Yesterday I took my husband and my two daughters on a trip to London to watch the final session of the IAAF World Athletics Championships. From our home in Brighton we left early enough to travel, drop our stuff off in our booked apartment for the night and head over to the Westfield Stratford shopping centre for lunch and a mooch around. Jeezers it was BUSY, but like ourselves, there was plenty of extra traffic due to the athletics and the final night of events!
I booked our tickets late last year, it seemed an age away and I still can’t believe it’s August already! I booked 2 adult & 2 child tickets for the evening session, the child price was an absolute bargain at £10, so even if we had to leave early or not bring the girls I had to get them tickets to join us… I am SO glad I did!
Arriving at the stadium we were enticed into the stadium superstore, where unfortunately all t-shirts etc were only available in sizes we did not want. One t-shirt was particularly popular with my girls, it featured ‘Hero’ the hedgehog who is the mascot for the games… My almost 9 year old was delighted to find there were some age 9-10 year old shirts available, my 6 year old was left very disappointed 😦 I guess this is the down side of coming on closing night, however we bought her a 9-10 year old shirt too which pacified her disappointment and actually, although a little dress like fits OK, and she’ll get plenty of use out of it!!
After the trip to London and the aforementioned shopping tantrums, we were all a little tired. The obligatory (and sadly oh so necessary nowadays) bag search and body wanding was a very tedious affair with queues of people wanting to enter the park, but as we entered the stadium the girls faces were a picture!
‘It’s like on the telly mummy!’ gasped my youngest 🙂
The atmosphere built up with a little music to start with, and with current tunes like Despacito & Uptown Funk blasting around the stadium the girls were boogying along in their seats.. Then ‘Kiss Cam’ started, the girls found this hilarious but I think my eldest was a little disappointed mummy and daddy were not zoned in on, so I created my own Kiss Cam with my phone video which she loved. It was then time to meet ‘Hero’ the hedgehog who zip wired himself into the stadium, making a very cool entrance and proceeded to have a ‘break-dance off’ with the presenter leaving everyone in a happy mood and ready to meet some athletes…
The proceedings opened with some medal ceremonies from the session before, one of which was GOLD for our 4×100 metre men’s team! The stadium roared as they got their medals and echoed with the words of our national anthem as we proudly stood and looked down on our victorious team, you would be left in no doubt as to which country these games were in as the noise from the crowd tripled every time Great Britain was mentioned throughout the evening!
Our seats were not premium, although at £80 each I was surprised to be in the nosebleed section as my husband so kindly referred to it! Although high, I felt it was a good vantage point to see concurrent events, I hadn’t realised that this would happen, and although it makes total sense, we were watching Men’s High Jump, Ladies Discus Throw and Ladies 5000 metre Running events all at once – Never a dull moment!
Great Britain were not claiming places in the early events, then our 4×400 metre women’s and men’s teams put on sterling performances… The women achieving a Silver Medal and the Men a Bronze, the atmosphere was electric as the relay runners took off to move up to the winning places, everyone was on their feet and screaming encouragement, flags were flying, it was thrilling, even my girls were bursting with excitement! THAT was the reason I bought them tickets, the look of excitement, pride in their country and watching the sheer determination of these athletes is what I feel inspires the younger generation to take part in sport and I hope it stays with my girls for a long time encouraging them to push themselves and go for their dreams!
We skipped out before their medal ceremonies as packed exits are no place for young children, but we will watch the medal ceremonies for Great Britain on catch up at home and all the girls have spoken about since are the runners and Hero the hedgehog! I feel this bit of sporting history will live with them for years to come, and I hope encourage them, that with determination and hard work comes success in anything you dream of!
Children are our future!