Ellie Cole, Cal Bruton & Harry - Play the Aussie Way

This episode of our podcast On Side talks to Play the Aussie Way campaign ambassadors Ellie Cole, Cal Bruton and Harry about the culture shift they hope to lead.

Playing the Aussie Way

While 'Playing the Aussie Way' means something slightly different to Australia’s most decorated female Paralympian Ellie Cole, NBL legend Cal Bruton and young soccer player Harry, there's common themes – respect, inclusion, fun and trying your best.



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    Ellie Cole: Playing the Aussie Way just means an equal chance for everybody. There certainly are barriers, not just for people with disabilities, but really anyone from an under-represented group.

    Harry: I've started to prioritise enjoyment over winning. Making sure everyone, refs, opposition, teammates, coaches, all enjoy the game as much as you do.

    Cal Bruton: My belief is that you pack your prize suitcase. Wherever you go, be present have respect. It's very much a multicultural sport. You meet people from all walks of life, all bringing different things to the table. I do a lot of work in the Indigenous space; I've travelled to every single state and territory in this country. I'll make sure I go see the elders and connect with them. Don't take on the bullying. Don't take on the racism. Playing the Aussie Way is just being fair.



    Welcome to On Side, the official podcast of Sport Integrity Australia. Our mission is to protect the integrity of sport and the health and welfare of those who participate in Australian sport. 

    Tim Gavel: Hello and welcome to On Side, I'm Tim Gavel. Our Play the Aussie Way campaign celebrates all that we value about our sporting culture and underpins the crucial importance of protecting sport's integrity. Whether you're a sporting participant, parent, volunteer, coach, administrator, support person, official or fan there is a central theme, playing in an environment that's safe, fair and inclusive, it also means calling things out when you know they're wrong. 

    On this episode of On Side, we talked to campaign ambassadors Cal Bruton, Ellie Cole, and young soccer player Harry about what it means to them to Play the Aussie Way and the culture shift they hope to lead.



    Tim Gavel: Our first guest is champion swimmer Ellie Cole. Well, Ellie is Australia's most decorated female Paralympian. She retired from competition after the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and an incredible 17 Paralympic medals. 

    A member of Sport Integrity Australia's Athlete Advisory Group, last month she was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia Award in the Australia Day honours for her significant service to sport as an advocate for diversity and inclusion of Australians with a disability. 

    Ellie, welcome to On Side. I guess the first question is what does Play the Aussie Way mean to you?

    Ellie Cole: Well, I've been playing in sport for a very long time. I've been retired now, but I was on the Australian swimming team for 17 years, and I suppose upon reflection at the end of my career I was very lucky that all of my competitors played in the Aussie Way I guess you could say, and what that means to me was that they were playing fairly and I suppose the way that my career evolved was I was a Paralympic swimmer and faced a fair amount of discrimination I suppose early on in my career, but was given plenty of opportunities through sport and ultimately when I reflect on my career, everybody deserves to play sport regardless of their background or whatever their disability or level of disability or level of impairment is. I think playing the Aussie Way just means an equal chance for everybody.

    Tim Gavel: Just on the discrimination factor being a Paralympian, can you describe what it was like for you and how you overcame it?

    Ellie Cole: Sure. Firstly, when I began in my career at the age of nine years old, not many people can say they began their career at nine, but if I look back to when I started competitive swimming, there wasn't really any sort of performance pathway for me to follow. I had to follow the same pathway as all of my able-bodied squad mates and that was really challenging because as someone who was a leg amputee, I did struggle in some areas of swimming like kick, obviously breaststroke was quite challenging for me, and I suppose following that same performance pathway into elite swimming was a bit more tricky.

    Thankfully now in 2024 there are pathway options for young athletes who have disability, and that's managed based on whatever their impairment is and what support they may need to be able to reach that elite level. 

    So that was one of the challenges that I faced, I suppose another challenge which was quite considerable was certainly the financial challenges in regards to funding and it's still, I suppose, not as equal as we would like it to be, but we're making huge steps forward every single year for pay parity. 

    In Tokyo at those games, it was the very first time that Paralympians were afforded medal bonuses, which was wonderful to see, and something that hopefully we'll see continue over the next, until the end of time, really. But yeah, I suppose the pathways and financial similarities weren't quite where we would want it to be.

    Tim Gavel: Also, the language around athletes with a disability has changed over the years too, hasn't it? It's no longer derogatory, it's very encouraging and it's reflective on your ability rather than how it used to be.

    Ellie Cole: It really is. And you make a very good point about the language around disability. I suppose, back in the 1990s when I began swimming people were uncomfortable with disability and people were uncomfortable talking about disability. They weren't sure how to navigate that conversation. 

    We're really fortunate to have had the Paralympic platform and the Paralympic movement, where every four years people learn more and more about disability and what it means to live in Australia or live in the world as someone with a disability. 

    I remember making my very first National team when I was young, I went off to the national championships with my squad mates and I remember the media reporting that my squad mates were all racing for gold, and my headline was that I was going to 'make a splash' at the national championships and I wasn't going there to make a splash, I was going there to win, just like my able-bodied counterparts. 

    It's wonderful in our current day and age where the language around disability and particularly when it comes to being an athlete, is all about empowerment, it's all about the incredible athletic feats that the athletes with disabilities are able to achieve just like our Olympians, and people are a lot more comfortable talking about disability too. 

    So, it's come a long way, and it really does warm my heart to know that the Paralympic platform has played a huge part in that.

    Tim Gavel: Yes, I was just gonna ask you about that. You listen to speeches after races from Kurt Fearnley, tennis matches after Dillon Alcott, Luis Savage when she was competing and yourself, and you think to yourself 'This is so good for the education of the broader community, not just for people watching sport', and sport in the way that you do it can be used as a platform to address things and to make people more aware of people with a disability.

    Ellie Cole: It really is the biggest platform I think that we have in Australia, and I don't think people are aware of just how much of an influence sport has in shaping what our culture is in Australia. And a big part of that I think is owed to our school system because every four years our school system focuses quite heavily on the Olympics and Paralympics. 

    When you're an athlete, you get so much fan mail from schools who are watching, who pick their athletes that they want to follow and I've seen it over the four Games that I've competed, even the language around children and how they're depicting athletes with a disability, I remember around the Rio and Tokyo Games I was receiving fan mail from young kids who were drawing stick figures of athletes that were in wheelchairs or athletes that were amputees and they were on top of gold medal podiums, and sometimes I would draw me with one arm which is close enough to missing a leg, but it really makes you sit back and realise that this is an entire generation of kids who are coming through that can see and correlate the word disability with being a champion at the same time. 

    And that exposure that they're receiving and watching these athletes on television and seeing how they're being celebrated rather than I suppose, sympathised over being different, it really does speak volumes into how we approach the conversations around diversity, how we approach the conversations around differences and as well as self-acceptance. 

    I think it's really important for these kids and every other Australian to see athletes who are competing who have been through really tough times like all Australians do, but who have really accepted and embraced every single part of who they are and used that to become incredible champions in their sports and I think that, you can't convey that message like you can in any other industry so it's pretty amazing.

    Tim Gavel: Yes, every Paralympian has an amazing back story, don't they? And that resonates with the Australian sporting community and people watching sport.

    Ellie Cole: Yeah, they really do. And I suppose that's one thing that I didn't appreciate as much as I should have when I first began my swimming career. I made my first Paralympic team when I was just 16 years old and I was so wide eyed and I just wanted to win a gold medal, I didn't really sit back and think about the people who are sitting around me on the Australian team and all of the other countries, I suppose the hardships and struggles and moments in their life that have made them stand at a fork in a road and decide to go down one way or the other. 

    It really hit me at probably the Tokyo closing ceremony when I was wrapping up my entire 17 year Paralympic career and I was looking at all of the athletes around me thinking that every single person that I was surrounded by has chosen to be the best version of themselves despite what has happened to them, And yeah, it took me a really long time to realise just how powerful that was. 

    So, I look back at my career while it was very hard at times, very grateful to have had the opportunity and I think that's exactly what Play the Aussie Way is about. It's about everyone having access to an opportunity like what I had, whether they make it to an elite level, whether they win a gold medal or not, it's just to be able to feel what I felt and you can feel that in any level of sport, whether you're at grassroots, whether you're just beginning or whether you're at the elite level it really is about bringing an entire world together, not just a community but an entire world in a very impressive way.

    Tim Gavel: You mentioned there what it's like now compared to when you started. Do you think you would be a different athlete had you started now given the environment is far more accepting, there seems to be far more resources given to Paralympic athletes and the language has changed? Would you be a different person, different athlete now if you started now rather than when you started back in the 90s?

    Ellie Cole: That's a very good question. That's actually something that I haven't really considered before. There are, as you mentioned, a lot more resources and as I mentioned as well, pathways available to young para-athletes. 

    I think the support of course would have been wonderful when I was younger, but I really had to learn from a very young age to make magic happen from almost nothing, and I think that really shaped a big part of who I was when I was quite young and I carried those parts of me through my whole sporting career and that's not to say that, athletes these days are given everything wrapped up into a nice little package. 

    Every single athlete has to work incredibly hard to be able to reach the top, but there was something about growing up when I did with a disability and I was always wanting to prove people wrong about what their interpretation of me was, that I felt like my whole career I had something to prove, not just for myself, for everyone with a disability, and that was really a huge driving force behind what I why I did what I did. 

    And so, I think I may not have actually pushed my way to the very top if I actually was given all of those resources, which is, I think, certainly an interesting way of looking at things. And so yeah, I think it certainly would have been very different, but I suppose you never know the answer to that. 

    Tim Gavel: Yes. And in the current day, there is still discrimination, isn't there? There's still barriers to be overcome by people with a disability. How do you see things improving? What needs to be done to improve things for athletes with a disability?

    Ellie Cole: Yeah, there certainly are barriers, not just for people with disabilities but really anyone from an underrepresented group. And I suppose I really saw that when I retired from sport actually because I've been involved in high performance sport for a very long time, I was very fortunate to be an athlete who was quite celebrated, I had really great sponsors when I was an athlete, I had really good support from Swimming Australia and I suppose I was caught up in this naive little bubble where I thought that everything was so great and everything had been fixed from when I was younger what it meant to be an athlete with a disability. 

    And it kind of wasn't until I left and took a real step back from my career and saw that people with disabilities, not just in sport but every single part of our communities really do struggle and I think a big part of that is because many of us don't ever really stop and question our own way of thinking or how we, yeah, think about people who are part of an under-represented group. 

    What their lives are like, what challenges they have and that's because we're all so busy and kind of caught up in our own lives, but I think what needs to change is that we do need to challenge our own way of thinking. We do need to think, why are people generally leaning towards watching the men's sport? 

    Obviously, we've seen that change with the FIFA Women's World Cup in a huge way and we are seeing that also change with Paralympic sport, but I think we really need to, if we want to be more diverse, we really need to be more diverse in the way we each think individually and that's something that we can all make a change with as well. 

    It's about being curious, it's about going out and finding things that are different and learning about these different groups as well and just staying curious because we kind of lose that as we get older, we're all curious as kids we ask that questions, but I don't know, then we kind of fall into our ways and our own way of thinking and don't really ask those questions anymore.

    Tim Gavel: Which is why Play the Aussie Way Campaign is so important just to get that message out there that there are other people out there playing sport from different cultures, different backgrounds, different abilities, so that acceptance is really important.

    Ellie Cole: Absolutely, yeah and I think that's one thing that Australia does quite well, and I think that's why the tagline Play the Aussie Way is such a great tagline because we are seeing now in particular, so many different cultures who are participating as well. If you look at the Australian Swim Team, we're very dominantly Caucasian Australians and we do want to see that change, but we gotta look at what opportunities are available to people from other cultures.

    What are our understanding of other people's cultures? There are some sensitivities that we have to work through and it's really, really important that we make sport accessible to every single person and sometimes that can be really, really challenging but it's about asking questions and being open to changing the way that we think and Playing the Aussie Way is a really great campaign to highlight the needs that all of Australians have when it comes to accessing sport and as well as starting the conversation about what challenges are out there too.

    Tim Gavel: You're a great spokesperson for integrity in sport amongst other things and safe in sport and a safe environment for sport. What are you doing these days after retiring? Have you got plenty to do?

    Ellie Cole: Yes, I do. I became a mum 3 weeks ago, which has been amazing and his name's, I've got a son, his name's Felix and certainly already thinking about what sport he's gonna be playing.

    Tim Gavel: Swimming.

    Ellie Cole: I've got a really great football club down the road from me, but I also now work in the media which is great because heading over to the Olympics in Paris and then I'm hosting the Paralympic Games from Sydney. 

    But I'm so excited to be able to tell the stories about Olympians and Paralympians in Paris this year because one of the greatest things about being a Paralympian is, as I mentioned, learning all of the stories of the athletes and how just amazing they are as people before athletes and I'm really fortunate to work in the media now to be able to share those stories.

    Tim Gavel: Ellie, congratulations. Thanks very much for joining us on On Side and well done and you've got a great career ahead of you. Thank you very much for that. Bye, bye.

    Ellie Cole: Thank you. Bye.



    Tim Gavel: Our next guests are NBL legend and Hall of Fame inductee Cal Bruton, and sport enthusiast Harry. Well Cal is an NBL Championship winning player and coach, well Harry, well on a weekend you can find Harry on local sporting fields playing local soccer, AFL and OzTag to name a few. Welcome to you both to On Side. So, Harry, tell us about yourself. What sport do you play and what do you like about sport? 

    Harry: I play soccer football and I've been playing for, I think this is my tenth year this year, so I've been playing for a while and I think I've slowly started getting the motivation back to play again, which has really been an important factor in my enjoyment of the game as well. So, I've started to prioritise enjoyment over winning and I think that's been a really big factor in how much I want to play the game. 

    Tim Gavel: So, do you feel as though you've got the love back again?

    Harry: Yes. Yeah. So, I'm really excited for the season. I don't really care where I play or how well the team does it's always just getting to play and getting to play with my friends that's good.

    Tim Gavel: Sort of. I guess it is. The ethos, isn't it? Of Play the Aussie Way. It's not just about winning, it's about enjoyment, it's about health, it's about playing with your mates.

    Harry: Yeah.

    Tim Gavel: Yeah. And what do your mates think about your new approach?

    Harry: I think last year we didn't have a great season, so a few of my teammates were upset when we lost, but that was the first year I tried just playing for fun and I really felt more connected to the sport and felt more like I wanted to play each week and like I wanted to go to training. So, I think that's the better way to approach the game.

    Tim Gavel: What about in the future? Can you see this remaining as your mantra?

    Harry: Yeah, I think so. I think it'll also just be able to help me play better and go further into the future. If I want to play, I'm more willing to train, I'm more willing to practice, which should help me hopefully make me get better.

    Tim Gavel: And what does Play the Aussie Way mean to you?

    Harry: I said it in the clip, Play the Aussie Way to me is playing for fun and not playing as if you need to win every game. It's playing to make sure that you get the enjoyment out of it and making sure everyone refs, opposition, teammates, coaches all enjoy the game as much as you do.

    Tim Gavel: How old are you, Harry? Harry: I'm 16. Tim: Gee, I would imagine that your approach is a little different than a lot of other players your age.

    Harry: Yeah, I think so. And you notice it whilst playing, how competitive people are, especially around my age, where people start going into the next level.

    Tim Gavel: They don't enjoy it as much, do they?

    Harry: I don't think so, no. So that's why I've stepped back from the competitiveness because you can see it on other people while playing. They're really competitive and it doesn't look like they enjoy the sport as much.

    Tim Gavel: Yes, and they take losses pretty hard, don't they?

    Harry: Yeah.

    Tim Gavel: Yeah. Also with us is Carl Bruton. Cal, you've been a long-time coach in Australia, player, coach. Listening to Harry talk there, I mean you were very competitive as a player and a coach having watched you over the years.

    Cal Bruton: Most definitely. And yeah, I admire Harry, he's a new next generation coming through like he's got the confidence that's so important. But yeah, coming from New York City, Brooklyn growing up without my dad who was killed when I was young, seven years of age. I had to take on the responsibility of being a young adult looking after two younger sisters and my mom who struggled through that whole transition. So, my thing was to not get in trouble and use sport as the vehicle to better things.

    Tim Gavel: And it worked out pretty well for you too, didn't it?

    Cal Bruton: Well, it did. I had some good mentors that's the main thing. I came through with a baseball coach who was a Caucasian man, a football coach, Gridiron as you know it, was my black father, 'surrogate dad' I should say and also some older mates on my basketball team which was the sport that I obviously continued with. 

    So, I played all three sports, that kept me on the straight narrow because the ones that didn't was off in the wrong tracks, with drugs and crime and prison and when I seen that sort of thing happening to them, I thought 'Nah, I can't, can't go that route', so I focused on being an athlete.

    Tim Gavel: Yes. And so, sport was your escape almost, wasn't it?

    Cal Bruton: Without a doubt. I was lucky and fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend Wichita State University where I was able to play baseball and basketball, but unfortunately the football team was killed in a plane crash, and they dropped the baseball program so I couldn't play, and the focus was on my basketball. 

    And then I started out with the freshman team and within one week it was a snowstorm, the freshman team were gonna play, couldn't show up, and they gave me a chance to play on the varsity and I came out and top scored the game and never looked back. That was the vehicle to take me to Brazil, represent the USA back in 1973, I was compared to Pelé, which is, it shouldn't have been that case but I was called the Pelé of US basketball, and then I basically graduated with a degree in communications and I wanted to pursue a professional career but missed out on a couple occasions and ended up here.

    Tim Gavel: Did you encounter, given that we are talking about an inclusive, sporting landscape here, did you encounter much discrimination, racism? Were there barriers to you coming through?

    Cal Bruton: Oh, without a doubt. I've been, to this day, still face it. And for me personally it's always a challenge. They way I look at it's like my SPIMES. I set up an acronym, I say it's just as important as your spine and your back. If you basically crack your spine then you know you're in a wheelchair for the rest of your life, well my SPIME's the same thing, it's a social courage. It's a physical courage. It's an intellectual courage. It's moral courage emotional courage and the spiritual courage. 

    And in this those phases, I try to live my life, to be the best possible person I can be and be a mentor and a leader for all young disadvantaged youth, that are looking for an opportunity to be on the right track and grow. And sport is just a tremendous vehicle for that.

    Tim Gavel: How do you overcome racism though? Because it can affect you, can't it? You can go one of two ways; you can get angry about it, or you can use it as a motivator.

    Cal Bruton: I think it's important to be angry, but the way you deliver that anger is the other thing. I think you have to be smart how you go about it. You have to have that spiritual connection on trying to achieve something that's pretty much gonna set the tone of how you approach your life. 

    My belief is that you pack your pride suitcase. Wherever you go, be present, have respect for yourself, your family have that intellectual quality the way you're trying to learn, unlearn, relearn all those things. And I think the determination, the dedication, the discipline, the desire to be successful and have some fun with it and set your goals like he mentioned, details to how you're gonna achieve it. 

    Already Harry, said; 'Yo, I got my goals. Like I'm checking them off'. And I think when you got the pride suitcase and you take it wherever you go, you will be successful because you're going to present yourself in the right light.

    Tim Gavel: How do you feel about that, Harry? You've got your goals, and you've got them all ticked off as you go?

    Harry: Yeah, I think that's a really important way to look at the future in general, setting out goals and making sure each day, even if it's a small goal, you always tick something off or at least get closer to ticking something off. 

    It's a good way to always make sure you're looking into the future and looking for the next thing, your next goal or next action or next thing you're trying to achieve, and I think that's always going to be a big way to look into the future at least for me, and I think it could be really helpful for other people my age. 

    Whether they're trying to get into a representative sport or just trying to see where they're going into college or university or anywhere in life, making sure you've got goals and making sure you're trying to achieve them.

    Tim Gavel: Cal, we have talked about, obviously diversity, inclusion, racism etcetera but sport can be a great unifier, can't it? And it's just so important that people get out there and play together in that nature.

    Cal Bruton: 100%. Tim as you know we've been around the basketball for a while, it's very much a multicultural sport. You meet people from all walks of life, all bringing different things to the table and when you connect with those people, you learn about their cultures. I know I do a lot of work in the Indigenous space, travelled to every single state and territory in this country. I make sure I go see the elders and connect with them, and I think when you do that you got respect and you earn respect and when you can do that, you connect with everything around you.

    So that's the determination, as I mentioned to be present. I think also, you gotta have your swag in your bag, Harry got swag. You can see that he's got a skillset because that's why he's playing at a level. The dude already showed me he got work ethic. He's trying to be the best he can be in every phase of it. And I think the A, Harry and I package that too, your attitude is your altitude. How high do you wanna rise? You want to be the best you can be. 

    That's all you can ask, and represent your family, and the last thing is, as he mentioned, the goals. Reset, little goals, mid goals, long term goals, put those on your radar and just lock in.

    And I think when I look at myself coming from New York City with a intellectual sister and a baby sister who had never seen my dad and my mum who left us a little early and my dad left us very early, and I tried to be that example for them to say; 'You know what? The goals was simple, be the best possible person I can be and take on the challenges'. There's going to be some knockbacks.

    I remember winning the Championship in the NBL, my highest moment and next minute, when I go back to that same town, I was on a postie bike delivering the mail. Everyone looking at me, trying to duck and hide. 'That's Cal? Oh God, I don't want to look at him'. My thing is like, I'm smiling because you know what? My mum left me a message, 'Never take the smile off your face. Don't let no one do that.' And to me that's all about bringing the joy in whatever you do so being positive is a very important part of that.

    Tim Gavel: What about Play the Aussie Way? What does that mean to you? What is unique about Playing the Aussie Way do you think?

    Cal Bruton: I think Patrick Johnson summed it up pretty well, like he talked about, "don't take on the bullying, don't take on the racism", I think, or he mentioned a couple other points, but to me Playing the Aussie Way is just being fair. Being straight up honest and then competing as you do. I think everyone that steps onto the pitch or the court or field, got to compete, and bring it. Like, live and in colour like no others.

    My favourite sayings, you know, and my philosophy has always been to run, stun and have some fun. And if you're doing that, you bring out the best in everyone around you because attitudes are contagious, and I always ask the question 'Is yours worth catching?' So, I try to bring that attitude, positive attitude as much as I can.

    Tim Gavel: Basketball coaches are among the most theatrical, especially when the decision goes against your team.

    Cal Bruton: I was one of those guys, no doubt.

    Tim Gavel: I'm going there. Yeah. So, it's important, isn't it to respect the umpire, referee's decision.

    Cal Bruton: It is very important and at the end of the day you not changing their opinion, you lost that battle as soon as the call was made, you know. But we do have a replay now that you can actually use one and hopefully, you'll get it right so you can retain it. 

    But I think respecting the environment in which you're in, you don't want to be looked at as a prima donna, so to speak. I've always tried to be that coach that, yeah if I saw something that was totally out of character and it was incorrect, I'm going to stand up for my team. I'm-a stand up for my players and try to challenge it the best way I can. I think I've only got thrown out of one game in my whole career, and that was 'woo', I can bring that up on the video and I still remember that dude. 

    But I think at the end of the day, I earned respect from doing that for my players and we went on to win the championship that year, so they stood behind me to make sure we achieve what we set out to do.

    Tim Gavel: Having said that though, Play the Aussie Way, you are expected to accept the umpire, referee's decision without protests, otherwise we're going to have no umpires or referees, are we?

    Cal Bruton: Yeah. No, without a doubt. Well, we having a struggle keeping more umpires onboard and a lot of those umpires, particularly at the youthful age are volunteers. And they're there to support the game, and I think the game is the most important thing. 

    Getting more kids to play sport, it breeds a healthy lifestyle. It breeds education. It breeds sportsmanship, and if you can take on those things and treat it in the right light, it provides a healthy environment for all our youths coming through.

    Tim Gavel: Harry, just on the respecting the referee's decision in football.

    Harry: Yeah, I think respect is like the big thing when it comes to at least junior football and junior any sports. Without respect, you won't have refs, you won't have umpires, you won't even have kids playing and kids wanting to play if there's no respect showed between coaches, players, opposition, referees, you're not gonna have anyone to fill the sport and when you got no one to fill the sport, there's no sport.

    Tim Gavel: How do your teammates react when you try and, I'm sure you try and pull them in line?

    Harry: Yeah, it happened a few times last season. We'd lose a game, or we'd get a call that didn't go towards us and where everyone was getting upset, rightfully so in some cases, cause you still want to be upset if you lose, but you need to move on from that loss. You're not going to win every game, you're not going to get every call go your way, but you got to move on, you got to improve on it next week, look back at what you need to fix up game play wise and hope you can improve on it next week.

    Tim Gavel: You mentioned there respect, it's not just respecting the officials, but your teammates, the opposition, how hard is it to keep that in check?

    Harry: When you're in the heat of the moment, it gets even harder, in a close game it's going to be hard to always focus on that but I think if everyone focuses on that way of looking at it, of respecting everyone, it makes the game more enjoyable first off, but then you'll be able to help teammates and help coaches realise that and be able to continue playing even if something doesn't go your way.

    Tim Gavel: And in junior sport it's always important too to educate your parents. How does that go?

    Harry: You'd always see a few parents in the crowd getting angry, and then you often feel kind of bad for the refs because at least in the younger age groups they're young refs and when the parents are yelling, getting angry at the refs you can kind of see why they wouldn't want to continue reffing. 

    So, I think that also comes down to developing the referring system and developing the game, you need to respect the refs in order to make sure more come up. And at the lower age groups, when you've got refs being disrespected by the parents then their children and their players might kind of grow up in that environment, which is not good.

    Tim Gavel: At your level, is there much crowd interaction.

    Harry: Surprisingly, there is. Mainly the family, but in some of the representative and the NPL sides you get pretty big crowds, and that's when the embers flare and it gets a bit heated. So, they do get pretty big, and you can see why the environment gets so heated, but I think it also comes down to just natural respect, respecting others.

    Tim Gavel: What about that respect, Cal? And I've watched many a game that you've been involved in over the years I've been courtside, and things get pretty heated, don't they? And things get said from the crowd, from opposition teams.

    Cal Bruton: No ifs ands or buts about it. I think respect is at the paramount of all sport, as Harry alluded to. For me personally, I've always looked at it that you have to try to win, and if you get a call that doesn't go your way at the heat, which I've lost grand finals on that, three as a matter of fact that I felt could have went our way, I just had to reevaluate.

    And my grandson, as I said, I'm big on acronyms, my grandson came up with a classic one and he said 'Pop, I got a acronym for you. It's BRUTON. I've written it on my mirror in my room, come have a look.' And I thought 'Damn', he said 'Pop told me that you're big on acronyms', he was nine years old. And he wrote 'B', and that was the big one 'cause for Bruton and that's why I got to B on at the moment, is to be kind to others. It don't cost you nothing. It's an element that can raise the level of respect straight away, just being kind. 'R' is the respect. You got to give it, you gotta earn it, you gotta represent it. Then it's the 'U', which is my, the best one. I almost started crying on this one. You got to use your manners. He said 'Pop, if I use my manners, say "Yes", "Please", "Thank you", "Excuse me", "Pardon". I usually get "OK". I get out of whatever trouble I'm in.' 

    And then he said that ‘T’ was the trust. You gotta trust in something, a higher being, whoever that may be, or whatever you hold is precious. The ‘O’ was another one of my favourite, When you make a mistake, cause you're gonna make em, own your mistake. Put your hand up, it's on me. And if you can take that on board, then you don't feel like you above anybody else. And the 'N' is when you're trying to achieve a goal, never give up. If you give you all, at the end of the day that's the blessing because you walk away, head high, feeling strong because that's all you can do and that's all they can ask for is to never give up and give your best.

    Tim Gavel: Harry, you've learned a bit today...about acronyms.

    Harry: Yeah.

    Tim Gavel: But it's interesting, isn't it? Listening to somebody who's coached at the highest level -

    Harry: Yeah.

    Tim Gavel: ...and played at a very high level as well.

    Harry: Yeah, a lot more experience.

    Cal Bruton: Just a bit.

    Tim Gavel: Have you learned a bit today?

    Harry: Yeah, I have a lot I can take into my game and into my outlook on life.

    Tim Gavel: Yeah, I'm sure, Harry, great words. I'm sure Carl can take in a little about what Harry's been talking about too.

    Cal Bruton: Man, I was sitting in my car when I saw Harry and his dad walk in and I looked and I said, 'That's the dude.' And I remember his episode and I went 'Ohh', and then I saw Leanne and I thought 'You know what? I can't wait to meet this guy.' Like, straight up, to me, it's all about learning from the next generation.

    I have six children, I got 5 grandchildren, my oldest grand just made the, second oldest grand just made the South Australian State Team after missing out last year and he was devastated, and this year, he's made it. He's grown to 6'4", like we don't have no Brutons, well, in the six foot, but seeing his joy of getting to that level now. 

    I think 'Wow, that's what it's all about.' You got to take the hits, you got to keep going, and Harry just alluded to everything from what that group of young people are thinking about, they're going to lead the way.

    They're going to be out next people that we look up to. So, I'm impressed. I told him already, he got it going on, like, and at the end of the day, there's a relationship immediately because of what Sport Integrity has brought us to the table together to learn from each other and share what we feel is very important issues in today's sport.

    Tim Gavel: That's great. Thanks very much Cal, and thanks, Harry. All the best in the future. Thank you.

    Cal Bruton: Thank you, Tim.



    Ellie Cole: Playing the Aussie Way means to me, enjoying sport for your entire life. 

    Patrick Johnson: And it's also creating a culture that you want to represent for our kids next generation. Making sure no one's cheating, no one's bullying, no one's harassing, and no one's being racist. 

    Kirra: That everyone, no matter where they come from or who they are, they all get treated the same. 

    Tina Rahimi: I believe that everyone should have a fair shot because it's all about the skill that you have, not what backing or background that you have. 

    Ellie Cole: Feeling protected, being able to trust in the team around you. 

    Harry: Not getting yelled at by coaches, by parents. 

    Tina Rahimi: You want to be able to feel comfortable in an environment. 

    Cal Bruton: We have to have respect for the game, respect for yourself and respect for everyone around the game. 

    Harry: That's Playing the Aussie Way and that's worth protecting. 

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