A minor arrived in our home a week ago. Young, cute, bubbly, happy, vivacious, attention-seeking, gorgeous — all the attributes which drip off the young like sweat from an athlete’s brow.

New young arrivals cause the same stir wherever they show up — sports club, management meeting, work, on the bus, at a club. The effect is threefold.

Firstly, the pretty young thing gains instant approval. Not because of achievement, expertise or sporting prowess. Just by looks, energy and the blissful ignorance of the commotion caused in the older audience. The older group has its own attraction, be it skill, physique, expertise, a certain look and maturity, or simply experience.

Friendships and relationships take a little adjusting to accommodate or expel the young newcomer from the existing circle.

This causes tension within existing circles. Emotional and psychological pressure does strange things to people who are in their comfort zone. Few of us cope well with change. For some, coping is the best possible outcome. Some adapt quickly, comfortable in their own being and stage of life.

Our approval-seeking happy, cute young thing buzzes around in this setting, blissfully unaware of the inner turmoil created.

In the midst of this, our angelic host starts pushing the boundaries. Conversation topics or expressions that don’t quite gel in the ‘status quo,’ on-field behaviours that demonstrate immaturity or inexperience, actions that reveal the character of our pretty young thing that make the older members of the team or group feel a little squeamish.

The original group adjusts to the vitality of youth over time. In our home, the older furkids have growled, retreated, snapped at, and tried to be patient with the minor — a 14-week-old puppy.

Adjustments have been made. Initially the growl was abrupt and ended in a snap. Now one can hear the growl above the aircraft noise, slow and deliberate; ‘I am not happy sharing my bed, food or daddy’.

Games and sharing of space have become acceptable. Following the older has changed the way the pretty young thing looks at life.

Our member clubs play a crucial role in gathering the young as they migrate to the city to study, be gay or be themselves. Within the safety of the club family, the energy of youth is trained, for some to sports excellence, for others for lifelong participation and a place of belonging in our community. Find out how to get out to play: www.teamsydney.org.au

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