On the Wednesday we arrived at Barcelona airport and we quickly escorted to our coach which dropped us off at our hotel. We were barely settled in and most of us weren’t even unpacked when we grabbed our shorts and t-shirts and headed for our first training session. During the session the rugby boys put on an exhibition of their skills in front of the girls hockey squad and some Spanish onlookers as we prepared ourselves for our first match.
Thursday morning started early at 6.30, well for some of us it did, as some of the boys went for our daily run along the beach followed by a very cold dip in Spanish water. After warming up and having our breakfast both teams headed of for our first proper training session. During this session both teams were able to fine tune some individual skills in preparation for the first of their two games later in the day. For the boys training was followed by lunch which was in turn followed by our Spanish siesta.
The girls first game was against Junior FC, which was a very talented squad. Our hockey gave their best effort but unfortunately the game was lost to the skills of Junior FC, however, this was good preparation for our next and final match of the trip.
For the boys our first game was against a reasonably strong Saint Boi squad. We played under a floodlit pitch surrounded partly by tiered seating, many of us found this experience fantastic but daunting. Unfortunately after an extremely physical and hard fought game we lost 30 points – 11. However a great performance was put in by many of the squad and we were very unlucky to come away without a win.
The second and final game for the girls again was against an extremely skilled Egara team. Unfortunately with low moral after our previous loss the girls found it hard to overcome the talent presented by the Egara girls. However, with the motivating chants from the rugby boys on the last match the girls were uplifted after their loss. Credit must go to our sweeper Amy Johnston-Wood and our goalie Hannah Breen who both achieved player of the match.
On the Saturday morning we left our hotel first thing to travel to Barcelona for out tour of the Nou camp. This was an incredible experience as anyone who has ever been will tell you, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the tour around the massive stadium.
Our tour of the stadium was shortly followed by a short trip to the pitches were the rugby boys were playing their second and last game against Quimi. After getting used to the poly grass surface the boys started out warm up. We were focused and extremely concentrated on the game in hand. As the game was just about to kick of Wellingtons very own cheerleaders, also known as the hockey team, arrived in extremely strong voice gratefully appreciated by the boys. It was a very enjoyable match in which our pack showed great strength up front and our backs showed some great skills and confidence throughout the match. The match was won with a final score of 54 – 10. The Spanish team were very hospitable with a very enjoyable and friendly presentation after the match. A special mention must go to Adam Webb who had a great game which was shown in their choice of man of the match.
Throughout the tour, for the boys, many people stepped up to the occasion and showed great maturity and confidence in their ability to play as a squad of 22 best friends.
Thanks must go to the teachers, Mr. Carlisle, Mr Chambers, Mrs Rose and Mrs Allen for giving us a most memorable and enjoyable trip.