The games at the end of the world

There’s been a lot in the press recently about the outrage we should all feel that some athletes are going to have to sleep in rooms that may not have ceilings and perform in stadia built by the tiny hands of child labour. Hockey is a fairly big deal in the Commonwealth Games – although it only arrived in 1998. I swear I could remember watching England in the ’86 games a whole two years before Sean Kerly and friends (as Britain) made sure the nation arrived late and not caring about the German defence by guiding ‘us’ to gold in Seoul but clearly I was mistaken. However, the hockey folk on their way to Delhi might have a different view about what constitutes a tough gig if they’d first had to locate where Amersham & Chalfont ladies play their matches.

The drive takes you through a campus abandonded by Bucks New University and along bumpy and strange paths until you emerge blinking at the astroturf. It’s not quite 28 Days Later but even money says that some post-apocalypse TV series will have been filmed there within a few years. The reward for reaching your destination is the always reassuring sight of committed amateur sport – something I always find inspiring despite only ever managing to be an occasional runner and never an actual sportsman.

Along with my five year old I took a few photos which should hopefully make their way into the Bucks Advertiser (as the Examiner is known in these wilderness parts). I was only able to stay for thirty minutes and didn’t see a goal – and with that great advert, the full set is here. I hope to be venturing to the end of the world again soon but till them you can see this photo large here.


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