I was down to take accreditation / headshots and some team shots. Today's blog is about 1 of those people getting ready to represent their country on the world stage.
Ali Cree is one of those people that comes along once in your life, and you wonder how you ever really got by without him in it. His passion for the sport of Ball Hockey is in my opinion, unparalleled. There is nothing he will not do (well I've yet to find anything) to further the sport, often at his own detriment.
Lets take today as an example. I picked Ali up this morning at 6am, which was tough for me, but I got to bed at 10pm last night, Ali didn't get in from work until 4am, this after spending over 12 hours yesterday chasing up some last bits and bobs for the guys and gals of Team GB. He does this not for himself, or so that people like him, he does it because he see's it as his responsibility.
Despite the lack of sleep in the last 24 hours (something which is not rare for Ali), he was on top form in the car, the 2 and a half hour journey disappearing in a flash. Every time we get together the conversation just flows, and we generally end up at some point laughing like schoolgirls.
Ali has this effect on most people, he's at his best when he is just being himself. He'll always take a moment out of his day to try and make other people smile, be it with a bit of silliness, or just taking some time to listen to them. Don't get me wrong, he's not some sort of perfect human being, he can be a pain in the arse, and sometimes trying to get a hold of him can be like trying to find Lord Lucan, but once again this is usually because he is doing something for one of his customers (at Jersey 53) or just something for someone else.
Ali has been at the centre of making the North East Dekstars the force that they are, and is now preparing to represent his country for a third time in 5 years. During that time he has worn many hats, Coach, Chairman, Supplier, Sponsor, Manager, Kit Boy but most important to me, Friend.
So best of luck to all of the guys and gals in their quest for glory in Canada, but to me you are all already winners, you are representing your country and you are getting to spend a week with an amazing person. Make sure you give him a hug from me, because sometimes its not always easy being the one who is there for everyone else.
Or as you are more likely to see him!!!!