Sep 21, 2015

'm partially hoarse from screaming at the TV over the weekend, it's a relief to be able to write about the magnificent Japanese team who beat the mighty South Africans in an incredibly exciting opening weekend of the World Cup Rugby.

As anyone who know me will testify, I am a huge rugby fan.  Not (just) because of the bulging muscles and outstanding athleticism but because of the values it represents.

Courage, integrity & sheer tenacity. Anyone who knows anything about rugby would have said the idea  of Japan beating South Africa was laughable. But they did and magnificently so because of their courage, integrity & tenacity.

The remarkable victory reminds me of a favourite story of mine about the legendary Cliff Young.  The 61 year old farmer became a champion long distance runner in a race that crossed a huge region of Australia wearing wellies, scruffy jeans and a straw hat.  His competitors, all highly trained and supported by leading Sports Scientists, had the best of everything.  Food, shoes, body conditioning.  The lot. All Cliff had was a sense of belief and purpose.  Unlike the other professionals he had no sophisticated strategy for his run; he simple slept when he was tired and ran when he was awake. Nothing else.  Simples.

He didn't even know there was prize money at stake so when, at the end of the gruelling 532 k race a cheque was given to him - as the winner by some way - he shared it with the other competitors because he said 'it was their job and I was just doing it for fun'.

Goes to show you what any of us can do if we focus on the job in hand and not the many obstacles in our way.