Pitches and luck



Friday 2-June

By Ellika Vrooman and Mbilaelo Makhado

Today was a day where things went wrong and we made the best of it. This morning we woke up refreshed after a nice cool sleep since the weather cooled down, the moon was still a bit visible when we woke up, and we know that the moon is still the same everywhere, unifying us.

We started our morning with breakfast and went to the Department of Water and Sanitation Regional Office to work, the boardroom door in the room we were supposed to work on was stuck, we waited for about 30 minutes to open it, even going so far as wedging something between the doors, but eventually we were moved to a different room.

Our bad luck continued, the loadshedding started right while the Pitch and Poster training was happening, we luckily almost finished the poster part of the presentation, but did not get the pitch, which has been moved to the following day. Having thus been left in the dark, literally, not figuratively, we all decided it was best to continue with our work where we could, some of us going to different places like restaurants to work, but others stayed and worked in the dark.
We did find out a way to make the light of our phones disperse, by putting it on the water canisters we were so kindly provided with. Another good motivation to drink enough water. After this, we went to the Moses Mabhida soccer stadium for a tour, where we found out that there was another event ongoing and they accidentally miscommunicated the time the tour would start, and thought it was an hour earlier, nevertheless we still went on the tour and took a lot of nice pictures on the pitch. The engineering of the stadium was impressive collaboration from all over the world. The roof is made of Teflon coated white fibre glass, set in a structure of arches made by German engineers, contrary to popular belief, this (Mexican)roof does not close. The Y shape of the roof then, like the South-African flag, is meant to show how the divided comes united. The roof, even though it is not closed, shelters about 95% of the stadium, leaving only the pitch open to get some slight rain, dousing the soccer players in some pleasant refreshment other the Jacuzzi’s, showers, and cold ice tub build into the changing room.

What does close however is the open part of the stadium, which shows a very nice city view as well as the top seat part of the stadium. When they put up scaffolding with more seats(51000 capacity), it becomes the second biggest stadium in Africa.
The colours of the stadium seats are meant to reflect the water of the Indian ocean(with its white and blue), meanwhile the orange is supposed to reflect the sunset. Speaking of orange, some of the people were very excited to find a Dutch soccer player uniform amongst the uniforms in the changing room, and took pictures there. The nicest pictures in our opinion were taken on the pitch itself, and in front of the stadium, since all of us took group pictures and selfies there. Attempts to take a panorama picture don’t do it justice but do show some background of how photogenic the stadium is.

It is no surprise that it is used for many different events by the Ethekwini municipality that owns it. Some examples of these are of course soccer matches, but also rugby, and cricket, it is of course also a concert venue, and they even hosted top gear shows (using the tar that is on the artificial grass surrounding the real grass), as well as hosting the monster jam event (where they covered the grass in clay).

After the stadium we were given 2 hours for lunch and then the bus brought us back to the hostel, but not everyone did, 7 people, amongst which one of the writers, took an uber or other car back to the hostel first, to attempt to write, and have some lunch there. The people who stayed for lunch, made their way to the mall nearby, and enjoyed their meals. After this day full of bad luck, which we made the best off, we are hopeful that everything will be a
success, since as they say in the showbusiness: if the repetition fails, the final show succeeds.

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