The tournament has now officially started. Today was spent fulfilling our initial official obligations at the tournament, ahead of our first match tomorrow.
This morning was our first official training, held at a local sports hall. Unlike previous tournaments I’ve played at, we had the whole gym, as opposed to the half gym we normally get. This made training a lot easier, and we managed to work on quite a lot of things we wanted to. We were able to focus on areas which were identified during the games against Sikopi. The ability to work on problem areas so quickly is a luxury I don’t normally have, and it was great to be able to focus on individual problems. We also had a big focus on celebrations, with penalties for sub-par goal celebrations. If some of the celebrations we worked on come out during games, it may yet be more entertaining than the korfball.
After a quiet afternoon, we headed off to the opening ceremony. The ceremony was thankfully quite short, certainly shorter than others I have been to. Entering the sports hall to the soothing tones of “Thunderstruck”, by ACDC, was a great moment. The entertainment, in the form of a local dance troupe, was a welcome break from the formalities of the speeches from the dignitaries. Following the ceremony was an informal mingling of teams while eating dinner. This was also an opportunity to catch up with some of our travelling supporters, who were at the opening ceremony, and will be at the games as well. Their support is greatly appreciated, and will be a good boost during the tournament. Another highlight was the caricature artist, who drew quite a convincing version of Adam, complete with thick beard. If you get the chance, the drawing certainly is a sight to behold.
Tomorrow promises to be extremely busy, and hugely exciting, with a training and an early game, the first one of the tournament, not just for us, but for the entire tournament. A reminder that all the live streams for the first days games are available on the National Teams page. For everything else, remember to keep checking the Facebook page to keep up to date.