Sports Tour 2018

Monday 9th April

Take a sports tour to Italy they said 

Think of the fun you’ll have they said 

Think of the sun tan they said 

…. They lied! 

Having said all of that, the girls have been brilliant today, truly brilliant!

From the moment they stepped inside the sports hall at 530am to the moment they scurried off to bed as the heavens opened, they have been fabulous. 

Getting 30+ preteens and teens across Europe in mid April is not an easy task, but it is made so much easier by the fact that the girls we are taking away this week listen! I mean they totally listen, well, they listen to Mrs T! 

They totally listen to Mrs T, oh  and to Hugh Jackman, they really do listen to him! 

Luckily I really like the soundtrack to the Greatest Showman, as that’s what we have heard across the day, REPEATEDLY! 

But that’s okay, as I know all the words!

Once again I have been complimented by passengers and ancillary staff alike as we have made our way to Italy. The girls have been brilliantly behaved and patient, and, in general, tuneful!  On arrival in resort, whilst we sorted out rooms, Mrs T, JP and the girls have organised training bags and first aid kits and sliders and flip flops and slippers … all the important things one needs on a sports tour!

A few mad souls decided to brave the outdoor, unheated swimming pool, in the rain! I supervised closely from a decent distance under the shade of a cabana and a rain jacket and then after 10 mins I decided that enough was enough! 

Girls have been well fed, well entertained and are hopefully now fast asleep ahead of a full on day of training followed by lunch followed by Verona excursion! 

As I check my weather app, hopes of a pre-summer term tan are fading fast, but I am absolutely convinced girls will have a fabulous time on tour this week!

JB …  on behalf of Mrs T, Mrs M, Melissa & JP

Tuesday 10th April

The Year 7s and I started a small, low key, informal fitbit competition this morning and after seeing my score tonight, 23,295 steps … (that’s what my fitbit says I walked today & my feet are feeling it!) I was convinced I would win, that is until Claudia told me she was on 27,000+ and Sophie was on 28,000 +.  Losing graciously is a skill I still need to master !

To say we have had a busy day is an understatement!  The thunderstorms last night were tremendous and the rain water that fell seemed to settle mostly on our training court on site. Despite Mrs Madden’s best efforts to sweep off the residue, the court was just not playable so netballers trained alongside hockey players on the astro and actually, it was fantastic. 

Melissa’s Italy themed pasta warm up was enjoyed by all 31 of them and the girls were put through their paces by both JP and Melissa over the next two hours. Mrs T, Mrs M and I ably assisted and naturally, played to our strengths.  I took photos and tweeted, Mrs M threw balls at Kate in goal and Mrs T supervised the drills and offered feedback wherever she went… (apparently if Mrs Madden just released the hockey ball a little earlier, she wouldn’t have lost so many over the fence !!!) 

We managed to avoid the predicted rain showers first thing and following training the sun was out so the girls wanted to head to the pool for a swim.  Swim … Ice Bath … these are two fairly interchangeable words as it turned out. The pool is fabulous if not slightly chilly, but that didn’t stop the girls enjoying the slide and having lots of fun!

After the swim we had lunch and then headed to Verona for the afternoon. Mrs Madden was like a child at Christmas as we approached the Arena “My inner geek is just busting inside” she said, I replied saying I was just the same when I went to the Olympic Park. I like to think of us both a passionate rather than geeky … although I am also a realist! 

We took all the girls inside The Arena to have a look. Mrs Madden thoroughly enjoyed telling us all about the venue and its history and we all learned a little bit more about gladiatorial contests of Ancient Rome. You had to feel slightly for the tour guide provided by Activ4 who, as we had our very own Classician! It was probably the easiest afternoon’s work that guide will get all season!

Juliet’s Balcony was our next stop and the girls enjoyed hearing Mrs M explain the history of the venue. The idea that Shakespeare based his infamous story on the family who lived in the House.  Girls were entranced by the tale, and to think, I only asked Mrs M to come on tour with us as I knew she could play such versatile netball! 

Time for us next to all have a quick sit down and a coffee and snack whilst the girls perused the local shops and enjoyed the city.  As 6.15pm fast approached more and more girls joined us on the edge of Piazza Bra and enjoyed some French fries and mayonnaise (not that they hadn’t been fed extremely well at lunch, but you know that was 5 hours previously!) 

30 mins later and we were back to the hotel and a very quiet and subdued group walked slowly to dinner. On the assumption that if we as staff were shattered, then the girls, who had actually done sports training this morning would certainly be. Roll on the Activ4 photos quiz and an early bed!

The quiz went down a treat as did the suggestion of an early night, and all 31 girls were tucked up in bed by 9.30pm. An early start tomorrow as we head to training in Castelnuovo del Garda, just ten mins away, followed by lunch, then a trip to Bardolino then off to our first hockey fixture! I just hope we can find a stick for Mrs T in case we need her to get on pitch!

JB on behalf of Team Fantastic !

Wednesday 11th April

What another busy day for the girls & staff !  It started at 745am and its 11.15pm now and I am only just getting around to writing this blog – so apologies but it’s going to be short!

Training in the morning was great and although the netballers were upset not be outside the hall was perfect for all Melissa had planned. Lots of interaction between year groups and players in preparation for the tournament tomorrow. 

Hockey players enjoyed a range of drills with JP and a small sided game as well, I have to say, I think I impressed them all with my skills on pitch!

Lunch was a hurried affair as we were keen to get to Bardolino to see the Lake and enjoy Gelato!  Girls thoroughly enjoyed the picturesque town, which was simply beautiful today. 

We managed to get on the coach to Riva just before the heavens opened and as we drove up the lake road to the North we hoped to out run the rain storm … but that did not happen.   I think it started raining at 4pm and has only now at 11.30 stopped! netballers had hoped to sit and watch their friends play hockey for an hour, but the rain was relentless so headed instead to a local pizzeria with Mrs M and Melissa 

JP and I meanwhile enjoyed watching a tremendous game of hockey against local CLUB side Riva, whilst the score was a 3-5 loss, it was great to see the girls in action. Thankfully the hosts erected two gazebos for us to stand under whilst they played and rotated. The weather was stark contrast to 4 years ago when netballers ended up catching a few rays in the suntrap seating at the side of the pitch. 

A late return to the hotel and a speedy dinner and the girls were all in bed by 10pm.  

It’s an early start tomorrow with a 630am wake up call and breakfast at 7am … Year 10s are not happy at the idea of there being a 6 on the clock at all !

As always keep an eye on twitter for updates throughout the day 

JB et al 

Thursday 12th April

I am not sure if knuckle bruising counts as a work related injury, but if it does then in all honesty, I think I have a case.  The time it took me to stand outside your daughters bedroom doors this morning knocking until I got a response from those sleepy head teenagers … well all I am saying is, I need some arnica ! 

It wasn’t helped by the fact that I was knocking on doors when there was still a 6 on the dial of the clock … but as the saying goes, an U15 tournament waits for no team!

All hockey girls enjoyed Lazise, all netball girls had a brilliant run around on court today, with all 24 girls getting equal playing time and all coming off injury free and smiling. In addition all slightly anxious 42 year old PE teacher mothers came away from the venue happy! @Phew 

Lazy and relaxed is possibly the best way to explain this afternoon for the 10s and hockey girls. Excited and enthusiastic is the best way to explain the evening for the 7 8 9s. 10s were superexcited!

Theme nights are a great way of celebrating the success of a tour and I am hopeful that girls will look back on this evening with fondness. The concierge and other guests won't forget us in a hurry that’s for sure!

Once again we have had a wonderful day and girls are excited about an 8am wake up call tomorrow … well when I say excited I mean more excited than they were at the 630am wake up today 

JB et al … 

Friday 13th Friday

Such a busy day and still have England in the semi-final to watch!