On Wednesday 28th March, 37 students and 5 PE staff embarked on a much anticipated journey all the way to Valkenburg in Holland, for a Football and Dance tour. After 18 months of planning and organisation, we finally reached our departure date and were due to set sail in the early hours. However an unexpected problem arose, when we were informed that our coach went to the wrong Sutton Academy...in Surrey! After many frantic phone calls and a chance to get 4 hours sleep, the coach finally arrived at 6am and we were on our way!
After safely arriving at our hotel in the evening, there was time for some traditional Dutch fayre (tasty noodle soup!) and relaxation before retiring to our rooms.
It was an early start on the second day, and time for our trip to truly begin. The boys went off to Scharn, a local training facility where they met their highly qualified Dutch FA coach, Joe. They were put through their paces looking at defensive aspects of their game which they would take forward to their first fixture that evening.
The girls were lucky enough to have their Dance teacher Sally staying with them at the hotel so were able to meet her straight away. Their first session, held in the local sports centre, introduced the girls to the dance routine they would be learning during the trip. The routine was street dance based using a number of chart and dance songs.
Following the boys first training session, they had their first game in the same evening against local team called Adveo. The boys won convincingly 5-2 showing excellent maturity and skill throughout the game from every member of the team. Most importantly they had taken their knowledge gained from the training session in the afternoon into the game which their opponents simply couldn’t cope with. England 1 Holland 0!
The third day was upon us with an early start again. The group today again went their separate ways, girls went off to dance and the boys went to their second training session.
The girls continued their dance, which was to be their last practice before their performance back at the hotel. To learn a full dance in the space of two dance practices was something to behold. The girl’s attitude and commitment was fantastic and was an absolute credit to the academy.
The second and final training session for the boys was held at the same facility with their Dutch FA coach. This training session consisted of an attack minded session, which once again they were able to take into their game which was held in the evening.
The boys never failed to disappoint in their final game, winning 4-1 with a really professional display by all once again. We played against another local club RKVVM who happened to be a feeder club for the Premier League Dutch team, Rhoda. We had a really warm welcome from this club who invited us all into their social facility after the game, to meet with their coaches and players. England 2 Holland 0!
In-between the training and the evening fixture we got the opportunity to go into Eindhoven to visit and tour the PSV Eindhoven stadium. This was a real treat for all as we had an access all areas pass to the stadium, visiting the dressing room and pitch side. We had a small window of opportunity to also go into the city of Eindhoven for a McDonalds, which needless to say everyone enjoyed!
On the Saturday, we had a break from the Dance and Football and got to try our hand at some different sports the town of Valkenburg had to offer, Laser Tag and Tobogganing! Tobogganing was a brand new experience for all which the students loved! Stories of their own encounters flowed as near misses and Mr Bate falling off his Toboggan provided excellent entertainment for all.
Following this we headed down to laser tag where competitive streaks came out in everyone, mostly in the members of staff!
A really entertaining and exhausting afternoon called for some hearty and energetic food, Pancakes! A choice of toppings and a chance to chill out with their friends was a welcome break for most, reflecting on the trip so far and allowing for some wind ups regarding false football scores and Justin Biebers marital status!
The evening that followed was an opportunity for the Dance girls to showcase what they have learnt in the previous two days with their performance that was held in the hotel. DANCE XXXXXXXXXXX
The final day was finally upon us where a trip to a theme park in Belgium was the destination for the day. The group had the roam of the park for the day, managing to get on all the rides a dozen times! We managed to get Miss Lithgow on an inverted roller coaster which she thoroughly enjoyed! The day didn’t go without drama though as Joe Noctor managed to be sick on himself and those around him on a waltzer type roller coaster!
Home time was finally here after a brilliant and successful trip, we arrived home safe and sound in the early hours of Tuesday morning with a number of exhausted boys, girls and staff!