Saturday, 14 November 2015

My Weekend in Glasgow

As I've mentioned before, I was in Glasgow with my sister a couple of weeks ago for the 2015 Gymnastics World Championships. Here are my general thoughts from the weekend:

Travel- I drove the entire way myself! It took about 6 hours in total each way. On the way there, we left at 5.15am on the Friday morning, and checked into the hotel by 11.15. I stopped at services three times on the way there, but only once on the way back. The drive was pretty easy as pretty much all of it for us was on the motorway, and once we got to the Lake District, there was very little traffic at all. I didn't enjoy the driving in the dark with all the HGV's around me, but I imagine it would have been a lot worse going past big cities during rush hour if we had left it any later to leave home. Fuel wise, it cost us around £70 for the round trip, which is cheaper than any train tickets or flights I found.

Hotel- We stayed in the Travelodge Paisley Road. I booked it back in March for £120 for two nights, which was a pretty good deal considering when I checked a month later it was close to £200 for the same weekend there! The room was comfortable and had everything we needed for the small amount of time we actually stayed there. It was a bit noisy as it is so close to the motorway, but it didn't affect my sleeping as I was so tired. Staff were great and really friendly. The location is pretty good- opposite the Springfield Quay for lots of chain restaurants, and there is a Tesco Express within walking distance. It is on the south side of the river, and is within walking distance to the SSE Hydro, but we decided to drive to the arena as it was raining and the event finished late at night.

SSE Hydro- The arena was great! I think it was built new a couple of years ago. I was a bit apprehensive about it before we got there because the seating looks quite high up compared to the competition floor so I wasn't sure if we'd be able to see well. On the Friday, we had level 2 seating which was fine, but on the Saturday we had seats in row E of level 1 seating which was even better! I loved being sat right behind the judges with a side view of the bars and beam- but I guess that's just the gymnastics nerd in me :P

Food- Food at the motorway services wasn't great, but thankfully I had bought snacks with me :) We went to Frankie and Benny's for lunch, where we had really quick service- I think we were in and out in less than 45 minutes for a 2 course meal! I took snacks to the arena with me for tea on the Friday. I did an emergency trip to Tesco Express on the Saturday morning for breakfast food and food to take into the arena for the day. Food prices in the arena were expensive, but not quite as expensive as you'd expect from big arenas- I think a pizza was £8 and fries were £3, which we shared between us. We really loved how we were allowed to take food into the arena- they weren't checking bags and I quite openly walked in with a carrier bag full of food and they were fine with it.

View from our Saturday seats- block 202, row E.

The event- It was quite honestly the best put together gymnastics competition I've been to. I've been to a couple of other events within the UK (sadly not the Olympics though), and everyone seemed to share the same opinion that the production value of the competition was amazing. There was a presenter to entertain the crowd in between each rotation, and the kids seemed to love getting up and dancing to all the loud music to try and get on the big screen. I imagine it was a bit annoying and off putting for the gymnasts to have to warm up whilst the presenter was trying to get the crowd to scream every few seconds. The in arena commentator during the competition was a bit annoying too- I imagine the event would have been fine without that aspect. I did notice that I see gymnastics in a completely different way now that I've been coaching it full time for a year, and I could really appreciate the time and the effort that all coaches and gymnasts had put in to reach that standard.

Congratulations if you made it to the end of this post! I thought this would be a better format rather than a journal style post, but I'm starting to think a journal would have been quicker to write. If any of you want to learn any more about gymnastics, drop me a message and I can enlighten you :)

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