The Pocket Guide to a Summer of Sport

I was never that good at sport at school. The bottle-top lenses in my glasses earned me a fair amount of stick in the classroom, but once I was without them on the sportsground I became a slow-moving target for everything from insults to cricket balls. And I’m afraid that this played a part in my never really taking an interest in professional sport.

I quite enjoy listening to international cricket on the radio, though that’s more for the banter than because I’m closely following the action. But the noise of a packed stadium always reminds me of jeering classmates and so I tend to listen to music and audiobooks instead.

But I’m aware that this makes me a bit of an outsider, particularly at a time like this when we have Wimbledon, The Euros, The Olympics and Paralympics, the Grand Prix at Silverstone and international cricket all vying for attention. And because I am a gregarious person, and probably would have loved team sports had I been any good at them, I don’t want to exclude myself from this summer’s major topics of conversation.

But how to keep up to date without resorting to watching hours of telly, assuming any of these events has got Audio Description? As usual Pocket came to the rescue.

Starting with the football I began to look for sources of information to keep me up to date with the latest statistics and comment. Of course, I found a wealth of both on the sports pages of the dailies available from Pocket’s Newsagent. But I soon found myself wanting more and so began to explore for relevant Podcasts.

From my slight knowledge of cricket, I headed to BBC Radio 5 and began by checking out its Football Daily, which was good but a bit samey. So, I used my Google Home device to search for other options and, based purely on its title, ended up listening to Quickly Kevin, Will He Score?’ I realised that I had become a little addicted when I found myself tuning into the England v Ukraine match live on the radio via Pocket. And things only got more serious as the tournament progressed and I began to regale my (somewhat surprised) family with stats and claims that football was actually best enjoyed in a non-visual way!

I can’t say that I got quite so carried away by Wimbledon, although I was happy to follow Emma Raducanu’s sparkling progress and can only hope that the more critical sports journalists are not so swift to condemn their own teenagers’ wobbly moments.

And now I really am hooked. I’ve spent the week following not just the England Men’s cricket team as they trounced Pakistan 3 – 0 in their One-Day International series, but I’m also getting regular updates on the England Women’s Team’s T20 campaign against India from Pocket and Google Home. All of which means I should be nicely warmed up for first the Olympics and, more importantly, The Paralympics, in the weeks ahead.

And now I’d better be off to check the latest score….

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