5 weeks ago Tom and I packed our bags and headed out to Australia for our very first Commonwealth Games. A couple of weeks ago I tried to give a small insight into what life was like on our preparation camp on the Sunshine Coast, and now that we're back, I wanted to offer an insight into life at the Athlete Village!
Village life is pretty surreal. A mixture between an incredible all-inclusive resort and freshers week. As every athlete that is competing at the Games lives there during the competition you find yourself bumping into some incredible athletes from all kinds of different sports. I was lucky enough to catch up with some of the England Netball team in the food hall just after they won their semi final, and we all know what they went on to achieve the next day!
Here's 3 of the more interesting take-aways from life in the Village.
1. EVERYTHING IS FREE
The food is free, the vending machines offer free chilled drinks, even the haircuts are free! Whatever you need you'll probably have free access to it. Trams to the beach are free, as was venue access so you can watch your fellow athletes perform. Need a coffee? They had that covered too with on site Baristas!
2. PIN BADGES ARE SECRET CURRENCY
Every athlete that attends the Games is given a set of Team pins to trade with others during their time at the Village. You soon realise that certain badges are more sought after; because of their design, or if the team is quite small they could be rare. Then the hunt begins!
3. YOU'RE NOT SHORT ON ENTERTAINMENT
There was always something happening in the Village. The Games room always had a great buzz, as athletes shot pool or challenged other countries to games of Table Tennis. We were treated to fantastic dance shows right on the streets of the village, sand sculpting, and on a couple of occasions even the opportunity to pet local rescue puppies.
It's certainly an experience I'll never forget. Bring on Birmingham 2022.