Sport is a joy at any level

Peter FiorenzaGeraldton Guardian
Royals’ Paul Sorensen, right, puts a Rovers opponent under pressure.
Camera IconRoyals’ Paul Sorensen, right, puts a Rovers opponent under pressure. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography.

The recent $240 million pay cheque windfall that has come the way of Australia’s NBA star Ben Simmons is phenomenal.

Simmons’ five-year contract deal with the Philadelphia 76ers is somewhat unprecedented and suggests that the sky is the limit when it comes to professional sport.

In fact, today, when you consider the six degrees of separation scenario, a young fella from Geraldton achieving something akin to this is not out of the realms of possibility.

Case in point is Geraldton’s very own Alex Ducas, who this month will be taking up a basketball college scholarship in the United States.

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Ducas has grown up in the Mid West and has played basketball, football and other sports alongside local youngsters.

He has shown that you can, if you work at it, make dreams come true.

And the outstanding successes of Ashleigh Barty and Sam Kerr in many ways qualify this, but although these individuals provide for the aspirations of many, I believe sport provides us with so much more.

Realistically, not everyone is going to reach the great heights.

Let’s be honest, most will not but that doesn’t mean their achievements are any less.

Recently, I attended the Landmark Country Championships in the metropolitan area.

The championships have been part of the country football landscape for a very long time but have waned in the past 10 or so years as the pinnacle of Aussie Rules in regional WA.

You could say the development of sporting pathways and the general changes in lifestyle have had an impact.

Today, the event is really a shadow of what it was in the 1970s and 80s, yet for many it is still the highest level of the game they will play.

For some, this is still a goal of personal satisfaction.

One of these players was part of the GNFL squad.

Chapman Valley’s Paul Sorenson is a 32-year-old builder, husband and the father of three little boys.

He has played for Chapman Valley most of his life, from juniors right through, and has been a mainstay in the league side for many years.

Understandably, his performance for the GNFL was solid.

On the morning before Great Northern played in the B-grade final against Mortlock, I came across Soro, his wife and their little family having breakfast.

“Good luck mate,” I said, as I approached him.

“I’m pretty excited, Pete, I’ve never played in a final before,” he said.

And it was that moment that reminded me of the real place sport plays in most people’s lives.

You could say it brings out the best (and sometimes worst) in human beings but whether you play at the summit such as Ben Simmons or Ashley Barty, or for your local club or region, it continues to supply excitement and satisfaction.

And you would have to agree, we would be hard pressed to find a similar universal excitement and satisfaction anywhere else.

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