Wow, what a week!
I am proud of my boy. Proud because he accepted the challenge of being picked to represent England in the International Youth Games 2013
What followed was weeks of training at two different clubs ( weeks of dropping him off at said clubs for me and his dad ) , different meetings to attend for us as we'd agreed to be a host family and finally school finished and the youth games began!
Monday: I spent the day getting ready for our new arrival ( glad we did it last year with school exchange so I wasn't too stressy about it.) At 4'OClock we were seated in the big hall at the sports centre awaiting the arrivals. Then we were treated to a small speech from the media people and our names were shouted out and we were matched up. Just like in school, I was near the end as they went in order of host family names! I was praying ( and so was my neighbour next door but one who was hosting two boys ) that it wasn't the kid with the baseball hat on backwards. You could SMELL the attitude coming off that boy and the overwhelming urge to tell him to pull up his trousers and put his hat on the right way was palpable! International relations may have been just about to break down.
More hosts were matched up, less kids were left. I can only say it made me think about Mr Tom and the evacuees! A handful of hosts and charges remained, including stupid street kid. My name was called, I went forward and to my relief a smiley, well dressed, clean looking sweet boy came forward to meet me. Off we went home!
He was bombarded with questions ( me ), and the upshot was he has two sisters, mum and dad are both teachers, he's done karate for the same number of years as my boy, he's the Danish champion for his age group, Denmark isn't very big though, he likes all food and isn't fussy, he does the jobs my boy does with a shared hatred ; emptying/loading dishwasher, taking the recycling out, hoovering the stairs, etc etc.
He had been travelling on a coach for 28 hours and he was shattered, nearly falling asleep in his tea! So off to bed he went.
Tuesday: Absolutely chucking it down. Training was at 9.30 for the day. The official opening ceremony was in town later in the afternoon. The four boys set off with massive kit bags and massive lunches to enjoy themselves. The first competitions started.
At 5pm The Town Hall was heaving with youth and host families. Unfortunately, the grand parade planned from our lovely castle to Market Square had to be cancelled due to hideous weather, but everyone settled in for the show. We welcomed the four countries. Watched some Britain Got Talent reject acts - a juggler who was um ok and a street dance act from Glasgow who needed their trousers pulling up and erm a few more dance lessons. Came home and went to bed!
Wednesday: Training was 9:30 - 3:30 then the Danish team were eating out together, so the fun night at the English Karate club was cancelled, so we had a relaxing evening at home.
Thursday : More training and a fun swim. Then a disco! We had to go at 11pm to pick them up!
Friday: Had to drag them out of bed as it was the final day - full competition day. Kumite - sparring. They had to be there at 10 and the Danish boys had to take all their kit with them as they were staying at the Sport's centre till after the closing ceremony. We'd booked a taxi. Approx 9:50am we discovered a blackened banana had exploded in the massive kit bag and covered everything in black sludge. How can one banana go so far! He was told to finish eating his breakfast and I would sort it, as frankly his "man cleaning" was getting him no where! I emptied his bag ( and it was huge, vacuous - the sort that a small Pygmy family could easily live in ) and wiped everything down. His GI ( karate suit -white naturally ) was covered!! By the way, blackened exploded banana looks and has exactly the same texture as the contents of a toddlers nappy after a dish of branflakes and a glass of prune juice.....
Things were hastily cleaned and sponged off. The taxi was waiting , we stuffed everything in, I did the mum thing ( we can't help it ) by saying "if you'd have eaten the banana in the first place ....." Which was rewarded by a cheeky grin! He is such a great kid. Off they went, I followed down later.
Later: I hate contact sports, I refuse to watch Boxing on the TV. I watched my precious offspring at a competition once and I hated it. So I was a bag of nerves when I got there. I was told he'd already done really well and won a fight. I'd only just got comfy and he was called to fight again. I was trembling as the adrenalin kicked it. I admit, I was vocal! In the end I clamped my hand over my mouth as I didn't want to put him off! It was GREAT to hear his team mates and coaches encouraging him on and he won the second fight! Next up was my Danish son, he was cheered on to victory. The next fight my son had was against my Danish son. I nearly left the room. It was a good fair contest
which was won by our visitor by half a point. Ippon is a full point and a wazir-Ari is a half point scored for different things. Two of the judges thought my boy should have been awarded Ippon because he blocked, turned and counter attacked but the others hadn't fully seen it, it's how it goes and no one was phased. It went the same way in the last match with both boys needing time out for (horrific kicks ) to the head! Anyway it was a great competition and all of the children came away with a medal of some sort!
The Danish and the English teams ( here are my boys ) sat side by side for the medal ceremony
What a week! Now to enjoy the five weeks off I have left before term starts in September! I have GCSEs results to agonise over, a few days holiday in my beloved Wales and then a family wedding to finish off the Summer. it's going to be GREAT!