COMMENT:

Well if you got through the Netball World Cup prizegiving yesterday morning without shedding a tear then you're a harder heart than me.

What I love about sport, is the pure raw emotion that goes with it. We often see the very best of humanity on display inside stadiums, or on pitches - especially from Kiwis.

From cricketers hugging and picking up hurt opposition players, to netballers high fiving and backing each other on and off the court.

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It's often the scene of unabated joy or profound grief and there's nowhere to hide when there's a camera in your face and a crowd full of fans.

What I also love about the evolution of sport in this country is the family side of it.

We are increasingly seeing families travelling with teams, families included in training camps, kids running onto the pitch. I don't know whether this has become more acceptable these days.. or is now just more visible than it ever was.

But from the group of wives and kids travelling with the Black Caps to the littlies running courtside with the Silver Ferns, it's an inclusive and heartwarming scene.

It's an acknowledgement that it does indeed take a village, that support from home is crucial, and that many of these players are also busy being mums and dads too.

It also speaks to the sacrifice many families make when there's a professional athlete in the family.

But who didn't appreciate Casey Kopua's daughter licking sweat off Mum's shoulder during her post-match interview? That was almost as widely reported as the win itself!

People love real and authentic, and it's so lovely to see elite sportspeople not afraid to show they're also mums or dads, husbands or wives, or kids of proud supportive parents.

And that's the rub for netballers isn't it?

Many are also mums (yes being a Silver Fern is a fulltime job, but many need part-time work too or endorsements to prop up that salary). The top tier salary for a Silver Fern is apparently about $130,000 including domestic contracts and sponsorship.

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But most earn less than that. A top tier All Black earns upwards of half a million dollars.

But it's not really a fair comparison, because while no one can argue we need pay equity in sport, the sad reality is: sport only generates as much income as it attracts.

No prize money is a direct reflection of the lack of investment, not just by sponsors but also broadcasters.

The Government last year announced that it'll invest $10 million over the next three years in initiatives like marketing to increase the visibility and value of women's sport.

Let's hope that eventually sees results in the form of dollars, because as we saw yesterday, they deserve it.