Archive for the ‘sport’ Category

Sporting inspiration

July 30, 2012

Olympic fever has gripped the UpsideBackwards household this week.  The bigger kids are studying it at school, and Fainjin is particularly interested.  He was only 1 last time the Games were on, so it is all new and exciting for him.  His class has learnt about the Ancient Olympics, too… that has led to some interesting observations! (“Mum, they didn’t wear anything at all, not even a hat!”)

So on Saturday morning we turned on the TV and watched the Opening Ceremony together.  Fainjin and Pearl translated what they saw into Lego models, creating an Olympic Stadium, an Olympic torch and a “nightmare”.  Fainjin was unimpressed with the giant Voldemort figure.  While the girls gasped, he nonchalantly remarked, “If that came to our house for real, I’d probably fight it down”.  It’s nice to know he’s here to protect us!

We’ve watched rowing, swimming, gymnastics, fencing (“yay! swordfighting!” crowed Fainjin), dressage, football, canoeing and diving so far.  We cheered on Lauren Boyle this morning, so proud she got into the final, NZ’s first medal chance this Games.  I’ve been staying up far too late at night, watching “just one more” rowing heat or swimming race.  We got Pearl up at 10:40pm to watch some dressage since she is so horse-mad.  She wasn’t all that impressed, I think she will enjoy the cross-country and show-jumping more.

This morning Babess ran around the house “swimming” with her arms, convinced she could go to the next Games for NZ.  This evening she has decided that “when she’s grown-up” she’s going to do canoe-slalom.

And there’s only about 14 days more of all this…

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


Euro 2012

June 18, 2012

This morning The Dad turned on the tv so he could check on the two Euro 2012 games every so often.  It’s unusual to have the tv on in the morning in our house, so the kids were quite interested.

Fainjin, playing with his Lego because he was already ready for school, asked, “Mum, is this the All Blacks or the All Whites?”

“Well, it’s soccer,” I replied, “but it’s Germany versus Denmark…”

“The All Whites, then,” he said with an air of finality.  I told him that the All Whites are the NZ team, and they weren’t playing in this match, but I don’t think he really cared.

A little later, Babess was watching when Portugal scored their second goal (it was a cracker, too).  She is a generous soul, and was thrilled to cheer for any team.

“Yay!!! Go All Reds!”

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Funner than floorball

May 14, 2012

Fainjin’s class had an indoor sports day today.  They played floorball, indoor soccer, and about three other sports.  The teacher laughed as parents arrived to collect the kids after school, “They’re all exhausted! We had such an energetic day…”

Fainjin was pretty bouncy for an exhausted child.  He had had a wonderful day, he told me.  “I was the champion at floorball!  I was on the red team, and the white team, and A and S were on my team and we [insert complicated explanation of team manoeuvres here] and it was lots of fun!”

“That’s great, Fainjin,” I said, impressed and still reeling from the complicated explanation of team manoeuvres which didn’t actually make much sense.  Perhaps you had to have been there.

“But you know what Mum?  There’s something even funner than floorball!  And that is… gymnastics!  It’s the coolest!”

And all the way home he re-enacted the gymnastics lesson, showing me how they walked with arms outstretched, presumably along a balance-beam, and then crouched down low to run along something else, then balanced on one foot, then ran along something else…  It was a most entertaining walk home, and I imagine it was even more so for people walking near us who didn’t know the back-story.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Winning by an own goal

March 27, 2012

This afternoon Pearl’s team played a cracking game of floorball.  It was close-fought and very exciting.  The other team scored first, within the first 6 seconds.  It took a little while for Pearl’s team to recover, but soon they had gained control of themselves and the court, and rapidly scored four goals.  It was closer than the scoreline makes it sound.  The direction of the game changed constantly, as the two teams were very well matched.

Pearl was playing in her preferred defensive position and doing a great job of stopping opposition shots and passing forward.  Then… disaster.  She flicked it across the goal and it ended up behind her team’s goalie.  The other team celebrated, the score was now 4-2.

Poor Pearl.  She flushed bright red, and I saw tears well up.  She stared at her stick, not really wanting the sympathetic encouragement of her team and their parents.  I felt awful for her.

Then the game re-started.  She blinked, stood up straight, and focussed on the ball.  Soon she was defending with all her might once more.

When she was subbed off (players are rotated every couple of minutes), she let herself feel blue again for a little while.  But her team-mates, coach and the other parents all reassured her, and she didn’t let it ruin her game.

I was immensely proud of her for that, and I told her so.

Final result? Pearl’s team lost by one goal.  But no matter.  They all played out of their skins – so well that their coach, who usually awards “player of the day”, declared them all winners and promised them icecreams next week, as it is the end of the season.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


March 13, 2012

Fainjin was talking to The Dad about floorball today.  “I’m going to try to put the ball in the goal” – great, that is the idea of the game!  But…

“What if you are the goalie, and the ball comes towards you, Fainjin?”

He thought for a bit.

“I pick it up and throw it to the man with the whistle.”

Um.  Yes, ok.  That does sort of assume you didn’t actually stop the ball from going into the goal, though…  he’s talking about returning it to the referee for a restart!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Cross-country 2012

March 7, 2012

Fainjin and Pearl ran in the school cross-country race today.  This is possibly Pearl’s favourite day of the school year – because it means she doesn’t have to run cross-country again until next year.  I have every sympathy with her, I must admit.

She came 21st, which doesn’t sound too bad to me, it’s quite a large school so she must have been in the first half of the pack of girls in her year.

Fainjin doesn’t know where he came in his race.  He was enthusiastic though, and impressed.  “Mummy, when we ran the race and I came to the finish, people did clap!”

“Did you get a number?” I asked out of curiosity – the first 10 in each race are given their number on a card as they cross the line, I assume so their names can be recorded somewhere.

“No,” he said, “but I got a clap!”

“I didn’t get a number either,” Pearl assured him, although he wasn’t the slightest bit put out.

“Then you got a clap!  Did you get a clap?”

The best thing Fainjin can think of getting is applause, it seems.  (And yes, she did).

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


February 8, 2012

Yesterday was Fainjin’s first day at school.  Despite him counting down the “sleeps” since last week, he was surprisingly reluctant to get up in the morning.  Nonetheless, once he was up and dressed, the morning went fairly smoothly and we left the house at approximately the right time, and even remembered to take photos.

Pearl was disgusted that the whole family insisted on accompanying her to her classroom and meeting her teacher.  She seemed relieved that it was a quick visit as we then left to take Fainjin to his classroom.

Fainjin’s teacher greeted him like an old friend, and showed him where to put his drink bottle.  Then we went out to the corridor to find his name next to a hook for his bag.  Right next to it was a name very similar to Babess’ – she pointed and said, “Look, and there is mine!”  Fainjin’s teacher said, “Awww! Can I have you, later?”  “You can have her now!” I said and she shook her head.  “Next year, then,” I offered, and we were both shocked that yes, Babess starts school next year.

Fainjin and Babess both went back to the classroom and settled down at the toybox with Fainjin’s classmates.  Babess really did fit in.  But I called her to me, and said, “Fainjin, it’s about time for us to go…”  He had his head in the toybox, didn’t even look up but waved his hand behind him and said, “Bye!”

He was just as chirpy when I picked him up, although he had bonked his head in the playground at lunchtime and had a graze.  He said he had had a good day.  They had read stories and drawn pictures of themselves to hang up in the classroom.

Then we headed to floorball, sport on the first day of school would not have been my choice but the kids were keen.  Fainjin was SO. CUTE. in his little vest, chasing after the ball energetically.  Sometimes he would forget he was meant to be playing a game, and would wander off daydreaming.  Often he was facing the wrong way.  He loved to bully off, and the first time he tried it the ref helped him get the stick facing the right way.  Later on, in the second half, he raced up to bully off again.  I was proud that he got his stick lined up, then I saw the ref pick him and turn him around, with a huge grin on his face.  Fainjin was philosophical.  Now he knows, you’re not allowed to bully off against your own team!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Waitangi Day

February 6, 2012

On this, our national holiday, we went with the children to a cultural festival and listened to some singing, enjoying the happy crowds and the sunshine.

We couldn’t agree on food from any of the stalls, so ended up assembling a picnic which satisfied everyone’s tastes.  We took it to a green space to eat, and got to watch a couple of games of ki-o-rahi taking place in front of us.

Then we went to a playground, one of the civilised kind with a cafe attached so The Dad and I had coffee and tea while the children clambered and swung and rocked and played in the sand.

NZ’s a good place to live.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

The Rugby Ball Cup

October 29, 2011

Babess and Fainjin, like many New Zealanders, have been caught up in the excitement of a large sports tournament over the past few weeks, which Babess has been calling “The Rugby Ball Cup”.  They didn’t want to watch much of the rugby, but enjoyed playing a pre-schoolers’ version at daycare, and seeing snippets of it on the news or pictures in the paper.

They came home yesterday abuzz with the news (from Sunday night) that “New Zealand won! We won the Rugby Ball Cup! The All Blacks won it!”

Amused, I asked, “And who’s your favourite All Black?”, knowing what answer I’d get.  Sure enough, Babess loyally yelled, “Siggy!”.

Fainjin frowned at her.  “Siggy plays soccer!”

“Yeah!” she said, still hyped up.

“But the All Blacks play rugby.  It’s the Rugby Ball Cup.  So Siggy’s not an All Black.”

“Awww,” she sighed.  “But Richie Meecaw is an All Black.”

“Yeah!” agreed her knowledgeable big brother.  “He’s the captain!  He made us win!”

So they danced around the kitchen cheering for Richie “Meecaw”, much to their parents’ amusement and bemusement.

(Don’t worry, Siggy, you’re still their favourite All White!).

© UpsideBackwards 2011.


Sports Day

October 5, 2011

At daycare today there was a “Sports Day”.  Children were encouraged to come wearing sport-related clothing – a team uniform or similar – and activities like designing your own team strip were planned.

Fainjin was more than happy to wear “his” soccer outfit – actually Pearl’s team strip from when she was four and we tried to encourage her to play soccer.  It’s a Chelsea football club uniform and fits him well, he wears it often.

Babess had wondered a few days ago what she would wear.  I remembered knitting both All Blacks and Wallabies rugby jerseys in baby sizes for Pearl, and I know I still have them.  I thought they might still fit Babess, and might even be in her drawer now (she has LOTS of clothes in there that she never wears).  We went delving into the back of the drawer, and although we didn’t find the knitted jerseys, we found an actual 1987-style All Blacks jersey with the silver fern and everything.

Babess was thrilled and started chanting “All Blacks!  All Blacks!” She and Fainjin have both become more interested in rugby since the World Cup has been on – there’s so much of it on TV and we are watching more than we usually would.  She hasn’t quite got the subtleties, though: if you ask her who her favourite player is, she will always say “Siggy!”  Ben Sigmund is in the All Whites (and Wellington Phoenix) – he’s a football (soccer) player.

So she wore her All Blacks jersey to daycare yesterday and the day before.  But this morning, when getting ready for Sports Day, she suddenly took against it and refused to wear it.

Oh well.  There will be plenty of opportunities to wear it over the next couple of weeks… as long as the All Blacks keep winning!

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

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