From the Watery Grave…
Many years ago there was a rowing team from a well known school that performed really badly at their inter school regatta. The score was so bad it was like 42- 2 or something close to it. This team was usually very good – they would train regularly and had a ‘proud lineage’ of old boys who were all devoted oarsmen.
So what happened? Well firstly, the captain was apparently appointed due to pressure from his parents on the school – very common occurrence in SL schools but this time it impacted the team. Because the captain hardly trained – and the most memorable time I watched him in a coxless pair, was where he & his bow nearly hammered into the pier during a practice race. Unheard of if you’re a good oarsmen – keeping a straight course is very important. So he didn’t train and so the team didn’t train much either. Leadership starts by leading with example. You don’t have to be the best – you just have to be disciplined and committed. This was bad leadership and no example.
I remember that travesty of a regatta. It was so memorable that the school concerned hired a new coach – another esteemed old boy – got a fitness coach – someone who was still actively rowing – and started training for the next year.
They restructured the team, the captain had left school by then, they came up with a plan for training and fitness. It was brutal – those of us who trained regularly could see the brutality of it. But they were committed because the pain of loss was too much to bear. Ego mixed with a certain despair is a great motivator. And so they trained and trained and trained. Their opponents also trained but there was no mad drive like this.
And so came the next year and this team wore t shirts that read on the back “From the watery grave…” and rise they did from that misery of a loss. They won that year. They were ecstatic of course and their dear old bruised pride was restored.
But it was a lesson for life of what a combination of interfering school politics, shitty leadership and no proper commitment can do.
Yes you know who you are. Not just the ones from the watery grave but everyone who has watched this country slowly crumble under the weight of corruption, political interference & instability. And so do you think, in SL, with this current situation, that you sitting and warming your butt at home is going to get us anywhere? Ask the boys from the watery grave, what it took to get to the winning podium – sweat, blood & tears. It took months of training and the result was not easily won either.
It’s gonna be the same for SL. No quick fixes. No hoping that someone else would do the job for you. Time to get cracking – either onto the streets or into politics. There’s no way this is going to improve with people passing the buck. Time to take her home…