Author Archive | Paul Smith

Kiwis coming to play or to ……?

So here’s the question I put to the 2005 twin spear tackling duo, Tana Umaga and Kevin Mealamu, and to the infamous 1978 diver,  former World Rugby Cup ambassador, Andy Haden (he dived out of a line-out to win a penalty which beat Wales 13-12 and still has ‘no regrets’),  – would you want your child […]

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Saracen Applauds Leinster after Heineken Cup clash

England captain, Steve Borthwick, and his band of defeated Saracens walked dejectedly around Wembley Stadium applauding their 45,000 fans last Saturday. When they came to Leinster’s 1500 fans, Borthwick looked up and applauded them too. A nice moment, from a nice club. Their fans wear those funny Fez hats and their mascot rode a chariot […]

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India and Pakistan Play For Peace

Here is a truly beautiful sportsmanship story. When sport transcends the problems which people, and even whole nations, sometimes have. Yesterday India and Pakistan came together and played together in the Men’s Doubles Final in the US Open. They played to win, and even more importantly, in their own words, they played for peace. India’s […]

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A Virtual Tour of the Newest Stadium in the Oldest Venue

The oldest international rugby venue in the world, Lansdowne Road, and its brand new 51,700 all-seater Aviva Stadium opened its doors to the world on Saturday 31 July 2010. Here is my virtual tour as I sat in awe of this wonderful new stadium. One wonders what historic moments in rugby and football (soccer) will […]

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We knew we were part of the universe of footballers (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1 where a wonderful BBC World Cup short documentary revealed why football is so important in South Africa). As the Robben Island prisoners’ football league, the Makana Football Association, blossomed, the imprisoned players realised how important football was to them (for reasons that will surprise you). The MFA is said to have […]

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We knew we were part of the universe of footballers (part 1)

The World Cup is up and running. Teams are swapping shirts, shaking hands and some nice celebrations (so far the South African’s opening goal celebration is top of the ‘joyous goal scoring celebrations chart’). So far so good. Just a few divers who were publicly shamed in front of worldwide tv audiences as the referees […]

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