Senior Hockey Tour
Senior Hockey Tour
Adding to our vast array of cultural visits, exchanges and sports trips, we offer a Senior Hockey Tour for those playing for the teams. Last year, the girls travelled to Utrecht, Holland, for four days focusing on training, matches and teamwork. Our girls had quite the challenge, playing two different age groups at the Kampong Hockey Club. There was a great camaraderie amongst both teams, both on and off the pitch, given that the girls played, trained and even ate together. Our girls also got the opportunity to visit the wonderful city of Amsterdam and some of the tourist attractions, including a very emotional visit to Anne Frank’s house.
Below is the diary written by the Senior hockey squad.
Senior Hockey Tour Diary
On Thursday we arrived after a quick and pleasant flight without any mishaps. We checked in, got our lunch and headed to Kampong Hockey Club for a light training session before our match in the evening. After training we returned to the hotel to get changed into our kits and went for a walk in the park beside the hotel.
We then proceeded to Kampong again for our match where we played an U18 team and fantastic result we won 4-2!
Tired after a packed day of travelling and matches, we came down for breakfast at 8:30am the next morning. When then had to prepare for training with David Harte, Irish GK and Capt, and his Kampong teammate Floris de Ridder, who coaches the Dutch U21 Team who taught us a new skill – the reverse spin.
After lunch everyone was much too excited for the Hockey Republic store, a 15min walk away. All hockey essentials were purchased and we began our trek with our many gift bags back to the Club. Although exhausted from the first session, some were very excited to try out their new sticks and so we completed our second session of the day. The match this evening was very interesting; a lot of tough competition and a few war cries terrified Jasmine who has not quite gotten over it. Although we lost 5-2, we played good team hockey and created a lot of chances which we could not convert, sadly.
On the second last day of our tour we were all awake and ready at 8am for the long day ahead. After another great breakfast, the three usual taxis took us to Kampong for a training session with Mrs McCullough and Dr Rainey. Following the previous few days that had been filled with numerous training sessions and matches it’s no surprise that the whole team complained non-stop about the wide range of aches and pains amongst us. However, the excitement for the trip to Amsterdam was definitely enough to get us through and it was clear that a lot was learnt despite the sore muscles. After a quick stop back at the hotel for showers we were on our way. Finally we were set free in the city, and it was everything we expected and more (however we can’t say that the road safety has been well thought out!).
Some of us took trips down the canal while others shopped and went for lunch. It really was a beautiful city with lots to explore. When we met again as a group it was time to make our way to the Anne Frank House; a chilling but informative experience for us all. The walk was draining but worth it and there were even a few tears by the end of the tour around The Secret Annex.
The train station proved difficult and simply hectic but we made our way back to Utrecht and eventually made it to the authentic little Italian restaurant and took the bus back to our hotel and got ready for a night of team bonding in the captain’s room. It was an eventful evening to say the least! After a long day it was time for bed, all looking forward to the lie in ahead and the trip back home!
Sunday was a pretty chilled day as we had no training or matches and we got a lie in. After breakfast we all headed back to our rooms to pack our bags; it was such a depressing time as none of us wanted to leave Holland because it had been such an amazing experience and everyone had bonded like a big family, including the teachers. We brought our suitcases down to the front of the hotel where taxis were waiting to transport us to the Hockey Club.
We arrived at Kampong Hockey Club in glorious sunshine yet again and managed to watch a full women’s hockey match and part of the men’s game. I will say on behalf of myself and all the other girls that we learnt a lot of tips from watching both the hockey matches and the men’s match had our coach Floris playing. He was interesting to watch and it was great to see him in action!
The tour was such a great chance for all of us to get to know each other better and now we all feel closer than ever. Team effort