Biko Kennedy and Arianne Hammond, Youthlink Writers
Not everybody can pull off a date at Champs; for one member of the couple the races may be a must-see, but maybe the other couldn't care less who wins. While the 'sporty' date may not be the easiest to pull off - with the noise, the crowd and especially if your mate really isn't into sports - it can actually be most memorable, especially if you follow these simple tips.
On your marks ...
Step 1 - Choose good seats
The most common reason a date at Champs may not work must be the chaotic atmosphere that goes along with it; the symphony of vuvuzelas mixed with chorus-like cries can overwhelm anyone. Play it cool, though, and remember that he/she agreed to go instead of saying no. All that's left for you to do is to make him/her comfortable. The grandstand is always a good place to be, so don't be afraid to spend a bit. It has some of the excitement of bleachers but with more opportunities for quiet moments. Pick a spot that provides a good view but is far away from the possibility of plastic missiles and grenades of mixed martial arts.
Step 2 - Put aside pride
Remember that you're there to have fun and enjoy the moment together. The National Stadium will be filled with hundreds of anonymous faces, so if you catch your date looking at someone else, it doesn't have to become a big deal. Sure it would be hard to hear "He/She's just the perfect blend of hypnotising eyes, captivating smile and alluring charm!", but don't get mad. Laugh it off and say something like, "Yeah, he/she is okay looking but he/she can't sing like me", then hit an off-key note and get your date laughing. Don't let something like that ruin your date.
Get set ...
Step 3 - Don't forget the mission
Stop thinking about ways to get away and just chill with your friend and be as braggadocio as you possibly can be. There will be lots of things to talk about; impress him/her with your knowledge about the event - even if you're just there supporting your school and have no idea what's happening yourself. Don't forget that your date is there and begin to scream at athletes for not winning or 'throwing' a race, and certainly don't get into a verbal fracas with another spectator. If you do, the date can only go downhill from there.
Step 4 - Spoil your date
Obviously, when you enjoy every moment of a date, the relationship will become even more exciting. The more effort you put into making this date memorable, the more memories your date will have to cherish. In fact, one exciting date lays the foundation for the next, so spoil her a bit. Ensure that she's fully hydrated and well fed, and don't let her convince you that she's OK. Remember, the underlining mission is to make it a fun-filled day. Also, get her a souvenir to commemorate a great date.
Step 5 - It's over
The final race has been run and Champs is over and done, but who says the date has to be also? Not everyone will have a parent to chauffeur him/her home, and being in a crowded public limousine (aka the bus) isn't always a good option. Why not take a stroll in the night? The atmosphere is perfect, a blanket of stars covering you both, so hold hands and make each stride slower than the first so the night will never end. How's that for a date night?
After all this, wouldn't you and your date be happy you didn't settle for the typical dinner and a movie?