The Grand Finale by Andy Attah

The last day of our amazing time in London has been great. We started off the day with a visit to the All England Lawn Tennis Club, or Wimbledon, as it more commonly known. It’s an amazing place. We were able to see where all the top tennis players play and learn a loabout me everything that goes into keeping the grass surfaces at top notch. They even have a man who counts the blades of grass on each court to make sure that they are as close to 100% rye grass as possible. We took lots of pictures of all the great players that have come and gone and saw things that most people will never see.

Then we made what I feel was the best part of the trip in touring Chelsea Stadium. It was like a dream come true to walk through the tunnel where the players come out and visit the changing room where the players change for a match. It has been an amazing day!

Swollen Sightseeing By Bethany Lang

Who knew waking up in fabulous London and having a swollen eye would ever happen? Well, it did to me, but did that stop me from having an adventure of a lifetime? No! I found out I had an allergic reaction to some of the different kind of foods they have in the city. Yet, I was packed up and ready to go.  Our group today toured the Tower of London (also known as the Bloody Tower). This was the most prestigious landmark and historical place in London next to the Royal Palace.

As we approached the Tower we found that the place was originally used to keep weapons and was considered a royal place for beheading. It was an honor to be prosecuted in these dungeons compared to other places in London. The most important thing I noticed is that the British still try to keep their culture alive. In the Tower, they preserve all of the royal jewelry, and even the traditional Beefeaters, which are also guards for the Tower.  In America, we have museums and artifacts, but England as a country is more united in their support of their culture from over 300 years ago. The people here are very polite and have better manners than Americans. 

Peach and every day I learn something different about being in London.  The sport aspect is totally different by having different soccer (Football) teams in every county.  The sports are preserved through their culture as they grow up. On the Tube, I see little boys playing soccer in the streets.  It’s an amazing atmosphere here to see the cultural difference and I wish I could stay longer. I am excited for what tomorrow brings because every day is a new adventure!

Cheers!

Bethany Lang

Olympic Day by Jacqueline McAllister and Maria Tivoli

Jacqueline and Maria checking in with our family and friends back in the States.  As I am sure most of you read, we have been having a fabulous time! You could call today Olympic Day. We started off our day with great presentations from Dr. Charles Little.  We were able to see a bit of the London Metropolitan University, and this campus is huge, It is nothing like our close Neumann campus! Our presentations today started with a history of the Olympics, how it started and how a country places a bid to host the events.  We also learned how London pitched its bid to host and why they were selected.

We were able to take a bicycle tour around the Olympic site. our tour consisted of roaming around the streets of London, of course being guided by a professional. We pedaled through Victoria Park, down the canal and all around the Olympic grounds. We had the opportunity to view all of the facilities used during the Olympics, from a near distance.  The facilities we saw were the athletics complex and aquatics center as well as the basketball and table tennis building.  On top of this, we also caught a glimpse of the Olympic Village where athletes were housed and the media/press center.

All in all it was a quite valuable experience, With this being said, we wish we had the opportunity to actually tour the complexes.  We had high expectations of seeing them inside and out, but obviously we did not have that choice, since the Olympic committee in London has closed all of the facilities, and have begun reconstruction of the entire area. It is difficult to imagine that the Olympics were ever held there, since everything is being dismantled, and there is little or no signage left.

Tomorrow is our free day, and many of us plan on doing various tours and hitting Oxford for some shopping, or maybe even catch a play.

Until next time, cheers from London!

Cricket Lessons

My student bloggers have abandoned me, so I (Bob Bunnell) will pinch-hit for them. Today the group traveled to the Marylebone Cricket Club in Westminster, where we took a tour of Europe’s oldest and most famous cricket grounds. Izzy, our tour guide, did a great job in giving us a sense of the enormous history of the place, while also showing us the physical highlights of the place. We visited the Long Room, where only members (and the Royal Family) are allowed in during match days. Jacqueline and Maria touched the windowsill right in front you where Queen Elizabeth’s throne is placed when she attends matches with her husband, a two-time President of venerable club. In order to be a member, you must get your name admitted to the waiting list, and then wait a minimum of 20 years before you can be considered for membership. Due to the limited number of memberships, would-be members must hope that enough people who are already members die in order to open places for new members…it’s like waiting for Green Bay Packers tickets.

we then visited the visiting players’ dressing  room, which is unlike the kind of dressing/locker rooms we are used to. Leather benches, picture window

overlooking the grounds, and gold hooks for use as lockers. We then toured some of the grandstand, which seats 28,500, and the media center, which is an elevated sphere, about 30 feet off the ground, which looks like a combination space ship. kidney bean, and a boat turned on its side. Very modern, it is out of place amidst the very old main building and grandstand.

Following a brief stop for lunch, the class was turned over to two professional cricket coaches for a brief training session and then the first cricket match in Neumann history.

One of our students, Charles Graham, has just joined me, and will tell you about how the class spent its afternoon…

This is Charles Graham, junior SEM major at Neumann.  After the ham and cheese croissant settled in my stomach, it was go time. Instructed by two men whose names I don’t remember, our class of Cricket 101 was begun. Simple drills to sharpen our hand-eye coordination such as two-hand catch and throw and one-hand catch and throw, and then we were ready to start our exhibition game.  The older instructor served as the pitching coach, going around fixing everyone’s “bowling” form.  The younger guy was more the voice of the game and helped us understand the basic rules of the sport. The most complicated adjustment for all of us was the awkward motion of our throw and trust issues with one another.  As the game went along, we all became more comfortable and more competitive.  Unfortunately, I was part of the losing team.  After embracing defeat my team went upstairs for a presentation by Elly, who is the Director of the club’s marketing and brand management. She displayed her team’s action plan to promote and entice the public about cricket.  Her background was similar to many of our Sport and Entertainment undergraduates’ current situation. After we were blessed with her lecture, a bunch of us headed a few blocks to Abbey Road.  Trying to mimic and impersonate the iconic pose of the Beatles, many of us risked our lives.  Going roughly three at a time, we seemed to unexpectedly stop in the middle of traffic to strike a pose for the cameras. There were a couple of close calls with a few irritated British drivers; however, we successfully got great pictures and headed our own way.

It was a beautiful day, with blue skies, sunshine, and finally, a temperature above 50 degrees.  Tomorrow, some more lectures, and a bike tour of the Olympic site. 

Cheerio from London!

 

The Big Bus Tour by Josh Ladowitz and Jeff Desalvo

Today, we were on the hop/on, hop/off Big Bus tour for a LONG time! Our first stop was Westminster, where we stopped to get pictures of Big Ben, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey and other great views. After the pictures, we made our way to the Thames River Cruise by the London Eye.

We hopped on the River Cruise tour at the Westminster Pier, which wasn’t too far away from Big Ben. the cruise allowed us to have great views of London while traveling along the Thames. some of the things we were able to see on the tour were:

Cleopatra’s Needle

The London Eye (ferris wheel)

the Royal National Theatre

the OXO Tower

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

London Bridge

the Tower of London

The Shard

We ended our journal with a walking tour called Ghosts by Gaslight, where we were able to visit some traditional pubs and learn about the dark history of London. another important part of today was our visit to Buckingham Palace, where we saw the home of the Royal Family.

That’s it for Monday, March 4…tomorrow, we learn how to play Cricket!

Cheers, Josh and Jeff

 

Have a London Knight!

March 2, 2013. –  “Have a London Knight,” As many Americans were just falling asleep at 1:30 Saturday morning, our flight was arriving at Heathrow International Airport in London. Excited and exhausted, we grabbed our luggage, went through Customs, and met Craig Douglass, our tour guide from Sports Travel Academy. From there, we were introduced to our main source transportation while in London – the Tube, which is equivalent to the New York City subway. We took the long tube ride to our hotel, the Tavistock, where we received our room assignments and unpacked. Shortly thereafter, we met with Craig and he discussed safety precautions to taour during our stay. He then took us on a walking tour of Russell Square, where we found an outdoor market and bought lunch. After a brief lunch, we hopped back on the Tube and rode into Westminster, where we spent time taking in views and amazing sites.  We saw the London Eye, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey. However, we couldn’t explore the area in detail because we had a football match to catch! We jumped back on the tube on an early, crowded train trip, and rode into Fulham Broadway where Barclay’s Premier League team, Chelsea, calls home. Amidst 41,000 screaming and chanting fans, we found our seats and joined in.  In the 27th minute, Ba scored the only goal of the match off a brilliant header from his teammate, David Luiz, to put Chelsea ahead one-nil. Even though that was the only goal scored, the genius of the players’ movement without the ball and the passionate atmosphere of the fans, it was a unique and unforgettable experience. We ended the day with a relaxing and traditional London meal of fish and chips at the London Pub. Until next time, this is Rosie and Bri with all things London…Cheerio!

A Day of Rugby

Today’s blog is brought to you by Mike DiOssi and Josh Schleifer. Today we took the tube to the Olympic site to see a presentation from Dr. Charles Little who teaches sports management history at London Metropolitan University. He started out the presentation with  a little background on London. Dr. Little talked about how  the population  is 7.8 million and how London is the largest city in England and it is also the capital of the U.K. He also explained the British sport system, which is nothing like the US system. There is very little sport in UK colleges, compared to our huge system, mostly governed by the NCAA. We were surprised to learn that the most popular sports in the US are not even close to being the same in the UK, with football (soccer) being most popular, followed by horse racing and rugby. They even have televised darts matches!

Next, Dr. Hugh Richards taught us about the game of rugby, and the professional system in the UK. He explained about the different countries in the UK, and the various leagues that are amongst them. We were happy that he explained how the game is supposed to be played, because we next headed to Allianz Stadium to watch the home team, Saracens, take on London Welsch. We saw only the second game to be played in the new stadium, and were entertained by an amazing match won by Saracens, 28-14. Along with the huge size and incredible strength of the players, we got to “meet” the mascots of the team, one of which was a fez-wearing camel. Despite the very chilly weather, we had a great day, and had an unforgettable experience!

We were on our own for dinner, and waited two hours to get into the London Hard Rock Cafe, the very first Hard Rock Cafe in the world. It was worth the wait, and afterward, we went to Piccadilly Circus, London’s answer to New York’s Times Square. It was awesome, and we can’t wait to go back.

That’s it from Josh and Mike, reporting from London…Cheerio!

“Allo, Mates!”

Dear Folks,

Beginning next weekend (March 1-9), twelve Sport and Entertainment Management students and I will be in London, visiting famous sports sites (Wimbledon, Olympic sites, Chelsea FC, etc.) and reporting back to you on our adventures.  We will be learning about the system of sport in the UK, which is so different from our American system.  Just as one example, there is no big-time collegiate sports program in British universities, such as we have here in America.We will be attending a Chelsea football (soccer to you Yanks) and a professional rugby match as well.  To top it off, we will attend the Marylbone Cricket Academy, where we will be taught how to play cricket.

The students who will be joining me are Jeffrey DeSalvo, Mike DiOssi, Josh Schleifer, Josh Ladowitz, Briana King, Andy Attach, Maria Tivoli, Charles Graham, Basil Goodwin, Jacqueline McAllister, Bethany Lang and Rosie Kays.  The trip has been arranged through our International Studies Office and Scott Keller, with Sports Travel Academy and Craig Douglass.  A big “Thanks” are due to Scott and Craig for their expert assistance in making this happen.

Students and faculty from Neumann’s English Department and Athletic Training program are also traveling along, but they will have a different set of experiences to enjoy while abroad. They will have their own story to tell, although we will all be sharing some activities together.

The group is tremendously excited to begin our odyssey, and have met several times in preparation for the trip.  As part of the requirements for gaining academic credit for the trip, the students are required to keep a daily log of their activities and insights, take a turn at providing the daily blog for our group, write a final paper about their trip, and make presentations to other Sport and Entertainment Management classes about their experiences.

I’m certain that this will be one of the most memorable experiences in the young lives of our students, and I am looking forward to sharing this time with them. Wheels up at 6:25 PM on March 1…the next time you hear from me we’ll be “across the pond”.

Cheers,

Bob Bunnell, DirectorSport and Entertainment Management Program

 

March 3, 2013

Folks,

We  arrived safely Saturday morning, and found our way to our hotel without trouble. The trouble we have encountered is with our blogging. We had two students blog last night (Saturday), and two more tonight (Sunday), but have had difficulty in getting their blogs posted. I will contact our Neumann expert, and figure out a way to get their blogs added to these postings tomorrow. We’ve had a lot of fun so far, watching pro football (soccer) and rugby matches, and doing a lot of sightseeing. I won’t say anymore for now, and let our students speak for themselves.

Hopefully, you cangetcaught up with their observations tomorrow. Until then, from a very chilly London,

Cheers, Bob