Posts tagged ‘Premier Colin Barnett’

Monumental Decision

As someone who has gone through testicular cancer the Dylan Tombides Foundation is a great initiative to remind young healthy men that cancer is undiscerning and that your life can be snatched away from you ate any time.

Dylan unfortunately  lost his battle with testicular cancer in 2014 aged just 20. West Ham United the club which he was signed with in England’s Premier league paid him the biggest honour by retiring his shirt number, 38, an honour that previously had only been bestowed on former captain of the club and England when they won the World Cup, Bobby Moore.

Tombides joined West Ham aged 15 and was tipped for great things having represented Australia at U17 and U23 level, but sadly he never lived to fulfil his full potential.

There is talk that a statue may be erected in his memory outside NIB Stadium. Just over a week ago Liberal MP Ian Britza presented a letter, written by Socceroos’ Captain Mile Jedinak on behalf of the DT38 Foundation, to Premier Colin Barnett asking the Western Australian State Government to fund the estimated $100,000 cost of the monument.

This does raise a number of questions, if the state government agrees to fund such a monument, will they not be opening the floodgates for monuments to other young athletes whose lives end abruptly and prematurely? Western Australia has produced many remarkable individuals who have contributed greatly to society, yet few have such a memorial funded by the state.

The sum quoted is a great deal of money and one cannot help feeling that such a sum of money could be used far more effectively in order to alert young men from the ages of 16-35 to be aware of the signs of testicular cancer, because if caught early it is a very curable disease.

If a statue is to be erected, is NIB stadium the best place for it? Sure Dylan was a talented footballer so there is a link to NIB Stadium, home of Perth Glory, but Dylan never played for the A-league side, so will a statue have the resonance and desired effect at the this ground rather than say Stirling Lions where he played his junior football?

As this is a young man’s disease one cannot help thinking that the statue should be in a location where many young men would pass it on a daily basis, so that every day as they walk past the loss of one so young resonates. If it makes one man a week go for a check up, and saves more than one life a year it would be worth it. Tucked away at a stadium used roughly one day a fortnight, one wonders if it would have the same important impact.

According to the DT38 Foundation website the mission of the Foundation is “To provide testicular cancer support and awareness through education and opportunities.” The vision is to ‘Change the way testicular cancer is diagnosed.’ If that is truly the case one has to ask how much a statue – as lovely a gesture as it is – will help the Foundation achieve those goals.

As the website quite rightly states delay is deadly. Education is the key. So if we are to truly honour Dylan such decisions need to be thought through very carefully and some of the emotion needs to be taken out. What truly is the best way of making sure his life did not end in vain, what is the best way of ensuring that his legacy is that in passing he saves the lives of other young men?

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April 1, 2015 at 8:39 am 1 comment

Look and Learn and Avoid Similar Mistakes

Western Australia has often been ridiculed for its reactive view to progress, rather than being proactive. The protracted decision to erect a new multipurpose stadium, at a massive cost to tax payers, was just another example of how the state is slow to make decisions; and some would say then makes the wrong ones. There is still a large section of the sporting public, who have visited stadia around the globe, who are yet to be convinced that the multi-purpose approach is the right one, as this has been proven elsewhere that retractable seating to convert the stadium from an oval sport to a rectangular one is an option that rarely succeeds.

However there are lessons to be learned before the stadium is built, and from a stadium close by.

Singapore opened a state-of-the-art stadium earlier this year and was looking to make it a sporting hub for Asia. Initially most of the criticism was aimed at the sandy pitch and how poor the quality was for top flight sport. Teams playing at the venue unanimously stating that the surface must improve if they wish to regularly host top class football.

Yet now attention has turned on how the National Stadium’s commercial priorities have taken precedence over the stadium’s primary use. With an expected cost of AUD$1.5billion – including supporting infrastructure, – you can be sure that the Western Australian government will want a prompt return on that investment.

Tickets for the recent Japan v Brazil game hosted at the stadium were selling for SGD180 (Approx AUD$180) a price many ordinary Singaporeans could not afford. With the venue due to host the Suzuki Cup there are concerns that once again the prices will be prohibitive.

SportsHub Private Limited are the company managing the stadium, and they have received heavy criticism that they are more concerned with paying fans brining in food or drink than genuine security issues. Obviously the stadium vendors are an ideal way in which to recoup some of the investment in creating such a venue.

There is a familiar ring to the rhetoric in Australia, with Sports and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron saying, “Seat sizes are generous and each one will have a cup holder; fans will enjoy access to more than 70 food and beverage outlets; and those requiring higher levels of access – such as people in wheelchairs – will be able to use designated seating platforms across all seating tiers.The technology provisions include 4G Wi-Fi coverage across the stadium and precinct, two giant 240sqm video screens – some of the biggest in the country – and a further 1,000 screens throughout the stadium so fans never miss any of the action.”

Fears are already brewing that Singapore’s showpiece National Stadium is becoming a tourist attraction, and a venue only to be used by the wealthy, rather than becoming a venue packed with passionate local sports fans creating an atmosphere to be savoured. Could Perth’s sports fans face the same fears when the stadium opens in time for the 2018 AFL season?

Will Western Australia watch the mistakes being made in Singapore and ensure that they do not make the same mistake with their new stadium. Premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett has gone on record as saying “the focus remains on delivering a venue that puts ‘fans first.'” For all in Western Australia let us hope that this is the case and they keep an eye on what is happening in Singapore. If they don’t we will be saddled with a stadium that is for exclusive use only.

October 27, 2014 at 9:12 am Leave a comment


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