I used to play quite a lot of sport as a kid.
Unfortunately, I was too petulant and, well, childish to realise how important it was.
Crying and stomping my feet halted me from seeing the obvious health and wellbeing benefits that football, soccer etc. provide.
I have worked in Collie at the Mail for almost 12 months now.
Almost immediately, I was struck by the love and respect the people of Collie have for everything sport related.
As sports content flowed through our email accounts, I noticed the writers provided in-depth and thoughtful accounts of each weekend’s blood, sweat and tears.
Last year, The Collie Eagles Football Club league team, Collie Mongrels Rugby Club, Collie Power Soccer Club, and Men’s and Women’s Hockey clubs among others all made their grand finals.
This is certainly no easy feat, no matter how those games turned out.
My trip to the Shire of Collie Sport Awards further highlighted that bright, golden small-town pride.
I snapped photos and talked to many (now) familiar faces, gaining more of an idea of how valuable this form of entertainment is.
In the months following the event, interviewing a slew of sportspersons, coaches and volunteers (Jake Avins, Austin Kent, Kym Latham, Jo and Kevin Crowe etc.) brought a profound message home.
It proved that sport in the South West delivers the perfect balance of dedication and fun.
The town’s myriad of star speedway racers, cricketers, footballers, soccer players etc. succeeded thanks to hefty amounts of good, ol' fashioned brawn, brains and heart.
From screeching tyres at Gazzanats to winning serves at the tennis club, local sporting events deliver some truly unforgettable moments worth writing and talking about.
Collie’s sporting success rests on the local community rolling up their sleeves, helping one another, providing touches of charm and swaths of will power to get the job done.
The football seasons are set to kick off for 2017, and may indeed prove more rousing than the recent state and federal elections.
My time as a journalist has been not unlike your average season – filled with highs, lows, learning experiences and fist pumping moments...and I hope to keep rolling with the punches.