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My day at the Commonwealth Games

‘What’s that orange drink?’ An Australian woman in front of me in the queue at the SECCC queried to the Glaswegian Cashier. The young Glaswegian looks perplexed, ‘Irn Bru?’ She nodded, ‘What does it taste of?’ The cashier faced the hard task of describing the taste of Orange carbonated sugar. ‘errrm it’s a bit like… a coca cola, aye, it’s a Glaswegian Coca cola.’ The Australian woman paid for her water and left.

After enjoying my second Irn Bru of the day, I returned to the Netball court to watch Malawi Vs Northern Ireland. My netball knowledge is limited. Limited to my school days, where I would try to feign an injury, or get picked to ‘umpire’ (otherwise known as getting shouted at by a sporty girl ‘that was definitely a fowl!!!!!! are you even watching Hannah?!’) A vivid memory of my schooldays was being picked as ‘centre’ by the P.E teacher. ‘The centre’ is quite a big deal, especially in Year 8. I feel she did this in good spirit; to get me involved in the game and actually take an interest in sport. I can’t quite remember what I did, but after a ‘dismal’ 4 minutes, the teacher called time out. In front of the class, she said ‘Hannah Birt, you are the worst Centre I have ever had the displeasure of coaching in my twenty year teaching career!’ I was demoted to Wing Defence and no one ever asked me to be Centre again.

So netball brings back a lot of happy memories for me, and I was super excited to watch the sport being played by real life pros. The crowd was jovial, and excited for the first day of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games to begin. While waiting, the crowd was kept entertained by ‘bongo cam’. Bongo Cam is possibly the best thing ever. Bongo drum music would fill the court, and a cameraman would search the crowd for unsuspecting bongo players, their image would fill the big screens as would the cartoon image of bongo drums, the unsuspecting bongo player is encourage to play ‘air bongos’. There is nothing funnier than someone’s granddad playing ‘air bongos’. Fact.

I wondered if the netball could be as good as ‘Bongo Cam’ and debated only staying for one game. But suddenly, the athletes appeared and the game began. I was surprised at how amazing the game was. Which sounds stupid, but it was incredible. I’ve never watched competitive netball before and it was awesome. Malawi were crazy good, the way the players jumped for the ball was a thing of beauty. At one point, the lady behind me gasped, ‘wow. Where on Earth did they get these players from?’ A Scottish voice behind her replied simply; ‘Malawi’.

After the final quarter the score was 71 – 50. The Malawi team were beyond amazing; I was very much blown away by their performance and will be keeping an eye on their upcoming fixtures.

After the first game, I was hooked. I love netball. The next game was between Wales and Australia. I was fully behind the Welsh team. Not only because I love Wales, but because the Welsh netball Kit was incredible. It was a red one piece, accompanied by a white dragon and completed by sparkling Diamantes spelling out CYMRU. The Ozzies wore yellow and green, it was fine, but no diamantes.

The game was fierce, Wales fought a good game, but the Australian team were on form. Their Goal shooter was also a foot taller than everyone else on the court, and never missed a shot. The final score was 63-36 to Australia.

After the game we wondered down the Clyde and up to George’s square. I don’t think the phrase ‘Taps aff’ has ever been used so greatly in Argyle Street. As we sat in George’s square, a swarm of tourists suddenly appeared from nowhere. ‘Oh my god!’ My sister exclaimed, ‘Is that Billy Connolly?!’ A lookalike had appeared and was happily posing for selfies. He even made it to The Evening Standard
In good jest, my dad even took us to the Commonwealth Games Superstore ‘£17 for a fucking Tshirt?!’ We left swiftly.
As we boarded the train to the Whifflet, Glasgow bathed in sunlight; and it was a perfect example of pathetic fallacy.

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