Welcome to Italy

What a few months it has been since my last blog. I hardly feel I’ve had time to catch my breath but it has been awesome.

I went out to Rio to watch the Paralympics in September, which was brilliant. Although Brazil were getting a lot of criticism regarding the Olympics, I though they did a fantastic job of the Paralympics. The crowds were bigger than at the Olympics for some sports and the atmosphere was electric. We didn’t get to see much outside the basketball but we did make it to the first day of the Sprint Kayaking which was a great insight into how the competition works. It was GB’s most successful Paralympics since 1988 with a total of 147. Incredibly the 6 Sprint Kayak athletes earned Paralympics GB 3 gold & 2 bronze medals. The basketball was also very successful for GB with the men winning bronze and the women finishing 4th. It was 10 very fun days and I’m so glad I went.

When I got home I had just 48 hours before we before we left for Italy. As well as packing, I had a lot of socialising to do and my car needed a last minute check over before the long drive. I managed to squeeze in a roast with friends and dinner with family before leaving on the Tuesday morning.

The drive took 2 days and took us through France & Switzerland before arriving in Italy on the Wednesday evening. We had a bit of a nightmare on the Tuesday night because we found out the the Gothard Tunnel in Switzerland was closed so we had the option of using the Gothard Pass instead but this added over an hour to our journey time, so we decided to find a hotel but that was a lot easier said than done. We ended up staying in a fantastic hotel in the Swiss Alps, it was just a shame we couldn’t stay longer and we had to get back on the road.

It’s hard to believe that was over 6 weeks ago!

Since then I’ve been training hard with my new team Santo Stefano and we’ve had our first 3 matches of the season.

Just over 3 weeks ago we played against Santa Lucia who are based in Rome. I’ve actually played at their venue before when I was in the Aces team that made The Champions Cup. We had a good match (although we started slowly) and got a convincing win in the end, 70- 40. I obviously took the opportunity whilst over that side of the country to do the Rome tourist thing with the boyfriend on the Sunday, considering it was October it was incredibly warm and incredibly busy but great to be a tourist for the day.

The week after that, we played the Italian champions Cantù in a packed venue just north of Milan. This match didn’t quite go to plan and we lost 40-80, although I don’t think the score is representative of our team and what we can achieve. Let’s just put it down to teething problems as we are still getting to know each other and how to work effectively with one another!

This weekend we played our first home match against Porto Torres and although we gave them a good game for the first half, the second half didn’t go our way at all and the final score was 52-70.

Personally I’ve not played a huge amount in the matches so far but I’m still working to get my fitness and my on court speed back. I’m hoping that by the new year I’ll be back where I need to be to be more effective on court and earn some more court time. I feel that being in an environment where I’m enjoying training and playing is allowing me to get back into the shape I want to be in.

Next weekend we play against Padova which will be another long journey to the north of Italy but then we have the following weekend off so I’m travelling back to the UK for one week only. Lots to look forward to.

Anyway Ciao for now 🙂

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