tger greenhaddock: October 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Faces

On Saturday the Juniorette had another swim meet. This time it was held in Darmstadt and she was swimming with her partially sighted training team mates in the Hessische & Thüringische Schwimm- Meisterschaften 2007 for disabled swimmers. The Juniorette was the only non disabled swimmer at the meet. She loved travelling there on the team bus and had a really great day. She improved her times over 25m & 50m breaststroke and competed for the first time in the 100m event.

The competitors consisted of physically and mentally disabled swimmers and everyone was overcoming some sort of challenge to swim in the heats. For me the highlight of the day was the medal ceremony. I don’t believe I have ever seen so many truly happy and joyous faces in my life. This was the first swim meet I have ever attended and it was a very relaxed event. The Juniorettes swim team felt like an extended family, but Mrs H did point out that the non disabled swim meet she attended a few weeks ago was a lot more manic.

The Juniorette really enjoyed herself and the organisers even arranged a certificate and a medal for her, so she wouldn’t feel left out.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Getting naked

We’ve been back from our break in the UK for just over a week, and last weekend we went to the home town of Mrs H which is situated in the Odenwald to celebrate the birthday of our nephew Boy Blue. With family members we went to the Miramar fun swimming pool complex near Weinheim. The kids had a lot of fun on the various slides and in the wave pool, whilst the adults mainly relaxed and chatted. Mrs H and I visited the sauna which was pretty big, with 4 saunas inside and various ones scattered around outside. There were also steam rooms, ice rooms and whirlpools. There’s nothing quite like getting naked with a couple of hundred Germans.

The first few times I ever visited saunas I felt a bit freaky, but once overcoming a church upbringing and old fashioned British values I discovered that the sauna is not only good for your body, but its very good for the soul, so now that winter is approaching we will be visiting the sauna more often.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Back in North Devon

We Haddocks are currently back in the UK staying in the town where I was born and grew up. We're visiting family and friends and having a great time, I forgot how much I miss the sea. Ilfracombe hasn't changed that much, apart from a few more hotels have burnt down (when will the insurance companies catch on), but the town is essentially the same. The sea air is making me very tired and I am going to bed earlier every night. In a few days time I'll be going to bed before I get up! :)

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

The first Swim meet

Yesterday the Juniorette attended her first Swim meet. She has wanted to do this for a very long time. Her trainer had arranged that her first competitive swim would be in Marburg, so that she didn’t have the added stress of a big journey to contend with. She was quite apprehensive before meet and was quite anxious that she may be disqualified if she didn’t perform the dives and turns correctly.

She swam 25m & 50m Breaststroke and 25m & 50m Freestyle and wasn’t disqualified (which she was very happy about!). She attained first place in the 25m & 50m Breaststroke, 2nd in 50m Freestyle, and 3rd in 25m Freestyle. As it was her first meet she was in the first timers group, but in subsequent meets she will be allocated to races where her fellow swimmers have comparable times.

I wasn’t able to attend the swim meet as I had to work, but I did see a very happy and proud girl when I returned home. There is a further meet at the end of the month and hopefully I will be able to attend then.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

World Cup Winners 2007

On Sunday the German Women's football team beat Brazil 2-0 in the World Cup final to become the first team to successfully defend the title. It was an exciting game with the Brazilians dominating possession for large parts of the game. The German defence managed to absorb the intense pressure from the opposition and then scored goals from Birgit Prinz and Simone Laudehr when they had the chance. In the second half Brazil were awarded a penalty which the German keeper Nadine Angerer (photo credit to FIFA) saved superbly. In fact she made several fine saves, which meant that Germany conceded not a single goal in the whole tournament (a record feat).

Personally I was not taken with the samba magic of the Brazilian team. Sure they can play beautiful football, but they dived too easily, fouled too often and seemed to lack a sense of fair play. In the semi final they celebrated when a USA player was sent off, and that is not sporting.

It was a good football weekend for the Haddock household as Werder Bremen also won. They beat Arminia Bielefeld 8-1 on Saturday setting a new Bundesliga record for the highest win.

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