Redland Green School

RGS Bristol

Holland Sports Tour April 2009

During the first week of the Easter break, 33 Redland Green students ventured on the first Sports Tour abroad in Valkenburg Holland. The destination was an obvious choice as the Dutch are renowned for the high standards of provision for youth sport.  Football and Hockey are the country’s top two sports and both have numerous professional leagues at elite level. Accordingly, playing standards at youth club level is extremely high.

 

Our sports performers were excited at the prospect of competing against some of the best Dutch teams in Football (Boys) and Hockey (Girls) as well as learning about a different culture through a fantastic sporting experience.

 

Late Sunday evening, Redland Green embarked on a 12 hour coach/ferry journey to Holland. Upon arrival, most students had had some sleep but all were extremely excited and keen to get settled into the superb hotel located in the heart of Valkenburg. The hotel was fantastic and all enjoyed the hot buffet meals during the week. Valkenburg is a very beautiful and scenic town with much to see and do; accordingly, as soon as they got there they headed to the swimming pool to refresh from the journey followed by a visit to the famous traditional pancake house in the evening.

 

The next two days consisted of intensive coaching sessions in the mornings. During these sessions students benefited from top Dutch coaching and were striving to learn new skills and enhance existing skills. Coaching sessions were followed by a hot lunch and then a fun yet ‘highly competitive’ afternoon activity. On the Tuesday, Redland Green students were divided into three teams and their first challenge was a triangular tournament of Laser tag in a cave which was a fast and furious experience.  All students took much pleasure zapping their PE teachers.

 

Ten pin bowling was Wednesday’s challenge. In the evenings both the boys and girls played Dutch opposition. The football boys narrowly lost their first game 5-3 against De Heeg FC but all played well. The following game was against Hoesselt FC; the boys put all the skills that they had been working on in the training sessions to good effect and came back with a convincing win, final score 1-3. The hockey girls narrowly lost their first match against Concordia HC 2-1.

 

The second match was against a top Dutch club Blerick RHC; the club itself has professional adult teams so it was no surprise that the youth first squad had incredible stick skills. Unfortunately, Redland Green lost by some margin; however, the girls learnt a lot from this experience and are now aspiring to play the level of hockey they played against that evening.

 

 

On Thursday, students went shopping in Maastricht in the morning followed by the English Schools Master Class Tournament. The hockey girls played six games and did extremely well with five draws and one loss; coming third out of seven teams. The boys played two games in the U15 football cup and played some fantastic football to win both matches bringing back a European Trophy to the mighty Redland Green. In the evening, Redland Green celebrated their sporting success in the Master Class Disco with many students cutting their shapes on the dance floor, “poker face” being the students chosen tour track. After an action packed yet highly enjoyable week, students returned back to Bristol to enjoy the remaining week’s holiday.