Postcard from Turkey 2005

The UKSAA has a man in Turkey. his name is Andy Callaway and during these Championships, he will be sending us regular updates of how our the British team gets on. There are ten members of British contingent: John Sullivan (Team manager), Ken Bearman (Team coach), recurves Andrew Callaway (Bourenmouth), Danny Clifford (Loughborough) and Naomi Folkard (Birmingham) and compounds David Wright (Northumbria), Tim Nash (Barts & the London), Neil Bowley (Nottingham Trent), Nicola Hunt (Coventry), Hannah Walton (Edinburgh)

23rd Universiade in Izmir, Turkey, August 2005

Day 8, Monday 15th and the trip home

The compound boys went down early to get their space and practice. The rest of us joined them slightly later for moral support. The boys looked confident and ready for it. Since they had been ranked in 9th place, they had a shoot off for 8th place with the Turkish team. This was bound to be a fierce battle as the opposing team was on home turf.

The wind was starting to pick up and things were looking like they weren't going to improve. The team was in good spirits and they were all psyched up and ready for it! We were told that we were on target 10, we all piled over there. Then an announcement came across that we were on target 20 or something like that, on the other side of the field. We all moved over there and kicked the USA team out their spot since we were the only team competing this end. Everyone was set and the boys were ready to go! The Turkish team was still over the other side of the field. Then another announcement came across that we were back on target 10! So we shifted everything back down to the other end again, this was starting to get a bit silly now cause we were having to traipse up and down the field. Anyway, the boys kept their composure and were all ready to go.

The match started and the we seemed to be the better team from the outset. We were confident, well organized in the box, and everyone knew their places and what to say and do. The Turkish team didn't seem to have much of an idea, they were getting foot faults a lot in the first pass and they did shoot their arrow after having a yellow card. That means they should have had a red card and one hit deducted. We thought we would have a good advantage going into the next end. Unfortunately the judge didn't take the arrow value off. But, the boys carried on, once again the Turkish team were getting foot faults and there was a lot of confusion in their area. They had a lot of yellow cards, and we did think that that would automatically lead to a red, but the FISU rules are that unless they shoot the arrow, it doesn't matter. We carried on the as we all know, the end result was 15 to 17, in favour of the Turkish team. The boys put up a good fight and I think they did a very good job! I personally feel that if the judge had penalized them then things may have been different in the following ends. But, that's the way it happened.

After that, we all went back and went out for lunch at the front of Izmir. I've got to say that was a really good meal, prices were ok, not as cheap as I thought they would have been for Turkey but it was none the less very nice food. Myself, Nicky, Naomi and Neil then went to watch the Gymnastics. I think that was amazing! I've seen it on TV a lot, but to see it in real life was something else. It just brought it a little more to life, if you know what I mean. I was surprised at how quickly they got though all the apparatus. We were there to see Beth [Tweddle] competing on the uneven bars, and I've got to say she totally deserved that medal. I don't know anything about it, but she just looked so much more natural on the bars than the other girls. We saw her win the medal, and just after we saw her being presented with it, and the Union Jack being raised. It was a shame that they don't play the National Anthem, due to political reasons I've been told. That would have ended a good trip, to see the flag being raised to our anthem, it's a big shame that it wasn't for one of us, but at least we did our best.

That night we all went out with some of the boys from the basket ball team and had a great night, I won't go into too much detail about that!

The next day were the finals matches, and yet another night out. Things were slightly more expensive than we thought. The second night out was interesting. We met up with the American team, and at about 1:30 we asked the barman if there were any good clubs to go to. He said he found one that was open until 5am, so we jumped at the chance! Then the barman said we would have to get a taxi there because it wasn't safe to walk there. That sounded a little ominous but we went for it anyway. As we went for a rally drive through the streets of Izmir in taxis, that was an interesting trip!!! Then as we got further and further into the back streets, things were looking a lot less promising. I don't know whether it was a good thing or not that the club was closed, so we all went back to the village.

Our trip home was nothing special, apart from the rip off prices. Me and Danny were really hungry when we got to the airport, and we were looking around for food. A Donna Kebab with chips and a drink was about £9!!! That was a little steep for me, but Tim was hungry so went for it! Me and Danny went for a bag of Pistachio nuts... a mere £5!!! We ate every nut as if it was our last, and they tasted gorgeous. We eventually got onto the plane on the way to Izmir. We did hit some very bad turbulence on the way there, and a few people on the plane were very scared, especially after everything that's happened lately, and with the news of a plane crash in Greece.

We landed safely and got through passport control quickly, then we had to run to our plane cause we were delayed in Izmir. We got to the gate on our tickets, and lo and be hold, no plane! Hmm... we were looking around and then found that it was at a gate at the other end of the airport!!! Ahh! Leg it! So we all legged it back past passport control (that must have been so funny for onlookers). We made our plane and set sail, well, took off. Half way through the flight, there was a big commotion through the plane, people whispering and all the like. We had a celebrity on board; it was Richard Hammond from Top Gear. We managed to have a little talk to him, and he's just like he is on TV, an all round nice guy.

And that was about it for this trip! Thanks to everyone for a great trip, I know I had a great time and I hope you all did too. And a big thank you from all of us has to go to John and Ken for sorting everything out for us and keeping everything going! Thank you.

I hope you've enjoyed these postcards and brought some of the magic of the trip to you, and I hope in some way it might have inspired you to get on the next trip!

See you all soon,


Day 7, Sunday 14th

Another early start, but it's nice to be prepared. Practice started early with mixed targets, so who ever was on that target for the men's match was detail AB and who ever was the next women's match where detail CD. Me and Danny were up in the first match. As I'm sure your all aware Danny made it through with ease, while on the other hand, I bombed out. But I tried my best, I've found some things to work on so I can try and improve for the next one.

Danny and Naomi continued to shoot well through their next matches, both putting in some really good performances, but unfortunately they too were knocked out to finish in 13th and 11th places respectfully.

In the afternoon the compounds had their go. Once again the wind had got up which made the pass scores a bit lower than expected. Unfortunately everyone got knocked out in the first round, but not without putting up a gallant fighting performance! Neil did very well in his first ever head to head. You could see the adrenaline pumping. He held his opponent to a single arrow shoot off, and as luck would have it, I swear the wind picked up even more!!! Neil tried his best and again put in a very worthy performance, losing with an 8 to a 9.

Tomorrow is the team rounds, we only have a compound boys team so we will all be out supporting them in force!!!

Wish you were here, Andy C

Day 6, Saturday 13th

Hi there everyone, how are things? Sorry I haven't had any random quotes in the postcards of late, we've been very busy and I've not had time to compile any. I know that's the bit of these postcards you all miss the most!

We were on the field by 7am today to avoid the transport issues, we were the first ones there, grabbed our spot and got ready. It was getting pretty hot, the same as every other day. Today felt a lot hotter, it was 40 in the shade if I recall correctly by 11:30am. The 720 was the same as any other, but with only 3 archers to a detail and only 1 detail. Practice went well for me, and I felt very ready for the competition. The conditions were good, hot, fairly still, clear skys, so no real problems. The competition went on without a problem at all, and I think ran to time. This was just the same as a normal 720 at home, just a little faster paced. In the afternoon, Naomi, Neil, Dave and Tim competed. The conditions for these guys were a little crueller, it got hotter, and windier.

At the end, we all made our respective cuts (i.e. top 64 or 32), though I'm pretty sure not with the scores that we would have liked but we all did our best. Anyway, that's qualification done, head to heads tomorrow! You can find the results of all the archers on the FISU site (link at the top of the page I think). Talk to you again tomorrow!

Wish you were here, Andy C

Day 5, Friday 12th

Well today is official practice day. We got onto the bus and for some reason they took us to the basketball courts. Funny how bows can look like basketballs at 8am. So we ended up being a little late for practice, but we just got on with it and shot over all quite well.

Tomorrow we start our competition. It promises to be a good day. Its been getting up to the mid 40s now during the days, so its getting hotter! I'm off to bed now because we are getting on the bus early (6:40 Pick we'll be on the field at 7) to avoid the problems with transport.

Competition tomorrow – BRING IT ON! I'll let you all know how we got on tomorrow.

Wish you were here, Andy C

Day 4, Thursday 11th

Hi guys, I'm actually writing this a day late cause I've not had time. The last two days have flown by. The opening ceremony was amazing! We met up at 3:30 with all the other teams on the top car park, I've never seen so many people in one place before. Every country was there, it was such an atmosphere, and the event hadn't even started yet! We didn't wait there long before we were on one of two GB buses headed to the opening ceremony. This was quite a long trip as we took the long route around for security reasons, the trip there took at least and hour. The trip back took 15mins, so you can see how long the long way is now.

When we got there, all team GB piled through the security gates and we got presented with some food for dinner, nothing too special but enough to get us through. We were in the arena for Gymnastics and it was right next to the athletics stadium where we were about to parade around. As we sat down some dancers came out onto the floor and started traditional dancing. A bit later, the fun started, some karate (kung fu or kickboxing – not sure!) people came out and started doing some moves to the music, they were amazing and it was shattering just watching them. They were so fit and flexible it was crazy! They were doing kicks left right and centre in time with the beat... and these weren't slow songs.

We finished up and headed out to the car park for the gathering, we all got into team order and of course archery was at the front!!!! Rock on! We had Beth Tweddle carrying the flag and the Chef de Masion was there as well (he's the head of the GB team) then it was us! We all lined up with GB flags in hand, and some spare ones to throw out to the adoring fans (doesn't that sounds weird... if only they knew we did archery!). So we started the parade, to start with we walked through the back of the stadium and stopped where the football teams would wait. There we were cheered by the dancers that were going to perform after our parade. They were cheering so loud, and you could hear the roars from the crowds inside the stadium as the teams past them... you could really taste the excitement now. The stadium was packed by the way, I've been told 55000 spectators there, and it was all on EuroSport2. Overall that's an amazing spectator base for the archery team being in the lead! A lot better then the 5 people we had at the field watching us shoot, and they were probable archers.

As we walked in, an almighty roar went up. Picture this, you in a football match playing for England in the world cup final against Germany. You score the winning goal! Imagine that roar, and imagine it JUST for you!!! Imagine the tingle go surging down your body, and then suddenly a second wave of the tingle come down your body. The smile lighting up on your face as you see everyone waving to you. The uncontrollable urge to just scream HELL YEAH! Just then you get the oh wow, "I'm really here" feeling and then you just smile, wave and live it up!!! What an amazing feeling. We paraded around the stadium to some amazing cheers, I just can't explain the feeling any better than I've tried, I hope that helped.

So we then stood in the middle as the other teams walked in, and then we mingled for a bit with other teams, and our own teams. We don't get to see a great deal of the other teams as we are out shooting and they are off training as well. We then went off and swapped badges with as many teams as we could. It was like a race to beat all the other members of the team. I think that's a race we pretty much won.

Then we watched the actual ceremony. This involved the raising of the flags, Turkey and FISU (governing body). And then came some runners with the flame, just like the Olympics. Then WOOOOOOOOOSH, the flame went flying up the side of the stadium and lit the flame! This felt like being at the Olympics, and then fire works galore went off. The sudden rush of adrenaline was amazing, to think that this is probably the second biggest sporting event in the world, was amazing! The Olympics being the biggest. I'll stop going on about this so much now, just to round up, we then sat in the stands and watched a long play about the history of Turkey...the only problem being that it was all in Turkish. Then there was a huge fire works display to finish it all off, and we left. We got back and went to sleep cause we had official practice the next day.

That's all for now folks, Ill see if I can send some pics in for you all to see. Otherwise, check out the BUSA or official Universiade Web site.

Wish you were here, Andy C

Day 3, Wednesday 10th

Last night there was a DJ playing in the arena up at the top of the complex in the entertainment arena. There we mingled with some of the other teams and just chatted, nothing too taxing. Then we made our way to the pool room, not a lot going on there. Just a few pool tables at the bottom story of one of the buildings, I don't think too many people have found it yet. Then we bumped into some of the girls sailing team from Australia. They were very cool and were telling us all about their sport, and that they have to name their new boat as they have naming rights. So we were trying to come up with good names, I think they might have ended up going for "Spastic Fish". Yep! I don't know why either! But there we go. When we see them again I'll try and let you know what they ended up calling it.

Morning all! And what another fine day it is here, temperature in the shade is 32+, it's not humid so everything's ok! The only slight problem is the gusting wind coming in from the sea. When it's calm there's no problem, but the gusts are the kind of gusts that push your aim to the next target, it's ok if you aim off of course, but apart from the flag on the field (which remain out straight when theres no wind, and flap a lot when there's a gust) there aren't a lot of trees, banners, or other flags to look at for reference. We will survive though!

A few of us met up with some of the American team today and went into Izmir. The bus service for the games is amazing, there are little signposts dotted all over the city, and within 5 mins there's a bus there waiting to take you to where ever you want to go. There are some guided tours as well, but we didn't have time for them.

We had a look around a few shops and walked along the quay side. There are numerous shops around the place, but it was the same old touristy things. So we went down the older streets, you know the ones that look like dark alleyways... theirs were teeming with life! Lots of little shops selling D&G, Prada, Gucci etc. at a fraction of the price of retail stores, me thinks they might be fake! Also, as some of you may be aware, Turkey is notorious for its cheap gold. No one really seemed up for gold shopping today, but we'll see if we have time later in the week.

Todays quote is "It smells beachy around here" Amanda Raffielli (USA Archery Team... as we were by the !!! hmmm!)

Tomorrow we have the opening ceremony, this promises to rival the Olympics opening ceremony! So we have a lot to look forward to. We shall see what pictures I can get to show you. Anyway, I'm up early tomorrow so I've got to be going now! See you all tomorrow.

Wish you were here, Andy C

Day 2, Tuesday 9th

Well, what happened today... I got up about half 6 after going to bed quite late because we were up talking to the basketball team. One of the team members was 7ft2!!! I made it down to the food court - it's one massive tent, it's easily 100yds long, and it's all buffet food. By the time I got out of there the sun was beating down and was easily 25. I had to get back to catch a bus and head down the field.

The field has a big seating row down one side, but something tells me that we won't get a lot of spectators. It's quite an open field but there are some great views of the hills surrounding the venue. We are just off from the marina in Izmir and we pass it on our way to the field. I hope that we'll get to go down there some day soon.

So, today's not been very eventful, but we do have the flag raising this evening and that will be pretty much it for the day I would suppose.

Today's quote "I'm concentrating – do not disturb" (Su Doku fever takes hold!) Martyn Bernard (High Jump – Athletics Team)

Wish you were here, Andy C

Day 1, Monday 8th

Good day to you all! This is where my diary will start. It is two days late but that's due to myself and Naomi going out to the games 2 days late due to GB commitments. I'll fill you in tomorrow with what the other guys have been up to. So we started very early today, drove down to Heathrow, and met up with some other teams. We're travelling with most of the athletics team, and the women's gymnastics team.

We all got checked in very quickly and got told that there was a 2 hour delay to our plane, joy! Good start to the day. But the bonus of this is they gave us all £7 food vouchers, its amazing how easily some people can be bought off…and whose going to complain to a full cooked breakfast!!! So the day didn't start off too great! But the flight was ok, smooth. The food was ok on the plane (nothing special as always). And after a 4 hour flight, we are in Istanbul waiting for a connection flight to Izmir. But, because we missed our connection flights, we are now waiting for another one that's been delayed by another hour. So as I'm am writing this, I'm sitting on the floor in the middle of Istanbul Airport… It's 30 degrees here and we are inside! Its been 38 this week, so I'm looking forward to the rest of the week at the venue, but thunder storms are looming this weekend.

The rest of our team are going to the embassy dinner tonight, so I'll get one of them to let you all know how it went and what they've been up to. I'll try and get some photos and anything I can to let you all know what's happening. If there's anything anyone wants to know then drop us a line and I'll try and get it in the next report.

Well after writing the last bit, we got stuck in the plane on the run way for half an hour with no air-con, it was just a little hot! We finally turned up at the village at 11pm, and got all our gear X-rayed to enter the facility. The security here is pretty tight, but it does make you feel very secure, especially considering recent events.

Today's quote is: "Long Live Haribo" Beth Tweddle (Women's Gymnastics)

Wish you were here, Andy C