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The Sacrifice for Sport

Begrudgingly stuck on the sidelines strapped up to the nines, our Sports Editor questions why loopholes are so valuable to an injured sportsman or woman, and whether she is alone in allowing a combination of passion and itchy feet to push injury to the wayside for the sake of a university team

Growing up, it’s hard to escape the stories of what people will endure to achieve success in their field. It’s difficult to register fully what these individuals, fighting for elite status, do to themselves. Whether it’s to become a national sporting hero, a world famous singer or musician, or the next Einstein, the fact is that practice alone simply isn’t enough to make perfect. At QM, hundreds of students partake in various sports clubs, which leads to the question: Without the goal of world champion, do we even realize the sacrifice that our bodies are making for our sports?

While it’s perhaps hard to believe that the QM sporting community put much passion and love into their lifestyle (particularly due to the amount of red beer consumed on a Wednesday), there remain a few untainted souls whose lives were conformed almost completely to benefit their training schemes. One of our own from The Print, Veronique Ivory-Johnson, began figure skating as a child, and it was her determination that led her to change her lifestyle in order to better her skating. “It was just one crazy diet after the other, I’ve tried them all: Pineapple diet, Atkins, Hay diet. All in all it was a lot of time, and energy.”

Other than changes to lifestyle, many athletes will have suffered from a power beyond our control. Injury. The cardinal healer for an injured body is time. Look around your team. Are you already singling out that member who would play with a broken leg if they could? Many members of QM club sport would put their bodies through hell and back without a second thought. One of the first questions athletes hear when they hurt themselves in the name of sport is, “how long are you out for?” Sound familiar? Perhaps the response “well the doctor said a month but…” will ring some bells.

Sarah Anderson, the Fresher’s Captain for QMA Cheerleading Club, talked about how she trained and competed with a broken collarbone last year.

“I didn’t want to stop training, because if I didn’t compete then I would have let all twenty of my teammates, and my coach, down. Instead I wore a sling and used painkillers and freeze spray to get through it. Training was painful, but I didn’t feel a thing in the competition because I was numbed by adrenaline.”

Sarah isn’t the only one, by a long shot. Last year at Merger, Tass Siracusa of the netball team, strapped her ankle up so tightly that even the torn ligament in her ankle couldn’t stop her from running out on court to face Barts. When asked why, she shrugged as if the answer was obvious, “it was worth the pain, because I wanted to win.”

There comes a time in everyone’s sporting career when they find themselves questioning how far is too far in terms of amateur level, university sport. The injured seem to be slowly learning that once they’ve served their time, they will return better for it. Passion is by no means a sin, but there is a reason that thirty is considered ‘’getting old’’ in sport; by not taking care and advice the risk of premature retirement only becomes more prevalent. So, to all you invalids out there, rejoice in grabbing a brew and enjoying a bit of time off, rather than begrudging every minute spent out of play.

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