Heres To Extraordinary

The boys and I watched the impressive Opening ceremony of the Olympics along with 22.4 million other people in the UK, once the olympics started we were hooked. The olympics was constantly on our television, from equestrian to shooting to the athletics we was glued to it. We was lucky enough to get tickets to the Olympics Park to watch the Women’s semi Final in Diving and we also had a day out at Hyde Park to watch the mens triathlon where the boys and I watched the Team GB win Victoriously with a Gold and Bronze medal from the amazing Brownlee brothers. The atmosphere was electric and we was gripped to the Olympic fever so when the Olympics was over we sadly felt like we had lost something, something that had been a big part of our lives for two weeks had stopped, we had even abandoned Eastenders for the Olympics which was a big thing for us as we are huge fans of the drama. All is not lost though as NOW we have the Paralympics to look forward to, I have been lucky enough to purchase tickets to watch the athletics in the Olympic Park which everyone is really looking forward to and again i believe we will be transfixed to the TV even more so than before with the Olympics as these athletes that are competing against other countries make me feel even more proud to be british, they have overcome a disability and become strong and they have shown us that having a disability needn’t set you back from what you want to achieve, they also show us hope and ambition. These physical disabilities include mobility disability, amputations, blindness and cerebral palsy. With only 6 days to go until the opening ceremony Jak my eldest boy was invited along by Sainsbury’s and Mumsnet to attend a very special event of Blind Football to celebrate the 1 million kids challenge. The session was run by Gary Knight who is the FA’s Blind Football Coach who works with the Paralympics GB Football Squad and The England Blind Football team. Gary along with another FA coach Jon Whittingham taught 11 children the skills required to play Blind Football, a high level of concentration is needed and silence is critical as the players need to hear their team mates and the football which contains ball bearing so it rattles when it is in play. A lot more dribbling and close control of the ball is needed so the player knows where the ball is when in play with it.

The session started with an introductory to Gary and Jon and the children were explained about what was going to happen and what they were going to do, they was all led out on to the 5 a side pitch 5 at a time with their blind folds on, all in line and touching the right shoulder of the person in front of them with their right hand.

Being led out by Jon

They were then all shown some orienting, familiarising with their surroundings and determining their bearings. They started at one side of the room and asked to walk to the other side counting their steps as they went and then they were told just to walk half way and stop when they believed they were there. All of the children did so well and got to the other side and the middle roughly at the right spot. Parents were then asked to volunteer in rolling the ball the children so they could stop it with their feet and then pass it back to us, i made sure i spoke to the two children i had at all times so they knew where i was and i explained what i was doing every time i rolled the ball to them. As there were other balls in play they couldn’t just rely on listening to the ball b earing in it as they were getting confused with the other balls so me speaking to them too was important. In a match of Blind Football players call out “yeah” and their names to make teammates aware of their presence and the rules stipulate that players must call out “voy!” – meaning “I’m here” – as they approach to tackle, It’s all about relying on your hearing and knowing your team mates.

After a short break all the children participated in a penalty shoot out for a chance to win a signed football shirt by David Beckham, It was nail-biting stuff and the competition was tough, the children did remarkably well and it was surprisingly impressive to see how the children had got used to moving around while blindfolded so quickly, eventually it was down to two children and Gary made it slightly more complicated than just kicking the ball. The two boys left had to start at one side of the pitch walk forward with the ball until they reached Gary then they had to walk around him 360 degrees and then shoot at the goal, I couldn’t watch as Jak was one of the boys but i was shocked to hear everyone clap, i opened my eyes to see the ball at the back of net, WOW i was very impressed and proud of him. Jak had won the brilliant prize and as a huge fan of football and David Beckham, he was ecstatic, it is going to take months for that smile to disappear from his little face.

The event was even filmed by ITV’s London Tonight, if you would like to watch the clip you will find it here

It was an amazing day and what an experience for Jak to be involved in something so special especially taking part in a Paralympic sport days before the Paralympics start. It is going to be a day that he will never forget, he has learnt that no matter what your ability is you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it, he has learnt of equality and respect. Jak was inspired by the Olympics but after participating in this session he is even more determined to achieve his best with dedication and determination. Sainsburys launched The Million Kids Challenge last year encouraging children and schools to participate in a paralympic sport, to help children realise their sports potential and to inspire a new generation.

Parents and children
The children Orienting

Thank you to Sainsburys and to Mumsnet bloggers network for inviting us along to such an amazing and inspirational event.

“I am a member of the mumsnet bloggers network, a group of parent bloggers picked by Mumsnet to review products, services, events and brands. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity”

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233/366 Sainsburys children’s Paralympic blind football event

Jak was invited along to attend a special event today run by Sainsburys who are the official sponsors to London 2012 Paralympic Games which start on 29th August.
The event today introduced the chosen children to the skills required in playing blind football, the children were trained by Gary Knight the FA’s Blind Football coach who works with the Paralympics GB football squad and the England Blind Football team. The session follows on from Sainsbury’s Million Kids Challenge where schools, clubs and organisations across the UK were sent Paralympic Sports Kits, encouraging 2.4 million children to try Paralympic sport ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Here is Jak waiting in the changing room with his blind fold on ready to be led out onto the five a side pitch.



My experience at the Olympics Aquatics centre to watch the Diving

I entered a sweepstake competition on twitter last week with @AcerUK_Official for the chance to win tickets to watch the Womens Semi Final Diving at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park, I didn’t think i had a chance in winning but to my surprise about an hour later a message popped into my email account from Acer saying ‘Congratulations you have won tickets to the olympics’ I screamed with delight, I couldn’t believe it, I was going to the Olympics. The tickets were for the next day so Acer kindly sent them by courier to me and they arrived at my door with hours of the amazing news, i jumped around the living room holding my tickets shouting ‘Im going to the Olympics, I’m going to the Olympics’, The boys were dancing with me and Daddy couldn’t believe his eyes when he got in from work to see us all jumping about.

The prize was only for two tickets so i decided on taking my little Oliver as i thought he may sleep through the event giving me time to watch the diving and to take it all in. I only live a few miles away from the Olympic Park so it only took me 45 minutes to arrive there, door to door. The sun was shining and it was going to be a brilliant day, on entering the park i couldn’t help but notice how friendly everyone was, the Games Makers were singing and dancing and smiling and waving at everyone as they passed, The volunteers from the Army were helpful and everyone cooed over Oliver and his Flatcap. As it was a hot day i had clipped on his stroller fan and lots of people mentioned how he was going to be the coolest kid in there, one games maker even shouted over his gramophone that Oliver was the Trendiest baby he had seen. It was surprisingly not that busy as everyone was ushered through the turnstiles in orderly files and the park was very well set out with lots of information scattered about, I was lucky that the Aquatics centre was at the entrance that i entered at which meant i didn’t have that long of a walk to get there.

Everyone was helpful and happy and the atmosphere was electric, people were waving their flags and lots were all dressed up in their countries colours. I found my seats and i couldn’t believe my eyes i was pretty much on top of the diving boards sitting parallel to them, I had a brilliant view.

Taken before the screaming started

Unfortunately Oliver hadn’t had  a sleep that morning and was getting quite ratty, the centre was hot and humid and he just would not sit still and to top it off when the crowd screamed and cheered he thought it was funny to do it back only it was when the centre went quiet that he chose to scream and squeal, he thought he was being funny and the more i told him not to the more he done it. There was no way this over tired little boy was going to sleep, what with all the noise going on around him and lots of faces to look at and even music playing in between dives he already made his mind up that he was going to stay awake.

I watched as the athletes came out one by one and was introduced to the crowd, we cheered and clapped as every one of them stepped forward and waved

After watching the first round of impressive dives, halfway through the second round i had to succumb to defeat and take Oliver out of the centre, I thought that maybe a walk around outside may tire him out but he only wanted to run along and smile at everyone as he passed, there was no way i was going to get back in and watch the rest of the dives. I took Oliver to the buggy park and picked up his stroller and guess what he fell asleep within seconds of strapping him in. It was too late to go back in to the Aquatics centre so i went for a walk around the Olympic Park to have a look around. The Park is astonishing and so huge and so much to see with all the buildings and the pretty little walkways along the river, lots of different types of food to try and there is definitely lots of people to talk to and as i walked past the Stadium i heard the crowd erupt in applause.

What an amazing day i had even though it was not for as long as i would have liked it at least i can say ‘I Was There’ So a huge massive big thank you to Acer for making my day, it was an experience i will never forget.

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Olympic Mens Triathlon at Hyde Park

For the past year i have tried and tried to buy tickets to the Olympics, we live not far away from the Olympic Park and seeing as the Olympics is being held practically on our doorstep I thought it would be an amazing experience for us a family to watch. I managed to buy daddy some boxing tickets for Daddy as a birthday present and i made the mistake of not purchasing the boys tickets too, I thought that i would be able to buy more tickets for them but when i tried again I wasn’t allowed any more under my name. In the past two weeks much to my disappointment i have failed to buy tickets to the olympics so I took to London yesterday so the boys could experience some olympic fever in Hyde Park. We went to watch the mens triathlon and what a day it was! The boys got to see so much and really enjoyed themselves, we found a spot just near the serpentine where we saw the swimming and then walked just a short distance to S Carriage Drive where the triathletes were going to be cycling down. Jak and Joseph stood on top of a rubbish bin where they got a great view of the triathletes as they passed us. The boys waved their olympic foam hands that they made from some yellow moon craft packs, they cheered until they got sore throats and they jumped up and down when they caught a glimpse of Team GB go by. Once the triathletes had passed us cycling on their last lap we made our way to the huge live screen to watch the triathletes transition from their cycles to the last leg of the race into the running stage. The boys then wanted to see if they could watch some of the running so we found a great spot on a hill just near the serpentine where we got a fabulous view of the main stand where the triathletes would finish, AND what a view it was, we saw Alistair Brownlee grab a union jack from someone near the stand and run towards the finish line waving it where he walked over the line to win Gold.

Waving their Hands

Alistair Brownlee looking back at the pack

We all had a glorious day and can’t believe we got to see an olympic ev

The hyge live screen

ent, we had magnificent views all day, the sun made an appearance too. We made the most of being in London too, we visited the serpentine gallery, the boys had a splash in the Diana’s memorial fountain and to finish our day off we walked to Covent Garden for something to eat passing some iconic places on the way like Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and The Horse Guards.

What an amazing day we all had, the atmosphere was electric and we even got to see many of the athletes up close including Alistair and Jonathon Brownlee who went on to win Gold and Bronze Olympic medals. We are now looking forward to watching the Paralympic athletics in the Olympic park, which i have managed to get tickets for us for YIPPEE!

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308/366 Serpentines Gallery Yoko Ono #Smikesfilm boys smile

The boys and I travelled to London’s Hyde Park today to support Team GB in the mens triathlon. We had an amazing day and got to watch a bit of history as the Brownlee brothers passed us by and ended up winning gold and bronze medals. Once the race had finished we made our way to the serpentine gallery where the boys had their photo taken in a part of Yoko Ono’s interactive #smilesfilm online gallery. Smilesfilm is a worldwide participatory project that encourages participation online. Conceived as a way of connecting people across the world, the project invites people to upload and send images of their smiles by hash-tagging #smilesfilm, creating a global string of smiles covering the planet.
And here are my boys smiling away


It’s all about the smile.