"Cricket for Change has enabled me to make good friends, to experience things that I never thought possible; it has given me confidence in challenging life situations."
Pride, the fulfilling of dreams and inspiration
I cannot believe how excited I am about the whole games. The musical montages and highlights from previous games really got me going and cannot believe that the Games went off with such a bang. I thought Danny Boyle did a marvelous job in capturing everything that is quintessentially British. And I do mean British. This is our Games and not just for Londoners and I am really proud to be British.
The Games are a crucial part of the year and a very important part of Londoners lives as the city is desperate to succeed at the Games with the doom and gloom about travel, stadium and legacy being touted around by some quarters.
The Games is almost a chance to replicate the kind of work we do at the charity. The charity brings people together to celebrate life and achievement and to get to know other people through the power of sport.
The Games is exactly this and I am so proud to be British and feel like one of the hosts. It has also dawned on me that I in 4 weeks time I will be part of the team that is making the Games happen.
The volunteer rota looks like a hard one but having seen the buzz around the city and the ceremony, bring it on!
Fufilling a Dream.....
Since a little boy, I have always wanted to watch the Olympics live. The beautiful thing about the Olympics and Paralympics is that everyone has their own special memory. My one was the Cuban High Jumper Javier Satomayor winning the High Jump in Barcelona in 1992. I couldn’t believe this bloke, whom I had never heard of, could jump so high and the ovation he got really gave my goose bumps.
I remember being on holiday in Snowdonia, at the age of 9, and having to walk down the whole mountain and picturing how hard it may be. I then thought about the Cuban and thought that if he could jump so high, I could surely do it. I was right and was really proud at 9 to get down.
This is the same as the charity and some of the young people achieve so much in a short space of time and they do not even know how inspirational they are. The Hit the Top guys in particular are real exponents of the Olympic vision and they are really the reason I do and love my job. The thought of being blind or physically disabled is quite worrying, particularly with the level of sport that is currently in my life. I play a sport two or three times a week when work allows and without it, I am not sure I could function. The guys on the Hit the Top programme really show me that even if the worse thing happened, I could still get out there and compete and that is something that really gives me a sense of pride.
I have been incredibly fortunate to succeed where most have failed and got several Olympic tickets. I went to support TEAM GB with a coouple of C4C colleagues, Gareth Brock & Beth Evans, and the atmosphere at Wembley Stadium was fantastic.
It was really different from the usual football I watch as it was about the game not desperately wanting one team or the other to win. I clapped the UAE goal and it seemed that a lot of the Olympic crowd joined me which was a unique and special feeling. The travel was easy and the whole experience was fantastic and am really looking forward to going to the Olympic Stadium tomorrow...
Inspiring and Amazing!
The Olympic Village and Stadium is immense. I cant believe how the skyline has transformed and the village is only as good as the people that are in it. The atmosphere is fantastic and the buzz of excitement not just there but on the way up is awesome.
Everyone is wearing their colours with pride, supporting the underdog when appropriate and respecting every country come little or large. I cant say that the respect goes as far as the Waterpolo Arena. Those girls are savage and in the pool, anything goes!!! They were ferocious in the Pool with regular drowning and ducking causing the crowd to be amazed at the extent of the engagements between players. The venue is really clever as it’s a temporary arena which looks fantastic. The crowd really got into the games and with TEAM GB in the first game, the atmosphere in the crowd was spectacular.
The Handball has excited me since Beijing and the speed and nature of the game looks like it would be brilliant to see. Watched in the Copper Box (the box that rocks!!) the 6000 crowd were entertained and the masses of local people supporting their nation of origin was fantastic. London is a very cosmopolitan city and the Games can allow for all nations to be represented by nationals now in the UK and the Box was rocking with the Hungary and Icelandic teams in particular being very well supported. I love the fact that people can be in London, live in London but support their home country and be respected for that. The love of the Games.
We went on a stroll around the park and the sheer area of the Park is humungous and the LOCOG group should be really pleased that they have managed to get so much into a short distance and on time.
The Games is really gaining momentum and many believe that the Games will be a great advert for London and for the Olympic and Paralympic movement. I have promised to watch whatever I can and support GB as much as possible. As a sportsman myself, I can only imagine the sacrifice that these guys have made and all just to get to these Games.
They may never get a medal and may never even get close to a final but they have dedicated their lives to a sport that they love. If only they, like the Hit The Top players, realized the impact they are having on people like myself and millions of others.
Its good to be British and its good to be C4C......