Olly Turner sat with with his back slouched against the chilled concrete wall of the gym. Eternally punctual, Olly took long gulps of his bottle of water, trying to ignore how warm it was due to the vending machine being in direct sunlight outside the main college building. Like always, he was the first one to arrive at practice, sometimes unnecessarily early just to avoid doing his study time. He'd rather sit staring into space than into his uncertain, complicated future. When he was playing Vincit, none of that seemed to matter, if only for two hours every day. Vincit was a relatively new sport, founded in 1979 by a group of hippies, high as kites but with access to hockey sticks and a tennis ball. Somewhere along the admittedly narcotics-induced line someone found potential in the game played for fun after a hard day's work of peace rallies and artisan coffee drinking. It was given a name, Vincit meaning 'conquer' in Latin, by some Oxford chump who started the first university team in the world. Ever since then the game exploded, like a supernova of rapidly growing teams of every rank all over the globe. It hadn't quite made the Olympics just yet but the number of local, national and global Vincit competitions was still proving its ever-increasing popularity.
The Carlisle College Squirrels frequently suffered judgement due to the lack of intimidation in their name. Olly often wondered what deranged individual would choose an animal as meek as the squirrel to represent their aggressive sports team, but Olly wasn't ashamed to admit that he adored the looks on the opposition's faces when they were beaten by a team named after a timid woodland creature. Olly had been playing Vincit for four years after it was recommended to him when he started secondary school as an excuse to go bat-shit crazy but hit balls instead of other people. There was something about the unpredictability of the sport that he loved, never knowing what would happen next was a sweet relief to Olly, whose life so far had been a repetitive routine of foster families and anger management meetings set up to straighten him out in order to improve his chances of actually having a forever home. They must have made some difference as he was adopted five years ago. When Olly played Vincit he became a new person entirely, an Olly who didn't need to have a care in the world. He just needed to put on his uniform and forget the mind-numbing monotony of his life.
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