Days Out · Sports Thoughts

Para Athletics 2017

On Sunday we travelled down to London to go to the Olympic Stadium to go to the evening session of the World Para Athletics Championships. I bought the tickets ages ago, during last year’s Paralympics, so our anticipation levels were really high. Buying the tickets was really easy – the website highlighted which of the Team GB stars were competing in which session, I chose the Sunday evening session so that we could see Jonnie Peacock compete in the men’s T44 100m.

We got to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in plenty of time, after a quick trip through the gift shop we went and found the Hero Village. This had some stalls running activities, but more importantly was home to the Medal Plaza. No medals are actually being presented in the stadium during the session they’re won in, instead they’re presented later at the Medal Plaza. Just as we arrived they were presenting the medals from the previous evening’s men’s T42 200m final, for GB a gold to Richard Whitehead and a bronze for David Henson. It was very cool to get to see it, but at the same time felt like a shame as we realised that we wouldn’t get to see the medals from our session actually presented to the athletes who won them.

Getting into the stadium itself was so easy, the security was efficient and the entry system had clear instructions to make sure you entered the stadium in the right place. We were in our seats very early when there was hardly anyone else in the stadium.


It soon filled up though, there were over 30,000 people there – the biggest crowd so far in the tournament. It was brilliant to see the crowds including loads of families with children, lots of them clutching their cuddly toy version of the competition mascot Whizbee.


The sport was brilliant. We saw such a variety, from our seats we had a fantastic view of the long jump as well as all of the track events. Most of the throwing events were a little further away so I found myself paying a little less attention to them, but there’s so much going on that you can’t possibly watch all of it.

There was so much good sport to watch and enjoy but the highlight was of course seeing Jonnie Peacock race. His heat and his race were both highly tense, even if they did both only last just over 10 seconds! Seeing him set a new record, and win the gold medal was absolutely brilliant.

We had such a great evening. I came away definitely wanting to go and watch more live sport. I’d gladly go back to watch more at the Olympic Park, but also plan to investigate some other venues – locally we have the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham which hosts major athletics competitions, and also other sports – after both London 2012 and Rio 2016 we said we’d love to go and watch some cycling at a velodrome and I don’t want to get to Tokyo 2020 and still not have done it.

Life · Photography · Sports Thoughts

The London 2012 Torch Relay.

The Olympic Torch is in Wales at the moment on its journey around the UK. It arrived in Aberystwyth yesterday evening and this morning headed off on its way to Bangor where it is spending tonight. I live a little north of Aberystwyth so it was wonderful this morning to see the torch taking the route I use every time I go into town. I went to see the torch in Tre-Taliesin, watching its final leg before it was transported by coach to Machynlleth.

This lady was the torch bearer:

According to the website she is Caroline Orrells from Newton, her bio is here. The rest of the photos I took are on my Flickr here.

It was very quiet where I watched it compared with some of the images I’ve seen, but for me it was no less impressive. I’ve been looking forward to the Olympics coming to the UK for ages now, and seeing the torch for real was I think the thing that really brought it home to me that it’s really happening. I loved as well knowing that my parents and some friends have already watched the torch go past, and more family members and friends will see it in the weeks to come – we’re all scattered across England and Wales, but we’re all sharing this experience.

Book Stuff · Sports Thoughts

Wowed by The Men of Warrior.

It is no secret that I love photography. Or that I love tattoos. Or sports movies. Or Tom Hardy. So when I first read about this book I knew that I was going to be a must have for me.

The Men of Warrior is a coffee table photo book featuring some of the men who appear in the upcoming film Warrior. I’ve been pretty excited about this film for some time, it first crossed my radar because it stars Tom Hardy, one of my favourite actors. The film is about two estranged brothers, played by Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton, who both turn to MMA (mixed martial arts) for their own reasons and end up on a collision force to fight each other.

The book features the photography of Tim Palen, Lionsgate’s President of Theatrical Marketing. He photographed Hardy, Edgerton and three MMA fighters who appear in the film, he manages to capture each one perfectly. I flicked quickly through the book when I first got it out of the packaging and knew I needed to spend some time really looking properly at it. There are photographs that capture tiny moments, looking at them you feel like you know exactly what is going through the character’s mind.

These are just a few of the pictures that I instantly loved, they are just my phone pics which don’t remotely do them justice – the book really needs to be seen for real. I know I’m going to be coming back to this book time and time again, and I know that each time I’m going to be seeing things I never noticed before. My anticipation levels for the film are now higher than ever, I can’t wait to see it.