Barcelona Sports Tour

5 days of sport in the sunshine as our hockey and football players tested their skills on the pitches of Barcelona.

We arrived at school for a very early start to our Barcelona adventure. We caught the train from Paddington and made our way to Heathrow airport. Once on the plane, a number of our cohort fell asleep on the plane, the early start and initial excitement proved too much for some! Somewhat disappointingly, upon arrival in Barcelona, we were greeted by grey skies. Those who had fallen asleep on the flight awoke to figure that we had not yet left Britain at all. But fortunately Monica, our amazing tour guide, arrived to brighten our day. We piled into the coach in a hurry to drop off our suitcases before the opening fixtures. The boys football team fought bravely, putting in a strong performance. Zeki made several excellent saves, Matt won every tackle in defence and Jackson was as creative as ever in midfield. Early on, Lady Luck turned her nose up at the boys in blue and yellow, gifting the rotten Spaniards an easy goal. Adam levelled proceedings with a well-timed finish. Alas, the early start caught up with the boys in the second half leading to an unfortunate 4-1 defeat. After a spot of lunch, the hockey teams took to the field (Astro). It was a cracking game, founded upon generous spirit; we made up jumbled up our players with the Spanish side to make some new friends and learn plenty of Spanish hockey terminology. Both teams worked and Frank scored an excellent goal. Finally, it was time to go back to the hotel, get some good food and a good night’s sleep after a long first day of the tour.

After a good night’s sleep, day 2 commenced with a large breakfast to get the whole group energised and ready for a big day at Port Aventura theme park. The theme park was huge and tested many students (and staff) to conquer their fears and the dreaded rides: Shambala, Dragon Khan and Tomahawk. We also visited the arcades and won prizes galore. We were treated to some tasty food and got to view the theme parks carnival celebration which included myriad decorations, music and parades throughout the day. At last, we returned to the hotel where we ate dinner as a group and took part in a doubles pool tournament before getting an early night ahead of football and hockey training sessions.

On day 3, in a flurry of hugs and tears, the hockey and football teams split up (for the morning) so we could get some specialist training from our PE teachers in view of our next fixtures. The football team were put through the paces practicing some shooting drills and enjoying a highly competitive practice game with Mr Ricks. Meanwhile the Hockey team were working on close control and shooting with Ms Yeomans. After training had finished, the lovely Monica came to pick us up and guide us around Barcelona. This was terrific, it was fascinating to hear how history had shaped the modern city. We learnt about the political struggles of the Catalan people, the 1992 Olympics and took many a picture outside the beautiful La Sagrada Familia. After some delicious lunch and ice cream at a local restaurant we got back on the coach and made our way to the training ground of RCD Espanyol for a pro football training session. The facilities were incredible and the coaches at the club certainly worked us hard with some great drills honing our passing and control before we got to watch the RCD Espanyol women’s football team play. Exhausted by training and our city tour, we made our way back to the hotel to for a good night’s sleep ahead of our final Hockey and Football fixtures of the tour.

Day 4 was, action packed, full of sport and fun. We started early at 7.30 to prepare for a pro coaching hockey session! It was fantastic, with everyone picking up some tricks and tips to improve their hockey game! Then, it was on to the football match with everyone leaving it all on the pitch, nothing short of 100% effort from us all in our last football game of the tour. Jackson ended up putting away a glorious penalty! After the game wrapped up we all headed to a hockey game, the football players came along in support. It was a fantastic match, each of us picking up some Spanish as we went and collaborating brilliantly with their players. All the MVS players ended up on the score-sheet in a great match which sadly saw the end of our hockey exploits for the rest if the tour. We took a short drive back to the hotel where we were treated to an amazing last dinner, the perfect way to cap off the perfect tour.

Day 5 was our last, everyone was determined to enjoy it as much as possible. We stole an extra hour of sleep, before bolstering ourselves with a great breakfast. Then it was on to the beach! We all had a fantastic time with beach cricket all, everyone had a bat and a bowl! Sandcastles were being raised and destroyed all over, some suffering an untimely demise only half-way through their creation. In fact, hardly did a sandcastle’s construction last longer than 30 seconds before being noticed by some neighbouring architects who, fearing that this new sandcastle might soon eclipse their own, would promptly dispatch a skirmish to disturb their competitor’s progress, such disturbances typically took the form of a 5-pace run up before leaping directly onto the nascent sandcastle. A brilliant final lunch followed, with the most popular food being goats cheese salad and perfect paella! Then it was off to the airport and onto the plane, several of us taking the opportunity to have one last shop. It was a fabulous tour and a great way to spend a half-term.


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