Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Run Up to It's A Knockout

Maybe some of you have been keeping an eye on the calendar, and will be aware that the It's A Knockout was held at the VT camp site this weekend just gone. I have decided to blog it in two parts, the lead up to the event, and the event itself. I don't think that I have ever spoken to the press quite so much as I have in recent weeks. Not that I have been the only one, as can be seen here it also happened to Net and Nicky. Although as they say any publicity is better than no publicity. Besides speaking to the newspapers, I was also invited to chat with Bobby Martin on Trust Global Radio. As many have said previously it is lucky that I have a face for radio. The first time I was a little nervous, but managed to get through it all unscathed. Probably largely down to Bobby though.

There have been several planning meetings throughout the year, and as time progressed more people have been invited to join. It does seem strange looking back on things that this all grew from a friendly quiz challenge with the Condor Club down near Nova Zagora. Not only have there been planning meetings but also some fund raisers, mainly because we were starting off with no equipment. Games also had to be devised, and built, alongside rules being drawn up. It was quite difficult trying to sort out the logistics of it all, we didn't know how many teams we could expect, and by the same token we did not really know just how many events we ought to consider.

Nick and Nicky out at the campsite very kindly said that we could use there as the venue. So that was probably the biggest concern sorted out, to be quite honest I don't think that this project would have worked without their willingness. Although they are probably fed up with the sight of us. Tomorrow will seem rather strange when we go there for the craft club, and I am not wandering about trying to work out which game will go where. We had to come up with a shortlist of games, and also try to figure out where they ought to be held so that they didn't interfere with anything else. It was quite surprising where some of the ideas were coming from, but they were often adapted to fit into another part of a game. In the end we decided to go for 10 games, and each one would have to be tried out to make sure that they would work.

We decided that the time to test the games would be the weekend before the big day. This would give us enough time to change things around if necessary, and also to source any more equipment that might have been needed. It was also used to get various marshals used to the games themselves and to highlight any particular problems that might arise. It did prove very beneficial on several different counts, it highlighted the dangers of shooting, so that was ruled out quite quickly. This meant that we had to come up with something else to take its place, but luckily it was the only game that we had to remove. A couple of the others had to be slightly adjusted, but all in all a very worthwhile exercise. Just so there could be no arguments about teams having a sneak trial, a couple of teams of village children and some students were used. Once we found out what worked and what didn't we sat round a discussed how they could be changed or adapted. It did help having some new heads available to give things a fresh approach.

When everything had been decided upon, it was then just a case of deciding what was going to be taking place where, and also who would be doing so when. This might sound easier than it actually was, the location for the games themselves was quite simple once a basic plan had been drawn up. The difficult thing was trying to get 12 teams through all 10 games roughly on time. Eventually a timetable was roughly worked out. So everyone would know where they were meant to be and when, we began to make up packs of information. There were packs for teams, and slightly different ones for the marshals.

On the Friday evening as the teams began to arrive various bits and pieces of the games were being assembled. I don't know about anyone else but it had seemed to have gone smoothly, probably too smoothly for my liking. I kept on having the niggling thought at the back of my mind that we had either forgotten or overlooked something. With friends staying over we didn't get to sleep too early, and because I couldn't shake the niggling doubt from my mind I was awake the next morning at 4. It didn't do any good as I still couldn't work out what I might have forgotten, and by then it was too late really.

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