ABC on Grand Final Weekend! Sports! Let’s look for some sporting hidden treasure … you never know what you might find.

For Hidden Treasures on ABC Saturday Breakfast I’m rising up, I’m back on the street, did my time, took my chances, went the distance now I’m back on my feet, just a man and his will to survive.

Listen to audio below of my discussion with Ro for ABC Saturday Breakfast and also enjoy reading the story below …

That’s what it’s all about!  Having the eye of the tiger! Having the guts to get out there!

What’s the great quote from Hawthorn coach John Kennedy? “Don’t think! Do! Do something.”

That’s our hidden treasures mantra, don’t think about it, get out there and do something.

For Hidden Treasure Sport, it is about participation without white line fever and being a weekend warrior.

Some of it is also about connecting with your community and being part of a tribe. Just sitting on the sidelines, or high up in an old grandstand or at the bar with people you don’t know but whose company you enjoy.

Our love of watching sport or playing sport is there to be found all over WA.  Sometimes it’s big, like historic WAFL grounds, sometimes it’s visible from the air, like Champion Lakes, and sometimes you just come across it on a good walk around your suburb, like the water polo competition that is run alongside the river in Bicton. 

I bet our list of sports includes at least one you’ve never heard of and at least one you can’t believe is a sport.

The Wadjemup Cup!  You might think the footy season has all dried up but there is another opportunity! You can watch a carnival of WA’s best young Aboriginal players from Clontarf.  The Wadjemup Cup is on Saturday 6 of November and features over 120 Aboriginal boys from Carnarvon all the way down to Esperance and across to the Goldfields. Get across to Wadjemup and pick a team to support.  The boys will be doing a cultural experience tour that is the same tour all visitors to the island can experience.

The Wadjemup Cup combines great sport with great culture on our favourite island destination

Kabaddi is an ancient Indian martial arts sport that works in teams to protect and defend each other and is about strategy as much as it is about strength.  They have tournaments attracting 1500 people.  (This sport is the worst nightmare for those who don’t like workplace team building exercises).

Get to Lake Monger Primary School on a Sunday morning with your flagon with a dragon and cheer on knights of olde at the Barony of Aneala, described as Perth’s largest medieval group. Combat archery sees participants wear their finest armour in what is described as medieval paint ball…with arrows.

With thanks to the very combative ex-Docker player Antoni Grover, let’s get some people into some bruising encounters with combat sports.  In October and November, Muay Thai tournaments will be held at Curtin Stadium, HBF Stadium and the Perth Convention Centre. This is a sport that relies on stand-up physical strength and much like the Grand Final tonight, is all about attrition.  Last the longest and you win. 

Combat Sports, like Muay Thai, draw big crowds across Perth

Table Tennis but not just ‘table tennis’.  This is table tennis in Mirrabooka with Vietnamese Senior Citizens.  This was a story broken by Molly during the Mirrabooka special a few months ago.  Molly discovered that the Vietnamese Citizens Group needed something active and competitive to participate in, and found that table tennis formed friendships and rivalry. Molly even risked the wrath of the local champion by pulling her away from a winning lead to do an interview. 

There are nine croquet clubs tucked away in Perth on quiet streets with quiet participants who enjoy the clink of wooden mallets gently caressing wooden balls through little hoops.  It’s a sport that is best undertaken if you enjoy making conversation because it’s a gentle sport without a lot of controversy to generate discussion. For a try before you buy experience, contact the Forrest Park club in Mount Lawley who have some introductory courses available in October.

Petanque! It’s French for ‘feet together’ and is similar to lawn bowls and normally played on sandy ground with very shiny, metal balls.  There are five clubs in WA, all petanquing with all ages and an emphasis on supporting players with disability.

Padel is like the creative offspring of tennis and squash this is huge sport in Spain that has been launched in Perth by two Spanish twin sisters and courts are available at Reabold Tennis Club in Floreat.  The social side to Padel is so important that there is a coffee shop on site, alongside the courts.  Literally, you can sip and serve!

In the Pilbara, a Dragon Boat carnival is being held at the historic old port town of Cossak, just a rock of iron ores throw away from Roebourne.  There are boats still looking to fill crews so if you like a high pressure paddle in a sport that began in southern China over 2000 years ago get into it.

Dragon boat racing is taking off in the Pilbara

A big thank you to the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries for helping me pull this story together.

We sometimes limit ourselves to just following what is easily seen on tv.  Sport is more than that. It’s also about connecting with a tribe. Forget the fitness and health stuff, sport in our suburbs is a hidden treasure because it connects us to other people and is another reason to see what’s out there. It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight.  And it’s the thrill of finding something new to do in our suburbs.

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