Dad had a sporting history of running and football. Mum never pushed her story of sporting glory as there was none to tell except a few games of tennis.
I was the eldest of four children. The youngest didn't turn up until I was fifteen, so for most of my childhood it was me and my two brothers. The elder of the two boys, James, had the burden of pressure that he was to play cricket for Australia and football for a league team. As the girl, I was to facilitate this dream in whatever way possible. Not that anyone spelled this out or ever said it out loud, it was just so. This meant many hours bowling balls across the street to the future champion after school. I never minded this at all as I was his sister and his fame would surely rug off on me. And so it did. He made the schoolboy's Victorian team in football, the Victorian cricket squad and Melbourne's 'Seconds' football team, though he didn't reach the heights which had been set.
But what of me? I participated in whatever sport was going on at school. As someone who suffered from dyslexia, sport was a great outlet. Rounders, softball, netball (it was called girls basketball in those days), swimming, you name it, I played it. Instead of standing each morning, as I usually did at primary school, as the dumb kid who could only get two out of ten for spelling, I stood as a member of the school team, whatever the sport, who went out early to help bring glory to our school.
I remember the first race I won for my high school. In those days the whole school went to the meeting and my race was the first race. As I hit the wall I could hear the roar of the other students. I turned and waved to the wild cheering mass of purple and gold, our school colours. I was so proud of my school and rather pleased with my effort
Although I must confess that training was not my forte, at High School I won Sports Girl of the Year two years running. Success in swimming was my main claim to fame and kept me going through those years.
My family came to Benalla when I was eighteen having finished Year 12. Taking up whatever sport I could I ended up playing 'men's basketball' on a winning side and played hockey for Benalla.
All I do now is take an interest in the football results.
Does sport have a lasting impact on one's life? Playing for a team was always my preference, as it was in my family and in public life.