Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre Woodham: Boss' support handy in battling the booze

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Zac Guildford will need strength to face his demons. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Zac Guildford will need strength to face his demons. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Zac Guildford wouldn't have been the only young New Zealander who woke up last weekend feeling sore, sorry and sick to the stomach as he tried to piece together the events of the weekend.

Unlike other young Kiwis, though, his naked, drunken rampage made front-page news and his humiliation was writ large, for all the world to read.

That's what you get when you get paid the big dollars and wear the Silver Fern, I suppose, but it must be hard making your mistakes in public.

Zac was lucky that the two men he ran into in Trader Jack's are willing to forgive and forget and just want him to get well; the female triathlete who Zac allegedly harassed is less forgiving - although her claims for financial compensation make me wonder what her real motivation is in laying a complaint.

Guildford is lucky he has a supportive employer and that he will have all the help in the world as he tries to come to terms with the fact that he and alcohol simply don't mix.

When alcohol is such a huge part of our culture, and in particular the rugby culture, it's going to take a great deal of strength and character to keep the cap on the bottle.

Others have learnt from their mistakes - Jimmy Cowan seems to be able to manage his drinking now, and Norm Hewitt has become a pillar of the community after his much-publicised battle with the bottle.

So here's hoping a talented young sportsman with a lot to offer can make the most of the help he's being given.

And I also wish well other young Kiwis who'll have to face their demons on their own strength and courage.

- Herald on Sunday

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