As many of you will already know, we are heading out to Rio to watch Jack Beaumont, my stepson, race in the Men’s Quad at the Rio Olympic Regatta. Jack was a last minute replacement for Graeme Thomas who was withdrawn from the team on Tuesday due to illness.
This week has been a rollercoaster of emotions for me and Jack’s dad Peter. Elation and pride for Jack have been coupled with deep sadness and disappointment for Graeme and his family. Christine and Stuart Thomas came to our house on Wednesday to drop off their Friends and Family tickets for the Regatta. We have bought their whole travel package from them, lock, stock and barrel, and despite this seeming rather a brutal exchange, they were very grateful to have been able to recoup their money, and to give us the opportunity to travel out and support Jack at such short notice. I have never met the Thomas’s before and these were trying, difficult circumstances. What wonderful parents they are, totally committed to supporting Graeme in whatever way they can, completely behind the Men’s Quad, whether Graeme is in it or not, and trying to make the best of what is quite simply a devastating situation.
Now that I am actually on the plane, and the ‘will we, won’t we’ of the last few days has finally been answered, I am wondering how I can make the best of this fantastic opportunity. Obviously, I will be drinking in the Rio experience and revelling in the opportunity to watch rowing and other sports performed at the highest level. But in terms of High Performance Parenting, I have decided not to be dishing out advice, but instead to be giving you a very frank and honest account of what it’s like to be out here watching my wonderful stepson. He’s not mine, and his lovely mum Sarah has been unable to travel out here, so hopefully this will also give her a first hand account of what’s going on.
I will try and stick to my own advice! But if things go awry in the heat of the moment, it will just give me more stories for you at future HPP workshops and events!
So watch this space, and get your flags out and your shouts turned up to full volume to support all of Team GB at this precious time. And please like and share if you know any parents of young athletes who might also enjoy this story.