Sunday, October 28, 2018

Let the Games Begin!As my second evening in Western Australia comes to a close, I feel a mix of...

Let the Games Begin!

As my second evening in Western Australia comes to a close, I feel a mix of emotions, from anticipation and excitement to see and a sense of the scale of the Games.

Given that the Victorian Police and Emergency Services Games are a very low key affair, compared to even our local weekly meets, I wasn’t expecting the level of attention and publicity that the Australasian Police and Emergency Services are getting. The last few hours are a bit of a blur.

A bit after 5 PM, I headed out to the assembly area to find the rest of the Victorian and CFA contingent. This didn’t take long, and we were mixed in with the Victoria Police members. We chatted while we waited for the start time. During the wait, we were directed to back up, which brought comments from a couple of us, who had experience with torchlight processions, where having to move back to make room is normal.

When the clock counted down to zero, the parade started, and we walked down the walkway, giving kids high 5s along the way. We were then directed to an assembly area for the opening ceremony.

The ceremony started with a Welcome to Country, which has to be conducted by local Aboriginal Elders. This time, the welcome included traditional dance, which brought an amazing energy as the crowd took part in the hand clapping part of the rhythm.

Following the welcome was the usual speeches by various dignatories, which were well received, and finally the lighting of the cauldron. The torch used was carried by people from the Special Olympics movement.

An hour after the end of the ceremony, there was the fireworks show, which was spectacular, and included fireworks that exploded to form smiley faces in the sky, which I’d never seen before. This fireworks display has a profound emotional effect on me, because It was for something I’m so directly involved in.

The whole evening was amazing and humbling. It brought home the reality that this is big, and that I’m not only competing for myself, but am carrying the hopes of those who I represent, from the obvious ones like the fire brigade, CFA and Victoria, to the other communities that I belong to.

The stage is set. Now it’s up to me to play my part.

- Tony via Tumblr

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