Over the Easter holiday, 18 children and 4 adults left school for the five-day sports tour to Barcelona. They were greeted at Barcelona airport by Elena, the tour manager for the trip, who the students instantly fell in love with! Her first challenge? To inform British Airways that one of the students had left their iPad on the plane! After arriving at the hotel (and locating the iPad) the students sat down to a delicious three course meal, before getting an early night, ready for the busy week.
Wednesday commenced with hockey and rugby training at some excellent facilities just outside the city. The girls practiced dribbling, hitting and turning their backs on the defender, before playing an intense game of hockey against each other. The boys spent the first half of training improving their stamina by taking part in fitness drills, much to their delight. Accurate passing was the key focus of their mini-game. After a sweaty morning playing sport in the sun, the students headed to a sightseeing tour of the city. They particularly enjoyed the Sagrada Familia temple, which is a church designed by Antoni Gaudi. Then it was time for the much anticipated rugby match against club team, La Foixarda. The standard of play was very good, and Chepstow were taken aback by the Spanish opposition. With the support from the girls, Miss Norman and Miss Greensted, and an encouraging half time team talk, Chepstow came back with some excellent tries after speedy footwork and accurate passing. Although Chepstow lost, there were many valuable lessons learnt and the opposition could not have been friendlier. “I learnt not to judge a book by it’s cover. We knew the Spanish were good at football but who knew they were so good at rugby?” – Declan.
Thursday was the day most students (and teachers) were looking forward to the most – the adventure park! First up was the high rope circuits. With Jago leading the pack, everyone managed to get round all three courses, even Mr Collins and his wobbly legs. Paintballing and tag archery followed, with Mr Wilkinson achieving a clean shot to Michael’s helmet in the former. It’s arguable that this was more competitive than the rugby match! In the afternoon the girls (and Ollie) had their hockey match again Club Egara. Again, the opposition were strong, but Chepstow defence was resilient, with many Egara hits at goal deflected. The girls were spurred on by the imaginative chanting from the boys at the sideline!
Friday involved a trip to Nou Camp, which is Barcelona FC’s home stadium. Elia and Jaspar’s favourite part of the day was sitting in the commentary box, overlooking the impressive stadium. Isabelle B enjoyed the shop (shock!) and managed to pick up a few bits and pieces to remember the trip by. The day finished with a mixed hockey match against CD Terrassa. This club train twice a week and have a match every Saturday. This didn’t faze the Chepstow team, and neither did the pink goalie kit that Josh had to wear (!) as Chepstow played extremely well. The last night was a traditional affair, with delicious meat paella and games.
All, with some incredible memories made along the way, had a fantastic week. A favourite was Ale bringing his homework, but forgetting to bring any form of writing utensil. It is safe to say his maths homework sat on his bedside table the entire time, untouched. Thank you to all those who made the trip such a success. Bring on the 2020 sports trip!