Spending time at PSI, we asked the mascot, Cyril the Squirrel, what its like being a mascot and what his day entails. So he naturally shared it with us.
CYRIL THE SQUIRREL
The mascot life is warm and fuzzy, with the emphasis on warm in this Durban heat. The smell of the tuck shop is enticing and that’s before I have even put my Tayla gear on for the day at the PSI Nationals.
It’s important for me to be on my A game as the hordes of children and, even more so, the parents want their opportunity to snap a photo with me. The weight of expectations on these size 34 shoes is massive, but that expectation is what fuels me.
Few people realise how much danger there is in my line of work, but I have a responsibility that I take extremely seriously and look forward to bringing a smile, a high five and some life to each kid’s day.
As I stand for photos, bring out my break-dancing moves and cause rapturous noise from the crowds, it brings a smile to my face (A bigger one than the permanent one on my face), knowing that I have made the experience even better for those attending. I also got to teach the umpires how to interpret a few situations, taught the Mamba’s how to trap the ball and even taught the Enhanced Sports team how to film.
Each day at the PSI Nationals mascot gives you can incredible highs. Throughout the day I hear my name screamed by adoring fans and friends and desperate plea’s to watch me whip and nae. I also have the lucky opportunity to be exceptionally close to the teams and close to the action.
I have watched the future of South African Indoor hockey grow and nurture today and have seen the South African Men take on the best of the World in the third test match and have been able to shake hands and rub shoulders with Robert Tigges and Matthew Fairweather. Both of them were desperate for my signature and a selfie, so I obliged naturally. I have been cheered on by the fans, the players and even the MC John McInroy, that’s a big deal.
What an epic day it’s been, let’s start again tomorrow!