Try the All Blacks lineout challenge - click on the image to view full size
The All Blacks were pitiful. And I gleaned that just from the edited highlights on the news.
Now everyone is calling for Graham Henry’s head to roll. Sorry to disappoint you but he’s just been signed up til after the next World Cup.
So, while reading the NZ Herald article on the beating that the All Blacks are suffering at the hands of the foreign press I couldn’t help but be drawn to this lovely online ad for Mastercard.
Mastercard ad gone - click on image for larger view
Featuring Richie McCaw the advertisement from Mastercard encourages us to “Try the All Blacks line-out challenge”. Slightly ironic perhaps, given that the All Blacks couldn’t win any lineouts.
I checked the same story tonight and the advertisement is gone – replaced with white space. Oh dear.
Update: seems I was premature and that Mastercard are standing behind the men in black – the add miraculously appeared. It’s still funny.
Without any fanfare, or it would seem, media interest SPARC have decided to discontinue the Mission On initiative.
The Mission On website received many column inches of bad press in the lead up to the 2008 election when John Key criticised the expenditure on the website. SPARC, due to the political nature of their funding were ‘prevented’ from defending the program. Afterall, there was a high probability that they would be cap in hand to a National government.
And so it came to pass.
Unless I am mistaken there was nothing written about the website being removed. There one day, gone the next. Many thousands of hours reduced to absolutely nothing. The government, while accusing SPARC of wasting money on this website, have performed a greater sin in removing it.
The 28,268 children (as at May 13, 2009) who regularly visited the site, and played the games that taught them about how to play outside and build vegetable gardens and eat properly are left with nothing except the promise of new sporting equipment. A rugby ball or basketball is useless unless there are people available to teach children how to use them – in our decile 10 school there is no-one. I’m guessing that the National Party initiative will be as ineffective as they claimed the Mission On website to be.
It’s a tragic waste of money.
Read my original post here.
And here’s the notification on the SPARC website – a wonderful understatement.
Disclosure: I worked at the agency (but not on this account) that brought the Mission On website to life. I know the many many hours of research and focus grouping that went into ensuring the website would be a success for the young people that interacted with it.
The Sunday Star Times reported on May 3 that John Key and the National Government are following through on overhauling the sporting sector. This includes cutting budgets at SPARC, the agency that gave us Push Play and Mission On.
The jury is out on Mission On and whether it has provided impetus to young people to do things other than sit in front of a television or computer screen. Ironically Mission On was based around a website, and so Key immediately dismissed it as being a waste of tax money. In fact, Key suggested they could provide sporting equipment to every primary school in the country for the money spent on the Mission On site. This may have been true but it takes teachers to teach, and giving kids soccer balls is less than half the solution. And what do the 28,268 kiwi kids who have signed up to Mission On do once the website is closed down. National would have them join the local rugby club.
The Push Play campaign has surely been successful in getting New Zealanders to think about making healthy choices. “Take the stairs instead of the lift”, “Exercise for 30 minutes every day”…all of these little homilies, that I remember, are as a result of the long term Push Play campaign.
It seems ludicrous to me that a government that will, and is, witnessing an increase in obesity and associated health problems is removing this sort of encouragement from our daily lives. They say they will concentrate on providing funding to sports clubs. This will only target some of New Zealand.
The effectiveness of campaigns like Push Play and Mission On are difficult to measure. But that doesn’t mean we should throw them out.
SPARC are now going to align their strategy with National’s objectives – concentrating on school sport, children’s sport, high performance development and identification of our next sporting heroes. Anyone not already a member of a sports club will undoubtedly miss out.
Jesse Ryder once again demonstrates his immaturity – it’s obvious that he has a severe drinking problem – he’s an alcoholic and needs to own up to it.
But, what’s more surprising is that NZ Cricket allow their players to even go out on the turps in between the games of a tight one-day schedule. It’s remarkable that professional sportsmen are allowed to bar-hop, in groups of three, a day or two before a big match. Rugby, cricket, football, league – they are all at fault.
It’d be hard to find an individual sportsperson who would allow themselves to binge a few days out from a race. I have a colleague at work who is a keen cyclist (amateur). She abstains from alcohol for months before any cycle race. She recognises the value in not drinking – she keeps her body free of crap and her mind clear. It’s obvious – you can’t be a good sportsman and drink – possible exceptions are darts and snooker.
It’s admirable that NZ Cricket are helping Ryder through his dependancy, but discipline such as being the waterboy at the next match is not going to do it. He needs to be dried out in a professional institution and have professional counselling.
Adam Thompson is an All Black.
It is alleged he assaulted his girlfriend.
The All Blacks are sponsored by Adidas.
This is a good thing.
Adam Thomson appears in the Hastings District Court.
He wears an Adidas hoodie.
This is not a good thing.
Bloody hell – what a bore watching John Key and Helen Clark talk about nothing.
But, how fantastic listening to the commentators afterwards discuss the debate. Jenni McManus in particular stood out. Here are a few choice quotes from her.
I think particularly after last Friday night with his redundancy package I don’t think there’s a single policy or principle that he wouldn’t trade to become Prime Minister.
On the Economy:
I think what we do need is change. We don’t need the safe pair of hands that Helen Clark is talking about – we need a change agent. Now I’m not sure that John Key is that change agent. Their policies are so similar in the only area that matters, which is the economy.
Well, we’re not getting any particularly (leadership). I mean, we’ve got a woman there haranguing everybody in sight and we’ve got a very timid leader of the National Party who’s afraid to open his trap – so I mean, you know – spot the difference.