HMBIA News asked Gavin Stewart, the Vice President of HMBIA to tell us about his start of the BotN way. His story is tough, frank, but at the same time so touching!
“Although I started working for the HMBIA Development Committee at the beginning of 2014, I was not able to attend Battle of the Nations until 2016, as my job at the time consumed my availability. Part of the reason I left that position was to have more time for the things I love – things like HMB – and Prague 2016 was the start of my BotN adventure.
Although I had been active in HMBIA work for more than two years already, many things were new to me at Battle of the Nations, and it was the first time I did commentary for HMB events. Watching teams and fighters gather before the event, I felt a sense of accomplishment, even though I had not yet done anything; it was the start of something bigger, and I wanted to be a part of the movement. However, my working quarters for the event were under the tribune, so I didn’t actually see a single fight live! Everything was from my monitor, and I really felt I was missing out on it. There is quite simply nothing like seeing the fights live in front of you, and it makes commentary so much better as you can see everything happening.
Let’s be honest, my commentary wasn’t all that great that first year! I repeated the same phrases without knowing, I lost my voice on the second day, it was a 5-day tournament so it was longer and strained my voice, and I didn’t have up-to-date knowledge of many of the teams. But I learned so much in so little time; I forged friendships that I still honour today; and I met the fighters that make this grand sport what it is. I knew instantly that HMB was much more than a sport, it is a movement, and a way of life we can all take on.
Leaving Prague was a hilarious affair (but that’s another story!), though I left with a sense of respect for the fighters, trainers, organisation team, marshals, support, and everyone involved. That sense of respect has never left me, and it remains an honour to know and work with such incredible people!”.
We appreciate Gavin for such a story and hope that his creative energy will never come to an end in all his beginnings! HMBIA News editorial office can’t wait to meet Gavin Stewart at the Battle of the Nations 2021 and other HMB events.