28 Aug 2023
Tour Report

Day 1: We woke up at 2:30 in the morning, for a 4am start to the long and treacherous 12 hour coach journey to Holland. From Oxford to Dover, the bus was silent as everyone fell back asleep for a good few hours. We arrived at the ferry dock promptly so we were able to get an earlier ferry than organised, which all the girls were grateful for. After we got our meeting point sorted, we explored the ferry which included journeys into duty free, the arcade and the fog outside. We also got some snacks and a bit of breakfast for the rest of the day. On arrival to France on the ferry, we saw seals on the beach. Once we had all met at the meeting point, we made our way back to the bus. We firstly drove through France and then Belgium where we stopped for a long break, where many of us decided to get some lunch at Burger King and Starbucks as well as giving our legs a stretch. After making the boarder to Holland, it took a few more hours to get to the hotel and at this point everyone was very done. On arrival to the Hotel, we were all very excited and relieved to finally not be sitting on a coach anymore. After we got our room keys and settled, we had around 2 hours of free time until dinner where people slept, chilled and explored the hotel.
For dinner it was chips, salad and spaghetti bolognaise which was really nice. After dinner, we had a quick talk about rules as well as getting our playing kit for the trip. Everyone was exhausted so it was then an early night.

Day 2: in Holland started off with an early wake-up and breakfast at 7:15am. After we’d finished off the pancakes, bacon and fruit, we headed off to our first activity of the day: a training session. Two coaches led our teams in an amazing session for a couple hours, with drills we were not familiar with, making it so much more enjoyable and interesting. Collectively we agreed that the rock, paper, scissors exercise was the best and we will be taking this back with us for the start of the hockey season. The weather was testing us all, being hotter than we’ve been used to recently, but we made it through. We then travelled across to Germany to watch the European championships (women), where we watched the England v Scotland match and half of the Netherlands v Italy match, before we had a long trip over to our last event of the day, back in the Netherlands. We then got to play in a match of our own, with three different teams competing for our school against Vlijmen hockey club. The games were tough all round for the teams, but everyone came away with smiles and motivation for the rest of our hockey tour. We finished off our day with a lovely dinner and showers, after a day filled with lots of exercise and sun.

Day 3: of the tour we played a full day of hockey. We woke up at about 8:00 and went down for a nutritious breakfast to fuel us for the day ahead. Then, we left the hotel and drove to Oranje Rood for our two training sessions. Our first training session was led by external coaches from the club. In this session, we completed a circuit of different drills in our year groups. We really enjoyed using the ball machine to practice deflections and competing against each other in the skill obstacle course. After that we had lunch, luckily in the shade with some nice cold water! The second and final session of the day was led by Mr. Ellis and the other teachers with us on tour. We trained in our teams so we could be prepared for the upcoming matches. This session was focused more on short corners and gameplay (doing drills like 3v2’s). After the last session, we drove to our second match against MHC Rosmalen. Despite the tiredness and muscle pain, every team competed well against some skilled opposition. Although we did not get the results we wanted, we drove back to the hotel in high spirits ready for some delicious food. Then it was time to rest and recover for the final day of the tour up ahead.

Day 4: we got a longer lie in as we were going to the Efteling theme park for the day. All the girls were quite tried from the previous two days however, the idea of the theme park brightened everyone up. The theme park had a a lot of fun rides which both the girls and teachers took part in-even if it was against their will- which made everyone laugh. We had a few hours to walk around the park and enjoy the rides then, we regrouped to head off to our final match of the tour. Once we arrived at the club, it was the 1st’s and U15’s to play first whilst the 2nd’s supported. It is fair to say after a couple of unlucky matches, while also growing as a team, all the girls were up for the match to come out with a win. The firsts had an amazing match which ended up in a 3-3 draw with goals from Imi Routledge, Martha Withers-Green and finally Freya Heath. The U15’s had an amazing game winning 7-1. The goals came from Poppy Bowling, Freya Powell, Rosie Bartlett and Dorcus Hobley. Compared with the last two games they worked a lot better together whilst putting a lot more effort in and quality of their game had significantly improved. The 2nd’s, the last team to play, had the 1st’s and U15’s supporting from the sidelines. The team had a really good close game which sadly ended up with a loss, however it was their best team performance with all of the girls creating some strong bonds.

Day 5: Sadly, it was time to leave. After an action packed week of fun we set off on our 12 hour journey back to Teddies. It was a swift journey to the Calais ferry port which meant we were fortunate enough to join a ferry a couple hours earlier. The ferry ride was a perfect break from the long coach journey with a huge food hall and a spacious interior to stretch your legs. Arriving in England we were greeted with wind and rain, and sadly had to say goodbye to our coach driver of the week, thank you Jake! The final 4 hour stretch of our journey back to Teddies was tedious with a lot of traffic and tired girls. Overall it was a highly successful and enjoyable week creating great memories and preparing for our hockey season to come.

Thank you to the U6th pupils who wrote the daily reports.