Monday, 31 December 2012


Yesterday I went to see Grease the musical at the theatre. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go or not, I love the film, but had previously seen it in the West End and remember not really enjoying it. My mum got me tickets for Christmas, probably because I kept going on about it, but I am glad she did!

The cast were excellent on the whole, although the actor playing Danny had a very odd tone to his voice, which I am not sure worked. The singing was faultless and the energy they created was immense. There were obviously some adaptations from the film, I especially liked the changing of the ‘blue moon’ lyrics to ‘moony’.

I definitely recommend people going to see it, although it’s a risky business interpreting such a classic.

Grease is the word

This isn't goodbye

One significant event that occurred this year, which I haven’t blogged about, is my favourite band in the whole wide world split up! Most people I know think I am sad for liking Westlife, but I am not really bothered!

Before this year I had seen Westlife in concert five times, it should have been seven, but once it clashed with a family holiday and the other time I had an athletics competition. So I had to give my tickets away. Knowing it would be my final opportunity to see them this year, I bought tickets for both of their shows at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham. People will say that is ridiculous because they sang the same songs, but actually they were two very different shows. The first time the boys were more serious and the second time they were fooling around most of the time, which was highly amusing.

I then saw their final final show live at the cinema on 23 June. It was a very different experience watching a concert at the cinema, the audience were confused whether to scream, cheer and clap or not. I would say I would have loved to be there in person, but it was chucking it down!

Westlife have produced so many amazing songs, some covers, some originals, all brilliant in my bias opinion! They are one of those bands who I would never tire of seeing in concert, they never disappoint!

The band were together for an epic fourteen years and I am thinking/hoping that for their twentieth anniversary that they will have a reunion tour. I mean that’s what all bands do now right?!

They have too many inspirational lyrics, but my favourite is-

You’ve got to fight for every dream (Flying Without Wings)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Young Columnist

RNIB’s Insight magazine, which I believe is mainly read by parents and those in the education sector recently ran a competition. Every year they advertise for a young columnist with a £50 prize and the opportunity to write four columns for the magazine. This year I decided to enter, I have a feeling that they have raised the age limit to twenty-five, as I am pretty sure I would have entered previously. I had an assignment due the day before the deadline, so I didn’t have much time to write a good piece. The 425 word limit was a killer. They said write about something you’re passionate about so I did! I’m fairly certain I am not what they are looking for though, but all entries will be posted on their website. Here is my entry...

Let’s Inspire...

This summer, we were all dazzled by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In a 288 strong Paralympics GB Team, 41 athletes had a visual impairment and competed across 7 sports: athletics, swimming, cycling, judo, football, goalball and rowing. The motto of the ‘greatest’ games ever was to ‘inspire a generation’!

I’m Selina, 24 from Leicester and proud to be Europe’s No.2 T11 100m sprinter. I have a rare genetic eye condition called Norrie’s Disease and whilst I had good partial vision when I was younger, it gradually deteriorated, so since the age of 18 I have just had light perception. Despite training for years and being ranked highly in Europe, I was not selected for my dream games, but can honestly say I still found them amazing!

I was lucky enough to attend the first morning of athletics at the Olympics and watched 3 mornings of the Paralympic athletics live in the stadium. I was also privileged to have had the opportunity to race against the best in the world on the track back in May at the Paralympic Test event. I know all of these experiences have inspired me to continue in my sport, but I fear that visually impaired participation will not increase.

I attended mainstream school until after my A Levels and then spent a year at the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC). In both, mainstream and specialist education, I had mostly negative sporting experiences.

At primary school I volunteered myself for the cross-country team and remember falling over in my first race. This would have deterred most 7 year olds, but thereafter the school got a Year 6 boy to run alongside me, which worked well. At secondary school where my sight was more limited, I recall feeling embarrassed when I couldn’t hit a tennis ball back over the net and ran around with a hockey stick with no purpose. Eventually I stopped doing PE altogether. At RNC, I was able to use the gym, but there were no opportunities to participate in Paralympic sport other than goalball and football if you were male.

If visually impaired children are subjected to these negative encounters then it is unlikely that they will want to pursue sport even for fun, or perhaps they are inspired by the games, but are never presented with an opportunity to try Paralympic sport.

Now the London 2012 Games have done the inspiring, I hope the education sector can do the implementing!

Sport doesn’t care who you are, anyone can take part!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

F1 2012

Last weekend saw an epic climax to the F1 2012 season. The rain in Brazil really shook things up and caused so much drama that I lost count of the amount of times my heart was in my mouth! Unfortunately, whilst Alonso drove magnificently, Vettel was crowned the youngest triple world champion. That’s three times in the last four years that my team, Ferrari have lost the championship on the final race. I think I am still traumatised from 2008 when Massa clinched the title, only for it to be lost again in a matter of seconds, again thanks to the rain in Brazil.

Massa had a disappointing start to the season and I wondered whether his time was up at Ferrari. However, in the final few races I began to see signs of the old Massa back, the incredible driver before his life-threatening accident. I would even go as far to say he was driving better than Alonso in the last couple of races, but was the perfect team player and did everything in his power to try and help Alonso win the championship. With both Ferrari drivers back on form, next year is looking very promising!

This year saw the great seven time world champion Michael Schumacher hang up his driving helmet for the second time. I always remember his amazing final race from his first retirement, he didn’t win, but came through the pack with some unbelievable passes. This time the only thing I will remember is him moving aside for Vettel, as he wanted his fellow German to win the title. I was disgusted!

Talking of ex-Ferrari drivers, it was brilliant to see Raikanan back on the grid. I love his no-nonsense attitude! Looking ahead to next year, you just know it is going to be another thrilling season after eight different drivers won races this year.

F1, go, go, go!