Johnny Cantor: Sport can touch us all in many ways

The AEGON Eastbourne Tennis event in 2014

The AEGON Eastbourne Tennis event in 2014

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Ah, the smell of freshly cut grass. I’m never quite sure whether I am lucky to have a lawn in my garden as it takes a fair bit of maintenance over the summer – but the first cut has finally happened.

The distinctive whiff of moist cuttings is not only a reminder that the days are getting longer, and hopefully warmer, but for followers of sport it is a nudge that there is a huge amount to be enjoyed over the next few months.

It is a strange but wonderful period with football still trucking on but a whole lot more. Today, the local Eagles speedway riders will be kicking up dirt for a challenge match at Arlington, while the teams at venues such as the County Ground in Hove are preparing the wicket for the new cricket season that starts in just over two weeks’ time.

Golfers will be thinking about airing those dampened waterproofs and putting them away for the summer. The ladies will have an eye on a bargain for that special outfit for trips to racecourses such as Goodwood, Brighton or Fontwell.

The search will begin for those tennis balls that you want to make last another year as we hit the local courts after inspiration from the Aegon tennis at Eastbourne or Wimbledon. There are big national and international events on the horizon too, with the US Masters, The Euros and of course the Olympics to look forward to.

Of course, it is a joy as a sports reporter to have these events to get our teeth into. It is still, however, a wonderful time of year for some football fans whose team still has something to play for.

That is certainly the case at the Amex. The videos and pictures of the 7,000 Seagulls fans at MK Dons were incredible. As the players ripped off their shirts at the final whistle tossing them into the throng, the passion of players and supporters was in plain view.

The shout was “We are going up” and of course Chris Hughton’s side have put themselves in a great position.

We don’t know whether their fate will be decided by May 7 or May 28 but whatever happens everyone involved will have been touched in some way with our emotions pushed to the limit.

That’s what sport does. Whether it is a player scoring the winning goal in the play-off final or watching the agony of a missed putt, whether it’s the sound of the bails tinkling behind you on the village green or imagining yourself hitting the cross-court backhand against the garage door (to win Wimbledon, of course) sport can touch us all in many ways.

This spring and summer won’t disappoint, I’m sure. It can make us all feel alive.

Good job too as we lose an hour’s kip tomorrow night! Don’t forget the clocks! Have a great Easter!

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