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The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review, June 1929

Playing For Outside Teams

page 38

Playing For Outside Teams

In the last issue of Spike, an article, headed "A 'Varsity 'Sportsman' who Plays for an Outside Team," was printed over an anonymous signature. Several of the statements, and in fact the whole general tone of the article, do not betray the sportsmanship which the anonymous writer extols.

As an undergraduate who has represented V.U.C. in two sports, and who has mixed freely with others who are well known in the athletic world, I ask the right of reply to the anonymous writer.

It should be the ambition of every student of V.U.C. to represent his college in some line. When a fresher joins the ranks of the undergraduates he should make this his goal at once.

This is the way in which I think every 'Varsity student should regard this question. So far. "Anonymous" and I are in accord.

Where we differ is in the way the former decrys certain individuals who play for outside clubs. He mentions the case of a man who plays for Institute. He has not bothered to approach this man to find his reasons for playing for an outside club. Probably, he realises in his heart that it is really none of his business after all. Instead, he talks a lot of drivel about a mythological enquiry board. Apart from the fact that the player in question chooses to play for another club from reasons best known to himself, the impression conveyed by the article is that, had the gentleman in question not gained his New Zealand cricket cap. my "anonymous" friend would not have bothered about him. Another gentleman, whom I know personally, plays for one club in one sport and represents 'Varsity in another. He joined the outside club before he came to V.U.C. and made friends there. Afterwards, when he became eligible to play for a 'Varsity team instead of his old club, he refused, as he did not want to keep someone out of the senior team who had worked his way from Junior D upwards. Surely, the anonymous writer of the article will admit that this object was a worthy one-Then, when it came to taking on a winter game, this man gladly joined up with 'Varsity.

Consider the following example:—A man who has gained New Zealand honours in a particular branch of sport (and who incidentally plays for 'Varsity in another) was asked why he did not play for 'Varsity. He pointed out that he had joined his club before he went to 'Varsity, and had worked his way to captain of its senior team. If. after going to 'Varsity, he turned his old club down and played for 'Varsity, he would either have to play in another position (and not as captain) in their seniors, or keep his old position in the junior team. His refusal to play for 'Varsity is surely quite justified?

I would recommend the writer of the article to bear in mind the fact that there may be quite good reasons existing in each case, why a man should play for an outside club. "Before rushing into print it is at least due to the page 39 men in question that the writer enquire into the circumstances fully, in every case. Of course, I wish it to be clearly understood that I am holding no brief for a man who has no weighty reason for refusing to "do his bit" for the College he attends. My main point is that where a man has such a reason, and especially where he represents 'Varsity in another branch of sport, he should not be the subject of well-meant, but wretchedly written, diatribes from the hand of a person who refuses to disclose his identity.—H.J.B.