I was too tired to write yesterdays post, so i’m writing it today.
Yesterday we weren’t needed until around 12, so after breakfast, we had a very lazy, chilled morning. I left the hotel at around 11 to head in to Drumcondra where i would get the bus. The hotel gave me clear simple directions which were so helpful. A lovely woman saw me and walked down to make sure i got on the right bus which was very nice of her.
We got the bus out to
Which stands for “Air Lingus sports and athlettics association”. The bus was a talking one too wwhich was cool. The announcements were in Irish and English but they were very quiet. Thankfully, the driver told me when i was coming up to my stop. The folks at Vision Sports had written out clear directions from the bus stop over to Alsaa. I love directions you can follow, rather than what i call silly directions which only end up confusing you.
When we arrived at Alsaa, we had to go up stairs first to register. We then had to go back down stairs where the sports were taking place. Unfortunately, there was a partially sighted footzall tournament taking place in the hall too, so it was rather noisy.
First of all, i tried the indoor rowing machine. The coach who was from the Irish Indoor Rowing association i think, was fantastic and explained everything to me. I had been canooing in the past, but i had never tried indoor rowing. Once i got in to my rythm, i found it very easy to row. I rowed for 10 minutes and rowed 1200 metres in 3 minutes and 21 seconds i think. It was great fun.
Next, i moved on to VI tennis. This was being hosted by the irish tennis association. There were two coaches over from England as it was the first time VI tennis had come to Ireland. Apparently, there is talk of it coming to the North, and my details were taken as i was interested. As i had never played Tennis before, i was shown everything from scratch. The balls in VI Tennis are bigger than normal Tennis balls, and are spongy. They have a rattle in them. The rackets are the same, but the ball is allowed to bounce up to 3 times in VI /tennis. I didn’t realise Tennis was so active as you have to move around to hear the ball. It was hard to hear because of everything else going on, but we did the best we could.
Unfortunately just as i was getting in to my groove, the president of Ireland came in so we had to hold play. There were a few speeches and the president got to see some of the sports. He was very softly spoken and spoke a lot in Irish so it was hard to understand him at times.
After all the speeches and the formalities, the president left, and we all went up stairs for lunch. The Alsaa had given us vouchers to use which was good. I was dying to get back to the Tennis lol. I really enjoyed it.
After lunch, it was back to the sports. I asked if i could play the tennis again. I would deffinetly be interested in doing this if it comes to the north. It was such a fun sport.
Next, it was on to the Goalball. Goal ball is where you are blind folded and you have to stop the ball going in to the other teams goal. You have 3 players in each team. Unfortunately, i came in on the end of it, so didn’t get to do it. I tried it once years ago, but it hasn’t really taken off here.
We waited around for a bit before playing the final sport, which was Tug Of War. I didn’t even know such a sport existed lol! This was being run by the Irish Tug of War association. There is a huge thick rope. You are in teams of 4 and you have to pull the rope against the other team until you reach a blue mark on the floor i think. It was surprisingly hard as one team were pulling one way, and the other team were pulling the other. There was an ankor who had the rope attached to them from the association on each team too.
Prizes were presented after this, and our team won a medal in the tug of war which was cool. Some of the girls in our team wanted a shower so we had to go down a whole maze of corridors to find them lol. There was a private bus taking a lot of us back to the Maples since we were having a do there, but it didn’t hang around for long, so we had to wait and get a lift back with the Footzall people. They were partially sighted and there were teams from Austria, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. They had to come back today for the second day of their tournament.
When we eventually arrived back at the Maples, two of the girls went up to my room to put on their makeup. I needed to get changed in to my fancy stuff too. It was rather a tight squeeze getting us all in to my tiny room lol. The other guide dog who was there found Ushi’s squeaky hedgehog, so Ushi was most put out. Once we were all ready, we headed down to the function room where are do was to be held. We had to lock one of the girls in the bathroom as there wasn’t enough room to get us all out of my room with the two doors being open.
For Dinner, i had vegetable soup for starters, Turkey and ham for the main, and Perfitta rolls again for dessert. We also had tea and coffee. During our tea, a raffle was drawn where people could win a number of prizes, including a signed rugby joursey.
After dinner, it was time for the boogying to start. Unfortunately the music that the dj picked, was more for a country and western concert, which didn’t suit a lot of people and they opted to go to the bar section of the hotel. It was still good craic though. The three of us girls didn’t get to bed until after 3, as we were chatting and having such a good time. The other girls collected their stuff from my room before heading home. It was such a brilliant night.
I think the sports were extremely well organised and i met some people i knew from school and such which was cool.
I will write my final day tomorrow as the late night is catching up to me.