Opinion: forget disgraced cricketers, it’s time to put spotlight on Commonwealth Games athletes


Steph Kershaw and Kaitlin Nobbs. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d480858
Steph Kershaw and Kaitlin Nobbs. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d480858

IN eight days, West Australian athletes will do their country proud across 23 sports at the Commonwealth Games.

For the past two years, every single athlete has put in the hard yards, overcome injury and made sacrifices to achieve selection on the Australian team.

We want medals, gold ones, lots of them.

But more importantly, these athletes need to show the rest of the world that Australian athletes are not cheats.

Remember at school when one kids’ actions would lead to the whole class being punished?

That’s what the Australian cricket team has done for all athletes who wear the green and gold.

The rest of the world is judging Australian sport for the disgraceful actions of a few.

Pole vaulter Nina Kennedy. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d480858

The worst thing is that the ball tampering has marred the final weeks leading up to the games on the Gold Coast.

When the focus should be on our incredible athletes, it’s been diverted to one of the biggest cheating scandals in Aussie sport.

So let’s redirect that focus to our proud Australian athletes like pole vaulter and medal hopeful Nina Kennedy who turns 21 on day two of her first Commonwealth Games appearance.

Hockey player Stephanie Kershaw is another debutant.

She has overcome a knee injury, which kept her out of contention for the Rio Olympics, to compete on the Gold Coast.

There’s also our inspiring para-athletes like para-powerlifter Ben Wright who was born with spina bifida.

To all our athletes, you’re going in to these Commonwealth Games with the weight of the nation on your shoulders.

Show the rest of the world that Australia has the talent, determination and pride to win.

Show them that our disgraced cricketers far from set the bar of what is expected from our Australian athletes.

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