03Sep/16

Get the Fans On-Board with Signature Gear

One of the most heartening sights that a player and coach can see, when they are doing battle against another team, is their fans decked out in promotional wear. The colours proudly displayed for all to see and the team’s logo emblazoned across caps and tops. It can lift the performance of the team on the field or track. Whether it be your local netball team, soccer, hockey, rugby, basketball or AFL, it pays to promote your club’s culture with some signature gear. Let the fans walk proudly to the game, through train and bus stations, with colours and team name on display.

Get the Fans On-Board with Signature Gear

Don’t be a quiet achiever, it is not the name of the game in the twenty first century, this is the era of conspicuous activity. Think of Facebook and Twitter, all that social media, it screams out, “look at me, look at me”. As a team Manager or President it is your duty to get the fans to rally around your team. Get the members dressed in the club colours and wearing promotional wear. Scarves and hats, T-shirts and wind cheaters, water bottles and mugs, bumper stickers on their cars, whatever you can think of get it printed with your message or team name.

Help with promoting your team is only a phone call or email away. It will be the most important contact you make all year, because merchandising your sporting team is a labour of love for all involved. The fans want to buy stuff and the support team want to sell them cool things with the club colours and logo on them. You can even make some money for the club from the sale of this merchandise and your fans become walking billboards promoting the team and organisation. How does it get any better than that?

Get the fans on-board with signature gear and you will never look back. You will wonder why you had not taken this step years ago. Marketing your sporting team is a major part of being a sporting organisation in this day and age. You need to grow the base and you can only do this by employing all your resources, which includes your existing fan base to spread the word. Visible messages on clothing and accessories can fly your banner for all to see. Your supporters will proudly wear their club colours.

02Sep/16

Getting Your Remote Kicks Living in The Sticks

Australia is one of the most urban and remote countries in the modern world, with over two-thirds (69%) of the population living in major cities. It also has one of the lowest population densities outside of its major cities. Despite the vastness of Australia and the profound impact that this has on the lives of the peoples living in rural and remote areas, relatively little is known about families living in these areas of Australia compared to those living in major cities.

What is the nature and impact of such immense isolation? And how do the characteristics of families differ between the “city” and the “country” or “bush”? The answer is ‘tremendously’, while words such as these are used in everyday parlance, it is very difficult to identify exactly where the city ends and the country begins.

Time becomes an all-encompassing commodity. With an almost unlimited supply of time, how does that change not only people’s perspectives but, inevitably, their habits and vices? Add the internet into this equation and what you may find is a melting pot of traditional and alternative flavours. Of course not all outposts and remote towns are fortunate to have broadband, but the incidence is increasing and along with it, the access to a whole range of internet based products and services. “Give a man a surfboard and he’ll paddle for a day, teach that same fella to surf, he’ll be hooked on adult webcams for life!

One way of categorising regions is in terms of the road distance from services, and this is the standard method to define remoteness for statistical purposes in Australia. Over two-thirds (69%) of Australians live in major cities, one in five (20%) live in inner regional areas, one in ten (9%) in outer regional areas and around one in forty (2.3%) live in remote or very remote areas (1.5% remote and 0.8% very remote). These figures represent 15.1 million people living in major cities, 4.3 million in inner regional areas and 2.1 million in outer regional areas, 324,000 in remote areas and 174,000 in very remote areas (Australian Bureau of Statistics)

While Australians of all backgrounds reside in the different regions across Australia, the Indigenous population has a much greater concentration in the more remote areas. Although 2.4% of Australia’s population are Indigenous, their geographic distribution across Australia is quite different. Indigenous people comprise 1% of the population in major cities, 3% in inner regional areas, 6% in outer regional areas, 15% in remote areas and 49% in very remote areas.

In regard to dwelling and household type, most Australians (79%) live in one-family households, with 3% in multi-family households (households consisting of two or more families), 9% in lone-person households, 3% in group households and 6% in non-private dwellings or not-classifiable households. The difference between very remote areas and the rest of Australia is largely the result of a higher proportion of the population in very remote areas being Indigenous. In very remote areas, about three-quarters of non-Indigenous people live in one-family households and 2% in multi-family households. This compares to 57% of Indigenous people who live in one-family households and 38% who live in multi-family households.

Significantly Australia’s population is ageing, as is the population in many other countries. The proportion of the population aged 65 years and over relative to those of working age (15-64 years) known as the old age dependency ratio, is increasing. For example, in inner regional areas there are 24 elderly people for every 100 people of working age. This has growing implications for government policies and programs, including the types of services needed not to mention for the social and economic life of communities.

As expected, people living in major cities are less likely to have problems accessing a range of services than those living in other areas. Those in outer regional or remote areas are the most likely to have difficulties accessing services. This is true irrespective of family type. For couples without children living with them (including both childless couples and those with grown-up children), the proportions having problems accessing services are 16% in major cities, 23% in inner regional areas and 36% in outer regional areas. These data illustrate that while geographic remoteness is an important factor in not having access to services, it is not a complete explanation. Even in major cities some people have experienced difficulties in accessing such services. This may reflect lack of affordable transport, cost of services, waiting lists, or because of the inappropriateness of available services.

Across geographic regions, differences in the proportions of boys and girls participating in individual sports, such as swimming lessons and gymnastics, are also apparent, with lower participation rates for these activities in outer regional areas. Differences in participation in extracurricular art, music or dance classes according to geographic remoteness were also found. Participation in these types of classes is more common in major cities than outer regional areas. For example, the proportion of boys participating in these types of activities is 31% in major cities and 17% in outer regional areas. For girls, the pattern is similar, although the difference between major cities and outer regional areas is smaller than is the case for boys. Parents’ expectations for their children’s future education levels provide interesting insights into their possible educational outcomes. Parents in major cities have relatively high expectations for their children’s future education levels, when compared to parents in the less geographically accessible regions. The differences in expectations of qualifications for girls compared to boys is greatest in the outer regional areas.

Remote Australia is distant from centres of economic and political decision making. In general, those who live in remote Australia have lower incomes, employment rates and education levels than the rest of Australia. These trends are exacerbated amongst the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. If we examine what is widely considered to be ‘Remote Australia’, the exact and total geographical area is 86% of the country yet it is home to 3% of Australia’s population. ‘The Great Outdoors’ has many faces and how we interpret the rich diversity and widening divisions will ultimately define us as a developed nation.

02Sep/16

Super Superstition in Sporting History

Being successful in the fast-paced, dollar-fuelled modern arena that is today’s sporting world takes talent, dedication, and the occasional dose of superstition. What better recipe in which to cultivate your own unique brand of motivational behaviour, thus the sporting superstition is born. And there are some absolute crackerjacks in there to baffle sports fans across the globe along with some rather strange habits that have since become the stuff of sporting legend. In no particular order of awesomeness, take for instance, the Chilean female golfer nicknamed the Tree Frog for her habit of always wearing a green shirt and trousers on Saturday match play days. Some sports psychologists hold the theory that the colour green signals a special kinship with nature while the Tree Frog would publicly announce that ‘green shirt Saturdays’ could propel, guide her through 9 holes without fault or distraction.

The award for the most brutish of womens superstitions in sport must go to Bulgaria’s Helga Molokova, a little known, big bodied champion weightlifter notorious for her unusual and unfeminine habit of growing a pre-tournament goatee beard and not shaving it off until such time as either the trophy was in her tremendous, bulging, ham-like hands or she had at least scared off most of the willing opposition. It was rumoured that one glance at her impressive CV and even some of the male competitors would run off home screaming for their mommy.

As the highest goal scorer in the history of the Icelandic Womens amateur football league, Magda Magnusdottir, fast became a local B-list celebrity and lifestyle role model for her weekly ritual of not eating any meat products on the day of a game. This started in her junior days where pre-match nerves lead her to not eating for fear of projectile vomiting in the six-yard box and overnight an icon was born. To this day the number of young, eager female vegetarians in the country is steadily on the rise in what many Icelanders hail as a victory for health and nutrition nationwide.

Brazilian Jujitsu Wunderkid, aptly nicknamed Chiquita, has one superstition that she claims help her fight her best. If she’s travelling to a game by plane, she insists that her favourite kit bag must always be the first item to appear at baggage claim, this she says only reinforces her position as the true, righteous Number One contender. “No one ever remembers the bag that came second!” she will tell you before a championship fight.

Ranked for many years in the top ten players of Korean women’s table tennis, Ms Ashley Kim, is another athlete with a world beating superstition designed to keep her on track. She would bring her shower sandals to a table tennis match and had a fascinating ritual of slipping them on and off between match points, whether this was gamesmanship on her part to unsettle her opponent or she simply liked the feel of the massage sandals underfoot, only she will know the true behind the scenes story?

And last but not least a real tear-jerker, a Hawaiian Junior Tri-athlete, famously nicknamed walrus-toe, seemingly enjoyed the habit of making life just that little bit more difficult. After winning her first junior series event with one wet sock during the entire race she concluded that the discomfort was key to success and made a ritual out of stepping on a sodden towel before commencing every race. We can only wonder that sometimes it pays to be a wet blanket? Some other common superstitions in the world of high energy sports. In baseball spitting into your hand before picking up the bat is said to bring good luck. In basketball, the last person to shoot a basket during the warm-up will have a good game. In football, double numbers on a player’s uniform brings good luck. And in golf, balls with a number higher than 4 are bad luck. Looks like Happy Gilmore lucked out on that one!

24Aug/16

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