The GB Lions’ Friendly Against Team Spain

The day we’ve all been waiting for:  the GB Lions’ Women’s American football friendly against Team Spain! Julia has been gearing up for this game for months.

A few months ago, I headed up to Birmingham with Julia. I was really excited to meet her family and watch her play in the Diamond match. Because there were many players trying for the GB team this year, this match helped the coaches with the selection. Afterwards, there were a few more practice weekends that whittled down the team even further. Since the players selected for this match go to the IFAF World Championships next year, Julia worked her butt off. And it obviously paid off.

IFAF International Friendly

GB Lions, UK - Fulbright Study Abroad, Traveling Internationally

I headed to Worchester on Saturday to watch Julia play for in the first and only GB women’s match of the year. It was really something to have to pay for a ticket and sit in a stands to watch Julia play. When I met her, I didn’t quite understand that she played at this level of football.

GB Lions, UK - Fulbright Study Abroad, Traveling Internationally

When I arrived, Julia’s mom (in a Union Jack onesie) and Huw, and Julia’s uncle and aunt greeted me. Julia’s mom led us all in cheers for the whole game, and it was so nice to sit there with such an enthusiastic group.

GB Lions, UK - Fulbright Study Abroad, Traveling Internationally

Once the team was out on the field, I had a bit of a hard time finding Julia. Jerseys 22 and 27 looked so similar that it was only when Julia’s helmet was off in the line-up or when I saw her orange shoes that I recognized her.

GB Lions, UK - Fulbright Study Abroad, Traveling Internationally

While I’m sure Team Spain worked hard for the match, the GB Lions really proved their place in American football at this match. The final score was 33-0, GB-Spain!

GB Lions, UK - Fulbright Study Abroad, Traveling Internationally

Celebrating!

Once the match was over, we were able to meet the players down on the side of the field. It took a bit of time to catch Julia’s attention in all of the craze, especially with people offering her cookies.

GB Lions, UK - Fulbright Study Abroad, Traveling Internationally

But finally, she found me. And I even got to snap a photo with Gareth, her defensive coach!

GB Lions, UK - Fulbright Study Abroad, Traveling Internationally

Now it’s time to finish my dissertation and look forward to the big trip home!

 

Be kind to one another,

Natalie

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