Looking at the main image for this story, it's obvious to see nothing compares to the sight of kids enjoying sport.
Forget all the trophies, medals and broken records, to see the expression on a child's face turn from apprehension to sheer delight is indescribable, even more so for parents I would imagine.
But as much as sport should be about the enjoyment factor and nothing else, the reality of local sport comes down to numbers through the door and cash through the till.
These two factors are just a few of the many which are impacting most of Northland's winter codes this year, none more so it seems, than rugby league.
Now, I don't want to give you the impression league is set to disappear or that this is just another league-bashing from a union-loving softie.
Full disclosure, I have always been on the union side of the fence as long as I can remember, a mindset reinforced by numerous lunchtime league related injuries from my school days.
But that doesn't change the fact that the five-team rugby league competition between Takahiwai, Otangarei, Northern Wairoa, Portland and Hora Hora, has suffered heavy blows this season.
If you read your Northern Advocate on Tuesday, you would have read how Takahiwai's patience abruptly ended as Otangarei's premier team, the Knights, defaulted to the undefeated Warriors last weekend.
The default, which Knights captain Daley Johnson put down to an excess of injured players, was the sixth of the season across the competition and fourth against Takahiwai.
While it was probably a bit rash to throw accusations at Otangarei of a deliberate default after the decision was made, you have to empathise with Takahiwai who have gone through the season unbeaten, haven't defaulted once and are not so much punished, as they are victims of their own success.
Just as a default should only be used as a last resort, who would want to play the unstoppable Ruakākā machine when your team is riddled with injuries and you haven't had a full team training in weeks, if ever?
Player shortage and injury have been two major roadblocks for teams this year and while there have been many entertaining and contestable games, when you have sides missing up to four players and ravaged by crook knees and stiff backs, you're not going to get top quality rugby league.
Northland's geographical spread only enhances these issues and that's something felt across the ditch as well.
A 2017 survey of country rugby league clubs across New South Wales and Queensland found that the majority of clubs are having problems attracting volunteers, players and sponsors.
It stated these problems were down to myriad reasons including longer working hours, small town populations, multiple teams in one area, club reputation and community perceptions, juniors shifting to other sports, lack of facilities and the list goes on.
For those involved in league or any sport for that matter, these issues will not be a surprise for you.
There wouldn't be many people out there who couldn't identify with one or two of these factors regarding their own club or code.
But league needs to do a lot of work on its image inside and outside the sporting community.
People in the game acknowledge and say violence is not a part of the game but when you can easily see two to three incidents per game that would most likely be cited in union, I find it hard to believe anything will change.
A lot of the issues come down to division. The elephant in the room for anyone who's been paying attention over the past few years in this part of the country in the separation into two league competitions in Northland.
I am not well-versed enough in the details nor do I wish to venture into the politics of the situation to shed much light on the subject, but it's not hard to see teams are struggling across the board.
Different teams are crying out for different things.
One club believes playing on Saturdays is the only way we build up club culture, while another believes playing on Friday nights is essential to ensure player availability.
And it's not as if nobody cares.
Club members, coaches and players all want to find the answer but when you're fighting a battle on multiple fronts, it's near impossible to make any forward progress.
Rugby League Northland general manager Phil Marsh believes the introduction of a league committee is the logical next step.
As he sees it, a group of passionate ex-players in such a committee would take the onus of running the competition off the clubs and let them focus on building up their player base and funds.
While it might solve some issues around competition structure and ruling, will it solve league's image as one that almost glorifies violence and wrecking your body beyond repair? Maybe, if they publicly punished players for overly aggressive behaviour.
But what I would say to Phil Marsh is I hope these passionate ex-players come out of the woodwork soon, because the sport is begging to have them back.