Games an inspiration

Bendigo sporting fans have plenty to look forward to

As a young fella I loved watching the Commonwealth Games.

I have memories of racing home from school to watch the 1990 Commonwealth Games from Auckland on the TV.

Hayley Lewis became a national hero  at those Games, winning five goal medals in the pool as a 16-year-old.

I remember feeling proud of Steve Moneghetti for running second in the marathon.

Five days out from the 2014 Commonwealth Games and I feel as though I'm in the minority.

So many sports fans seem to have a "who cares" approach to the Commonwealth Games.

Australia's domination of the Games in modern times has spoilt us.

We are accustomed to success and the individuals and/or teams who win gold are not lauded the way they were 20 years ago.

It seems we have become bored with success.

The Commonwealth Games are not just about gold medals.

For individuals, particularly in the pool and on the athletics track, the Games are the perfect tool for development.

Glasgow is not just about the gold medal tally

Aside from Sally Pearson and Bendigo's own Tim Driesen, I don't know too many others in Australia's track and field team.

That's part of the joy of watching the Commonwealth Games - you get your first look at our future stars.

In 1990 in Auckland a young Cathy Freeman made her debut for Australia as a relay runner. At the time who would have thought she would win an Olympic gold medal 10 years later?

Bamawm's Sharelle McMahon burst onto the international netball scene in 1998 by shooting the winning goal for Australia in the gold medal game against New Zealand.

She repeated the dose in Manchester four years later.

In Glasgow the netball will again be one of the highlights.

Wouldn't it be great if Bendigo's Caitlin Thwaites could follow in McMahon's footsteps and win gold over the Kiwis.

With Thwaites, shooter Geoff Grenfell and cycling star Glenn O'Shea geuine gold medal fancies, Bendigo sporting fans have plenty to look forward to.

Don't rule out Peta Mullens (pictured) and Driesen for medals, either.

While plenty of people will give the Games lip service, I'm looking forward to 11 days of great sport and, hopefully, some medals for Bendigo's finest.

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