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London Player of the Year

Mar 09, 2015

  • When the 2nd January fell on a Friday I may have well pinned all my good intentions to a giant wall of old banana skins. This year I’ll be taking a bow to my 20’s and I’d planned to spend Saturday mornings folding my pants (and the like) in attempt of behaving like a domesticated adult. That hasn’t nearly happened.
    Instead of glossing over a false start to the year, I expertly procrastinated until the next window opened, but again good intentions were shattered by a classic game of spin the pancake in the early hours of Lent. Note to self, plan dinner party guests according to the desired script.

    Wenny_stretching_bwPhoto courtesy of Rebecca Rapkins Photography

    So 2015 has not yet been the year of giving up or growing up, which is why I have gladly accepted HER’s more positive resolution of ‘taking up’. I’ve been invited to take up 6 sports in 12 months, and to share my experience of probable pain and certain amusement on here, the HER blog.
    I will not be taking up these sports wide-eyed with the expectation of comical failure, or to be a pretender holding hoodies on the side lines. I have set aside adequate time to learn the skills and achieve the fitness level to immerse myself within the social pockets of each sport. I will also be aiming for 6 most valuable player awards, 6 gold medals, and at least 18 new love interests.

    Wenny 2Photo courtesy of Rebecca Rapkins Photography

    I accepted this challenge with a shrug and a smile. I’ve spent the first month researching London’s LGBT friendly sports clubs. And after speaking to tens of wonderfully helpful club members in and around London from a diverse range of skill sets, I have chosen my 6 sports.

    Wenny_spokes_bwPhoto courtesy of Rebecca Rapkins Photography

    Cycle Out London is hopefully going to provide me with the confidence building first step into becoming Le Athlete. The club organises weekly rides graded from 1 (leisure) to 4 (racing) and encourages friends of the LGBT community to join in. Feeling confident in my legs with my current 100 mile/week commute, I have cockily signed up for a hilly 60-mile grade 3, or ‘few stops, not suitable for the slower quartile of members’. It’s vital to the day’s success that I haven’t misjudged the fine balance of cycling like a champion vs oxygen intake vs still being able to flirt. As a contingency I have signed up for a grade 1 ride the following week with the focus being a picnic.

    Wenny 5Photo courtesy of Rebecca Rapkins Photography

    I arrived at sports 2 and 3 together whilst carrying out research in the basement of Dalston Superstore – I do take research very seriously. I literally fumbled into a hub of girls who alternate between basketball and football on a free court in Vauxhall every Wednesday. The music was loud and house-y, but my understanding was that the emphasis is on improving friendships rather than building skills, which will be a good contrast to the sports I’m taking up later in the year. I am now patiently awaiting the invite on their WhatsApp group, and hoping my vague memory of kissing two of them in the last hour of that night hasn’t warranted a harsh red card. I’ll keep you posted.
    I have purposely left the sports with the hardest techniques and the longest learning time to last (and the one where I am most likely to lose consciousness to the very last). They are: Roller skating in the London Roller Derby League, rugby with the Hampstead Ladies Club, and (as a Christmas present to myself) a real life boxing match – ‘only when it’s safe to do so’ – under the supervision of Girls in Gloves.

    Wenny_plank_bwPhoto courtesy of Rebecca Rapkins Photography

    Well, this article has gone live and my resolutions are shared with more than my drunken self on New Year’s Eve. My evenings spent watching footage from GoPros attached to dog collars are already being replaced with cardio workouts and kickabouts. I feel a sense of relaxation now that I have every chance of holding my first ever year-long resolution before my 30th birthday, and it conveniently turns out to be one that involves getting fit and meeting lots of women.
    If anyone has any tips or would like to join in any of the sports with me please leave me a comment.

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