|Photo by Johnathan Taylor|
Anyone that comes from a small country town will understand the prestige and hype that is associated with the local show/festival. The Collector Village Pumpkin Festival was on this past weekend and this is an event that attracts many people from all over the country and it has built up quiet a reputation over the years. As per it's name sake the aim of the day is to celebrate pumpkin whether it be something more traditional such as a pumpkin scone or a cup of pumpkin soup or something a a bit more adventurous such as pumpkin icecream.
As with all country festivals the day brings locals out of the wood work all keen to lend a helping hand to ensure the day is a success. This could mean growing pumpkins to donate to soup, judging delicious home cooking (pumpkin flavoured of course!), providing directions at the information tent or serving soup, me? I had many jobs over the weekend but on the day of the festival I was helping officiate the scarecrow competition, a role I have shared for a couple of years now and a job that is a great deal of fun it is always exciting to see how creative everyone is and what amazing creations can be created from a steel picket with a pumpkin head.
I snuck away from the scarecrow competition long enough to compete in the live scone baking competition on stage in the hall. All contestants had 15mins preparation time and then 15mins cooking time after which we needed to remove our scones from the oven and serve to the judges as well as members of the public. We had to make 6 pumpkin scones and six scones of any variety. I was very nervous before the competition, I really enjoy cooking and was reasonably prepared but I have never cooked in front of an audience before. My initial thoughts were "what if I do something wrong?" "Will anyone notice?" "what if they don't turn out and I have nothing to serve?". However once I got I stage I started to relax and I really enjoyed chatting to the announcer and explaining what I was doing to the audience. After my scones were in the oven, I had a lady from the audience come and ask me a question about a particular method I had used during my preparation we chatted for a little while and when she left she thanked me for showing her something new. It was then I realised it wasn't a case of me doing something right or wrong it was just different. Through doing something differently I had opened another person's eyes up to new opportunity.
This might sound silly when talking about something as simple as a scone baking competition but it can be applied to so many things in life. Keith has always talked about the notion of sharing information and how important it is for development of all coaches both professional and amateur. What is the point of keeping secrets as a way of trying to make ourselves better than anyone else? If we share the ideas we have this can then built on by others to make the idea better than what it was in the first place and this new invention can then be used by everyone. Just a thought but I believe it makes sense and would allow for many more developments on the sporting field.
I would like to finish by thanking Collector for another great pumpkin Festival, I hope everyone was able to enjoy the day I know I did.
more on the Collector Village Pumpkin Festival can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/CollectorVillagePumpkinFestival