18 Aug 2022

Opinion: 'Sport eh! – ‘You don't know what you've got till it's gone’ - Jerome O'Connell

Opinion: 'Sport eh! – ‘You don't know what you've got till it's gone’ - Jerome O'Connell

IT’S a long time since Joni Mitchell wrote Big Yellow Taxi and almost 25 years since it was rejuvenated when used on the hit US TV show, Friends.

The chorus came to mind this week: “That you don't know what you've got till it's gone”.

That’s certainly the case with sport.

Because as sport rightly disappears from the calendar for the foreseeable future, we will learn it’s value.

For many  of us, it dominates hours – be it at live action or television coverage. And what of the conversations it dominates - quite simply it can often be a break from the stresses of life. For some, sport can be stressful and this current break might put all that into perspective.

Limerick GAA have confirmed the postponement of all club hurling and football championship games in April – that’s at least four weekends wiped off the calendar.

While the inter-county teams are the flagships teams, the local GAA club lies at the heart of almost 70 communities across Limerick.

The clubs are now without games, without their weekly lotto and other regular fund-raising ventures.

But the response has been heartening and brings all back to basics – the GAA is about community.

A community that now needs to pull together, albeit via social distancing.

The social media accounts of club after club are no longer full of scoreline updates but rather offers of help to bring shopping, prescriptions etc to incapacitated members of their community.

There is no doubting we will all miss sport, but a gentle reminder of the community values of the GAA could be timely in an era when all within the sport is becoming so professional.

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