RECEIVING a text message just after midnight would set off most parental alarm bells, but for some it is a reassuring sign all is well in Delhi, the current world capital of sport.
Australian netballer Laura Geitz has kept her parents Juanita and Ross in the loop via a series of text messages since the opening ceremony on Sunday night.
“The texts have come through just after midnight, but we don’t mind we’re just pretty excited to hear from her,” Mrs Geitz said.
And while media reports from the Commonwealth Games have painted a decidedly ordinary picture, Laura’s messages home have had a different tone.
“Extraordinary. Amazing. Rooms are fine. Dining hall is fantastic. Did you see us on TV?”
The Geitzs returned home from a 10 day trip to Central Australia on Monday to watch their daughter in her first Commonwealth Games performance for the Diamonds.
“Laura wasn’t on the starting court, but when she came on we thought she played very well,” her proud mother explained.
“But the real test will come when Australia meets the fourth-ranked Jamaicans.”
She said a conversation with her youngest daughter on Sunday – albeit it on a mobile phone during a stopover in Birdsville – confirmed all was well in India.
“We had mobile service in Birdsville of all places, so we were able to talk to Laura in Delhi, which was marvellous,” Mrs Geitz said.
“She sounded great. She said the rooms were a little unfinished, but absolutely fine.”
She said her daughter also explained the high level of security at the games, with an armed guard on the bus with the netball team at all times.
“There is also an armed support vehicle in front of the bus and another behind the bus as the girls travel to and from the courts,” Mrs Geitz said.
“Which does sound a little concerning, but Laura keeps telling us not to worry.”
If her daughter had a complaint it was only about the heat, or more specifically the 50 degree heat in the tunnel during an hour long wait before the opening ceremony started.
“Laura said people were passing out it was so hot, but she was impressed by the ceremony itself,” Mrs Geitz said.
“And all the netballers were thrilled Sharelle McMahon had the honour of carrying the team flag.
“They have had dinner at the high commissioner’s place and all in all it’s been pretty special so far.”
As a woman, who over the years has watched her fair share of court action, this local has high hopes for the Diamonds during the next eight days.
“They are favourites going into the Games and they are very keen to bring back a gold medal,” Mrs Geitz said.
“But they lost to New Zealand in Melbourne in 2006 and took home silver so they will have to work hard.”
Her tip for a cracker of a match will be when Australia comes up against Jamaica tomorrow.
“England and New Zealand are in different pools, so they won’t come up against those sides until the finals,” Mrs Geitz said.
“So their toughest game this round will be against Jamaica in a side that includes Laura’s former Firebirds team mate Romelda Aiken.”
The Diamonds played their second match against India last night.
They have a rest day today, before the Jamaican play off tomorrow night. Semi finals start next Tuesday.
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