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Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi: Why do we love sport so much?

Wickham, G. (2013) Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi: Why do we love sport so much? The Conversation, 18 June .

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Australians have a remarkable affection for their sport, an affection which has endured for well over 150 years. They love the sports they play but, even more so, they love the sports they watch – both in large numbers at the grounds or via broadcast. This enduring love extends to all codes, particularly Australian rules and rugby league.

What binds Australians so closely to their AFL and NRL teams? Why do these institutions remain so popular – cherished, even – when levels of participation and interest in our churches and our politics have slipped considerably over recent decades?

The main reason is that the two football codes continue to offer a sense of shared identity to their followers, one that churches and political parties do not. When Australians identify with a football club, they enjoy a strong feeling of belonging outside of their families and their places of work (which, after all, are not voluntary in the way football is voluntary).

Publication Type: Non-refereed Article
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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