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Sport, University

London – Gateway to the Olympics…


Well – it’s been a pretty hectic couple of weeks since the last entry on here – I defy anyone who blithely says that “the first year of University is your easiest” – for that, based on personal experience, is horrendously incorrect.

Feedback from Semester 1 was excellent – managed to pick up a couple of A Grades and a couple of B’s for the modules completed in that time, which has taken a weight off the mind – allowing me to now focus on S2 and a new set of challenges.As one of my free choices – I decided to take a module on another interest of mine, 20th Century History (or as a mate of mine who is also on the Module proclaimed, “It can’t be history, you were alive for most of it.”)

We’ve just covered the First World War and will be moving swiftly onto Fascism, Lenin, Stalin and finally ending up looking at events of the Cold War.

Add to that Modules on Databases, Games Development and the second half of the “Computing Professional” and a busy few months will be in the offing.  Indeed, our first big exam in the Professional Module was a bit of a daunting and difficult one, which I came mentally tired out of – thank the Lord for a nice cold pint of Guinness served up by our venerable barman and Royals team member Jimmy Lane!

The American Football and all attached with it has also been superb.  Good social scene with the team, a lot more new friendships made and reinforced, and having a massive laugh along with it.  Our Superbowl function we had at our local sports bar saw over 120 people attend, and a great night ensued.  Add to that filming training sessions and other stuff hasn’t seen me do much other relaxing.  In fact, over the past two weeks or so – I’ve spent about 2 nights actually at home.

Stopped into my local pub a couple of Thursday nights ago in the quest for what I thought would be a nice quiet pint.  I ended up walking into a packed pub where some local live music was going on courtesy of Richard T. Clarke and Wes Dance.  Had a superb night and bumped into an old friend from school who I hadn’t seen for ages.  A great night overall.

One thing I’ve gone into related to this is the world of Podcasting.  I’ve been producing a weekly one thanks to the Garageband software on my new MacBook Pro, and getting it all up onto the Internet has been a learning experience.  In fact – by this weekend we should be listed in the iTunes Store.  I’ll put a link to it in my next update.

We were due to play an away game at Gloucester last weekend (our first game of 2012) – but due to the freezing weather and what looked like a bit of a miscommunication, the game didn’t go ahead.

As it stands, our next game is this Sunday coming, and a trip to Bath Spa.  Camera is already being charged in preparation for the filming job I’ll be doing on this one.

What has all of this got to do with the title of this entry you say?  Well, last Sunday I journeyed down to London and the Wembley Arena for our first training event in preparation for working at the Olympics/Paralympics taking place this summer.  I’ve been lucky enough to get a position working at the Paralympics in the Accreditation Office.  This will see us issuing those ID cards you see athletes wearing around their necks to get access to the various venues.  I’m looking to it immensely as it’ll be a once in a lifetime experience.

Hopped on an early morning train, which was horrendously cold, and ended up meeting two other people who were also going to the event as well.  One was a lovely bloke who was to be working at Coventry City FC on the football, as a member of the admin team dealing with press photographers.  The other was a woman who is in charge of booking performers for a music festival that happens in a nearby village to Worcester in Upton Snodsbury called “Snodfest” – which I will now probably go to this autumn.

The Tube was strangely efficient for a change, so I ended up arriving at Wembley a lot earlier than expected.  Tea and coffee was laid on for free for all of us attending, which was a good gesture, even considering that over 6,000 of us turned up.

We were given a folder that detailed everything we needed to know in an overall sense about the Games, including a useful bit on the Accreditation Systems we’ll be using.

Eddie Izzard (one of my favourite comedians and spokesman of the Games) turned up in person to be funny and thank us all personally for getting our placements, and the superb ex-triple jumper Jonathan Edwards was on hand to present the whole day.

An even strangely more efficient Tube sped me back to Paddington half an hour early, where I met up again with the Press Photographer man I met on the way down  to get me back on the train to Worcester in time for the Superbowl – we spent most of the journey home comparing notes of the day and talking about various non-league football stuff.

Up early tomorrow for final lecture of the week, then a trip to Bromyard for football and then to Bath for more football – weather permitting of course…

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