Don’t Discount a Country Bumpkin

When the recent City vs Country clash in Rugby League occurred, as a person born in the city but raised in the country and an openly self declared country girl I was proud when the Country boys won! It also prompted me to question whether location affects the way an aspiring athlete appreciates the road to success.

Please excuse me while I have a proud sister moment and brag about my younger sister, Alison Miller (remember the name… I’m not bias at all), who at the end of this month will embark on a week long trip to NZ to play in the U19 Australian Netball team. Whilst it was a thrill for so many who knew her when the team was announced, hardly anyone realised the sheer effort which went into this selection. Living and receiving schooling in Wagga Wagga but playing for a Canberra league team and eventually the Canberra Darters as a part of the Australian Netball League (ANL). Many a time, she as well as one parent was required to make the 5hr return trip up to 3 times a week, plus keep up a regular fitness schedule when home in Wagga. Another successful Wagga athlete who has truly made it on the big stage is Sydney Swans young gun, Harry Cunningham. He goes onto admit city athletes have the advantage of resources being close on hand, but if an athlete is willing to do ‘anything and everything’ there is no reasons for them to succeed. Cunningham also declares every athlete has a success story, therefore success is appreciated equally as much by both city and country athletes.

By no means am I trying to discredit successful athletes from the city. They too have sacrificed many aspects in their life that I and many others would have no idea about. However, the fact that in some country areas there is a clear lack of access to adequate facilities and resources, cannot be ignored. This then makes these aspiring athletes and their families rack up the km’s (which in turn costs money for fuel, time, and may take away from studies). But hey, I suppose that’s what makes it all the sweeter for me seeing Alison achieve such greatness. She has overcome all obstacles in her way and hopefully there’s an Australian Diamonds berth in there somewhere, or mum and dad would even settle for NSW Swifts.

Have you experienced either a city or country road to success? Let us know what your thoughts are.


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