When we finally decided that we were moving to Kiwi-land, T&T were looking forward to more underwater hockey (uwh) games and probably tournaments. It took about 2 months before we (or actually, just I) managed to check a club here.
Sometime in September 2014, while T was away for a project, I finally told myself: “you’re all settled, it’s time for some fun.” Preparation for our big move, finding a house and settling in- all these had robbed my fitness… and so my first uwh game wasn’t a breeze. I was constantly catching my breath in between goals and had to take longer breaks. The club that I initially joined was about an hour drive from our place. At the end of the game, I found out that there is another club playing near my area… just a 15- minute drive!
The following week, I found myself playing with the Auckland Fins Club. I was assigned to the C- grade game as the organizer wasn’t sure about my skill. At the end of the game he told me I could give B-grade (a more advanced game) a try if I wanted to. However, having lost the fitness I used to have, I decided to stay with C games.
After two weeks of playing with the club, there was a lobby to send a 2nd team from Fins for the NZ Interclub Championships 2014. Without hesitation, I asked if I could join and I was happily welcomed even if I could only join the last game on the first day.
On a busy Friday afternoon, I found myself making my way through Auckland’s Friday rush hour traffic. It was my first time going on a long drive (I drove in Manila for 3 hours but mainly because of traffic… so it isn’t counted). Let alone, driving solo on an unknown road to Rotorua.
My decision didn’t disappoint me as I was welcomed by outstanding scenery of rolling hills, green pastures and heaps of cows and sheep along the way. It took me 3.5 hours to get to the tournament venue… and just 500 metres before that, I got my very first speeding ticket in my entire driving life (but that’s another story). With a hefty fine, I drove to the pool and joined my team. I arrived just in time for quick team chat before our game. We won that game and all the other games we played the following day. The final was between us and the other Fins Club team. It took a while before we scored a goal. It was a close game as the other team kept catching up with us. After a ghastly dwell, our teamed claimed victory.
The after- tourney party was equally fun with some of the players claiming for the karaoke king and queen that night. I have to say, some sang quite well. Being a party-pooper (but I’ll claim it as being a safe driver as I had to drive alone again the following day), I left the party earlier than the rest. As I rested on my bed I looked at the medal I got, reminisced the scenic drive I went through to get to this tournament and told myself… so this is life in NZ.