Last week I was lucky enough to accompany Edgeborough School on their multi-sports tour of the Netherlands and Belgium.
8 days…4 sports…3 teams…2 countries!
The first part of the tour was to the Netherlands. The pupils were all up early on day 2 to travel to either AZ Alkmaar for football coaching or HC Rotterdam for hockey coaching. The girls’ hockey team then played a fixture against a very strong Dutch team. In the evening the group got to experience a professional Dutch football match at the SVB Excelsior home ground. It was a great family atmosphere at the stadium with Edgeborough’s supportive team chants definitely helping Excelsior to a win!
Sports & Ski Tour Co-ordinator
By this point the group was used to travelling the length and breadth of the Netherlands in pursuit of sporting glory but all of the travelling was made well worth it thanks to the very warm welcomes the teams received at all of the football and hockey fixtures. Amidst all of the sporting action the group also managed to fit in a stadium tour of AZ Alkmaar where they got to sit in the press box, check out the changing rooms and take a sneak peek at the home team’s gym and relaxation area. Seeing the professional teams alongside playing fixtures themselves really showed the pupils what life could be like in the future if they pursued a career in sport.
Normally by day 5 on a sports tour, the group would be packing their bags ready to head home… but not on this trip! We were all packed up and ready to travel to our new home in Belgium via a stop off at the British School of Brussels for Netball, Rugby and Hockey fixtures. Unfortunately for us, the Brussels traffic had other ideas and we spent a long time grid locked in the city before eventually making it to the fixtures. After 4 days in the Netherlands it was a really interesting contrast for the pupils to see Belgium; to try their French in the local fast food restaurant and to play fixtures against a local school as well as clubs.
On day 7 the footballers had one last match each in Bruges and in keeping with previous fixtures it was a great occasion. Those who weren’t playing gathered on the side-lines to cheer on the teams and the matches proved a fitting finale to an action packed 8 day sporting extravaganza.
Going on a multi-destination sports tour is a great way to meet lots of other teams; learn about sporting culture in other countries and allows you to pack in lots of cultural excursions. By travelling first to the Netherlands, a country known for its investment in hockey and football and then to Belgium where in addition to strong football, the school could play netball and rugby competitively, it made for a really strong, sport-focused tour.
8 days…4 sports…3 teams…2 countries…1 Edgeborough School Sports Tour!