Horses have arrived (by horsebox), Stewards have arrived (55 seater bus), squirrels are omnipresent. All is well in Greenwich.
|Horses unloading at Greenwich Park|
|Akilles and Cabral say hello in the stables|
The para-equestrian dressage team have arrived earlier than the Olympic Teams; normally we would hold a Squad Training session before a Games or Championships and then move directly to the competition from the Squad Training. Usually, of course, the Games / Championships are abroad. It was felt this time that it would be an added level of disruption to move twice, so the decision was made to go directly into Greenwich. This will give the opportunity for horses, athletes and staff to settle in, relax and then build up to the crescendo of competition. That is the plan....
What is it about "pins"? These little critters cause me more hassle than anything else. Each Country will have a "pin" for the Games and these become a currency at the Games with "swops" or just outright begging for a pin being the order of the day. We worked our way through 3000 for the Olympics and tried very hard to make sure as many of the "back of house" volunteers as possible received one as a thank you. Please note we have none left from the Olympics and we do not have 3000 for the Paralympics!!
Whinge of the day....I have to move rooms in the hotel....again. Long story, full of intrigue, innocent mistakes and teddy throwing by a certain person from a certain international organisation that should know better. It is a pain in the posterior but if it keeps the peace then so be it.......
New trend at Greenwich...group photos by our union flag at the entrance to our Stables; venue vet team and venue logistics team so far today. This is our "sitting out area" so heaven help any group that arrives for their David Bailey moment if I am having a siesta.
I would have liked to have been at the Endurance World Championships which take place today near Newmarket. The Non-Olympic Disciplines do not have the benefit of Lottery / Exchequer funding through UK Sport and so it is a struggle for them to develop and fund Programmes that support the elite end of their sports. It has always been an aim of mine to try to find more funding. We have some outstanding athletes; for example the Eccles clan from Scotland who have taken the Vaulting world by storm. Joanne Eccles is the reigning World and European Champion and, I believe, undefeated for four years. With her sister, Hannah, they are now winning medals in the Pas de Deux; a fantastic achievement under the guidance of their father John.
So good luck to the Endurance Team. I must rush now as the heavens have opened and I need to deliver umbrellas to various training areas!