Now usually I’m the last person to volunteer a blog about sport, but after years of external influences I have to admit I have grown fond of rugby. In previous years this has been limited to the 6 nations but today is the semi final of the rugby world cup and I have to admit I’m excited!
Yesterday was ‘wear red to work for Wales’ day and it was lovely to see people all over Britain taking part. Being ‘hannar a half’ (that’s half Welsh, half English) I often get accused of fence sitting when it comes to sports (especially when my two home teams are playing each other as I usually shamelessly back the winner) but even my English colleagues (and plenty from other countries round the world in my international school) were joining in and flying the flag for the only British nation left in the RWC yesterday. I love that sport can do that; bring people together in support of a team. Don’t get me wrong, the opposing argument usually upsets me but I suppose the ‘taking part that counts’ argument doesn’t really wash when it comes to grown up sport. People are passionate and want their team to win, they will support no other (I understand their point of view, but I don’t like it much)!
The theme for today’s blog was ‘a match you have attended or watched’ and once again I’m having trouble narrowing down the best story to tell. There was Wales v Ireland in Temple Bar in 2010, or the same match in 2008 which was so gripping we all forgot we were cooking and set the kitchen on fire! England v Scotland in Bath where the 4 Scottish blokes made as much noise as the entire English pub (they were brilliant!) or matches in Cardiff where the entire city seems to turn red and grind to a halt for the duration of the event. For me atmosphere is always a key aspect of enjoying any sort of sport; I detest football for example, but watching the finals in Wembley was amazing! The same can be said for ice hockey, I’m not likely to sit and watch it on TV, but being in the arena offers a totally different experience. I’ve grown to love rugby after years of my parents screaming excitedly at the screen and living in a nation where it’s ALL.THEY.TALK.ABOUT for what feels like 10 out of 12 months of the year. It was inevitable really, but I’m happily converted.
This year I attended the opening match of the 6 nations; Wales v England in the Millennium Stadium. It was amazing! The stadium itself is a sight to behold. I first went there in 2004 to watch the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and was amazed by the size of it. Stadiums to me seem like the modern day equivalent of the Roman amphitheatre’s and when it comes to rugby at times it would seem our entertainment has got no less violent! I love the banter and camaraderie, random chats with the crowd around you…that moment your team scores and you’re cheering with hundreds of total strangers or the other team scores and you all groan as one. There are songs and chants to learn, anthems to sing and you often come out hoarse from screaming. As I approached the stadium in February I was greeted by people offering face paint stencils (which I had for once despite being allergic!) of dragons and St Georges cross, others were selling scarves, flags and other merchandise. There’s something about seeing a sea of people in your teams colours, all full of hope and anticipation that really stirs the excitement in you. Win or lose you’re there with the team, with the fans, it’s a feeling like no other.
Today however I am watching the match in my pj’s with twitter for company. It’s probably 4th on my list of best ways to watch such a match but hey ho…the 2nd half is about to start and we’re 6-3 down….COME ON WALES!
This post is part of the Twitter Blogathon.