Adding value to the city you live in

For some reason I feel that it is my duty and obligation to add something to the city I live in, this city is Plymouth. I was born in Plymouth and have many fond memories of growing up in the area. I remember the first Plymouth Argyle game I went to, I remember shopping in the city centre before Drakes Circus when C&A and the like used to rule the world, I remember my first cinema experience at the Odeon and so on and so on.

Giving back

The city of Plymouth has given me so much that I now want to give back and be part of creating amazing experiences for others in this city. This is part of the reason why I am so passionate about making Plymouth a city for Professional Wrestling. I have been a fan of Professional Wrestling since I was about 8 and have travelled the country and the world to support it, to go to shows and to experience it. I know there are lots more wrestling fans in the city like me (the WWE NXT show at the Plymouth Pavilions earlier in the year proves that). I now want to help build a community with them, to network with them and give them a regular wrestling fix, instead of having to wait for the once in the blue moon event that we get down here from WWE, as there may not be any more shows like that down here in our life time.

It’s not the cities that make the other Professional Wrestling companies in other areas of the UK so big, it is the people behind them and I think we have the right team of people here at Plymouth Wrestling Association, to make Professional Wrestling big in Plymouth like it is in London, Glasgow, Preston etc. I would love for Professional Wrestling fans in Plymouth to not have to travel in order to see an entertaining show, I would also love them to have local wrestlers that they support and a growing local company they can get behind. For the local economy I would also love for the money wrestling fans spend supporting their passion to benefit this city and to stay in the city, to help grow this city.

A great form of entertainment

Professional Wrestling may be looked down upon by some or misunderstood by others but I believe Professional Wrestling is a great form of family friendly entertainment, that mixes athleticism, drama, music, culture, personality, competition and art. It is a place where fan participation and interaction is encouraged, where kids can be kids and don’t need to sit still and be quiet.

Plymouth is known for many great things whether that is the sports, the stunning views around the Hoe and Barbican area, the culture, the history etc. But I want Plymouth to be known for and famous for much more and I am going to do everything in my power to add Professional Wrestling to the list.

With that in mind I would love to invite you to the next big Plymouth Wrestling Association show title ‘September Slam’ on Sunday September the 25th at Plymouth School of Creative Arts. Doors open at 6pm, tickets can be purchased from as little as £8 and can be purchased by going to:

http://plymouthwrestling.co.uk/events/event/pwa-september-slam/

 

Chasing dreams

Over the last few months I have been using my skills to help local professional wrestling company PWA (Plymouth Wrestling Association). A very dynamic leader runs the group, with a group of very hard working performers and back room staff who are all eager to put on the best shows possible.

When you say wrestling, most people immediately think of WWE (or WWF as it was once known). Local independent wrestling is different from what you see on TV. The audience are closer to the action, the audience are more involved in the show and the performers aren’t performing for paychecks. The wrestlers are performing for the love of the sport, to get experience and to get noticed. Local Independent wrestling is where wrestlers make names for themselves and hone their craft, so if you want to see a wrestler before they get famous, local independent shows are the place to go.

Dedication

The crazy thing about the guys and girls who get in the ring, is how a lot of them are holding down day jobs whilst also working out incredibly hard to keep their physique and then risking their health and wellbeing every time they get in the ring. This is how dedicated these guys are; this is how much they love to entertain.

We had a big show in Plymouth last night and what shone through for me was the community feel. Many members of the crowd knew each other and many members of the crowd knew the wrestlers, there was a real family vibe. The crowd really got in to everything that was going on, feeling the pain of defeat when their favourites lost and the elation of victory when their favourites won. It was like we were all in the experience together.

Glitz and Glamour

Local Independent wrestling shows may not have the glitz and glamour of the wrestling you see on TV but you have to ask yourself – what do you watch wrestling for? If you stripped away the lighting, the cameras, the fireworks etc. wrestling is about a battle of wrestlers, a battle of characters, it’s storytelling, it’s physical theatre and PWA does this very well. If you watch wrestling for the actual matches then you need to get yourself along to a local show.

It was so great to be in the company yesterday of so many dream chasers. People that have a passion for professional wrestling who were willing to make sacrifices to make it as far as they can in the industry. People who want to make wrestling as big as it can be in Plymouth and make PWA the best it possibly can be.

Many people talk about doing something but these guys are the ones that are actually doing something. Some of them may make it, some of them might not but at least they will all know that they gave it a shot and will know how far they could have got instead of always wondering.

PWA have their next show on November 22nd and I urge you all to check it out. www.plymouthwrestling.co.uk

Doing things right

This last weekend I was in London commentating on the NFL at Wembley Stadium. It was a fantastic day and a decent game of American football with the New York Jets beating the Miami Dolphins. The NFL is a yearly tradition for me and one that I always look forward to and enjoy.

The one thing I always notice when I go is how much better the NFL (and all American sports) are at putting on a show that British sports. As I was walking up to the stadium there was already so much going on (and I had to be there early). You could get your face painted, you could practice throwing an American football to an NFL player of your choice, there were huge banners and signs up featuring the best players that were going to be on show that you could get your photo taken with and the list goes on.

Experience

Then for the game experience itself, there were fireworks, lights, music, smoke cheerleaders, the national anthems sung by famous singers as well as regular freebies thrown in to the crowd. Some of these things are slowly creeping in to sports in Britain but no one has quite mastered it like the Americans have yet.

The NFL presentation is so slick and professional, from the smallest detail to the biggest; everything always seems to run seamlessly. There was fun for all the family and I don’t think there will be too many that went home who weren’t happy with their experience, although of course many may have been unhappy with the result.

Attention to detail

Attention to detail is key with any type of event you are planning or attending. With the NFL you can tell every small detail has been looked at and worked on. Being a regular attendee I can also see ways they are improving it every year as they obviously do listen to feedback and every year they seem to try to do something new and better than the year before.

Next time you plan an event, make sure you look at every detail and make sure you look at it from the attendees point of view, do these two things and I am sure you will have an awesome event. Next time you attend an event try and look at the little details, look at what the event organisers have done well and what they haven’t, try to understand why things have happened and why they haven’t.

A great event should send as many people as possible away with positive feelings and the attendees should feel glad that they gave up their time and or money to attend. Never underestimate what people’s time and money is worth, they are investing it in an event so make sure you invest in them.

I’m a Eurovision fan and I don’t care

For many years there seems to have been a stigma around the people who look forward to and enjoy watching Eurovision. Some people seem to look down their nose at others who enjoy this annual cultural phenomenon. Watching Eurovision seems to be beneath some people and many people think it is embarrassing.

I think by not getting over themselves, many people are missing out on a fun night of TV entertainment and that is what the Eurovision is.

I do not watch Eurovision for the following things:

Quality music
Fair voting
Expecting the UK to win

I watch it for these things:

Entertainment
Comedy
To banter on twitter about it

I feel sorry for those countries that aren’t able to watch Eurovision on TV, although I was surprised by the number of countries who aren’t represented at Eurovision, but who still watch it. I love TV programmes, especially live events, when you know lots of people in the country are watching at the same time as you, it breeds a shared experience feeling and this is when I think TV is at its best.

An extravaganza

The Eurovision is a spectacular TV event with some amazingly high production values. The staging, lighting and presentation are impeccable. These are the reasons to me why it doesn’t matter who wins or loses. To me it’s not a competition, it’s entertainment and who wins isn’t important. I love seeing what acts other countries have sent to the competition and what people are saying about them, the more random the act, the more I enjoy it.

I never feel patriotic during the event, probably got something to do with knowing the UK will never win but I do feel proud of the diverseness of the Eurovision zone. Yes the Eurovision has it’s own area, as not all entries are from Europe as it is normally defined.

Our way of doing it

The UK may never win the competition, but I think we must win the best presentation of the event, which to me is the most important thing. Graham Norton’s commentary throughout the event is priceless and always has me in stitches, as did his predecessor Terry Wogan. The UK sense of humour coupled with the Eurovision is a winning combination.

The Eurovision is on my list of events that I would love to go to at some point in my life, so I hope that one year I do get to witness it live, as when watching at home it seems like such a fun party atmosphere in the arena. For now though I will settle for drinking games, house parties and twitter on my phone to enjoy the event with.

Happy Birthday

So the day after my anniversary, I celebrated my 31st birthday. The sun was shining (which is rare in the UK in April) and due to it coinciding with the Easter weekend, we had a public holiday so I didn’t have to go in to work.

My wife gave me the most amazing and thoughtful birthday (or should I say birthdays a it stretched over two days), which were days of adventure, fun and time together, away from the stresses and strains of life. It was a time to be happy and I think that is an important thing on a birthday. I think there is a reason people wish you ‘happy birthday’, they want it to be a happy day for you and I can say mine certainly was.

Birthdays for many can be a sad event. Some fear growing older, some use it to lament their current situation in life, some use it to look back at sad events in the last year and some use it to feel sad about the future and what it holds. I think some people think: what have I got to be happy about? It is because of some of these reasons mentioned, that some people choose not to mark or celebrate their birthday and would rather it was forgotten.

An Important day

I want to say that your birthday is a special and important day. Your birthday is the anniversary of the day you came in to this world and started making an impact on it, as believe you me – we all have in our own ways. Your birthday is the anniversary of the day that someone or some people cared enough to bring you in to this world and I think that is something which shouldn’t be underestimated or made to feel small.

Your birthday doesn’t need to be a reflection or a look to the future, it can just be about that one day. If you feel things aren’t going your way in life, it can be a day just to forget about them and enjoy yourself. Even if you are in the midst of a tough situation, never feel like you can’t celebrate your birthday or feel bad for doing so. I personally think the world needs a bit more happiness in it and we should use any chance we have to bring a bit more happiness to it.

What you make it

I am happy for my life and I am happy for my time here on earth. I am so thankful for it all and want to celebrate it any chance I get. A birthday can be a day to look at the world and life anew, a day to show others you love them, a day to be thankful, but above all a birthday is what you make it.

Birthdays shouldn’t be judged on number of presents or money spent on the day, they should be judged on enjoyment of the day. Happiness is contagious and birthdays are a great way to spread happiness, so lets make them the happiest that we can.

After responding to all my birthday wishes on Facebook from friends across the globe I put a post up on my page. In that post I asked my Facebook friends that wanted to get me anything for my birthday to instead of getting me a present, to download by book on dementia care, the story of my life caring for my mum. So I would like to extend that to all my brilliant followers and readers of this blog. It would mean the world to me if you made a purchase or helped me spread the word about the book, by posting a link to it on your social media feeds. Below is the link to the book and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all that have supported me in any way over my life, I am thankful for it all:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Unbreakable-Bond-Adam-Sibley-ebook/dp/B00UM6ATBW

Anniversary

This weekend I will celebrate my first wedding anniversary with my wife. I have been reflecting a lot this week on our first year of marriage. Feels literally just like yesterday that we were getting married. Since we’ve been married we’ve both embraced new challenges and opportunities in life together, travelled abroad and gone about setting up a lovely home.

On this day last year, my wife and I would have been working feverishly to get things done for our wedding, as we did a DIY wedding and created everything from the order of service to the food at our wedding breakfast. Because we were so busy we didn’t really get time to sit and enjoy the build up to the day but even though it was super busy, it was still fun and I am still so proud of the day we created.

As an anniversary present for my wife I have been editing our wedding footage together this week and am hopeful that by the weekend we will have an amazing video that we can keep forever. The church service for our wedding was absolutely amazing, even watching it back as I edit it I am taken back to the feelings and emotions I had that day.

I think milestones are important and any chance to celebrate a relationship or an event should be taken. I know some people don’t make a big fuss of their anniversary but I am so glad my wife and I have the time off this weekend to celebrate it properly. I just hope that we are blessed with 70 more anniversaries at least, as getting married to my wife was the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life and the best decision I have ever made.

I would like to congratulate everyone out there who is celebrating an anniversary this year and never forget, anniversaries are what you make them.

Fireworks

This week in the neighbouring city to us (Plymouth, England) they had the annual National Fireworks Championships, last year when it was on me and my wife were away but as we were home this year we made sure we were up there to watch.

I’ve got to say I love fireworks. To me fireworks symbolize celebrations and new beginnings as normally you see fireworks at celebrations, new years or if you are in America 4th of July.

I enjoy a spectacle and fireworks are just that, they are something that amaze and something that anyone who lives nearby can enjoy as no one can stop you looking up at the sky.

In Plymouth this week we gathered with thousands of others to watch and it was great to see how it was a real family event, with all generations sat together to watch the fireworks. That’s the great thing about fireworks, they appeal to all ages and something you can go to as a family.

When I looked around during the fireworks you could just see people looking up and smiling, taking in the wonder of what they were seeing, it was such a great thing to be apart of and such a feel good atmosphere enjoying fireworks in that way.

I have to say a big well done to everyone involved in staging the event in Plymouth and it is fantastic to have an event like it on our doorstep and an event that is free to go to.

Fireworks aren’t going to change the world but I think they can raise your spirits, bring smiles and give you hope.