Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Sport and the Christchurch Earthquakes

Sport and the Christchurch Earthquakes

by Connie Lawn
Dr. Holly Thorpe,
outside the New Zealand Embassy in Washington D.C. Photo
taken by Charles Sneiderman
Dr. Holly Thorpe, outside the New Zealand Embassy in Washington D.C.
Photo by Charles Sneiderman

There are few countries in the world more athletic than New Zealand. Kiwis love their sports, and revere their beautiful outdoors. When nature turns around and attacks them, it is especially heartbreaking. (Americans hit hard by hurricanes in the US understand this only too well!).

A smart and beautiful Kiwi, Dr. Holly Thorpe, gave a presentation at the NZ Embassy in Washington DC. She discussed the ways sports were disrupted by the earthquakes of February 2011, but sports ultimately helped many people recover their equilibrium. She conducted a series of interviews with Kiwis who lived in Christchurch before the quakes, during them, and after. Most say they will remain; others will move on. Dr. Thorpe showed slides of daring young Kiwis skateboarding over crevices in the road, and sometime falling into them! They also used piles of destroyed rubble for their sport. Surfers had to find new, less polluted beaches further away from their homes. Mountain and rock climbers, as well as skiers and snowboarders, had to find new locations. Athletes who had to curtail their action sports found they gained weight from eating and drinking too much. But ultimately they returned to their rigorous life styles, even if the locations changed.

Dr. Thorpe prepared her investigation for her Department of Sport and Leisure Studies at The University of Waikato. In the US, she has been a Fulbright Visiting Scholar, where she taught a course called "Sport and National Identity." She also directs a group called "Fuel Aotearoa -Empowering athletic girls and women through education."

There can be some inspiration in this study for young Americans who have lost so much in their natural disasters. NZ Ambassador Mike Moore also suggests some aspects of the study might be useful to many officials involved in recovery and rebuilding. Many lessons can be learned, but it was a hard way to learn them.

********

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The West’s Existential Crisis About What To Do With Putin, And The Islamic State

Say one thing for Russian President Vladimir Putin. At least he’s given NATO a purpose in life. Right now, that consists of being something that Barack Obama and David Cameron can hide behind, point at Putin, and say : “Go get him, tiger.” Just what NATO is supposed to do about Putin’s armed advance into eastern Ukraine is less than clear. But there is a lot of “steely determination” around in high places. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The US Foreign Policy Somersaults Over Syria And Iran

Amidst the day-to-day reports about the military advances of the Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, one remarkable aspect of this war has barely been mentioned. More>>

ALSO:

Daphne Lawless: The Whale Oil Leaks: Anti-Politics From Above

As we go to press, the election campaign has been turned upside down by a new book by investigative journalist Nicky Hager. Dirty Politics is based mainly on a leak of 2 gigabytes of emails and Facebook messages from “Whale Oil”, the vicious ... More>>

ALSO:

Branko Marcetic: When John Key Was Concerned About Dirty Politics

If Nicky Hager needs some support in the midst of a whirlwind of government criticism for his allegations of “dirty tricks” by the National Party, he may find one unlikely ally – John Key, six years ago. More>>

Jim Miles: Israeli War Crimes In Gaza

Israel reveals its true colours and true aspirations every time it attacks Gaza (or any other self-perceived enemy) as being the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, even to the degree - as the references above indicate - to the act of genocide. More>>

David Swanson: Top 9 Reasons To Stop Bombing Iraq

1. It's not a rescue mission. The U.S. personnel could be evacuated without the 500-pound bombs. The persecuted minorities could be supplied, moved, or their enemy dissuaded, or all three, without the 500-pound bombs or the hundreds of 'advisors' (trained ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Comedian’s Death: Robin Williams And The Virtues Of Suicide

The Grim Reaper never runs out of converts. Put another way, death never gets his full due. Comedians do not figure well in this – they are particularly attractive targets in the business of death. More>>

Suzan Mazur: "Oomph" & Origin Of Life At Hydrothermal Vents

The notion that life originated in hydrothermal vents was for a long time a sleepy area of scientific inquiry because the vents first found, known as 'black smokers,' were way too hot and acidic. But in 1989, Michael Russell, a British geochemist who ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news