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crest - credo, spero, confido
Day 16
Wednesday, 13th July, 2005

Report 1 - Niamh;      Report 2 - Alison

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Report: Niamh Kelly (Soccer Team, 6th Year 2005)

We started off the day by heading to the Olympic Stadium in Sydney. This place was huge, much bigger than I had expected. It was like a small town. When we got there, we were told we had two hours to look around. Some of the girls did the tour of the stadium.This lasted an hour. They said it was excellent and they saw loads including the athletes' tunnel with a laser show, the corporate boxes and the broadcasting boxes. I chose instead to go swimming in the Aquatic Centre. This was cool. We spent an hour and a half swimming and relaxing in the steam room and sauna.

We also went on the waterslide they had. But we felt pretty stupid when we realised halfway up that the queue was full of little kids. The lifeguard just laughed at us when we got to the top of the queue.

After the Olympic Stadium, we left for Bondi Beach, the nicest beach in Sydney. The beach was absolutely gorgeous, with big waves crashing every few seconds. Because I had already been swimming earlier in the day, I decided I would only go in for a paddle. So off I went with my tracksuit bottoms rolled up to my knees. Unfortunately, I was soaked by some waves. You see we had created (actually, I had created) a game where you had to wait til the big waves were only a few feet away from you before you were allowed to run back towards the shore, trying not to get wet! I know, very smart game! I am pretty sure that was the cause for a few other girls getting soaked as well. So after that clever game I had to go and meet my billeting family with my hair a mess, my trousers wet and sand EVERYWHERE!

Niamh's 2005 Australian Tour Highlights

SO the billeting families. What can I say? It was a great experience, even though I only had two days to get to know them. I was with Lisa, and we stayed with Rechelle, the captain of the other team. Before the Brisbane billeting I was dead nervous but because that turned out so well, all I felt the second time was excitement. My family were so welcoming and made me and Lisa feel immediately at home. So much so, that I didn't want to leave them on Friday. But we will keep in touch. And last but not least I want to say a big thank you to Mr. C. Without him I wouldn't have had all these memorable experiences.

Report: Alison Rodgers (Soccer Team, 4th Year 2005)

Having spent two days at the Pacific International Hotel in Sydney, we all headed to Engadine where we met our host families who we would billet with for the next two days. When we arrived at St. John Bosco Catholic School, we were met by our billets who had kindly organised a BBQ to welcome us to their town.

My personal experience of billeting in Sydney was an experience I will never forget! It was fantastic and I really enjoyed getting to know the people I lived with. The experience was completely different to life in Dublin in many ways. Living in Dublin, is not as dangerous especially for someone like me who can just about handle dogs and cats as pets and am scared of every single animal - as Lisa and Rosie found out at Seaworld - especially birds.

So picture this - me, afraid of all animals gets placed in a home in the Australian bush in a small town called Bundeena where diamond pythons, cockroaches and lizards are all common things that can be found in the area. Unfortunately I didn't get to meet them but have to save something for next time I visit Australia.

My family was really nice and as the dad of the house was the manager of the soccer team we were playing the next day, there was some friendly rivalry.

On our second day, we played a friendly against St. John Bosco Soccer Club that everyone enjoyed and we were all presented with a very clever T-shirt which we all really liked. After the game that girl I was staying with (Dayna) took Rosie, Lorraine and me SHOPPING at Miranda which was a really cool place. I think everyone will agree with this as we seemed to meet the whole soccer and hockey teams there.

That night was one of the best nights of the trip because Dayna brought us to meet other girls from our team and the girls that they were staying with and we decided to go deer spotting! Although we didn't spot any at the beginning of the night, we instead decided to go for a paddle in the water at the bay which may I add a 3 metre tiger shark had recently been seen. It was also a common place to find whales. I thoroughly enjoyed the short time I had with the family I stayed with and I can always say I lived in the Australian bush . . . . AND I SURVIVED!

Alison's 2005 Australian Tour Highlights

My favourite experience in Australia was surfing at Surfers Paradise. We were all kitted out in our very flattering wet suits and I, from the beginning was up for a challenge. I was feeling very brave until I asked the instructor one dreaded question….. Were there shark nets in the water? ... and I was simply told there was but sometimes sharks can slip through! But I wasn't going to let a possible freak shark attack stop me from surfing, so I got out in the water and I can honestly say I wasn't that bad. My excuse for not standing up for over two seconds was that the currents were too strong. But I will be back to give it another try for sure some day.

olympic stadium

Olympic stadium 2000


And the winner is...

olympic poles

The names of the friends of the Sydney 2000 Olympics are inscribed on these poles

thorny devil

Alison didn't see a
thorny devil...


... or a python


...or even a cockroach


sharks with manor house girls

Yup, TY prepares you
for anything, even sharks