Blog: Sports tour to the Netherlands

For the 17th successive year, the Junior School PE Department leave tomorrow morning for their annual tour to the Netherlands. We are returning to Valkenswaard, a small town south of Eindhoven, to play a series of matches against strong Dutch club opposition. 65 children from Forms 5 to 8 will make up three girls’ hockey teams and three boys’ football teams playing a fixture, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening, Tough matches are always expected but great hospitality is certain.

During the day, we will have a chance to swim, tenpin bowl and of course visit the brilliant Efteling Theme Park to test our nerve in case of penalty shoot outs! Oh yes and a stop off at the Belgium Chocolate Factory for some Easter top ups!

Follow this blog and we will keep you updated daily with results and all that is happening across the Channel.

Thursday 5th April

This morning we were granted a small lie in and we had breakfast at 8.30. We arrived at Efteling Theme Park at around 10.30 am. Excitedly we made our way to the biggest rides and chose our first contender. Unfortunately one of the most popular rides ‘The Baron’ was closed for maintenance and so my friends and I decided to become knights in shining armour and take on the challenge of fighting the dragon on the ride ‘George and the dragon’. Next we visited ‘The Python’ this was accompanied by screaming, shouting, laughing and crying. We had our lunch which was delicious. Although Alisha, Zoe and I bought a hot dog each, for Charlotte’s lunch she treated herself to two strawberry sundaes.

From Efteling, all of us went to our matches. The girls played the hockey club named Des Kaatsheuvel. The U13’s A team came away with a hard fought win of 1-0 which makes us unbeaten for the whole tour. The U12’s and the U11’s unfortunately did not win but they walked away with their chins held up high. The boys U12’s were unluckily beaten 8-7, the U11’s won 10-2 and the U13’s won 16-3  Today was a fun packed day with laughter and tears. Tomorrow we are leaving to go home and I know I can say that we have all enjoyed this trip so much and we are all so lucky to have teachers like Mrs Relf and Mr Penn, Mrs Lea, Mr Buckingham, Miss Baird, Mr Southey Jr and Sr. Without them we couldn’t have done it. Thank you. (Also to all the parents that allowed us to go…and had to pay for it!)

By Isabel O’Connor, Year 8 pupil

Wednesday 3rd April

We awoke by ma’ams built in alarm clock, we had an amazing breakfast. Soon after we departed at 09:15, then drove 10 minutes to Center Parcs. Once we arrived we stared to head towards the swimming pool, as we were walking we passed a lot of animals in the farm, there were a lot of different species for example, donkeys, cows, chickens etc… Finally after a long while of anticipation we arrived at the swimming pool. Straight away we headed for the changing rooms, quickly and energetically we got changed.

Unfortunately the rapids were shut until 11 o’clock so we had to wait; while we were waiting we decided to go on the biggest slide, we were allowed to go in a chain so 6 of us went together, this slide was pitch dark but it was lit up by lights. By that time it was approximately 10:45, so we decided to go in the outdoor swimming pool. There was a cold water challenge where you had to plunge your whole body into an ice bath, Izzy O’Connor lasted 2 minutes which was the record. Eventually the rapids opened, so we all went down there together. We enjoyed this so much that we went down again and again, after a while we decided to move on. Next we went into the shark pool, this was where you snorkelled next to sharks, but there was glass which separated us. This was very fascinating for we had not seen sharks that close up before.

Eventually we decided to leave the shark pool. We had a hard time choosing what to do next, after a lot of debating we choose to go to the wave pool, this is where every hour there are waves created. Reluctantly we were told to get out the pool, we had a quick shower to get the chlorine out of our hair. Now that we had dispensed a lot of energy in the pool we were starving. The year 8 girls had ordered fries, a side of salad and mayonnaise. Now that we were full up to the brim with energy we went 10 pin bowling! Alisha got a strike on her first go, we were all very impressed. In the opposite lane we had the teachers, they also were very impressive. We had a lot of smiles and laughs but unfortunately we had to go. Once we had left the swimming pool we once again passed the farm. We climbed on to the bus, and headed out to our matches the girls had their matches against Sint-Oedenrode hockey club, the boys had a match against FC Son football club. For the girls: The A team won with the score 6-2 they are unbeaten in Europe, the B unfortunately lost 6-5 and the C also lost 2-1; everyone tried their best and it was a close game. For the boys: The A team had a nil nil thriller it was a very close match and they came back extremely tired, the B team unfortunately lost 4-2 but sir was still proud of them, the U11’s lost a dying battle  which once again sir was proud of. Today was amazing and I hope tomorrow will be just as satisfying, I can not wait for what we are going to do!!! Back for dinner, bed and tomorrow Efteling Theme Park… We are exhausted.

By Charlotte Richards, Year 8 pupil

Tuesday 2nd April

A good journey saw us arrive earlier than expected in the glorious sunshine in Valkenswaard. After making beds (and rescuing some children from inside their duvet covers!) we headed off to our 1st round of matches. The boys played Dommelen with two wins out of three which paved the way towards an excellent start to our European tour. The girls played HC HOD where the U13 edged an amazing game winning 3-2! We then returned to our accommodation for a tasty supper and some relaxation before an early night! Tomorrow we have a busy day planned with swimming and bowling at Center Parcs before heading for another round of evening fixtures.