Our Champions

BarbariansI might be biased but on Saturday I witnessed one of the toughest team performances I’ve ever witnessed or been a part of in forty years of watching and playing rugby. Our University of the Sunshine Coast Under 12s team is a rag tag mob of boys drawn from nine or so local schools. I get the privilege of being their trainer – part of a coaching team of four guys (and sometimes I wonder if the kids or the coaches have the most fun).

We’ve had a really good season. Rain meant we didn’t get a training session in before our first trial so we’ve steadily built momentum and cohesion as the season has progressed. We finished the season in second place, in the process beating every other side in the competition at least once.

But going into our knockout semi final against the third place Brothers, we knew we were in for a massive game. They’re a very successful team who have been top two for the past three years. We’d beaten them earlier in the year but they were injury depleted then. Now they were coming at us full strength.

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Lest we forget ….

Duncans WW1 serviceLike many of his peers my grandfather seemed very reluctant to speak of his years on the Western Front in World War One.  All we have is a few small snippets of information about his service – though from it we can see how his years with the Scottish 9th Division changed our family history irrevocably.

Perhaps the most priceless relic we have of Duncan Grant’s war effort is a transcribed record of his war history.  In his own hand he summarised his military service on the plinth of a Dewar’s whiskey Highlander statue.  The artfully inscribed words let us know that he was involved in the full horrors of the war.  He was present for some of the most intense and horrific battles.

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Risk naive

A little over a week ago was the annual Day for Daniel (Morcombe).  We were holidaying on the Sunshine Coast when Daniel Morcombe first went missing and as we were up here most years we were half involved in the story, the search posters and memorials.

But we didn’t realise the full impact of the Daniel Morcombe story on the Sunshine Coast population until we moved up here three years ago. The profile of his disappearance, and more recently the details of his grisly demise, have left a scar on the population.  The concept of helicopter parents is well-known, but it’s perhaps heightened on the Coast as parents take every precaution to button down their kids from “stranger danger“.


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Name change

After something of an absence from blogging (long overseas trip), I’m back!  The site has a new name too – Freed Eagle.  This is a reference to my personal journey over the last 3-4 years, but also pays homage to one of my favourite verses in the bible:

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

It’s good to be back and looking forward to sharing more.

Are Zimbabwean orphans really funny?

Orphan David on arrival

Australia’s favourite curmudgeon Peter Fitzsimons had a sly attack at Manly supporters in his column last Saturday, using Zimbabwean orphans as the punchline to his “joke”.   

My thanks to Fitzphile Sam Clough, who drew my attention to this fascinating news item: the Manly cheer squad has just returned from a trip to an orphanage in Zimbabwe.
”It was a great chance to meet underprivileged people with very little hope in life,” said Alfred Mgombo, aged six.


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