Posted by: Sam Olsen | August 28, 2011

My face for your club

Having a small friend means that we have to make sure he is entertained enough, without driving us mad by repeated visits to play group. So joining a club is a good idea as there are lots of children, lots of parents in a similar boat to ourselves, and lots of fun to be had. I would have said adult fun there but it has slightly different connotations to what was meant. Honest.

As the expat community here seems to be sports obsessed, become a sporting member of a club is the quickest and easiest way to join. Aggie is thinking of becoming a netballer. Sam can’t play rugby anymore thanks to a dodgy neck; doesn’t want to be repeatedly sent off the football field for hacking; and so hockey is must be. But the last time I played hockey I had a tooth knocked out and woke up in a German hospital having had my nose reconstructed. So I was rather reticent about re-starting this particular career, but Aggie thought me losing my face was worth it. Another potential fly was that my main hockey strength was through scaring fellow students with copious blood loss from the various wounds I received each match. And that was so 1990s; not sure it would work now post Credit Crunch.

There was also the question about which club to join. Luckily enough, I was invited to try out for the teams of two different clubs this weekend. We’ll call them Club A and B. Remembering that the point of playing hockey was not to risk my facial integrity but to join the club, it was a bit of a surprise for me and a pal to be met by Club A’s captain with the words “You should remember that club membership is only for A team members and we have a very high standard of play here” He hadn’t seen us play but even so, nothing like a dismissive welcome. We did get some good pitch time but it was all rather rusty.

Club B was rather different. I arrived on my own (pal was busy doing some horrendous fitness training elsewhere) but was immediately welcomed and thrown on the pitch. Years of unfitness were plainly evident, but it was all played with plenty of encouragement and fun. One of the long-standing club members got sent off for arguing with the umpire, at which point I thought, THIS is my kind of club, as anyone who has played sport with me can testify.

Now it is all down to turning up to training and the subsequent beers on a weekly basis, and hopefully team membership will lead to club membership. Failing that, Aggie’s going to have to get netball happy pretty soon.


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