Posted on Thu 27 Nov 2014 at 09:28 by Simon Cain
This morning, the World woke up to the tragic news that Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes had sadly lost the fight for his life after being hit on the head in a Sheffield Shield match on Tuesday.
Phillip was only 25 years old and had a tremendous career ahead of him for the Australian National team but most importantly, he had a long life in front of him.
I wrote this blog as a message to young athletes, young students and young people across our institution, and further afield, to share a simple message, ‘play like it’s your last!’
Too many times people do not fully appreciate the life they are given or, the opportunities that come their way. We never know what is around the corner, we should embrace this and make sure that we have no regrets from not giving it our all.
Sport provides us all with our highest of highest, but also our deepest lows, this is why we love our sports. We sometimes forget that when we step on, or off, the field of play it could be the last time we do so. The last time we get to kick, throw or hit our given ball or item of choice, the last time we get to pull on the jerseys we come to love to wear. The motto ‘train as you would play’ is not just about preparing in the right way, it is about embracing the chances that we have and to be thankful for the opportunities that are presented to us on a daily basis.
With Phillips death and that of many sports men and women across the globe, we have a chance to reflect on how we approach our sport, and our lives. How to embrace the laughs and triumphs we have with our team mates and how we all come together in times of despair. Sport provides this life moments on a more regular basis that most aspects of our lives and we play because of these. We play for the thrills, the adrenaline rush, for the glory, but also for the companionship that can only be gained from going through the toughest mental and physical challenges. We should be embracing these moments and looking for ways to gain the most from them as we never know when it could be our last.
My message is simple, make sure that when you step on the field of play, you give it everything. And when you step off, make sure you have no regrets. Enjoy all the experiences that sport has to offer in our lives. Respect the privilege you have of wearing ‘the shirt’ and respect the men and women who stand alongside you giving blood, sweat and tears to the same cause as you. Fight hard for your team mates, for the win, but thank your opponents for the challenge and respect the courage they showed against you.
With my last words I want to pay tribute to Phillip once more. Phillip was a man who gave everything, every time he stepped on to the field of play. Being a ‘Pomm’ I didn’t always like him, as an Australian and the rivalry in and around cricket, but I respect the hard work and dedication he would have made to reach the panicle of his profession.
Next time when you walk off that field of play, make sure you have nothing to regret.