Remarks at the Presentation Night of the Sydney University Australian National Football Club
27 October 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to welcome you all here to Tattersalls Club. One of Australia’s oldest private members’ Clubs. Tattersalls Club was founded in 1858 on the principles of Honour and Friendship, that is the Club’s motto: Honor et Amicita.
Now, to put that year into context, 1858 was the same year that the British Raj was established. And those two events are not related. Though we do have our fair share of aristocrats and the odd royal or two.
It was also the same year that the first recorded game of Australian Rules Football was played between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College. And those two events are not related.
Save perhaps until this year when Tattersalls Football Club was established to compete in the AFL 9s Competition. And next year Tattersalls will represent Australia, as we take on Germany in the very first international game of AFL 9s.
Today, the British Raj is no more, Australian Football is the nation’s most popular sport, and Tattersalls Club welcomes the Sydney University Australian Football Club on your presentation night.
I have the honour of being a member of both Clubs.
As you all know I am relatively new to Australian Rules football. In fact I only learnt how to kick a Sherrin properly this year… and I am still learning.
I truly believe that football is an unbelievable pathway that brings together people from all walks of life. And Australian Football unifies more people like no other.
To me our footy Club embodies the very ethos of a fair go. And for a bloke who is still learning how to kick, this Club has made this skinny kid with a funny name, very welcome.
I joined the Club for three main reasons: to get fit, to make some new friends, and to have a bit of fun. Fitness, Friendship and Fun.
I feel a lot fitter, though I think the drinking sessions post-games may counteract that. I have made some great friends, not just Facebook ones, though the numbers on that have increased. And I am having heaps of fun.
I had my debut, playing in the back pocket for the Golds on Oval 1, our home ground, or as I call it the Fatherland, and we won against Parramatta. Where the final score was 170 to 9. I believe the correct term is a “double fisting!”
Football to me is not just about kicking and catching a piece of inflated leather. It is not just about good players, but about good people as well.
And it has been an honour and privilege to play alongside some really good blokes this year in the Golds. And I thank the coaches, Gus and Rob for their leadership and importantly their friendship during the year.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Welcome once again, drink responsibly, don’t steal anything, try not to get arrested and have a very good evening.