On Sunday 1 April, ninety-three students and twelve staff began their journey to Platja D’Aro for the Walton High Spain Sports Tour. With four football teams and three netball teams taking part, this week was sure to be hectic but fun.
On Tuesday, we went to Barcelona for the day. After a quick breakfast, we were all on the coach heading to the Nou Camp Stadium, home of FC Barcelona. The group then visited the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in central Barcelona, renowned worldwide for its detailed architecture, before moving on to Las Ramblas. Here, students roamed through the busy streets full of shops and local eateries and some sampled the local cuisine. In the evening, we headed off to the bowling alley and arcades - it’s fair to say that we will not be going on a bowling tour in the near future as scores were on the low side!
Wednesday was our first day of sport and students were raring to go. Students were coached by a mixture of English sports coaches and coaches from Espanyol FC. Training sessions focused on a variety of different skills, which were put into practice when the football teams took part in matches later that day. The results were mixed with some heavy wins for the U15 A (8-0) and U13 (6-0), and some losses for the U14 (0-7) and U15 B (1-2), but all students fought until the end and never gave up. The girls’ football team played incredibly well against a local Spanish side and won 3-0.
The netball girls trained twice, focusing on a variety of skills based activities and drills, covering attacking and defending principles. They also trialled some new combinations and set plays to get them physically and mentally prepared for the tournaments ahead.
After a physical day of training and matches, all students had a well-deserved break in the outdoor pool and on the beach soaking up the last of the sun.
On Thursday, The girls’ football team won 1-0 against St John Fisher with a “worldly” free kick in the last minute by Kacee Hart. The U15 boys’ team fought hard but narrowly lost against older opposition, whilst the U13 and U14 boys’ teams both won 7-1 and 6-0, respectively. Player of the Match winners for all teams were Daniel Brice, Reece Cleary, Kacee Hart, Jakub Iwanoski, Joshua MacDonald, Daniel Prempeh, Max Russell, Daniel Tagoe and Billy Towers.
Meanwhile, the netball teams were competing in their tournaments. Three teams represented Walton High in a year 8 & 9 team; a year 9 & 10 combined team and a year 10 team, with each team playing in seven games against other UK schools. When playing multiple games in one day, it is essential to have determination and perseverance no matter the outcome and every team had this in abundance. A glowing example of this came when the year 9 girls won their last match 6-1, after displaying relentless defence and some outstanding shooting by Rhiannon Miso. Their effort put Walton High securely in 3rd place by goal difference.
The teams put practice into performance and worked unbelievably well, which made giving individual awards very hard, but the following students received Player’s Player and Manager’s Player: Sofia Lisk, Chardonnay Smeaton, Tiya Masiyano, Rhiannon Miso, Tarus Mills and Fatmata Sankoh. A special mention must be made for Naster Malik, who was awarded star performer of the tour because not only did her skills on the court amaze but her consistent positive energy and leadership as a captain was outstanding.
Following the matches and tournaments, all students had a few hours to relax, play games and swim in the hotel pool before getting ready for the disco. In classic teenage fashion, some were throwing out some dance moves. A highlight was Keiran Fox ‘flossing’ to multiple songs! Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end and Walton High’s students were tucked up in bed by midnight, despite Jack Stunt’s desperate pleading for one more song.
Friday was all about travelling back after an excellent few days in Spain. It will come as no surprise that some of the students needed more packing time than others! The journey was a lot quieter on the way back from Spain and before we knew it, we were back at school, with students eager to share details of the trip with their parents.
The staff and the school are really proud of the students who went on this trip thanks to their excellent behaviour on and off the pitch. The feedback from parents and students has been fantastic and that is credit to the staff who supported the trip: Mrs Watson-Green, Miss Mather, Miss South, Miss Ingram, Miss East, Miss Johns, Mrs Sutherland, Mr Aston, Mr Wright, Mr Gillians and Mr Pickard. Without them, this trip would not have been so successful. Thank you to all the staff for giving up your free time to allow the students to make memories that will last a lifetime.
We look forward to seeing you on Sports Tour 2019.