Tamsin's England World Champs Blog: Final Preparations
04 July 2011
Wow - what a manic couple of days we have just had! 2 practice matches, 2 early tennis court pre-hab sessions, a very cold pool dip, a trip to the 71st floor, an iPad 2 convention and a girly night at the candle lighting welcome ceremony. Phew I think that's it!
So I'll start with training. We have to do daily pre-hab sessions which involve core and stability work out on the tennis courts. Daily routine is never a good thing so we come up with games and challenges to stop the repetition. My oonaghi partner is Serena Guthrie (@serenaBob) and we often have impossible tasks given to us by our S&C coach (which we always complete). We also have a converted drinking game turned core team game which ends in the loser being pelted with some form of ball at the wall. It's brilliant and really wakes you up in the morning. Today's loser was captain Sonia. It's usually Eboni so it was good to mix it up!
The training is worth it when you get to play, and that's exactly what we've been doing over the past two days. First was a training match against the AIS (which is the Aussie U21 group) they are always tough and keen. They are quick and go hard for the ball so it was good practice for us. We played lots of combo's and did some good stuff as well as sloppy stuff. That always happens when you're trying things out. Our second match was versus Fiji and we haven't played them for a while. They play completely differently, more like the Kiwis, zone defence and flying intercepts. We put out some really strong quarters and ended up winning 90-27 which is a great score line. We also got to test out our new white dresses. I'm happy to report they are working well. All in all we are looking good for our first match.
The excitement has definitely been growing day by day. All the teams are here and it's been really cool to bump in to my old Adelaide Firebirds team mates Laura Geitz from Oz and Romelda Aiken from Jamaica. Next time I'll see them it will be courtside. There's also a real buzz around the city. There are flags up everywhere, we have several TV ads (I get excited every time it comes on) and ticket sales are up to 80% of an 11,000 seated stadium. Pretty cool.
Tonight we had the candle lighting ceremony, which is a perfect excuse for us to dress up. As style guru of the team I was in charge of finding outfits for this, which I did in the form of 12 red hot dresses. The girls scrub up good! The ceremony was cool, basically all the captains have to get up on stage introduce themselves and then light a candle in honour of true friendship and sportsmanship. We then had a sit down dinner and mingle with all the other teams. The entertainment was brilliant, with dancers who did some hip hop with netballs - which was great until they tried to throw them! It'd be like watching our Captain Karen trying to dance - entertaining. There was also a singer playing through dinner, and I joked with the girls about them playing lady in red for us. Next thing you know, Pam had requested the Chris de Burgh hit, and we were being serenaded! I'm not sure the other teams were impressed, but it kept us smiling. It was a fun evening all round.
With the official opening ceremony at the stadium and Singapore kicking off the action the World Champs have finally arrived. After four years of hard work it is now time to perform. Oh, and speaking of finally arriving, the Greenways have landed (check out their cool tops)! And if you thought the 54th floor view was cool you should check out the 71st floor. If only I wasn't in competition :)