The definitive guide for all parents of sporty kids (well my view of it today anyway)
Team sports aren’t really my thing. I mean, I don’t really play any sport and I’ve never really been part of a team sport, apart from in school, where sport was compulsory. There I played softball, basketball, cricket and (I cringe at the thought) netball.
In my school days, Saturday mornings were spent going to tennis lessons and having a game of tennis afterwards. I don’t class tennis as a ‘team’ sport, although some may differ on that opinion. The other forms of exercise I enjoyed were yoga and aerobics (yes, think leg warmers and leotards).
Anyway, I digress. Even though I don’t participate in team sports doesn’t deter me from supporting my two sons, who play soccer, AFL and (yay) tennis. In fact, I’m there at every training session and every game (whenever the two don’t clash times) and I enjoy watching them play, plus I want them to be a part of the whole team sport experience.
Sorry, I digress again. The purpose of this little post was to tell you how to have a great Sunday in 3 easy steps (in my opinion). So, without further ado…
1. Wake up at 6am, in the dark, before everyone else. Spend 20 minutes wishing I could have slept in and curse the fact that AFL fields are few and far between in Sydney, so travelling to the outskirts is always going to be a necessity. In other words, 6am Sunday wake up calls are a part of my life now. Get over it Gillian, it could be worse – think swimming at 5am! Quickly force down some homemade banana bread and tea, feed the cat and get drowsy patting her, unfortunately relaxing a little too much, then discovering that I spent too much time with the cat. In a frantic state I leave kitty in the lurch and run around the household giving the wake up calls, opening blinds, updating on how long before we leave, making noise etc.
2. Arriving at the grounds on time (yay – some may call this a first), we trek through the grassland with fold up chairs slung over our shoulders to the oval, where parents are already starting to set up chairs; the coffee man is getting his machine pumping in the van and the barbeque set up is already starting to happen. After too many games without a chair, I’m all the more wiser these days, taking everything I need to be comfortable, no matter how much of a granny I look. I start to get into the game, (hey, my son scored a goal!) and think how the effort of driving 50 minutes at 7am in the morning on a Sunday was kinda worth it now.
3. With the game done and dusted, (not that we focus on who won – but our team did!), we head out for a little drive, seeing as though we don’t get to the ‘outskirts’ very often. Lo and behold, we came across the most beautiful lake which required parking the car and walking around. It was truly picturesque. I’m always snap happy and as my boys are used to me taking a million pictures, I happily captured the reflection of the gorgeous trees on the still lake. Beautiful. Lucky for me that a turtle provided much entertainment for the boys. Next we stumbled upon a little area which had running water and again, more beautiful trees reflecting on the water. This time, the carcass of a fish and a centipede took their interest, which meant more time for me to take pictures. Not planning to stop again, but then discovering a beautiful lookout, which had double the interest, because it seemed to be the local hangout of a vintage sports car club. Well, this was enough for my boys to want to stay here all afternoon. The cars were immaculate, but before long, they were on their way, which was a spectacle in itself. Once the last car left, we then turned around and the view was magnificent! Who would have thought? Besides the rolling fields below, we could see outlines of the city, Chatswood, North Sydney and the back burning on the Central Coast! After spending quite a bit of time here and taking another million happy snaps, we felt ready to leave.
So, with one more stop to get ice-creams, we headed home. The car trip was peaceful and everyone content. As I sit here now writing, I realise that today would have to be one of my favourite days. Why? Because everyone had enjoyed the day, we saw something different and from the time we got home (3pm) there have been no cranky tired boys, no cranky tired parents, just a feeling of (sigh) a relaxing Sunday spent out and about and all because of team sports!
Find Gillian in a busy cafe or street, scoping the prospect of characters in her latest book.
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