|From the Cape of Good Hope to Cleland: welcome to the Dalziel youth festival
Posted 25/4/18 @ 22:59 by Euan D (Posts: 70)
There are not many comparisons to be made between this small corner of deepest darkest Lanarkshire and the vast blue ocean off the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
There is one, however.
Of all the sharks in the sea, the Black Tip shark is the master of team work.
That's just as well. (Excuse the font issues throughout - endeavouring to sort)
The sharkâ€™s favourite snack is the anchovy. Despite the obvious contrasts in size and general ferocity, anchovy would take the mickey out of said Black Tip all day long.
With flashing twists, turns and lightening-like trickery, one-on-one it's a wee bit like a seagull trying to catch a wasp.
And that's where team work comes in.
Herds of around 200 Black Tips, in a formation from the ocean surface to the ocean floor, will lie in wait on migrating shoals of anchovies in these deep waters off The Cape.
As the dizzying swarms arrive, the Black Tips burl, circle, run angles, push, worry and herd their prey into a mass solid ball near the surface.
It takes complete teamwork. A gap in the Black Tip phalanx, a sleepy shark or one that's out of position, we be a sure escape route for anchovies.
When the time is just right, the sharks strike.
An unlikely analogy, I concede, but organising a youth festival, and playing rugby, for that matter, can be a wee bit like herding anchovies.
No matter how efficient the organiser, or accomplished the player, if the effort isn't coordinated, if people arenâ€™t playing together and to their strengths, if one or two are out of position or snoozing, the whole endeavour can descend into chaos.
To win, we need to work together . . . . .
Featuring a few canvas tents, makeshift BBQs and a handful of local teams, the first Dalziel Rugby youth Festival was initiated 1991 with that very sentiment.
28 years later and - thanks to team work - it's grown into one of the biggest and best youth sporting events in Scotland, attracting teams from across the UK and beyond.
Thatâ€™s all stemmed from one man's original vision â€“ which was to create an all-encompassing event that would help recruit and retain youngsters to the community of rugby.
Alan Calder knew that this is a game that gets boys and girls into the mind-set that anything is possible - with a team work.
Tragically, we lost Alan just over ten years ago, on Monday 14th January 2008 at the age of 58.
But a decade on and his legacy remains stronger than ever.
Here's to team work and the festival.
And hereâ€™s to Alan Calder.
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