Arrived on the overnight flight from Amsterdam on Wednesday evening local time, having taken the KLM flight from Bristol. Hilary dropped me off with my various bags. Met up with Bill Deayton in Changi Airport and used the MRT (Tube) to get into the city and walked to the hotel. It is certainly warm (c. 28 oC) and there are regular thunderstorms. We are right next door to Raffles, the famous hotel, so easy walking to many of the local sites, including Marina Bay and the famous merlion. Clean, green and prosperous is a good description of the Singapore I’ve seen so far.
On Thursday evening we made our way to the tournament ground (about an hour on the MRT & walking) for a practice match against the Singapore U18s. I was soaked with sweat before we started and drank and lost 2 litres over the game – we came second to some very quick and skilfull junior Olympians, but it was great to run off the flight, find out the best trainers to use etc. Not so good to shake up my worn ankle, but better by the following evening.
Didn’t sleep too well, so breakfast at 09:30 on Friday. Bill and I took a trip to the Botanic Gardens – extensive and beautifully maintained, with fantastic specialist orchid and ginger areas – perhaps a good place for Sunday lunch with Hilary! Back to the hotel for a meet at 4:00 for a coach trip out to the ground. This was the Opening Ceremony, followed by a few matches. England O60s beat Scotland, but in our age group, the Kiwi O55s looked very sharp and we left them 3-0 up against Singapore. We have a team meeting at 09:30 tomorrow, a quiet day, then head for the ground to arrive at 17:30. Our first game is at 18:30 against Scotland. Good luck to all the England squad and supporters!