My first experience of a World Lacrosse Championships is well underway and so far I am really enjoying myself. The feeling at the Armitage Centre is fantastic, fans, players and mascots and all mingling and talking about the matches so far and the fixtures to come.
Manchester certainly hasn’t let it’s reputation down…weather wise that is! It’s rained everyday but that hasn’t damped the atmosphere at all. The players and the fans are all enjoying themselves so much that I don’t think that it has effected the mood, perhaps the Mahou bar helps.
I was so impressed with the opening ceremony. Teams were all kitted out in their gear, some in coloured tracksuits, others, like the Bermudan team in shorts and blazers. All carrying their flag and proud to represent their country at the Championships. It was a shame that the Iroquois Nationals failed to make their flight but great that the German team were transferred to the Blue division. A competitive fixture could then take place against England following the ceremony and the fans really got up for the match. We even have vuvuzelas at the Championships!
In my first blog I wrote about how I was so surprised at the brutality and aggression of the sport. While that is no longer a shock to me, I was amazed at how good the teams are. Their throwing is so accurate and their catching so precise, all this whilst running around and taking body bumps and blows. Noticing the set pieces that lead to goals are also a real spectacle to watch.
From the matches I have seen so far and as a lacrosse newbie I have noticed a difference in the quality of play between the teams. Within the blue division itself, USA and Canada are quite easily the best in the tournament and both are predicted to be in the final on Saturday. I have also been impressed with some of the coloured division, Ireland and Scotland have been putting in really good performances and their match this afternoon was really exciting. At first I thought it was going to go down to the wire but Ireland edged ahead in the final quarter of the match.
Yesterday was a VERY exciting day, not only because of the great matches taking place but there were also two celebrities were spotted on site! The first I was particularly excited about, Inspector Jo Mears from The Bill but no one else seemed to be as big fans of the Sun Hill programme as me. The second celebrity everyone was justifiably wound up about, the former Formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan was here supporting his son who represents the Irish team. Celeb spotters have now been organized to keep their eyes peeled for anymore superstars!
Finally, Lacrosse has gone all modern with technology! A 2010 World Lacrosse Championship iphone app is now available to download…complete with air horn and vuvuzela!