Saturday 14 April 2007

Taupo Combined Camp - Saturday 14 April

This is the first camp for juniors and seniors combined since prior to the junior trials last year. Everyone arrived on Friday night with the Kerikeri lot arriving at about midnight after their 7 hour drive. They were pretty quiet arriving because I didn't even wake or hear them and they were sleeping around my spot in the morning.

The camp was pretty packed with I guess 40 competitors, 7 coaches and management plus parents and supporters. It had a good feel about it and everyone got on really well. It really feels like a New Zealand team now.

When we arrived on Friday night it was only 8 degrees and had been raining on the way to Taupo but it's not so cold on Saturday morning.
It was an early start for the seniors with a compulsory run at 6.30am. Juniors were invited to come along if they wished to but I didn't see any leap out of bed to join in the run. A few thought about it but hadn't brought running gear (yeah... whatever)! I must admit I didn't consider joining in for more than 5 seconds either.
Today has been a mini-tournament of individual patterns, team patterns then individual sparring, specialty, team specialty with power and team power later in the day.
Mr Pellow was keen to see his juniors take it to the seniors in the sparring. Good results went both ways with everyone getting something out of the competition. It was a good measuring point which revealed previously unknown weaknesses.
We're being pretty careful what images and comments we put up on the web... we know other competing countries are watching and we don't want to give anything away. So only limited photos of such things as team patterns and pre-arranged sparring so that we don't give any of our secrets away :-)
The last activity in the gym was the first Haka practice led by Mark Trotter and Luke Thompson. It was pretty impressive by the end of the session even though some had never done it before. Sorry - no photos of this until we do the real thing in Quebec!
Tonight we stole a TV from the girls room and everyone huddled together and watched Borat and Benchwarmers DVDs. Benchwarmers hadn't been returned from the previous camp to the video shop so was about a month overdue! Oops.
I snuck off to a motel as Jan and Patrick (my wife and 3rd son) and cousin Jimmy came down to check out what all the fuss of the Taupo camps were about. It was luxury compared with sleeping on the camp floor. However, I slept like a log at camp on Friday night and had a useless night's sleep in a flash bed in a new motel tonight. Sheesh!