Of course U.K. Sport are a government organisation. Who else would know the cost of everything and the value of nothing? Who else would let an accountant loose to justify funding? Who else would lose sight of potential and only look at performance?
How could I be so naive?
The same people who let the bean counters loose on the N.H.S.
Sports like Badminton, table-tennis, archery, weightlifting and fencing will lose out due to the latest round of funding cuts.
I haven’t a clue what ‘goalball’ is, and rugby, even the standing up-falling down variety, is a silly sport, far more so when played from a wheelchair.
I’m all for the paralympics, but rugby?
Little wonder the wheelchair variety is known as ‘murderball’.
Powerlifting, not weightlifting, successfully appealed.
I looked them up.
“Weightlifting uses the snatch and the clean and jerk, both overhead movements. Powerlifting uses the squat, bench press, and deadlift, none of which is directed vertically overhead.”
I’d like to have heard that panel’s deliberations.
It’s all about medals.
Which is why we fund common sports like bobsleigh, diving, skeleton, ski & snow boarding, short track speed skating, taekwondo and of course those all-inclusive sports, beloved of the housing estates, equestrian, rowing and sailing.
I”m sorry, but if you can afford a horse or a boat, there’s possibly a case to be made for you to pay your own way.
Never mind the participation levels or getting more folk involved, the nation possibly even fitter.
We have some horses that can dance.
Walking at a 45 degree angle, sou-wester tipped into the squalls that persisted throughout the afternoon, to the first tee last weekend at Lady Lever Park; I have to say that the words ‘confidence’ and ‘enjoyment’ didn’t feature large.
That they featured at all is entirely due to my amateur golfer’s unfailing optimism, misplaced sense of priorities and warped notion of what constitutes a ‘good day’.
I don’t care what you, or any psychiatrist, might care to interpret playing an outdoor sport, in the wind and rain and badly, as being indicative of; to me (and there are others like me), a day without golf is a rotten day.
Two squelched bogeys in our opening two holes didn’t do much for our C and E.
Murdo, very uncharacteristically, losing three balls and picking up others prior to their disappearing down any hole vaguely identified by having an adjacent flag signifying their ultimate purpose, severely eroded the little I had left of either.
Somehow we managed to contrive, between us, a score.
Not a particularly good one, but it did bring us starkly to the attention of the handicapper.
Our level par 46 (43) was good enough for 8 points: two birdies and eight, somehow scrambled, pars meant the sun shone briefly, if only to throw some light between our ears.
Golfers, especially ones on a score, very quickly forget their wet socks.
Also plundering a similar bounty were Richard Galloway & Cal Robertson, 46(43), Scott MacIver & John Cunningham, 48(43) and Magnus & Murdo Johnson, 47(43).
Runners up on the day, for 12 scoring points, were the pairing of Scott MacAulay & Kenny MacLean with a fine 47(42).
It seemed fitting that the best round of the day be the one to take the full points(15) and catapult the scorers to the top of the CarHire Hebrides Winter League.
Last year’s joint champions, D.J. & Donnie MacLeod intend to make no mistake this.
They want to win it on their own.
Now ahead of the Blacks (David & Michael) by one, on 45 scoring points, they saw their handicap, in one fell swoop, reduce from 2 to +1.
In joint third spot, however incredible it may look, you will find Angus Innes & Lewis MacKenzie (now off scratch) on 40 points along with Murdo and ‘trench foot’ Tomsh.
At least, of all the top four teams, we have ONE stroke to play with.
Behind us on 37 points are Willie MacAulay & Donald ‘Sweeney’ Macsween.
They still have a handicap of 4.
They should win it in a canter.
Did you see what I did there?
It’s amazing what a spot of indigestion can do for a man’s golf game. Chris Sutton is by no means the smallest golfer down at Harris Golf Club, indeed if you needed your upstairs windows painted, he may just manage without having to take his ladders out of the van.
He also doubles as a local fireman, though if you needed rescued from your upstairs window, he might not be able to get through it to pull you to safety without first removing his helmet. In a conversation with him last week, he revealed how, what he mistakenly assumed might have been something a tad more serious (“I thought I was oan the way oot!”), turned out to be nothing that a couple of Rennes and some Gaviscon couldn’t have cured.
Cue fireman analogy again.
Naturally, he won last Saturday down at Scarista, his relief at having little, or no, dyspeptic reaction to a full Hearach breakfast, powering him to an excellent nett 51 (over 14 holes).
David Hunt, who has been mentioned in every golf column since last October, managed a nett 53 for second spot, whilst the finest, teetotal, ambassador for the Harris Distillery (check out his picture), Willie ‘The Bold’ Fulton took third place on 55.
The weather ensured that everyone got the full value from their ‘protective clothing’.
Although it was noted that a group of three, who headed for the clubhouse early, might be taking their gear back to Smith’s Shoe shop for full refunds.
Good luck with that one.
My friend and Harris ‘scribe’, Hugh MacLean brings me sad news this week of the passing of John MacEachen.
John was a past Captain of Glencruitten Golf Club (Oban) and one of the original Life Members, and strongest supporters, of Harris Golf Club.
He epitomised commitment.
A member of distinction at Oban Lorne Rugby Club, he was instrumental in in the planning and construction of their clubhouse. He had served as captain and president and most recently helped oversee their 50th anniversary celebrations.
I met John several times at the ‘Jackets’ weekend where he regularly competed.
He was a proper gentleman, a great sportsman, but above all, a good friend to the Scarista club, members and everyone who had the pleasure of his company .
Heartfelt condolences, especially from his many great friends south of the Clisham, are extended to his widow, Marianne, and his family.
Down at Askernish, they too have been having weather.
From Zuckercampbell: “Tough conditions out there today as, at times, visibility was down to less than 150yds. However once the players quickly realised that the flag positions were exactly the same as they have been for the last few rounds, then it wasn't really an issue. That said, bizarrely, the top score was posted by a player who hasn't played the course this year as he has been on his ‘travels’.
So much for internal ‘radar’ memory and ‘local knowledge’.
Step forward George Murray who carded a hugely credible 32 points.
The only action at the top of the table is that John Coupe has now passed up two of his four remaining chances to gain on the current leader and runner-up, and, with time running out, he will need to make his move quickly.
Derek Cowan (who currently sits 2nd) is still keeping his powder dry by not playing his last round.
No photos today as, 1) The camera on my phone is gubbed and 2) You wouldn't really have seen much ! “
The top of the Winter League sees Colin Russel on top with 210 points, Derek Cowan in second spot with 208 points, and Alan Louis MacDonald in third on 203 points.
In the Eclectic, Donald MacInnes has a commanding lead on 58.7, followed by Colin Russell and Alan Louis MacDonald on 60.7.
Do they think it’s all over?
Over a season at Askernish, due to the strength of the course, there are very few chances for anyone to produce the type of shock (a 44 point Stableford, or seven birdie round) that would be required, so late in the season, to alter the destination of the trophies.
There are but a few thoroughbreds left in the race(s).