This Half Term a group of 21 girls from MIV (Year 8) to LV (Year 10) travelled to the Netherlands for a hockey tour. Over the course of five days the girls played at different clubs, had coaching sessions with Dutch professionals and visited several historic areas of Amsterdam.
After an early meet at Gatwick, the girls had the opportunity to watch Amsterdamsche Hockey & Bandy Club (AH&BC) play against Orange top level hockey, this was an eye-opening experience as all girls witnessed high level hockey play.
After a good night's sleep, the girls were excited to get stuck into the hockey. We visited the biggest hockey club in Amsterdam, where the girls had training with two Dutch professionals; the girls worked hard and enjoyed speaking with the professionals about their training programmes and what is required to play at the highest of levels. That evening, we travelled to Overbos for our first set of fixtures. Both teams played well-fought games with the U14s drawing 4-4 and the U15s narrowly being defeated 2-1. Both teams enjoyed having dinner with their opposition, speaking and interacting with each other. Anna (LV) commented, 'We received a really warm welcome, we sat and had dinner and spoke with our opposition about their life and the differences between our countries.'
On Tuesday, we went back for training; the girls were excited to continue to work on and develop areas of their game that needed improving from the day before. The enthusiasm was clear to see and all the girls were excited for their up-and-coming matches. We travelled to HC Haarlem that evening. Eva-Rose (UIV) - 'We had a competitive match that ended in a 2-2 draw, we moved the ball well but needed more shots on goal.' The U15s were very successful winning 3-2, once again the girls spent time after the match mixing with their Dutch counterparts and learning about Dutch culture.
Our final match was at Hoorn, a club which had excellent facilities; the girls were excited to finish the tour in a strong way, playing some really good hockey. The U14s had a fiercely fought game where the ball didn’t stop travelling from one end of the pitch to the other, however, after a well-executed short corner, the U14s were inspired and finished the game with a well deserved 2-0 win. The U15s lost 2-1 but all the girls came off the pitch inspired by the play they had witnessed from the opposition and they were proud of how they had played as a team.
During our free time we visited a range of interesting places including Oosterpark, Nemo Science Museum and Rijksmuseum where the girls were able to see the Night’s watchmen and Van Gogh’s Severed ear. We explored and walked around the Jewish quarter of the city, admiring the architecture and canals that Amsterdam is famous for. On Thursday, we went into the city centre, visiting the Albert Cuyp market, were the girls tried some local delicacies and explored the vintage shops. Overall, it was great trip with some really successful hockey and the girls learnt a lot of hockey skills, as well as enjoying some brilliant cultural experiences.
Miss Sorcha Brivio-Stone, Teacher of PE