Spectator sports has always been a love of mine and in fact led me to meeting my husband in 1994 in London with The Kangaroo Tour: Australia vs England.
I guess there is an amazing magical power of uniting total strangers whilst donning mutual team supporters apparel. We were young and extremely fortunate to have travelled the world together, enjoying and attending some of the best sports games played around the globe along the way.
Fast forward marriage and settling down and becoming proud parents of 2 beautiful boys. Whilst our opportunities lessened to attend live games globally as parents, footy traditions were kept alive with them; and memories a plenty were created – where we watched the games from home together as a family. For us then and now, State of Origin is always right up there for us as a family favourite.
Growing up, the boys embraced the free “Origin” dress days every year at school, and as usual I popped down to my local Best & Less for my annual maroon and blue garments for them. (Let’s face it, I don’t know any parent that goes anywhere else but to Best & Less for themed free dress days and supporters clothes. Seriously… they’re available in every colour of the rainbow there!)
State of Origin in our house is especially hyped with a dash of fun rivalry- with my husband and my eldest son true NSW supporters, my youngest and I proud QLD supporters. It’s the only time of year as a family, we are divided in our team support. Although divided, we always made it a time for celebration – every single game. It was (and still is) a special night for the boys; I mean when you’re young who doesn’t love staying up late on a school night to watch THE game, then talking about it with your friends at school the next day? Our families celebration wasn’t just about the game, it was the lead up, the anticipation and preparation to the game and most importantly time simply spent enjoying each others company.
Game 1 would maybe see us having pizza delivered then followed with ice cream at half-time, Game 2 could of been a large platter of savoury & sweet bitesize treats and Game 3 possibly gourmet hot dogs, homemade burgers or nachos. Regardless, it was relaxed sharing food – eaten with your hands and enjoyed over the games entirety; one thing for sure was the drinks were always cold!
Now the boys are older we choose the menu together and we’ve upgraded from plain coloured tees to official licensed State of Origin apparel some time ago; again from Best & Less. The quality, range and affordability is second to none – PJ’s, beanies, scarves, jumpers, jerseys, slippers, jackets, tees and polos! I have to say, Best and Less really go out of the way to make State of Origin licensed team apparel affordable and accessible to everyone including families like mine, with items costing between $10-$55.
By all means, my husband and I are far from being perfect parents – but one thing I am proud of is this little tradition we created together for our family. As the boys get older, it is more about the joy for us still having ‘our’ time together with them; laughing, cheering, the high fives, the tries, the competitive rivalry and enjoying these moments – together.
Something I’m hoping they will possibly extend to their own future families in many years to come.Now whilst I cannot guarantee others meeting their life-long partner by wearing a State of Origin tee; I can however guarantee the magical power of donning supporters gear will give to you and others; the sense of community and belonging is undeniable. By proudly wearing your Origin gear will create conversation starters with total strangers; it might be as little as a thumbs up, a smile or nod of acknowledgement or some healthy rivalry banter. Either way – it feels great! Again, Go the Maroons.
Written by Kirsty Masterson – proud QLD Supporter! Whilst this is a paid collaboration with Best and Less, all opinions and blog are original and genuinely the writer’s own thoughts and beliefs.
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