Thursday 28 June 2012

Vietnam; All good things come to an end....

Since my departure I have only good thoughts about Vietnam and I consider myself very lucky to have acheived nearly 4 years there. The other fact that gives me great consolation is that I am only 2 hours away - now living in the Philippines!

The bikes!
The boys !

The team!

The Swans!

Our only right handed child

Cruising around Thao Dien

The kids!

Best BBQ joint leaving party!

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Le Fruit Muin Ne Triathlon, 'Natalotto Family take home the grand prize'

The VietAdventures Le Fruit Mui NE Triathlon was on again this weekend and after a respectable training campaign we traveled to the full moon resort with  families from AIS school. 
This year we had competitors in all categories. Stamina, Sprint, Gecko and kids. AIS won the kids categories and placed well in all other groups. We also won a bike ! :)

Sunday 13 May 2012

Commuting in Saigon on my Yamaha Nouvo 135cc Sports Scooter

Commuting in Saigon can be a bit of a buzz! 
This footage is taken with the Go Pro using the Chest Mount.
(I'm on Dien Bien Phu at about 6.45am so not too much traffic yet).

Saturday 5 May 2012

Shay's ROCK CLIMBING birthday party

What a great sport this is; For Shay's 8th birthday party we went Rock climbing at the out door sports center on Nguyen Dinh Chieu in D3. The kids really loved it and it was great to see them cheering each other on from the ground as some of them made it all the way to the top! I would estimate the wall was about 30m high! Some kids (and adults) had to really overcome their fears to climb that high.

More Pictures here...

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Skate Shop in Saigon

For a vey cool skate shop in Ho Chi Minh City check out F/IT sKATE ShoP.
Its at 37 hồ văn huê, phú nhuận - Not far from the train line crossing (on the way to the airport).
I was really impressed with their range of complete boards and their clothing and shoes!. 'Complete 'crime' board sets 1.4m. Vans shoes $40, Am skating shoes $20!  Great little shop!

Shop has even got a test drive area with a rail and bench!

We hang out at the local skate park  Here

Sunday 22 April 2012

Legends Vs All stars - Vietnam Swans ANZAC friendship match

This is my third year with the swans and my second ANZAC friendship match day involvement. Its  a great day all round for families and footy lovers. For a full report on the main match and the clubs great work please visit the Swannies site HERE
Since my injury in 2010 the only football I have participated in is the annual the Legends Vs All Stars match. This fantastic concept allows many of us who are not in the firsts to pull on a swans jumper and get a few kicks. It is always played in great spirits and there is plenty of laughs. Saying that - we put in a good effort and 100% is expected from all players.
This years match started with the ALL STARS executing a perfect centre bounce tap, clearance and pass straight onto the [not insignificant] chest of Kyle 'Blocker' Hackenberg. Kyle duly converted and the signs looked good for the ALL STARs. Enter Danny Armstrong. The one time Swans first pick, forward, ruckman, age defying LEGEND had other ideas and as soon as he he got a sniff Danny didn't let his team down. The LEGENDs answered with 3 very quick goals and turned the game on its head. With the heat of the day at its peak now, the ALL STARS steadied and added a second goal shortly before the first break which limited the LEGENDS to a 1 goal 1/4 time lead. The game was played with a good level of intensity throughout the second quarter and the ALL STARS managed to regain a slight lead into half time. Youngsters Nathan and Quy were particularly good for the ALL STARS and their centre bounce work was invaluable. I managed a couple goals, Kyle continued to menace down forward, Alex Polson was also starting to win the ruck although long time Swannies veteran Paul Koch was winning his own share of taps for the LEGENDs. Swans veterans Matt Townsend, Shannnon Leahy, Peter Roche and Sam Stevens all played very well and threatend to break the game open for the LEGENDs.
At half time the ALL STARS were asked by coach MJ if they wanted to play just 10 minute final quarters or continue with the 15 minute format. With many guys not completely match fit the initial vote was a majority in favour of 10 minutes. With that, I decided to interrupt our coach and mentor for the day MJ, and ask the team "why they would opt for an easy option when this may be the last and only time they ever play on this ground". I suggested many of them would have great pride in reciting this day to their family and friends in the future and expressing  their great pride in playing for the swans ALL STARS  team.  We voted again and a unanimous count concluded we would play out 15 minute quarters. This gave me and I think most of the team a new burst of energy. We pushed hard in the third quarter and consolidated our lead. The LEGENDs kept in touch right through but a 3 goal ¾ time buffer was enough for us to hold on to victory.
WIN, LOSE or DRAW the game is an out and out triumph! Final scores were barley even acknowledged as the two teams came together to congratulate each other and thank their team mates for the small part we play in today’s event. Well done SWANS on another great ANZAC friendship match day event.

See the team sheet and download the record.

Black arm bands for the game

Matt Towsends hoplessly trying to put me off a kick (I scored about 2.5 for the day!!)

Sam Stevens

The boys always have a great day!

Thursday 19 April 2012

Manila - 38 hour reccy

The sport that comes to mind when I think about Manila is boxing! Ali-Fraser. And now Manny Paquiou. So, as it is now official the Natalottos moving to Manila July 2012 a post seemed appropriate. Sport seems like an important part of Fillipino life. Many basket ball courts and baseball parks in the city. Also soccer is big.
Did a FIFO reccy to check out the town and schools. It was fairly hectic!
Arrive Tuesday 3pm. Visit 5 villages (compounds), 6 (potential) houses for rent, 3 potential schools, the potential office, the hotel, 3 restaurants, 4 bars, 5 shopping malls and a cafe! Depart 38 hours later!  Back at work in HCMC Thursday 9am.!

3pm Tuesday - Arrive Manila
3pm Wednesday  - (Potential) School # 3
late Wednesday...

Thursday 12 April 2012

Triathlon Training - Sundays 3pm @ AIS sports center

Triathlon training starts this Sunday (15th), 3pm @ AIS Sports Center, Thao Dien.
  • Park bikes between AIS sports center and primary school.
  • Ensure you have a water bottle or some money to buy for the ride + run
 Full distance training
5 minutes war up   (Meet near the pool)
20 minutes swim   (Distance or style is not considered. Go as fast or slow as you like anyway you like)
30 minute cycling  (2 laps of Thao Dien on NVH)
30 minute run        (1 lap of Thao Dien on NVH)
Total (under) 1.5hrs
Short Distance
5 minutes war up   (Meet near the pool)
20 minutes swim   (Distance or style is not considered. Go as fast or slow as you like anyway you like)
20 minute cycling  (2 laps of BP compound)
15 minute run        (1 lap of BP compound)
Total (under) 1 hour
The 2012 Mui Ne Off road Triathlon by Vietadventures is on 26/05/2012.
Race options at Mui Ne are:
  • Stamina - 750m / 40km / 10km
  • Sprint - 300 / 20 / 4
  • Gekko Junior - 100 / 4 / 1.5
  • kids Junior - 50 / 2 / 1
Please check vietadventures website for all these details and to register for the race.
Also be sure to talk to the school first about registering as part of the AIS team.
Remember - its all about fun so see you down there Sunday April 15th at 3pm. Put it in you calender!

Vietnam Swans and spotting Levi

Levi has a way of sneaking into team photos. I think he aspiring to be that guy who crashes sporting events and gets in the frame. This is some of levis best work to date. Sneaking into the article in the word on the swans. Nice work son.! (Btw - The article is a great read on what the swans are up to)

Saturday 10 March 2012

Kids Sunday Tennis Class

Although there is a limited number of sporting fields around Saigon - there is an abundance of tennis courts. Coaches are good and cheap. 2 kids for an hour around $15 all up. Including ball boy!

Saigon Auskick 2012 - Saturdays 2pm at RMIT

Levi signed up for his first season of footy and hit the ground running! (This picture makes me very proud)! :)

Shay loved the first day back at Auskick!

Saturday 25 February 2012

Vung Tau Boot Camp February 2012 - For the Vietnam Swans

This was the first full weekend boot camp I had run alone and I knew the 18 participants would have a wide range of fittness levels. So I attempted to prepare a balanced programe which could be achieved by every single person. 
We met for our warm up on a very pleasant beach near the base of Mary steps. This was the first session to introduce the main warm up exercises we would repeat for the rest of the weekend (later with weight) which included 21-15 -9 Pushups, Sit ups, Hollow man, Squats and Lunges.

After the warm up local girl Meg took off like a shot up the stairs and we all followed. This is at least 1000 steps. It gets very irregular and very steep at the top section. It’s a great lung buster.

Following the descent of the Mary steps the most grueling hour and half of the weekend took place. An 8km run (in hot conditions) from Mary to Jesus thru the streets of Vung Tau – then up the steps at Jesus! This was a very satisfying session for me as I knew this was our longest of the weekend (2.5 hours all up) and it was important that most people got through it. Actually everyone did! Great effort!

The second session kicked off around Saturday at the back beach with a repeat of the mornings warm up – with the addition of weight. Players were made to fill a carry a sand bag each, and depending on each persons understanding of the metric system, the bags weighed between 8 and 18kg.  21-15-9 Push ups, Sit ups, Hollow man, Squats and Lunges.
The next event was the flags. Some inspirational efforts saw unlikely competitors go through to the finals, none more unlikely than Bill Crang who ousted (my selection as favorite), Dukesy, to make the final 3 and redeem himself from his morning effort up the stairs! However the fairy tale wasn’t to be for Bill and a final between Evo and Dave ended in controversy with Ryan tackling Dave half way down the track and putting his win under a spot light. The first ever Vietnam swans flags championship title remains unnamed. A draw was called.  (See video of the semi final below)

Other events over the weekend included 4 x 100m team relay beach sprints, Mini Iron man and the beep test. 


See the Vietnam Swans websites for full results, more details and all the fines and awards for the entire weekend!

(Photo my TC)

All in all it was an amazing weekend!  Here are some Stats to prove it:

  • 18 participants in total with each person...
  • Climbing or descending over 3000 steps,
  • Running over 10kms
  • Each person completed...
  • 135 push ups
  • 135 sit ups
  • 135 seconds Hollow man holds,
  • 135 Squats and
  • 135 Lunges
  • Carrying an accumulative weight of 500kg in sand! (Give or take 250kg).
  • We ate a combined total...
  • 30 Tee bone steaks,
  • 50 sausages, 
  • 25kg of potato salad, 
  • 24 pies,
  • 18 pho's and 
  • 45 Banh Mi's.
  • We drank
  • 52 vodka redbull,
  • 68 shots and
  • 300 beers! ....
  • Sleeping a combined total of only...
  • 6 hours between us!
...amazing statistics swannies!