Tuesday, 23 May 2017

An afternoon with Wasps at the Ricoh Arena

Written by Lucy, student reporter

I’m here to tell you about our amazing adventure to the Ricoh Arena on Thursday 18th May 2017.

For your information, the Coventry Ricoh Arena was built in 2005 and is now owned by Wasps (an English professional Rugby Union team).

So let’s get started.

First off, after a quick lunch, we headed off to the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) at school, and prepared for the trip. We split into two groups, one which would leave immediately with Mrs Nguyen (our amazing teacher) and hang around at the Stadium. The other group, however, (me included) had to wait a full 30 minutes before Mrs Boyne drove back to pick us up again. 

Then we were off! 

The first lucky group had a bit of free time at the Ricoh, with a great brainstorming session from the Wasps staff member called Sam (who is a Community Development Officer), then we (the second group) hurried in and our tour began!

Outside, the weather was perfect for an afternoon out, breezy with a light wind and sunny! It rained cats and dogs the day before. I am sure you could easily imagine how happy we would feel to walk in the sun on the pitch later.

We were led down many corridors, hallways and stairs, until finally, we reached the Media room! We sat in the same seats that the press normally sit in! How amazing! Maybe we’ll actually sit there as the press one day.

Then Sam (an ex-Wasps professional player who also played for England) and his colleague Paul, talked to us about how Wasps moved to Coventry from London. We found it very interesting to be told that at the moment Wasps were top of the premiership, and that meeting with the press in the Media room could be both exciting for the winning team and daunting for the losing one!

Before departing for the Ricoh Arena tour, we already knew that a number of the Olympic 2012 games were hosted in the Ricoh stadium. However our eyes (and mouths) were wide open to hear some amazing facts, such as there were 777 events happening at the Ricoh Arena just last year! That was approximately 2 events a day! Wow!

Soon we were off again down some more corridors, and up more stairs. The Arena was HUGE! 

We arrived at the tincey wincey 'Away Changing Rooms'. They were painted in some very grey and creamy colours. We were told that the layout and the furniture inside were purposely designed to provide less comfort to the Away teams. It’s a part of the competitiveness in sport we suppose. 

On a completely different scale, the ‘Home Changing Rooms’ were 10x bigger, and made of lovely wooden furnishings with a lovely air-con system. The spacious room was painted with vibrant colours, dominated by black and yellow, the main colours of Wasps. There was even a built-in mini bar!

Paul (an ex-player) talked to us a bit more on the changing rooms. He stated how they were specially designed to help the players relax and focus on the game ahead, so they could concentrate and do their best on the pitch. Paul also told us how the ceilings of the ‘Home Changing Rooms’ had to be raised so the teams could walk upright, you surely know how massively impressive a rugby player’s physique is!

Whilst Paul and Sam were talking to us, we got an opportunity to meet and help out ‘the Kit Man’ who seemed to know everything about the Wasps rugby players, from which boots they liked, to where and how many sugars they would take in their tea!

Finally, the bit we’d all been waiting for, a tour of the stadium. We were told that Wasps were going to play against Leicester Tigers on Saturday, and we had a very strong feeling that Wasps would win.

We walked through the big and white tunnel onto the pitch. In the distance from where we stood, some workmen were checking the pitch. We were allowed to sit on the substitute’s bench and the manager’s box!

All too soon it was over, and we went back through the hallways to the entrance, where we all said goodbye to Sam and Paul.

On the mini-bus back to school, some of us talked about the time we heard from Paul that his first crush whilst in school was on a teacher of his! How interesting!

All in all it was a great experience!

Bye for now!