Oddballs

More sporting fluid management. The frequently-towelled players have left Wimbledon for another year. (As a kid I remember learning with some surprise that they played other tournaments inbetween. Did I imagine them returning to desk jobs or something?)

So I am at the local football ground last week to watch some rugby sevens. In a nutshell, that’s less than half the number of men per team playing on a full-size pitch. Consequently they do a lot of running and look supremely fit. Games are short – fourteen minutes – so you might think that teams would be able to last at least until half time without needing a drink.

Well you would be wrong. Whenever there is the slightest pause in the action, a swarm of support staff (I don’t know what to call them. Hydration technicians?) invade the pitch like paramedics offering liquid refreshment to the players. Moments later, having almost certainly saved the teams from shrivelling up like prunes, they rush back to the touchline.

I would be interested to know how this practice came about. I did notice the logo of a soft drinks company on the staff uniform. Is it in fact their initiative? What better way to convince players and spectators that they should be constantly drinking something?

Judging by the discarded plastic bottles in gutters up and down the country these days, they are succeeding.

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