Friday, 16 October 2015


Yesterday I experienced a glorious Brisbane spring day, being spectator at one of the most exciting and eagerly anticipated dates on the girls' schools sporting calendar - the QGSSSA Athletics at the stadium in Brisbane's south west, still known to most people as the QEII stadium, but now officially called QSAC (Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre). It's where Brisbane hosted the Commonwealth Games track and field events back in 1982.

The day was hot and sunny and shade is at a premium out there, so needless to say, after watching the stellar high jumpers in the sun for an hour and a half, I ended the day with a blazing case of sunburn - scarlet neckline and arms, and pink forehead and nose. Today I just feel rather stupid.

10 senior schools represented - all girls in the competition. It was a very tough gig to place out there yesterday, let me tell you. The talent we have in south east Queensland with sprinters, long distance runners, high jumpers whose names most certainly will be known at national levels in the years to come, hurdlers, the list goes on. It was a joy to be watching the talent, the determination and the standard that they brought to the track. I love these events - it makes you feel physical and virtuous just watching the activity. It actually gives me hope that all is not lost against the battle with obesity and our evergrowing fatness problem due to the sedentary lives we lead.

My own daughters excelled and I couldn't be any prouder of them. The big one is a jumper and took out the long jump and slotted into 2nd in the high jump, only on a count back. She cleared 154cm and only missed 157 by the tiniest smidge.  The high jump event is just amazing to watch, it's such a great show, with a big beginning, lots of eager competitors front up, and as they go, you feel their disappointment if they knock the bar and their exhilaration when they realise it's still in position as they hit the mat. I just want them all to get over that bar. It's such a specific event, you have to have a certain shape, a special run, enough speed, plenty of bounce and such faith in your own abilities, otherwise you'd just run straight past the bar and run away to hide under the stands. The show ends with only 2 competitors, and when it's done I always wish there was more - it's my favourite event.

The little daughter, at her first big one of these comps, was super nervous and was given the unenviable task of running the 800m. Smallest girl in the school team and smallest girl at the start line. Small but mighty! After 700m slogging along, she accelerated to fly down the last 100m, overtaking 2 girls before the line. Wow! She was totally spent from that and the emotions and tears flowed for a full twenty minutes after, but today (after a good sleep) she knows she could've given absolutely nothing more, she left it all out there on the track, and she is so so very proud of herself.

Worth the sunburn? Yes, absolutely to be there for these special events is priceless. Just someone remind me next time - HAT, UMBRELLA, SUNSCREEN.


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