Page 4 - Touchline No.35
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               Editorial                                                                                                           THE JOURNAL OF SPORT,  LEISURE & RISK  WITH AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE         November 2021





              In October last year, World Rugby became  is probably no one correct answer so it
              the first international sports federation to     is likely that individual sports will have to                           SPORTSCOVER – 35 YEARS OF SPORT
              say transgender women cannot compete             develop their own solution as a ‘one size
              at the elite and international level of the      fits all’ approach will not work.                                                           WHAT A JOURNEY!
              women’s game “on safety grounds”.
                                                               “In order to survive and thrive in the
              So the new guidance is suggesting that,          future, sport must adapt to reflect modern
              for example, contact, collision and combat  society, and that often, it is too slow to
              sports which choose to prioritise safety         do so,” the guidance says. As with all
              - or sports based on strength, stamina           organisations and industries, change or
              or physique which choose to prioritise           die is the catch phrase.
              “competitive fairness” - could create
              extra “universal admission” categories for       So at least now the issue is being
              transgender athletes.                            debated more fully at national peak
                                                               sport body level – and that is a welcome
              The guidance has not been universally            development. But the debate now needs
              welcomed, particularly by associations           to be taken up by individual sports to                              To coincide with Sportcover’s 35th anniversary, Touchline wishes to dedicate its 35th
              representing the LBGTQ+ community, but           decide how they can make their sport                                edition to the past three and a half decades. Plenty has changed since Sportcover
              it is at least providing some direction as to  inclusive, yet fair and safe.                                         was established in 1986, including innovations by Sportscover (see inset), but when it
              how the issue can be taken forward. There                                                                            comes to sport, some things stay very much the same. The world’s attention is almost
                                                                                                                                   always focused towards the excitement being generated by our greatest athletes.



                                                                                                                                   Where We Came From: 1986                          Meanwhile, boxing continued to have
                                                                                                                                   As much as a single year can be a hinge-          global heft, unlike today. On November
                                                                                                                                   point, 1986 certainly feels like a period         22nd, a 20-year-old Mike Tyson became
                                                                                                                                   when everything was about to change.              the youngest ever heavy-weight champion
                                                                                                                                   Some of the men and women who went                when he defeated Trevor Brebick to usher
                                                                                                                                   from being sporting heroes to become              in a ferocious, scandal-ridden career which
                                                                                                                                   icons were unleashed onto the world stage         gave boxing its biggest star name since
                                                                                                                                   in that year, while others faded away.            Mohammad Ali.


                                                                                                                                   Back in 1986, sport was still event-driven        Over in Australia, the times were changing
                                                                                                                                   and the cult of the individual had not            slowly as well. Winning The Ashes had
                                                                                                                                   yet arisen. Take, for example, basketball.        become a staple for the English Test
                                                                                                                                   The Boston Celtics won a then record 82           Cricket team since the late ‘70s, and the
                                                                                                                                   games, which had many claiming they               1986-87 Series was no different. Mike
                                                                                                                                   were the greatest team of all time. Larry         Gatting’s team came ‘Down under’ and
                                                                                                                                   Bird was the competition’s MVP, but over in       came away with a 2-1 series win, a loss
                                                                                                                                   Chicago, something was brewing. Michael           which flattered the home team. Merv
                                                         In order to survive and thrive                                            Jordan did not exactly explode onto the           Hughes got carted, with Ian Botham
                                                         in the future, sport must adapt                                           scene - everyone knew he was ascending            dazzling. But there were green shoots
                                                                                                                                                                                     emerging for Australia. Allan Border’s win-
                                                         to reflect modern society, and                                            - but soon he would supernova, taking the         at-all-cost methodology was slowly taking
                                                                                                                                   whole concept of what it meant to be a
                                                         that often, it is too slow to do                                          sporting icon and tailoring it to his image.      hold, and with Steve Waugh, David Boon

                                                         so,” the guidance says. As with                                           It is hard to imagine the mega-endorsed           and Dean Jones coalescing, the Golden
                                                                                                                                                                                     Era of Australian test cricket would begin
                                                         all organisations and industries,                                         player of today without the golden touch          in three short years with their famous 1989
                                                                                                                                   that Jordan brought with him.
                                                         change or die is the catch phrase.                                                                                          victory in England.

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