Just before the end of the Christmas term, 32 excited sportswomen from Years 10 and 11 together with 4 members of staff, set off on tour to the Caribbean island of Barbados. The aim of the tour was to give the girls some intensive match practice, enabling them to learn and develop between matches while adapting their technique and skills to the challenging tropical temperature. When not busy with hockey and netball, the girls enjoyed exploring the beautiful island and learning about the culture in the Caribbean.
Barbados is only a small island, similar in size to the Isle of Wight, so the Farnborough Hill group could be based in one place for the trip and easily travel out for their training sessions and matches. They stayed in Oistins on the South West of the island which was an idyllic location. The hotel was situated on the beach, so the girls were able to swim in the Caribbean Sea or relax in the hotel whenever they had spare time.
During the ten-day tour, the girls had a busy programme of sport and cultural visits. The hockey team played four matches, one against a local school and three against the national team. In addition they had a training session run by the Barbados national coaches. It took them quite a bit of time to acclimatise to the intense heat and very sandy national pitch but despite this, our girls won all the matches they played. The national team showed stamina and speed in the heat from which the Farnborough Hill team was able to learn and they rose to the occasion for every match displaying great discipline, support and drive on pitch.
The netball team travelled around the island playing 5 matches against a variety of local teams.
Cultural activities included an island tour in four-wheel drive jeeps exploring villages and plantations and enjoying views over the rugged East coast and the Atlantic Sea at Little Bay and Bathsheba. Other highlights included a catamaran cruise along the West coast, snorkelling with turtles and an evening enjoying the Harbour Lights Extravaganza with fantastic entertainment by various singing and dancing artists and a delicious BBQ.
Mrs Jackson said, “We all had such fun as there was the right balance of sport, cultural trips and relaxation.” She also said that the girls’ behaviour was exemplary, so much so that fellow guests regularly remarked on this when they met them around the hotel.
Our senior hockey and netball players have returned home with lots of new skills as well as happy memories. Congratulations to the staff who planned such a successful trip and thank you to Mrs Jackson, Mrs Kirby, Mrs Aitchison and Mrs Cappleman for accompanying the tour.