Tuesday, August 31, 2010

BBC Radio Leicester 31/08/10

Check out the start of the England v China game live on BBC Radio Leicester during their Drivetime programme. It is about 1 hour 28 minutes into the programme on the BBC iplayer.

And England won!!!! Great performance by Beth Storry in the England goal, I shall be uploading an interview with Beth at some point tonight.

Monday, August 30, 2010

In Rosario...

Today, I spent my time in Rosario.

In the morning, with our guide Gilly and Alan Craddock (father of Charlotte Craddock) looking round the central shopping centre and getting used to the geography of the city.

Some would say: "Well, why didn't you go to the hockey today?"

Answer: I was quite worn out from all the travelling and needed a bit of a break. But also the travelling time to the venue was a factor, and the final clincher was that Chloe had some 'time off' for want of a better word.

However, I did miss the Dutch smashing India 7-1, (India is a team I want to watch, with all that has gone on in the past few months with the side, I'm interested to see how that affects them).

Then in the afternoon, myself, Chloe and room-mate, Katie Long went to the Argentina flag monument in Rosario. This was where the glorious opening ceremony took place a few nights before.

Here is a few shots of Rosario...

Chloe and Katie were asked by a group of young hockey players from Buenos Aires if they could take their pictures with them. Whilst they all said their favourite with Luciana Aymar, they still couldn't believed they'd met two players!

And what is more they'll be at the matches for Tuesday, and will watch England.

Around Rosario, we saw at least a dozen or more people wearing Chelsea Football club shirts and track suit tops - Premier League goals are always on the TV. The British clubs are massive over here it seems - all the shops stock kit for British football clubs.

The display that Chloe and Katie are looking at is by the British Council showing the UK and Argentina at sport, and yes there is a hockey stand with pictures of the current team on.

(Below L to R: Chloe and Katie Long)

Even a girl in the local petrol station next to the England team hotel talked to them about hockey, telling them she played locally.

You will note the huge bill-board posters of Luciana Aymar, (See me by one below) they are everywhere in the city, she has even done some relaxed ads for a shopping chain. Alan and me spotted her autobiography on sale at a news agents.

60 pesos, nearly a tenner for a book we'll both struggle to read in Spanish - I'm waiting for the English translation!

Spanish for today: "¿Cual es tu jugador favorito?" - 'Who is your favourite player?'

Seriously, everybody has said Luciana Aymar in answer to this, and I've asked about a dozen people now since learning it in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

See Also: Chloe and Katie on Hockey's Got Talent.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Crowd and the First Day

Amazing opening day, people everywhere and it wasn't even a sell out! As always Las Leonas main star was Luciana Aymar...

Luciana is known as 'Lucha', also there was another banner (below) that was signed by her friends and family...

And I caught a brief sighting of the player before the start of Argentina v South Africa, as you can see in the short film.

The crowd were amazing, so colourful and loud! One thing I liked, but I'm not sure how the players reacted to this, was something that happened on penalty corners.

At the end with a wire mesh to protect people, young supporters would all rush to be behind the goal and take pictures with cameras. Some had flashes, it was quite a surprising thing to watch.

But remember the Las Leonas are a massive inspiration to young school girls in Argentina.

Chloe Rogers on England 3-2 Win Against Spain

Getting to Rosario...

... Is a lot harder than people think! Below, is me in the van being packed in with the luggage. In terms of international hockey roadtrips, you'll struggle to better this!

There was me, obviously...
...Alan Craddock (father of Charlotte)
...Brian and Judy Blyth (parents of Australia's Madonna Bylth) with Sue
...Margaret and Don from Cheltenham Hockey Club (Interested hockey watchers)

And Migel, the driver, who came and collected us all from different hotels. Migel loves Dire Straits, Genesis and Kiss - all on his phone.

At the coffee stop I bought some new Emo white sunglasses and another pair as I think the white ones look cool, but won't last the tournament.

It takes around 4 hours to get to Rosario from Buenos Aires, and then it is another 45 minutes or so to the Jockey Club where the World Cup is happening.

I had a beautiful lunch of fish caught from the Paraná river, everything is so very big and spaced out here in Rosario.

Below is a looking down from the top of the riverbank picture of the river-side restaurant.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Travelling to Argentina

Below: One of the Haathees from around London recently, this one lives at Heathrow airport. 'Haathee' is Hindi for elephant and these fellas helped to raise some money to protect the real Asian elephants.
Above: A street scene from Buenos Aires, showing a massive advert for Adidas - note it isn't the new Las Leonas kit sadly, but still very cool.

Just to prove I am actually here!

The flight from Heathrow was delayed by some 7 hours, so that wasn't too good, but it did mean I got to do plenty of reading! 2 hours late leaving Heathrow, diverted to another airport because of fog at San Paulo and a 3 hour wait on the runway at Campinas in Brazil. The crew had to change over there and then a long wait in the stack to get into San Paulo.

Anyhow, arrived in Buenos Aires and so far everything has been very good, food excellent, people very friendly. The barman at the hotel is very impressed with my picture with Luciana Aymar! Taxi driver was a bit nuts, kept pointing out all the different football clubs Maradona played for, and asking me about Liverpool team news (He was a big Liverpool fan) - keep your eyes on the road son, as traffic came at us from both directions.

The final roundabout before the hotel he grabbed at the crucifix dangling from the rear view mirror and made the sign of the cross. I wasn't hopeful we'd make it across...  Still the Lord works in mysterious ways, especially at roundabouts. 

And of course everybody knows the Las Leonas, there is a great photo spread in the sports newspaper from the opening ceremony in Rosario with dancing and the teams - Chloe mentioned it was great on a text message she sent me.

It does look good in the newspaper, on to Rosario tomorrow on the bus.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

England Roar Tonight (Hockey Version) - Libby Holden

Here we go pop-pickers! An idea from some of the Champions Crew volunteers in Nottingham at the Champions Trophy. They wanted an England Hockey team World Cup song.

Well have a listen and see what you think... Check out Libby's MySpace for more of her songs.