Life got a bit hectic in June. Which is odd as I would never have June down as a ‘hectic’ month but it was. We all have times in our lives where things get mad busy and this was mine.
For those that don’t know what I do for a living, I work for England Hockey as a communications officer looking after the grassroots side of the sport aka the fluffy off pitch activity. June saw England Hockeys big event of the year (minus the Olympics) as we hosted an International tournament for men and women at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis centre in the Olympic Park. I hate how we have to include the Tennis Centre part in that title.
I roomied with one of the event team, Lisa who had already been living in the hotel for a week. She had broken the curtain and was running out of clean pants. Classic. We were on the top floor (the 10th) so waiting for lifts was a regular occurrence as well as sharing lifts with many of the team (mainly the Austrailian women where I felt very hobbit-like as they towered over me) Sadly no teams were on our floor so I didn’t get the pleasure of sharing a corridor with smelly trainers and shin pads! It was a great roomie partnership, minus the 7am starts of Lisa f-ing and blinding as she woke up in a panic that she had missed her alarm. The beauty of working in comms is that we are always the last to the venue but last to leave which suits me wonderfully as I am a night owl through and through.
Firstly my ‘Get Beth Fit’ motto went straight out of the window. When you are on event you eat whilst on the move so the easier it is to fit in your hand the better. Plus we had a buffet breakfast where it was very hard not to have a full English every morning! I did manage one run in the rain around the Olympic park which I enjoyed. One run in the 3 weeks but then again I was averaging 20,000 steps a day so I felt it was ok not to fully exercise!
My work wife Alice, who I had the pleasure having breakfast with every morning decided we should hire Boris bikes and truly embrace the London life. £2 for 24hours but would charge if you went over 30 minutes at one time! Very easy to hire and use but god they are heavy bikes. We had a lovely few mornings and rest day cycling around the Olympic park!
It was a great experience and event to be a part of and I believe England hockey and the FIH put on an amazing spectacle. A brilliant showcase for a sport that is so much more than the actual game. BT Sport had the tv rights and did a smashing job – they are not afraid to try new things which really worked for hockey. If the weather decided to go in our favour* most days would have been a sellout.
*we had thunder and lightning at least 3 times with 2 internal evacuations and 1 match postponed due to the weather. It was more of a swimming pool than a hockey pitch at one point.
If you work in events I have a few tips that I learnt on my first major hockey event!
- Marathon NOT a sprint. This was my motto for the whole tournament. You do not want to burn out early on from late nights to over working – just go with the flow and make sure you get plenty of sleep!
- Take some you time. It is ok to say no to after event drinks or to have a rest day to yourself. It is an intense few days living in each other pockets so having some you time is perfectly acceptable.
- Remember to eat. You need your energy more than anything, if you don’t fuel your body it will break down.
- Don’t worry if your work colleagues snap at you. We all have stressful moments of the tournament at a range of times so don’t take it personally it’s just work where we are all trying to do our best. These things happen.
- Always be prepared. I had deodorant, bits of makeup, spare chargers, hair bobbles, two laptops, snacks (jelly babies), rain mac, spare socks and sunglasses. I was prepared for an apocalypse basically.
- Enjoy it. You meet people from all around the world and walks of life’s, from volunteers to support staff to athletes. You also get to know work colleagues better which can only be better when going back to ‘normal’ office work!
FYI I didn’t win 1k – I am sadly not an elite athlete. I just saw the giant cheque and wanted a snap with it.
I also have two new flatmates and a new dog in the house but that was a lovely thing to come home too. I am the odd one out as I am not a Dr Doo-Little but I will save flat mate stories for another day!
Now back to reality!