Still here watching the Dodgeball, and while the U21s haven’t got their first win yet, they are getting better with every game. There are clear signs that there is a lot of promise for the future for this young, inexperienced team.
It’s good stuff, and I’m so happy that my boy is part of it.
Off court, there are a lot of smiles and camaraderie between the nations, and the junior and U21 games have been played in great spirit.
Sadly, the same can’t be said of the senior games. There’s been a lot of chat about respect and good sportsmanship after some seriously heated moments yesterday.
The differing attitudes to coaching are interesting to watch. Of course, everyone’s in it to win it, but the SA guys are also there to play fair. There are smiles, encouragement, support. The Egyptian players and coaches are the same until they don’t like something, then – without exception – it’s full on Jeykell and Hyde stuff. Kloppesque whine mode engaged: at the refs, the players, sometimes the fans, often some deity or other. It’s regularly been genuinely unpleasant.
Nah then, Mardybum.
And disappointingly, you can see it running off on some of the younger players already. A hint of arrogance, a bit of sarcasm, disputing decisions, chirping at the ref.
But then, what do you expect?
There’s a lot more to playing sport than winning. If there wasn’t, no-one would bother doing it. But there are so many life lessons you can learn from this sort of thing and it’s just really sad to see which ones seem to be getting through.
So here it is. Our big news. No. Not another child, just another amazing achievement by one of the ones we already have.
Because today, our son represented the U21 South African Dodgeball team in the African Cup against Egypt.
At 16 years old.
Mmm. Lighting is that typical sports hall nastiness that we photographers love so much. Eww. But wow, haven’t we come a long way since the little guy that many of you will know from my twitter profile image?
Yeah, I know that your only experience of dodgeball is that movie. But while it’s social, it’s also a good deal more serious than that. As the months of training for up to 10 hours each week should testify.
Officially sanctioned by one of the two international bodies, The African Cup is spread over three days. The competition is tight, passionate and often gets quite heated. This year’s event is near Somerset West, and you can get tickets here if you want to come along and watch. And if you can’t make it in person, all the games are being streamed as well.
The U21s’ first game didn’t go so well result-wise, but that’s really beside the point. It’s just been an amazing day and we’re so proud of our lad.