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The volleyball team
The volleyball team
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TRISH TAKES FIVE: By blogger Trish Burgess

It was an unusual Father’s Day. Instead of Dougie being treated to breakfast in bed and a day of being waited on, hand and foot (he gets that every day, surely?), he was the one expending energy and providing entertainment for his family.

The Castle Sports Centre, on that Sunday evening, was the venue for the Lincolnshire Volleyball Association cup final. Dougie’s team, Spalding Volleyball Club, were playing their arch rivals. Lincoln Cannons, in what was expected to be a quite a battle.

Spalding were hoping to bring back some silverware. In the last six years or so, they have had wins in either the Lincolnshire or Cambridgeshire leagues. This season had been a little disappointing, so it was their last chance to bag themselves a trophy.

At 51, Dougie is now the elder statesman of the team, having played with them for the last ten years. In fact, he’s almost old enough to be the grandfather of some of them. This doesn’t worry him. He has been playing volleyball competitively since school and loves the sport so much he will put up with all manner of injuries if he can just be on that court, throwing himself about, trying to recapture his youth.

He has all manner of knee braces and ankle supports at the ready plus a handy supply of tubigrips and ice packs, just in case. Of course, after every match, he can’t move very much at all and I have watched, on countless occasions, as he levers his aching joints out of the car when he returns home.

The match itself was a thriller. Our son, Rory, his girlfriend, Juliana and I were cheering from the sidelines and the rest of the squad, on the bench, were vocal in their support throughout. There were some nail-biting rallies during the hard fought game but, in the end, Spalding blew away the opposition and they won three sets to nil.

Spalding Volleyball team are a fantastic example of how integration of nationalities can be encouraged through sport. In the squad over recent years there have been English, Scottish, Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian and Spanish players, all pulling together to succeed and they were all proud to represent Spalding. We shared the team photo on Facebook and there were likes and comments from everyone’s friends: it was exciting to see how thrilled people were with the win.

Dougie’s knees have just about recovered in time for another training session. 
He does tell me he will take up a less energetic sport when he retires but, in the meantime, I think I will be washing those knee braces and leg supports for a few more years to come.

You can follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at