When we departed for our trip on June 29th I had no idea what to expect. I was hoping that I would get to see the beautiful canals and tour the array of museums but we've done all that and more! We wake up early each morning and go to bed late each night. Our days are packed, but thankfully the exhaustion is overruled by fun times with great friends.
Today was our last day working with children at the side events for the European Athletic Championship. My group and I woke up early and had a quick breakfast before departing for our location at AV Atos. In order to get there in time we had to leave 40 minutes early. Our navigation with the public transportation makes me grateful that I've got a car back home. Riding the bus takes almost double the time it takes to drive a car places. Though with that being said, I'm proud of our entire group for becoming so comfortable with the buses, trams, trains, and metro and for always taking into account the travel time!
Similar to the past two days, we worked different athletics (track and field events) like the long jump, shotput, javelin throw, and 40 m sprint. It was fun to watch the kids have a great time, though the language barrier made it difficult to communicate our excitement with them. There were lots of smiles and clapping!
After a rainy morning of volunteering, we left for our tour of the Amsterdam ArenA where Amsterdam's Ajax futbol team competes. The arena is about an hour from our hotel so the metro ride allowed us to rest a little. When we arrived we had the opportunity to walk through the locker rooms and the press room. Lucky for us, they were prepping for concerts so the field was covered. With the grass protected, we were able to walk out and look around the stadium.
With reference to stadiums and sports it's time to talk about my topic for this trip- Long Jump IPC. For the first time in history, the European Athletics Championship will include International Paralympic Sports. Throughout the competition the Paralympics will be integrated with the official program taking place across Amsterdam. There’s been word that there will be 60 competitors from the International Paralympic Committee. At 15:05 on July 9th men from all over Europe will gather to contest in the Long Jump. (Amsterdam2016, 2016) People with mental disabilities and/or amputations are eligible if they’ve met all the guidelines set forth by the championship committee.
The Long Jump measures a participant’s horizontal jumping distance. They start at the beginning of a runway and increase their speed until they reach the sandpit at the end of lane. If the competitor passes the scratch line that indicates the starting edge of the pit, the jump does not count. It’s a tricky sport because if a person jumps from too far away they will lose valuable distance. This sport is all about precision and lots of practice.
My entire experience here in Amsterdam has been nothing short of amazing! I am looking forward to the last few days we have in the Netherlands and hoping they don't fly by like the rest of our trip.