogs this week, get your kit on and play around at Sepia Saturday #277

12 comments:

  1. Not being familiar with rugby, I don't know what those fellows are doing in your award winning photograph (Congrats!) Is that a legal move in a game - being elevated like that? Or was that a stunt?

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    1. No, that lifting to help a designated team member to catch the ball when it is thrown in from the sideline by the referee is a legal play. The two high fliers would be from the opposing teams. Aussie Rules players can jump very high too, when they are competing to 'mark' or catch a big kick during play. I should have included a shot showing that too, as they can be spectacular. 'And the bg men fly' as they say :-)

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  2. A great sporting tradition in your family.

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  3. My younger daughter played softball too and happened to win two state championships. One of the years they went all the way to the Little League World Series. My nephew was on his college rugby team a couple years.

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  4. You Aussies are tough! I loved reading about your father in law and his photos. I didn't know about boosting up a player as you explained. Finally the little socks are adorable.

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  5. What a little sweetie. And being supplied with the appropriate accoutrements. Nice to see Aussie Rules getting a mention. Go Geelong !!

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  6. That rule about lifting in the line-out has changed over the years, I think, from safety concerns. Good photo, I must say, and not surprised it won an award,

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    1. I'm certainly no expert, but it would appear from the IRB Rules, r. 19, that lifting is still allwed, unless players are U15s or below: (d) Lifting and supporting. Players may assist a team-mate in jumping for the ball by lifting and supporting that player providing that the lifting and/or supporting players do not support the jumping team-mate below the shorts from behind or below the thighs from the front.

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  7. A great collection of images. In some of those from the 1940s, the date is almost carved, not in stone, but in human flesh, styles and fashions.

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  8. A perfect lineup! And using Aussie rules too.

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  9. Wow, Robert Featherstone was a big rugged looking player! great photo of him. Glad you set the record straight for the 1946 Premiers. And what an active sports loving family you have. Yea!

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  10. The shot you won the award for is fascinating. It looks like some sort of a stunt I'd expect to see cheerleaders doing. I'm trying to imagine how they maneuver this with the speed of the game.

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