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ďI donít think we pay enough attention to whatís important, to helping the needy. It doesn't happen enough. Thereís more I can do, I know, but those with the power could make greater sacrifices to make the world a better place to live in.Ē This quote came straight out of Kevin Sinfieldís mouth last year during an interview with the Telegraph's Oliver Brown, and could be the biggest indication yet what the Leeds Rhinos' captain will do once his career as a professional sportsman is over. Recently crowned best player in the world, Sir Kev, with the help of his team mates, has set the benchmark for every club to surpass in years to come. When the rugby boots are hung up for good I doubt the Rhinos captain will be a first team coach spurring the next generation of Super League athletes to emulate his success, and will quite happily leave this responsibility in the capable hands of someone else.
Thanks to his socialist views itís no surprise that the RFL chose Kevin Sinfield to write a foreword to introduce what the Rugby League Foundation is all about. In support of the foundation he wrote, 'It works right at the heart of Rugby League providing assistance to young people so that they can enjoy Rugby League and develop as people', which to me sums up Kevinís beliefs of what sport can do to improve lives. Sport has certainly transformed a lot of lives for the better on this planet and itís only natural that our best athletes want to spread this success to those who need it the most.
Life transformation is a big business these days and if done right it could have a positive, lasting effect on peopleís lives and the general public. On the good end you have MTVís ĎMadeí currently in its thirteenth season and then thereís Channel 4's ill-fated ĎThe Fairy Jobmotherí which won ĎBest International Factual Entertainment Formatí award because a small section of society find Hayley Taylorís patronising behavior towards the unemployed entertaining. Whilst one program goes from strength to strength, Mrs Taylorís shelf-life on our screens is thankfully over, apart from the odd token appearance now and again on the news.
A lot of businesses have sprung up around rugby league thanks to the ability and popularity of what players on the field can do. However the big effort rugby players put into their playing career more often than not counts for nothing other than good memories when itís all over due to the fact that the sport product off the field isnít as strong as the product on the field. Youíd think that the journalists and businessmen of rugby league would have come up with a way by now where all former professional players can stay in the sport with a career off the field as a thank you for being the lifeblood that make the sport pay for so many.
Away from his job as a rugby league player Kevin Sinfield is studying for a Masters degree in Sports Business at Leeds Metropolitan University, which could be very handy. As a romantic Idealist Iíd like to see the powers-that-be at the ĎBig Lottery Fundí pull out all the stops to ensure that Sir Kev can have a career improving the lives of the needy with rugby league because if he could have a fighting fund to fulfill his desire to make the world a better place to live in for the majority then Iím sure he would do a better job than most. Selfishly Iíd rather wait for all this to happen (if it ever happens) till Sinny retires from the game so that he can concentrate changing things for the good on the field whilst he can.
Over a decade ago Sir Clive Woodward urged Kevin Sinfield to switch over to rugby union prior to the 2003 world cup. Sinfield never did get to play a part in that famous Johnny Wilkinson inspired 20 -17 England victory over Australia but he could lead England RL to world cup glory a decade later. If only the likes of him were given the same chances on the world stage to combat poverty then we might have a planet that we can all be proud to call fair!
P.S. - The Damo Bit is now on twitter