Omar at Glasgow

 

FRONT PAGE OF AROUND THE GREENS

AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2014      No 6

Aron Sherriff – Bronze Medal

The Road to Glasgow with Omar

 I would like to share with you an insight into my experiences at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

The trip of a life time commenced with a ‘Farewell Lunch’ at Cabramatta BC. It was a great opportunity for my wife Amanda and club mates to meet the incredible people that I was about to spend the next month with. It was an amazing day with plenty of laughs and some great stories from cricketing ‘Legend’ Doug Walters! From there we headed to Sydney Airport to board our flight for Glasgow.

Upon arrival we went by coach to Ayr where we spent our first seven days. We settled down to some quality practice sessions which included a challenge match against national club champions Pollockshaws. A day at the Ayr races was a great team bonding day and provided that important balance between practice and leisure time which is vital in avoiding “burn out” on a long tour.

On the 19th we headed to the Games Village which was to be our home away from home for the next three weeks. The hype and atmosphere of the Games hit us the minute we walked into the Village. For the next five days we trained extremely hard at Kelvingrove while trying to acclimatise to Village life. It took a few days to get use to eating meals with up to 2000 athletes at a time from all over the world!

Finally on the 23rd, the day of the Opening Ceremony arrived! We had our final hit out at Kelvingrove and met up with friends and family before heading back to the village to prepare for an experience I’ll never forget. Walking to Celtic Park with 450 other Aussie athletes and support staff was something that will stay with me forever. I will never forget the electric atmosphere as we walked into the stadium with 65,000 screaming supporters and did our lap led by the amazing Anna Mears (our flag bearer). The hardest part was trying to settle from that emotional experience and be ready to compete the next morning. For Brett Wilkie and me it was the start of the Pairs. We got through our section unbeaten and full of confidence but the Glasgow conditions and International opponents soon brought us back to earth when we suffered our first loss to Namibia and our first chance at a Commonwealth Games Medal was GONE!!!

After putting the disappointment of the Pair’s loss behind me it was time to get ready for the Singles. Some suggested I was in the ‘Group of Death’ having the Commonwealth heavyweight England and defending Singles champion Robert Weale of Wales in my section. I felt I played well and went through undefeated to top the section and set up a quarter final against Malaysia. However, things weren’t looking so great in the quarter final when I fell behind 12-19 in a first to 21 match, but I fought back to get away with a 21-19 win to advance and play Scotland in the semi-final. Unfortunately at 15 all Darren Burnett of Scotland took his game to another level and I couldn’t go with him losing 15-21. As shattering as that was I still had a chance of winning a Bronze medal against my great mate Shannon McIllroy from NZ. I feel I saved my best for last, jumping out to a 16-2 lead and going on to win 21-8 to capture my first Commonwealth Games medal, albeit Bronze! .

The Closing Ceremony was another incredible experience getting to see Aussie Mega star Kylie Minogue perform live and just to reflect upon what we had all been through and achieved during the previous 25 days. My thoughts of home were always in the back of my mind and I extend my sincere thanks to everyone who sent me messages of support and well wishes, it was greatly appreciated

                                                     .........................thanks a million OMAR