15/03/2013

Mardi Gras Parade Boys - The Experience

 

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Name:   Seamus Duffy (Flag Bearer)

Born:      Ireland

What does Tennis Sydney mean to you: I registered with Tennis Sydney prior to leaving Ireland two years ago? I knew joining such a group would be a good way to meet new people with a common interest outside the pub/ club scene.

I have been involved firstly as a spectator (due to injury) and then a competitor at various tournaments and Sunday social  – I’ve never looked back! I’m 17,000 kms from home and don’t know many people, so Tennis Sydney has added immensely to my journey here in Australia.

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Did you have any expectations, participating in the MG march? I was really excited and proud. It was an opportunity to give something back to the club and I felt strongly that the club should be well represented. For me it was important that I was part of a float that had significance for me and Tennis Sydney/ Team Sydney fitted the bill perfectly.

What was your experience like, marching with Team Sydney/ Tennis Sydney? Team Sydney was extremely well organised – by 3 main players – Matt Thiselton, Penny Gulliver and Choreographer from Ignite Dance Group – Dion Arlotta. I attended 1 rehearsal on the Monday before MG and learned a very simple dance routine. Team Sydney accessories – headbands, pom poms, LED shoelaces, flag, flag belt and holder were all organised by Team Sydney & were available on the night with minimal fuss. Registration was very easy. 

Evan, Chris, Peter & I met the main group at 5pm on the Saturday night & entered the holding area for our float at 7pm post a few sneaky schooners on William Street, thanks to Evan. We took off in the parade at about 9pm. The waiting time flew past – we did some rehearsals & we were able to move around through the other floats – catch up with people, take photos – the atmosphere was electric – a real sense of expectation.

Taking off in The Parade – turning up Oxford Street – seeing the crowds was just incredible – the reaction was amazing. Team Sydney looked great! & this continued right the way through to MardiGrasLand. The actually parade time flew past!

 Would you do it again? Yes – I would certainly do it again. I think we should have a greater number than 4 participants from a Club with nearly 220 members & we need to work on an eye catching tennis ensemble – I’ve learned that a key ingredient of any Mardi Gras Parade outfit is less is more 😉 It promises to be a fantastic experience & a great night that I would highly recommend.

Name:   Chris Neff

Born:      Boston, Massachusetts, USA

What does Tennis Sydney mean to you: Tennis Sydney is a great community of people, which is about more than tennis. It’s about good people getting together and I am very proud to call myself a member.

Did you have any expectations, participating in the MG march? I thought it would rain – a lot.

What was your experience like, marching with Team Sydney/ Tennis Sydney? It turned out to be great! There wasn’t really any rain and it’s the best marching experience I’ve had in my four times doing it. This year was the best organized, best routine, fun outfits experience. And it helped that we hit the pub ahead of time too!  But there is nothing like being part of the march and walking through all the other floats to meet and talk with everyone as you get ready to head off. We had a fun group in Tennis Sydney and from the other sports teams

Would you do it again? Absolutely! It was a great, great time and I hope everyone in Tennis Sydney will join us next year!  

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Name:   Peter Tang

Born:      Ottawa, Canada

What does Tennis Sydney mean to you:I’ve only been to two events involving Tennis Sydney but have had an amazing time and the people are friendly.  It means I can play tennis when I visit Sydney!  A way to make friends.

Did you have any expectations, participating in the MG march? Skimpy clothing!  Fortunately it wasn’t required 🙂  I came in looking ready for a game of golf, so was pleased to see we were fitted with some fun accessories.  I expected great energy and a better time than standing around watching the parade.

What was your experience like, marching with Team Sydney/ Tennis Sydney? Great fun! Definitely better than watching a parade.  The energy you feel as you join the parade and just before you are about to march is amazing.  

 

Would you do it again? Maybe, if I’m still around.

Name:   Evan Knowles

Born:      Sydney, Australia

What does Tennis Sydney mean to you: It means a lot! Tennis Sydney has given me the opportunity to make some great friends and play silly amounts of tennis, which I love! It’s been good for my confidence and I’m proud to be a member and compete and socialise with such a well organised club with fun members.

Did you have any expectations, participating in the MG march?

I was definitely nervous. Brendan had asked me but I wasn’t sure… When I found out that Pete, Seamus and Chris were involved I was a little more comfortable, but still nervous about the overall experience, the number of people and the dancing.

What was your experience like, marching with Team Sydney/ Tennis Sydney?

It’s a great feeling seeing familiar faces (and strange ones) in the crowd cheering for you. Together with the other teams there was a brilliant energy and comradely that I hadn’t experienced before.

Would you do it again?
Yeah I would for sure, with a bigger group. It would be great to have some other members on board and involved.

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