Rural Australians without sports?

No sport sometimess mean lack of banter in the shearing shed

Opinion
Just like a good test match, shearing will wrap up a bit quicker than last year as the sheep numbers are down significantly, says Tim Flynn.

Just like a good test match, shearing will wrap up a bit quicker than last year as the sheep numbers are down significantly, says Tim Flynn.

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No footy tipping, no results from the weekend rounds . . .

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It's lunch on day three, Australia is doing its best to reduce the run rate (flatten the curve) in the first game of the series against COVID-19.

Unfortunately it's not day three of the latest test match, it is only day three of my family's annual shearing.

Just like a good test match, shearing will wrap up a bit quicker than last year as the sheep numbers are down significantly as like most of the state we are recovering from the driest times in living memory.

There is something different about the shearing shed this year, it's not the fact that there is less sheep, it's not even that there is social distancing measures in place. It is the fact that there is no sport. No sport means nothing to talk about!

Riverina AFL players

Riverina AFL players

No footy tipping, no results from the weekend, no banter about who's team is better than who's and surprisingly there isn't even any rugby league off-field scandals to talk about.

The only interesting thing I've heard today is when I was greeted first thing in the morning by the early bird, who has the latest COVID-19 updates from the 5am news but also the latest tally of the number of days since the pubs have been shut.

I like to think of this shearing shed as a microcosm of the rest of rural Australia.

Even if we could duck down to the local watering holes for a quiet drink or catch up over a coffee, what would we talk to each other about?

I mean there is no local sport, there is no national sport and there is no international sport. So where do people in regional areas turn to replace their beloved sport, a break from their daily grind?

For some I think it's an opportunity for personal development and for others it's a chance to slow down and take a break from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

On the development front, most extension service providers are now switching to online delivery and there has never been a better time to listen to a podcast, sit down and watch a webinar or read an informative article all from the comfort of your own home.

There is a wealth of information out there with all of it just a few clicks away.

From production-based knowledge to advice on business and banking there really is something for everyone out there at the moment.

My eye was most recently drawn to a webinar with a bit of a twist, it was a question-and-answer session with some young farmers telling warts-and-all stories of how they got started in their farming journey.

The "Online Startup Stories" will be hosted by Future Farmers Network on behalf of NSW DPI's Young Farmer Business Program in May.

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