Saturday, December 14, 2013

Scotland v. USA Soccer Match

A few weeks back my friends and I headed up to Glasgow on a Friday to watch the Scotland versus USA International Friendly football (read: soccer) match at Hampden Park stadium. I was excited to go and see my first professional football match especially since people in the UK really take their football seriously. My friend Marston prepared for the game and bought American flags for Jake and I to cheer on our compatriots. Since none of my Scottish or English friends accompanied us on this excursion; it was to be an American weekend. Jake, Marston and I met up with the rest of our American friends in Glasgow and at the stadium and we all sat together down on field level; we are all in the Butler study abroad program. We ended up having a great time cheering on the good old USA and enjoyed the match even though it resulted in a 0-0 tie. Plus, we got recorded outside the stadium for their sports broadcast clip of fans!
 When we arrived at the stadium I was a bit weary to wear our flags. You see I've grown up in Southern California, sat in the cheap seats at a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game and I know of the bad things that can happen to an opposing fan; therefore, I wasn't too keen on standing out in Glasgow, a city, which I have many the time heard referred to as the butt of jokes, especially about stabbings. Nonetheless, when at the stadium we all proudly donned our flags, after judging our surroundings. In the end, we even made a Scottish friend (he is next to me) and were only heckled by 8 year olds who were flying their Scottish colors. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Edinburgh Annual Polo Tournament

Hello there!

The weekend of November 22nd to 24th I competed for Edinburgh's Beginner A team in the Edinburgh Annual Polo Tournament hosted at Dalmahoy Estate. The tournament included beginner (anyone who has played for less than one year), novice, intermediate and open classes.

The tournament was configured in a round-robin fashion so that my team ended up playing St. Andrews, Newcastle, Edinburgh B, and Royal College of Surgeons from Dublin, Ireland, over the course of the weekend.

On an unusually crisp and icy Friday morning the fun began, or at least it was supposed to. Upon arrival at the yard we found out that our scheduled match against St. Andrews was to be delayed in order to let the frozen and slick arena deice. In the meantime my teammates and I stayed warm in the viewing room, ran and slide across the frozen ice, talked strategy and practiced our shots on the wooden horse. It's pretty much the same concept as hitting off a tee in baseball. At noon with the sun already becoming low in the sky--the days are short this time of the year-- the tournament and the much anticipated chukkas began. We had two matches on Friday and then two on Sunday.

The weekend was a great success!
I had a wonderful time playing polo with my teammates and hanging out with all of the Edinburgh and other university players that were there over the weekend. The dinner and social organized by our committee members was lots of fun and a great chance to socialize and recap the days events. Who doesn't reveling in the glory of a game well played. My team went 4-0 during the course of the weekend and won our division! There was an award ceremony for the tournament and we received really snazzy Argentinean polo shirts from a sponsor as a prize. I didn't know that there were prizes in polo at the beginning but now that I do I am completely sold--as if I wasn't already. Who doesn't like prizes?  At the ceremony at the end of the tournament I was lucky enough to be awarded the Most Improved Player award for my performance during the chukkas. I really appreciate the honor. The recognition was great and would have been enough, but to top it off, the award came with a custom designed and tailored shirt from a company in London. Like I said, who doesn't like prizes?  I'll be sure to have help picking out the shirt and taking measurements when I get home. I may have learned to play polo but custom designed shirts seem to be on a whole different level of sophistication to me.

Pictures will be sure to come once I order them from the photographer!

My teammates Holly and Hannah accepting our prize.

Accepting my Most Improved Award from the Committee.