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Sunday, 10 April 2011

Nifty at Netball but Hopeless at Hockey: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy - Sports

This the fifteenth  challenge in in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy and  history, suggested  by Amy Coffin,  that invite genealogists to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants.     Week 15 - Sports

My early memories of sport at primary school were of the egg & spoon race, bean bag race, sack race & wheelbarrow race (no doubt the last two have since been curtailed for  "health and safety" reasons)  and the humiliation of dropping the baton in a relay race.

Nifty at Netball - At my first secondary school, I loved netball  with memories of crisp autumn days and sunny skies glinting through the trees as we dashed across the court, jumping high for the ball and shooing at the net,  in our sports kit of sky blue aertex shirts and short navy pleated  skirts.   I felt like a promotional poster for Healthy Active Britain.

Hopeless at Hockey - But at 14, we moved across the country and I began a new school with new subjects - such as hockey.  I hated it and my mother was not too keen on having to buy me hockey boots.   I had never played it before, compared to my teammates who had 2 years play ahead of me.  I hadn't a clue and dreaded getting hit on the shin by a hockey stick or even worse on the head by an over-excited player.  Being chosen to play goalie was even worse, having to don the heavy shin pads, and either stand still and bored if the play was all at the other end of the pitch - or facing a mob determined to get a goal passed me.  Hockey meant being cold, wet and miserable with frozen knees and hands and muddy boots and legs. If netball represented brightness, I saw hockey in shades of gloomy grey.

I was an unadventurous creature, so Rounders was Risky - the shame of not managing to connect bat with ball,  or hand with ball if fielding, or the risk of getting hit on the head by someone eager to run me out as I dashed for the first base.

Tennis was Terrific - I loved it - the grass courts and the white tennis outfits.  From the age of 12  I was converted to being a lifelong Wimbledon fan  (for the uninitiated,  this is the British Lawn Tennis Grand Slam Championships held in summer with wall-to-wall TV coverage).  I still get excited by it, as I did then and a few years ago visited Wimbledon on Men's  Championship Day - purely as a ground spectator, sitting on the hill to watch  play on  the big screen, savouring the atmosphere and enjoying  the traditional strawberries and cream.   

So at least I have school to thank for introducing me to this lifelong pleasure!  

(This article is based on a Sports Saturday posting of February 2011)

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