Perfect role model right on our doorstep

Do you remember those kids at school who just seemed to excel at any sport they played?

They seemed capable of sailing effortlessly through and being top of the class, winning every event or race without having to get out of second gear for most of the time. It was always a frustration to those who weren’t that way inclined. 

Then there were the ones who had varying levels of natural talent, who just worked tirelessly and relentlessly, practiced constantly and always gave 100 per cent even when faced with incredibly adversity. No matter the scoreline, they just kept on plugging away.

As a casual observer, one would always hope that most people would fall into the second category. They are the ones who wouldn’t take success for granted and would become excellent role models for our children. They also tend to be better human beings as well.

Overnight, Australian tennis ‘star’ Nick Kyrgios again showcased belligerence, a raging ego and a fair dose of petulance on the world stage.

The world number-14 bowed out in straight sets to German qualifier Mischa Zverev 6-3 6-1 at the Shanghai Masters in what many onlookers labelled as a disgraceful performance.

Watching highlights of what transpired during the closing sets, it’s difficult to argue with that assessment. He blamed mental and physical fatigue for what transpired. But his claims after that match that he didn’t owe fans ‘anything’ was nothing short of disgraceful. Someone should remind the 21-year-old that without those fans, there would be no world tennis tour and he would be out of a job.

To contrast, compare Kyrgios with our own home-grown former world champion boxer Daniel Geale. The 35-year-old epitomises everything that a sporting superstar should be – humble, gracious, generous, kind, well-spoken, impeccably behaved and an all-round genuinely nice guy who places a strong emphasis on family.

Sadly, Geale doesn’t receive the same level of publicity Nick Kyrgios receives. Perhaps that’s just the way a family man like Daniel would prefer it. If so, then it may be a blessing in disguise.

However, when it comes time for our young sporting stars of the future to pick someone they would like to model their life after, Geale would be the perfect choice any day of the week.