Supporting a family friend at Glasgow 2014!

5

Pippa WoolvenHaving returned from my travels around France in the camper van with Olley (more of which in my next blog), I'm now home and watching the television coverage of the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

I doubt these Games will create quite the nationwide excitement and involvement that we enjoyed two years ago when London hosted the Olympic Games, but these Friendly Games, as they are known, have so much to offer.

Competitors from tiny island nations from the Pacific will be up against some of the best known names and biggest stars in sport. Swimming and athletics feature of course, as do gymnastics and cycling, but so do netball, squash, lawn bowls and table tennis.

I didn't manage to get tickets to attend but I will certainly be glued to the TV whenever I can, supporting all our athletes and sports people, but with special attention to one…

Me with PippaPippa Woolven is a friend of my son Charlie, from when they were at school together. She is a brilliant athlete and if you look through my blog archive all the way back to May 2012, you'll read my account of how we watched her win the British University Athletics Championships 2000m steeplechase when it held in the Olympic Stadium.

Pippa has since won a scholarship to study and train at Florida State University in the USA and is beginning to realise her exceptional talent. She clocked a superb personal best time earlier this year, which qualified her for Glasgow.

Just a few days after her 21st birthday, on Wednesday 30 July, she will be on the starting line for the Women's 3000m steeplechase. It's one of the toughest events on the track, but Pippa's seemingly endless legs (and the hours of technique and fitness training she has put in, of course) make light work of the hurdles and water jump in this exhausting obstacle race.

I've just spotted Pippa with the England team as they parade around Celtic's Hampden Park – it looks as though she is having the time of her life! It must be such an amazingly uplifting feeling to be part of a team in an event like this – an opportunity of a lifetime and an experience to be remembered for a lifetime. Although I enjoyed success in my sport of Modern Pentathlon, I didn't have the chance to compete in a multi sport event – the Olympics didn't include my sport for women until Sydney 2000 and I was long retired by then!

I'm sure everyone representing their nation, standing in the stadium as I write, must be feeling a massive sense of anticipation, excitement – almost euphoria – at the moment. Simply to be part of something like this is so special.

So I hope all the contestants in Glasgow have the time of their lives, are proud to be taking part and perform to their best. I hope the Games lift the spirits of all of us in the UK as we watch and cheer, but most of all I hope Pippa savours every moment of what is already a huge achievement, just by being there. Give her a cheer for me when you see her!

5 Comments

  1. Liz C July 25, 2014 at 10:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy,
    Just had to tell you that Celtic’s football ground is Parkhead in the east end of Glasgow.. Hampden Park is the national stadium situated in the south side of Glasgow. Both are in use during The Commonwealth Games which have been very well attended so far. However, the opening ceremony was held at Celtic Football Ground at Parkhead.
    The Games are not going to be as popular as The Olympic Games but so far they have attracted lots of interest from around the world. Watching the athletes from all parts of the globe is a very stimulating experience.
    Hope you enjoy watching The Games on television.

  2. susan July 27, 2014 at 12:31 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, that’s fabulous for pippa! I hope she does well. I’ve enjoyed it all so far. I love the swimming, track and gymnastics. Fab for Frankie Jones from Wales! Night night and hope you are well after your op next week x

  3. susan July 29, 2014 at 5:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Liz and Kathy, hope you are both enjoying the games as much as me! We have been loving it. It is fabulous to see so many young talented athletes coming through from all our shores! Lots of injuries too. Watching the gymnastics and one of the English girls has gone over on her ankle and a poor lad potentially broke his this morn in his routine also. Keep enjoying our talent!x

  4. Kathy Tayler July 31, 2014 at 8:35 am -  Reply

    Hi Liz.
    Thanks for putting me right – names of football stadiums has never been a strong subject for me!
    But I am loving watching all the different sports and events – I’m glad you are too.
    Best wishes
    Kathy x

  5. Kathy Tayler July 31, 2014 at 8:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Susan
    Yes! Aren’t the Commonwealth Games brilliant?! I am loving watching as much as possible. And I was very proud of Pippa last night – she’s only run that distance a few times before and I thought she ran a fabulous race – a personal best time by over 6 seconds!
    Enjoy the rest of it all – I’m having a cataract operation this morning so will be in front of the TV watching with one eye as soon as I’m home!
    Kathy x

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