An Evening with Dr John Best, former Wallabies team doctor

I had a great opportunity tonight to hear Dr John Best give a talk to the men’s group from our church over dinner, on the topic of whether sport and Christianity can mix. He was the team doctor for the Australian Rugby Union team – the Wallabies – for six years, including their win in the 1999 World Cup.

I’m not a huge follower of rugby myself having been brought up following the rival code, but he has been involved in a lot of sports and had some intersting stories to tell, as well as some great insights into what it is like in the lives of professional althletes. It really was quite fascinating – it’s obviously a high pressure and sometimes difficult lifestyle, and it is easy to forget sometimes that these guys are just regular people, doing a job – albeit mostly in front of massive stadium crowds. I’d like to say I can relate (all those random strangers on the internet reading my code – oh, the pressure!), but it hardly compares.

I did get the chance to look at the medal they received for winning that world cup, which I thought was pretty cool – and most definitely the closest I’ll ever be to any sort of highly sought after reward for athletic acheivement 🙂

Aside from plenty of talking about what it was like in the Wallabies camp and various interesting questions about professional sports, the talk he gave about what Christianity is all about was for me timely and refreshing. He is a great speaker – entertaining, clear, with a simple yet thought-provoking message. Being able to relate it to sports and public personalities makes it a lot clearer. It certainly puts your own goals and aspirations in perspective with the examples given – these men that have reached the pinnacle of their field only to find that there is still a hole left to fill. To hear how others have come to make the same choice in different circumstances is always encouraging and helpful.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable night out.

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