Entry 1 of an assistant’s web-log of the IWAS Powerchair Hockey World Cup 2022 Sursee
The day started early for my son and me. Unless we wanted to miss the bus that was going to take us and the other team and staff members of the Belgian National Powerchair Hockey Team to the IWAS Powerchair Hockey World Cup 2022, that is happening 9-14 August in Sursee, Switzerland. Hmm, don’t think so. Don’t wanna miss this!
The first thing to do seems to be: to put to the test what one (1) bus can actually hold.
It turns out: 10 athletes, a coach, a team manager, 12 assistants, a driver, 21 powerchairs, 4 mobile lifts, one regular wheelchair, a few shower chairs and a collection of bags and suitcases. Remember: this is what fits into one (1) bus! (Given a little backpack for the bus, called a ski box, attached to the bus after taking my picture). Hmm, not bad. Imagine the teams of Canada and Australia making the trip by plane. I did hear they are renting their sports powerchairs however, which sounds like a disadvantage as players really are one with their chair (and having to drive a different chair breaks that unity).
The rest of the day mainly consists of driving, driving, driving and more…driving. In-between are a few breaks (for a breath of fresh air, leg stretching, a drink, lunch). In total, we are about 10 hours underway, which is actually less than I feared for. Luckily, no traffic jams today. Thanks, Hilaire, for taking us safely across half of Europe!
‘Switzerland’ doesn’t just mean the 2022 world cup of powerchair hockey and 4 official languages, but it also means no Euro (€) and (much worse) the end of 4G (or, at least, the end of free roaming). On the other hand, there is plenty of tunnel visions (meaning: tunnels to be viewed from the inside) as well as depths to cross. And mountains to climb. Those latter challenges however are easier to address sitting in a bus.
Around 6 pm we arrive at the hotel Sempachersee near the…Sempachersee (where ‘See’ = lake because ‘Meer’ = sea*). This is where all 10 teams from around the world will stay and train. We unpack and pack again as rooms get switched because of team members showing solidarity with each others’ needs and requirements.
* I know, I know, this does make a lot less sense in English than it does in Dutch.
However, upon our arrival we get the first bad news of the trip already: breakfast next morning is at 7am. I don’t know how that is to you, but to me that is torture, pure horror.
I hope you will enjoy reading all about our adventure for which I envision following episodes:
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 0: Introduction
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 1 (Sunday 7 August): Gotta go (what you are reading)
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 2 (Monday 8 August): Checking in and being checked out (part 1)
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 3 (Tuesday 9 August): Checking in and being checked out (part 2)
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 4 (Wednesday 10 August): Match day 1
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 5 (Thursday 11 August): Match day 2
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 6 (Friday 12 August): Match day 3
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 7 (Saturday 13 August): Play-offs
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 8 (Sunday 14 August): Finals
- IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 9 (Monday 15 August): After-day