Alex, when he’s feeling perverse, blogs commentries of Rugby League matches (going off subject). So this weekend taking half a leaf out of his book (or blog) I’ll talk a little bit about our local sporting scene.
But let us start with me and Sport … not a particularly favourable combination … played rugby (union) at secondary school with some enthusiasm – I was no. 2, the hooker, in the middle of the scrum. I was short and fat which made me ideal for the position. I played in the school team for five years. Never scored a try but was notable as a tackler - I would put myself standing still in the way of a fast-running tall back who was looking over my head.
But at the age of 11 they put us on a
The weather got better and we played hockey and rugby. I quite liked hockey but was not much good at it. The head of the PE department played for the
My success with rugby did not last. When we got to the two-year Sixth form (16-18 years), I was suddenly thrown into a semi-adult world of “large men” and I was finally growing out of “short and fat” to ”short and thin”. Demoted to a substitute 2nd XIV hooker. I arrived at the University of Leeds and two weeks after arriving the captain of the newly-formed Rugby League team (Leeds Uni did not have a League team !!??) asked if I would play hooker – I looked up from my Hall of Residence dining table to see a
I still watch Rugby Union with enthusiasm. (Sorry Alex, the Beeb doesn’t show us Rugby League on satellite!). Two years ago I spent a wonderful fortnight watching cricket after work with Bill, an American friend – I don’t find many Americans who understand it! After a meticulous explanation Nanda actually understands 50-over games and with semi-interest has watched some matches on television. She and I haven’t got the time or patience for a full-blown test match. Tennis, Formula 1 racing (sorry Craig), the horses etc leave me cold although I do enjoy both the winter and summer Olympics and seeing some of the sports not usually shown on television.
And this leads me on to our sporting scene …
Football (soccer to our
Running (all distances) has had a small following of athletes since independence and we were represented by runners in the last Olympic Games for the first time (in the penultimate Games they arrived only to find that they hadn’t registered in time!).
In the last few years several “new” sports have appeared.
Taekwondo – at which we are competing at the continental level.
Chess - at which we competed at the continental level for the first time this year.
Cycling – particularly, I think, mountain-biking and competing at a regional level.
I have reserved until last our oldest and newest sports.
Our oldest is card games – particularly “Bisca”, and to a lesser extent, “Sueca”. Apparently, both originated on the
On Sunday afternoons massive Bisca teams will assemble, home or away, at an appointed palm wine bar announced on the radio, and play a set number of bisca rounds. Bisca is played in coordinated opposite-sitting pairs, as Bridge or Whist. So one pair is from the home team, one from the away team and many secret signal plans exist for the pairs to communicate to each other their hand or what card to play next. Full of lively intrigue! A referee from each team goes round the tables and collects the point-based scores as each game finishes.
A good and lively time is had by all!
Hey, perhaps we could start an International Bisca Committee with
Our newest formalised sport is … Table Football!!