Banyana Banyana

I love being around positive people, and being around people in the sports world are inspiring, enthusiastic and see nothing as a problem. Life is so short and this experience has made me realise how important it is to choose a life and a job where people love life and laugh, sing and find the good in everything.

I arrived in then the Chef de Mission requested that I drive her and the Project Manager to Warwick to drop off athletes’ gifts, some kit and some medical supplies for the team physio.

The 2 hour journey north was great fun! We laughed and chatted and the ladies got a lot of phone calls. How on earth did we manage PMP (pre-mobile phones)?

We arrived at the hotel and I don’t know why, but I did not expect that level of security. The whole conference centre, hotel, leisure facilities and grounds were fenced in with high fences and security check-points in and out. We parked, had our accreditation checked and went through the airport type scanners.

The SA football (Banyana Banyana) have a meeting room assigned to them where they eat and meet. I had a quick lunch and got on with unloading the car. Every item had to go through the scanners.

As we got to a lifts, a group of New Zealand footballers asked us if the gifts we were carrying were for them, “Are those for us?”

Dawn, “No, they are for a country that’s good at rugby, South Africa”. The Kiwi boys all oooh’ed and aahh’ed and woo’ed. As the lift doors closed, a lady in the lift said to me, “Well said”.  But, the lift didn’t go anywhere and the doors opened for me to face the Kiwis again….I get myself into so much trouble sometimes!

The young Norwegian man assigned to the team was so lovely. He is studying Sports Management at London Metropolitan and applied as a Games Maker. He is thrilled to get such a festive team as SA! He gets to travel with the team when they relocate for their other games and was so proactive in helping me get the bits into the equipment room.

Sadly the football squad don’t get to be a part of Olympic Village life, but they are representing our Rainbow Nation and are so proudly South African.

I got a call from the SA office in the Village to ask is I could track down Ezera, the Project Manager as they couldn’t get through to her. I went into the meeting room and was greeted with something sooo South African! The squad were all in the room singing. It was goose-bumps stuff! Those who know me, can picture the tears welling up at that point (and now as I type this on my phone going in for my shift). It was so special!

After sorting out tickets for the families of the players, we said our goodbyes and got on the road back to London.

I dropped the ladies at a hotel just off High Street Kensington, left the car there for a colleague to pick up, and made my way home….what another lovely day!

Dawn Denton©

2 Comments on “Banyana Banyana”

  1. David says:

    aaaaaaaan it looks like you’re having sooo much fun! Keep the posts coming

  2. It all looks so very exciting and inspiring. The hard work and long hours can be overlooked when the action is so festive! Enjoy!!!

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