I was 15 at the time - one of the youngest players ever to have been selected. It was my first time on an aeroplane and my first trip abroad. It was the start of my Wanderlust. We had to work very hard to get to Israel. Not only did we have to be the best at volleyball (which meant training 15 to 20 hours a week in all weathers including trudging through the snow when the buses were off) but we had to raise the cash for our fares and expenses. My contribution came from teaching dinner ladies how to make a good curry from which we took a royalty, setting up a tuck shop in competition with the school shop buying our goodies from a cash and carry in Leeds. A sponsored silence (which nearly killed me because I am right talkative) and sponsorship. Almost every shop in Bradford city centre gave us something. The company Ring was particularly generous as was HRH the Prince of Wales who said "It would be shame if the girls could not go." We invited him to afternoon tea and he actually sent an equerry with a very generous cheque.
After such generosity from the heir to the throne some might think that we were a little churlish substituting the Yorkshire anthem for the national one but I am a Bradford lass of Indian heritage and London is a long way off. I had only been there twice - once to play at Crystal Palace and the American school (whom we beat) on another occasion.
We ate sweet Israeli bread and ate fresh oranges picked from the tree on most days. My favourite fruit .It was warm and I felt free. The tournament dinning hall was circular. Food was served from the central reservation and each team had its own quarter. Food galore and the joy of sharing and eating with so many different nationalities and cultures was a feast in itself ...It beat any school dinner.
We got through to the final stages and came 7th in the tournament and gave Austria which eventually won the competition their best game. We were awarded the fair play award of the whole tournament which was an honour. All credit to our great coach and manager..
On rest days we were able to see quite a lot of Israel during that contest - Masada, Bethlehem, Jerusalem
the Wailing Wall and the Dead Sea stick in my memory particularly. Here are some of things I learned about oranges.
- Oranges are most succulent at room temperature. Sometimes you can squeeze some extra juice by putting them in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds.
- It is good to roll them on the work surface before extracting the juice.
- If you want the kitchen to smell of orange blossom just prick the skin with a fork and return them to the fruit bowl.