Stilnox and the Great Australian Sporting Sleep


It seems that the sleeping drug “Stilnox” has come into the headlines over the past couple of days.

Grant Hackett, Swimming Star of the 2000 & 2004 Olympics and almost star of the 2008 Olympics, has revealed that he was prescribed the drug by the Australian Sw2imming Team doctor from 2003 as he was having problems sleeping.

What was not told to him and what may not have been generally known is that there are side effects.

The revelations prompted (AOC president John) Coates and AOC chief operating officer Craig Phillips to review the peak sporting body’s medical manual following the claims aired by Hackett.

The revised medical manual includes a new section dealing with “sleep and relaxation strategies” and officials will be able to search rooms of athletes if they are suspected of using prescription medications at the Games.

“We’ve also decided to better highlight the guidelines attached to the team medical manual in respect of the use of caffeine.

“Because we are very worried about the vicious cycle of athletes taking caffeine as a performance-enhancer then needing to take drugs such as Stilnox to get to sleep,” Coates said.

So, from the admissions of one troubled athlete who has retired, talking about events from four years ago, there have been sudden and profound changes to the rules Australian athletes are forced to live under.

Just weeks before the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

In totally unrelated news, I note that the Australian Olympic Team is being sponsored by a Vitamin and Health tablet Company. This is really good news as anything healthy is good for athletes.

Especially if it can be used to increase advertising power and the credibility of the product.

Swisse  have done a great job tying their “Ultivite” range into a healthy, sporty, Australian lifestyle.

As I was walking through my local Chemist Shop yesterday I was pleased to note that they have quite a range of products. I was particularly taken by two products I hadn’t seen before.

And I thought to myself, “That is interesting. I wonder. Nah! It couldn’t possibly be linked.”

There is no way that Grant Hackett would be receiving money from Swisse to make the startling revelations above with this precise timing. Or that there is a possibility of an advertising campaign linking Australian Olympic Athletes to a Swisse sleep enhancing product.

So I wandered off to write the Stilnox story above knowing that there will never be any connection between the two thought strands in my mind.

As I wrote just below the bouncing Kangaroos. It is totally unrelated news.

Golf And Its Hazards


It could only happen in the Irish Open.

The ball avoids the water hazard but the golfer – – -

Richard Finch went on to win by two strokes. Probably freestyle.

A Special Tale in the Year of The Disgraced Olympics


I have played amateur sport for most of my life.

As an extremely competitive person, I have always been a believer in playing to the limit of the rules.

Yet being a “Good Sport” has always been important. Not taking an unfair advantage of my opponent.

I have seen many examples of good and sometimes great sportsmanship.

But it will be many years before I read of something as great as the sportsmanship recorded here.

Thanks to Metro from whom I burgled this wonderful tale and thanks to Jesus’ General who brought it to Metro’s attention.

Free Beijing Olympics


Found in our local give-away paper, I may use this several times in the lead-up to 08.08.08.

I don’t support an athlete boycott of the Olympics while we continue to trade with the country.

Then again, this would be an ideal opportunity for our elected leaders to show some morality and refuse to attend the Opening or Closing ceremonies.

The Chinese are very affected by “face” and the loss of face caused by such a threatened non-attendance by their peers could well instigate more change in China’s government than any number of athletes not attending.

Of course China has had the world’s worst human rights record for thousands of years. The famous Walls were built by labour forced from their homes in Southern China to the Northern borders. The human cost was estimated at one dead worker per metre of wall. There were around 10, 000 kilometres of wall built!

A few extra million dead in Tibet is simply a matter of accounting. And moving in replacements from elsewhere.

Now I bid farewell to my readers in China as I will almost certainly be banned in your country now.

Just For the Cricket Fans Amongst My Readers


I went back to my old Cricket Club the other night.

It was a twentieth anniversary and it was good to meet up with the guys I had played with over the last 15 years of my career.

Up on the wall was one of my early photos. From 1995.

When we had a visit from some of the West Australian State Cricket Squad. They came out to help our juniors for a day. I snapped a photo just for the fun of it. We put it up on the wall as a little bit of showing off.

A small amateur club which had ambitions above our station, we were proud that a Test Player had come out to visit us. Bruce Reid had played for Australia but his test career had ended three years earlier although he continued with the State Squad.

My memory had forgotten just who the other players were. It was a revelation to be reminded of their names.

Two of the others played for Western Australia. Sean Carey played for several seasons but the other one! Oh Boy, they don’t come any better than this guy. He is now a household name in cricketing countries around the world.

bcc1.jpg

The Honour Board is still there. It already had Buff’s name on it as Club Secretary. Five years after this photo was taken, my name appeared in the President’s list.

And Adam Gilchrist has probably forgotten all about that day nearly thirteen years ago!

But the image is one which is still valued by the Club and its members.

The Unlosable Golf Ball


I went out to play golf with my son and we were about to tee off, when I noticed that he only had one golf ball. “Don’t you have at least one other golf ball?” I asked. My son replied that no, he only needed the one.

“Are you sure?” I persisted. “What happens if you lose that ball?”

My son replied, “This is a very special golf ball. I won’t lose it so I don’t need another one.”

“Well,” I asked, “what happens if you miss your shot and the ball goes in the lake?”

“That’s okay,” he replied, “This special golf ball floats. I’ll be able to retrieve it.”

“Well what happens if you hit it into the trees and it gets lost among the bushes and shrubs?”

He replied, “That’s okay too. You see, this special golf ball has a homing beacon. I’ll be able to get it back – no problem.”

I was becoming a bit exasperated by now so I warned “Let’s say our game goes late, the sun goes down, and you hit your ball into a sand trap. What are you going to do then?”

“No problem.” said this annoying son, “This ball is florescent. I’ll be able to see it in the dark.”

Finally satisfied that he only needed the one golf ball, I asked, “Hey, where did you get a golf ball like that anyway?”

My son replied, “I found it.”

Ten Guin Bowling


This is one of the sports which will be lost to Global Climate Change

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