I READ this week that the Great Britain football team, which will compete at next year's Olympics in London, will be staying with the rest of the athletes in the Olympic Village, in Stratford. It will be a culture shock for them staying as part of a 550-strong Team GB setup as they are used to staying in the best hotels in the world.
I have been in a couple of the apartments in the athlete blocks at the Olympic Village and they are very nice and modern and some are quite spacious but is not luxury accommodation. The bedrooms are very basic with a bed, wardrobe and drawers, the lounges have some furniture and whilst it is good quality it is minimal. The good news is though that there will be extra long beds available for any tall athletes! The British Olympic Association will most likely add to the basic rooms for TEAM GB athletes to make them more homely, but they will still be very basic compared to what they will be used to.
However, it will be a great experience for the footballers to be around so many amazing athletes and it is such a buzz to be in the same place, seeing each other morning and night, supporting each other and joining in with other athletes' celebrations or feeling their pain.
The dining hall is usually the size of a big supermarket and I know the food will be exceptional, having been part of the testing process for food at the Olympic Village.
The London village is very compact compared to previous Games but by staying in the village the footballers, who will have to travel across the UK for their games, will really get a feel for the whole event and venues such as the Olympic stadium and pool will be right on their doorstep
At the Barcelona Games, the USA squad of basketball players known as 'The Dream Team', felt they would not be left alone if they stayed in the Olympic Village and therefore stayed in alternative accommodation. I understand wanting to go somewhere quiet the night before you compete but to miss out on the whole experience would be a great shame.
THE seventh Speedo Splash Awards were held on Friday and it was amazing. We were very lucky with the weather particularly because we had a champagne boat trip which went from Putney Pier and up the river to Westminster, before arriving at the Hurlingham Club which had its own jetty.
I was really pleased with the event, there was a great atmosphere in the room with 250 guests attending. The voting for the awards was quite tight apart from the Splash Open Water Swimmer of the Year category which was won unanimously by Keri-Anne Payne. It was lovely to see Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow win the diving award. I watched them at the World Aquatics Championship, in Shanghai, where they just missed out on a medal. They are pretty young and have a long time ahead of them but I was delighted to see them rewarded for their efforts. Tom Daley has been in the British diving spotlight for such a long time now so it was nice to see the girls come out from his shadow.
The Splash Disability Swimmer of the Year award went to local girl Susie Rogers who was really pleased to win. She had an amazing European Championships, winning 5 golds, which all the more remarkable since it was her first major championship. The Splash star award went to the celebrity swimmers that swam across the Irish Sea in aid of Cancer Research and Jason Bradbury and Pamela Stephenson, who took part in that event, were there on the night which made it very special. At next year's Speedo Splash Awards we will of course be celebrating successes from the Olympic Games so let's hope that it's a tough choice for the judges again in 2012