woensdag 19 november 2014

Singaporeans do things differently: floorball and triathlon*

For a while I was very fit and sporty, in between finishing university and having my first child. I used to play floorball, a cross between ice hockey and indoor field hockey, a very fast and dynamic sport at which I sucked. Well, I wasn't very good. But I was dedicated, and it was a tiny sport so I would always be playing with people much better than myself and, basically, it was just so much fun!

Through a strange fluke of fate I was actually part of the team that played the European Cup qualifying games. At this time, the competition in the Netherlands was so tiny, we couldn't field full-size women's teams. So we used to field half-size teams for competition. Our club had two women's teams, one that topped the league, and, well, the other one. But for the European Cup qualifying tournament the club had to field a full-size team, so the other team got roped in as well. And I got to go!

We were the relief squad, to let the stars catch their breath. For two months, we practised defense, forming a tight human block in front of the goal. The stars meanwhile were having their own training camp: the World Cup in Singapore.

Yes, my new home country has a strong presence in the global floorball community too! When we moved to Singapore, I didn't bring my stick, but I was secretly hoping to get back into the game.

But it turns out that Singaporeans don't really do club sports or leagues, unless it's netball or dragonboat racing. (And both of these count an interesting number of expats among their members, including the almost obligatory 'Spanish Armada' dragonboat team.) Floorball unfortunately is mainly relegated to schools and universities.

The sport that Singaporeans seem to really have taken to heart is the triathlon. Which might be surprising, taking into account the following three facts about Singapore:
a) it is tiny with heavy traffic everywhere
b) it has a humidity of 85% all the time and
c) the temperature never drops below 27 Celsius.

So, obviously, I decided to do as the locals (and lots of expats, of course) and started training for my own triathlon (one of the tiny ones, not an Ironman, perish the thought). And, after three years, I finally have completed one!

It was good. We stayed on to cheer a few of the other athletes, and I saw a few people I know from training sessions. In fact, some of the people I used to train with before the arrival of Big Boy are still around!

The other day I took Blondie and Big Boy to the local sports shopping centre to buy a triathlon suit (yes, I now own a triathlon suit). While there, we spotted the floorball sticks and both Blondie and Big Boy grabbed one and I grabbed a ball, and we ran around the shop for a little bit.

Triathlons are nice and all, but I do really miss the excitement and the team spirit of floorball.

*This is not a very well-written or thought out post, and I apologize. I'm still hitting my roadblock.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

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