In partnership with Wasps
Before 2018 Tom and I were completely new to sporting events; as gay dads I guess we were put off by preconceptions of a macho, noisy, divisive atmosphere so we gave all big sporting events a wide berth. But several family members suggested rugby would appeal to us, not least because the crowd are diverse and peaceful (and apparently the players are all hunky athletes, but that didn't sway our decision to go along, honest, guv).
So, we were delighted to be invited to visit the Wasps at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, for their Christmas Special match (Wasps vs Bath). Grandad Neil joined us - he's a massive rugby fan.
As expected, the crowd were indeed welcoming, a nice mixture of families with kids, couples and the occasional small group of men or women. For the Christmas match we sat right up near the top with a spectacular view of the whole stadium.
Happily, we were able to take food and drinks (beer) into the seating area, an extra little bonus for Daddy! The Wasps/Bath match was fast-paced and, although we had to ask Grandad loads of questions about the rules, we found ourselves immersed in the action. After the match there was the most breathtaking fireworks display we'd ever seen, with rockets and pyrotechnic cannons booming all around the centre of the stadium. Amazing.
We returned to the Wasps last weekend for their derby game against neighboroughing Northampton Saints - just me and the boys this time because Tom's on a business trip in LA. This time we reserved seats down near the front for a close-up view of the action. We were sat with a group of three Saints-supporting girls with whom we had a big giggle, attempting to beat one-another's supportive chants and whoops. They even taught Lyall and Rich their (clever) singy chant of "Oh when the Saints go marching in".
Wasps (quite rightly) won the game, with a couple of extremely exciting tries and one exhilarating catch/sprint moment that had us all on our feet cheering and shouting. It really is an exciting family day out and we strongly recommend a trip to the Wasps with your family, even if, like us you're complete newcomers to sport.
By the way, kids under 10 go free at Wasps games at the Ricoh Arena when accompanied by an adult. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.wasps.co.uk.
Disclaimer time! We received press tickets (no face value) from Wasps Rugby. Thanks, Team Wasps, love Jamie, Tom, Lyall, Rich and Grandad x