Team England and Team GB athletes have competed all over the world, but sometimes just getting there is the issue. Although travel arrangements these days are rather more comfortable, in earlier eras they could be a challenge.
Hurdler Kathleen Tiffen’s recollections of the journey to a competition in Germany via Berlin in 1930 gives an idea of the shorter international journey to a meeting:
Journeys further afield included more to worry about than just the lack of comfortable seating. To reach the 1950 Empire Games (precursor to the Commonwealth Games) in Auckland, New Zealand the England Women’s team travelled by boat, a 5 week voyage each way. In an attempt to maintain some level of training while aboard ship, a daily schedule was instigated:
6.30am – wake up and cup of tea
7.30am – exercises on the sun deck
8.30am – breakfast followed by sunbathing or deck tennis
11am – drilled exercises
1pm – lunch and siesta
5pm – more exercises followed by saltwater baths then dinner
9.30pm – Horlicks and sandwiches
10.30pm – bedtime
The English team took two relay medals, a silver and bronze, and two high jump medals with Dorothy Tyler and Bertha Crowther both jumping 1.6m, but the medal table was dominated by Australian and New Zealand athletes on this occasion.