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  • Mark Parker

My Relationship with "SPORT" as a "Child" into "Adulthood"

I went through various stages of sport as a child. Fishing, Hunting & Martial Arts were arguably my first sports. However, I played Soccer for a couple of seasons during my early child hood in Whyalla. I do not recall why we stopped as I had a keen interest though never particularly good & "Soccer" had a strong presence in Whyalla. Finances were probably the most likely consideration that I can think of.


I also enjoyed Tennis for a brief period. Unfortunately, one day when Durc & I had been left to play at the courts a couple of teenage girls (about double our age) started bullying & basically standing over us hogging the courts rather than sharing them. I can't remember exactly what happened. However, the conflict resulted in me swinging my racket at one of the girls just as Dad drove in the carpark facing the courts. I remember the injustice as Dad was so embarrassed by the incident that he refused to listen to what had lead up to "the incident" & refused to allow us to go back. Mum believed us that the incident was provoked & did her best fighting to persuade Dad to allow us to go back. However, he wouldn't budge on the matter & my Tennis career was over almost as quickly as it began with the only evidence remaining being this photo that made the local newspaper. Haha. Despite getting my name wrong from what I recall I was so nervous knowing they were taking photo's for the paper that I'm unsure I actually even hit the ball making their description kinda clever & kind in the sense of being vaguely true though open to interpretation.

Photo Credit: Unknown Local Newspaper [Note: this is a scanned copy of a photocopy taken by my mother over 30years ago of a newspaper article. Unfortunately it was unable to fit the entire page on the machine. Therefore, I am unsure who the young man pictured directly below me is. However, although the picture does not include his body or context (other than being the sports section) I felt that it would be disrespectful to crop the picture & edit out his image. As I am sure I'll offend someone I'll be quite frank that I am not interested in the opinion of most people on this matter. If the man would like his photo removed I respect his wishes & if he has since passed away I will respect any wishes of his family. Beyond that I personally don't see it as anyone else's business]


I was interested in martial arts such as Thaikwondo, Karate & Judo which were disciplines that I believe all contributed positively to my personal development in a variety of ways. In this sense I actually believe martial arts should be a component of all children's curriculums. The wold has around 7.8 billion people on it, many of which are cunts. Martial Arts are not only beneficial skills for self defence but also great disciplines in learning not to be a cunt.


My parents also considered swimming was also considered an essential life skill as 71% of the worlds & we were forced to undertake swimming lessons from an early age. From what I recall I experienced mixed feelings throughout the learning process. However, it was overall positive & there were certain points throughout my childhood that I became an enthusiastic aspiring swimmer. I recall being extremely excited to represent Long Street Primary School as part of an open age Whyalla City Triathlon that I'm unsure who organised. Obviously being a child competing against adults I never stood a chance of winning & cannot recall where I came amongst the various divisions.

I was also manipulated by a teacher or the Principal into representing Long Street Primary School in Busy Rules Football which was against my will & possibly as some part of my punishment. I never liked "football". There are probably many reasons for this. However, amongst these are associating the game with unhealthy levels of ego & toxic superficially over competitive value systems.


I later trained boxing in the Riverland though I only experienced & won one exhibition bout at the Renmark Show over the short period I lived there.


Beyond that, my experience with sport swayed more towards less formal extreme activities throughout my youth & into adulthood. All the typical stuff cars, bikes, jumping off bridges, fishing dangerous places, ya know anything to get the adrenalin going.


Some of the larrikin in me has remained throughout my various attempts of recovery. Though, I have developed more of a fear of heights as I've aged, I now mainly dance, am back riding motorcycles, enjoy fishing & am still yet to learn to surf which my friend Ben was teaching me when he passed away & I persevere with though without guidance & life forever throwing obstacles in my way to slow me down.

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