In one month, the second Women’s World Championship of tackle american football will be held in Finland. Although I am not going this year, I was surprised to be looking forward to the event just as much as if I were. I was an official (referee) for the first WWC in Sweden in 2010.
It is not so much that I feel a connection with the players, as the sense of cameraderie with the other women officials. Each one was eagerly anticipating the final selection list, and making plans for travelling there even though we were unsure.
We have a social media site to post messages specifically about the events, so it is fairly easy to stay in touch. I think the best part about the second WWC is that I have been made to feel part of it, even though I won’t be going. Other women officials have shared the group spirit of support and encouragement, too.
It has been very worthwhile keeping up the connections. Subconsciously, I have been checking my e-mails quite a lot more than normal to find out the latest. Now the crews who are going will have to focus on the event and also organise their lives while they are away in Finland. As it only happens every three years, it is a very smooth-running event with lots of support.
It is a bit surprising that the momentum has kept going since 2010, but the interest locally has been building amongst the players, officials, media and support people. I am very pleased that it generally is part of positive involvement in the sport regardless of age, gender or background.
Today has been an odd day, though. I have been very happy thinking that a teaching contract or two were possible, for a week here and a couple of weeks soon after. However, I discovered that I am only able to undertake supply teaching, which is more like unexpected absences rather than planned absences.
So I am feeling a little confused right now after thinking I would be busy at schools, with new adventures. Instead I expect to be in a new and unexpected position, sharing the cameraderie of the crews both in Finland and other places around the world as we watch and wait for the second WWC in Helsinki in one month’s time.
At least I have my writing and studies in Education to provide structure and discipline as it is all sorted out in some distant place. Yet none of it seems distant. Even the writing seems to be directly linked to changes in my world.
How bizarre! I guess the first WWC was so new that nobody had time to think about it. This next month will be different for those familiar with the event and the new ones who are starting for the first time.
There will be concerns about how to gain a profit from broadcasting rights, no doubt, to help fund other events. I do hope it all goes well and that everyone involved has a wonderful time.