Thursday, April 06, 2006

can I kick it? well ... sort of

Despite being unathletic, tall and, at times, clumsy, I am not the worst sportsperson on earth. My hand-eye coordination is reasonable and I can do things like throw/hit/catch with some sort of proficiency. HOWEVER – in NO WAY should I ever be an ambassador for any sort of sporting activity. Yet, it seems that I may feature on Philippine cable television in what must surely be a doomed attempt to market the sport of beach soccer.

Last Sunday, with a team comprising people from work plus friends, I played in the Kicksand Legenda Beach Football Tournament at everybody’s favourite symphony of industry and nature. D, K (PhD student at work and team captain), I (workmate and team member) arrived mid-afternoon on Saturday and, after finding accommodation, set about rigorously preparing for the following day’s competition:

It was a fun day (except for J, the team’s Swede, who rooted his knee quite badly), despite the sand getting bloody hot and shredding not only socks but also feet. The blister at left belongs to K, our captain, who grew up playing barefoot in Ghana on jagged rocks and was consequently and understandably dismayed to find he was the only player who had to pull out due to blisters – and the photo shows his foot after only one game; we played 8 for the day. Below are two teams who look NOWHERE NEAR as professional as we did in our rip-off Chelsea uniforms.

The event was filmed and apparently televised (I haven’t seen it yet) on Solar Sports, a local cable channel. Apparently our side’s “international” flavour was attractive. We were reasonably international, with Ghana, Sweden, Iran, Turkey, Philippines, France, Netherlands and Oz being represented. And we did OK – 3 wins and 3 losses after the elimination round (matches were only 15 minutes each), and then an upset win over the until-then undefeated favourites. We lost the final 2-1 and each received a lovely runners-up medal, which I will wear at all possible occasions.

“Oh, this old thing? It’s nothing, really – how embarrassing that you even noticed! Did I score any goals? Well, now that you ask…” You know.

Solar Sports is sponsoring another tournament that they’ll televise just before the World Cup in June as part of a campaign to in crease Filipinos’ knowledge and enthusiasm for soccer. AND they invited us to participate. Unfortunately I’ll be unavailable on the planned date; I’m sure that Real Madrid and Liverpool will have scouts watching.

Most sports marketing seems to be aimed at showing highly skilled individuals performing amazing physical feats and thus inspiring us ordinary folk to try and emulate them. While I speak only for myself here (some of my teammates are pretty good), Solar Sport’s strategy seems more along the lines of: “If this guy can do it, think how much better you’ll be.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first time I looked at this there were no pictures and was terribly dissappointed. Now I see that you've loaded a few images and WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT! They add such life to your words...

11:42 pm  
Blogger secret wombat said...

Well, thanks! I think...were my words really so lifeless?

12:26 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can confirm that SW is indeed a good tennis AND golf player, but that is a mystery given his lanky form and knack for elbowing precious objects off shelves and things. However, his behaviour when screwing up on court or green is something not to be admired, better laughed at.

Ash, who has bitterly has never beaten SW at golf or tennis - there I said it.

ps. your words are life-full.

11:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can kick ass, life-fully, but pictures make blogs a lot more fun.

5:03 pm  

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