Monday, 19 January 2015

Asian Cup 2015

January was always going to be a cracker of a sporting month!

We've got a tennis grand slam 
and Asia's most significant football tournament
happening in this household at the moment.


We are volunteering at the Asian Cup, 
whilst housing for the Australian Open.

Talk about busy and exciting!


So you will find me on match days 
 nattily dressed in a pair of bright orange 
"does my bum look big in this?" shorts
down at Melbourne's Rectangular Stadium.


I am, in case you wondered, 
supposedly dressed
to look like a ray of Australian sunshine.
How lovely I hear you say!


I'm not sure whether we are the only family 
who are volunteering together,
but needless to say, 
my son and daughter both look terrific in their uniforms,
and me, well...


Not since daughter Number 2 was eighteen months old
have we been decked out in the same attire.
I have a feeling that it might be another twenty years
before this historic event repeats itself...


As a sport, and especially a soccer mad family, 
it felt important to support the biggest football event 
ever to come to our shores.

Our weekends through out winter are dominated by football matches.
On a really busy weekend we could have up to five games
that we're involved with as a family;
playing, coaching and volunteering.
So we were chuffed
 to be selected as volunteers at the Asian Cup.


So far over 250,000 people across the five Australian host cities 
have enjoyed the AFC Asian Cup.
There are sixteen countries involved.
Each one brings something unique and different to the spirit of the match.


We have all loved the multi-cultural, fun crowds
who have come here from all over Australia and the world.
I have met fans from Kuwait, Bahrain, Palestine and Jordan.
A special mention goes to Iran for their high energy crowd.


I also rather loved the crowd participation at the North Korean match
who seeing the team trailing behind on goals 
rallied behind the modest group of North Koreans supporters.
Who were soon swamped by cheering Aussie fans.
They may have lost badly to Saudi Arabia 
but the North Koreans won the hearts of the crowd.


There are not many cities of the world that can offer,
as Melbourne can this week, 
two or three International sporting events on opposite sides of the street.

So ok that street is admittedly an Olympic Boulevard
but I think it must be the best sporting precinct in the world?
 You can watch tennis 
at the Australian Open by day 
and by night Asia's biggest celebration of football.

Lights at the MCG cricket, HiSense arena tennis from Melbourne Rectangular Stadium football

Tonight, we added cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground 
with the one day international between Australia and India.

You can see why they call Melbourne 
the sporting capital of the world!


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