Surbiton gaan naar Nederlands | Surbiton High School
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Surbiton gaan naar Nederlands

Posted: 24th March 2023

Pupils from Year 5 and 6 had the privilege to go to the Netherlands this term on the annual Sports Tour. It was an early start for everyone with an unearthly time of 4.15am on the Friday morning. Many expected the coach to be quiet on route to Dover on the ferry with the boys catching up on their sleep; however, it was completely the opposite. The coach was full of excited boys who couldn’t wait to test their football and rugby skills against a nation well renowned for their technical skill of the game.

After a four-hour drive from Dunkirk, the boys arrived in Odijk for their first training session with the FC Utrecht coaches, who would also be taking a session later in the tour. All the games were played in great spirits and showed the ‘beautiful side’ of football with excellent free-flowing attacking and resolute defending across all five games. A special mention to our lovely hosts at Odijk who put on an excellent spread for dinner which all the boys absolutely loved.

Saturday saw the boys competing against three local rugby clubs in Amsterdam, where they really came together and recorded several wins and a loss across both the Year 5 and Year 6 teams. The rugby on offer has been the complete opposite to the current England side with our free-flowing attack and resolute defence. After the rugby fixtures, the boys quickly changed into their own clothes and went to the Amsterdam Arena for a behind the scenes tour, where they had the opportunity to see the changing rooms, press room and pitch side view from the technical area which was an amazing experience.

The pace of Saturday didn’t ease off as the boys then jumped on the coach and were off to watch FC Utrecht v Go Ahead Eagles, which offered the opportunity for the boys to take in an amazing European atmosphere where flares, tifo and smoke bombs were an everyday match occasion. The boys had great fun joining in with the songs being sang by the Utrecht Ultra’s in the adjacent stand. The home team started off taking the lead through their top goal scorer but it eventually went all wrong when Go Ahead Eagles equalised on the stroke of half time and then eventually struck the winner in the 94th minute to condemn Utrecht to their third defeat in four games. The final activity for the day was bowling which was enjoyed by all; however, the Mr Blood v Mr Gallop rematch from Paris was the main talking point with Mr Gallop being triumphant this year.

The sun rose for another day in Utrecht and another jam packed day of sport ensued for the Surbiton High School boys. They had the pleasure of playing against Kampong SV which is one of the oldest and largest amateur football club in the whole of the Netherlands. The boys once again showed gritted resilience and lots of technical flair despite their tired, heavy legs. Results were very varied; however, the A-team produced the result of the tour with a 6-0 victory against Kampong’s top team. Straight after the fixtures, the boys turned their attention and excitement to their visit to one of the largest theme parks in Europe. There was lots of talk amongst the boys as to which members of staff were going to take them on the rides especially the ride which had an inverted drop of 30 metres followed by two loops and lots of twists and turns. Every boy thoroughly enjoyed each ride that they went on, although the highlight for most was the ice cream and candy floss break during the afternoon.

The final day of tour dawned upon a lot of tired boys, but that or the weather was not going to dampen their spirits, especially with their training session with the FC Utrecht coaches and a personal tour around the stadium to look forward to. They saw the changing rooms, physio room and referee’s room. A few boys handpicked by the coaches got to ring the bell in the referee’s room to signal to the changing rooms that they needed to get to the tunnel. The end of the stadium tour sadly meant the end of their sports tour to the Netherlands and thus walking back to the coach with glum faces with the realisation that they were going to be back in lessons the following day.

All the staff have been immensely proud of how every single boy has represented the School and themselves and I’m sure they have made memories which will last a lifetime. In the fluent Dutch of Mr White, it’s time to say “Dank ye wel en tot ziens Nederlands”.

Categories: Boys' Prep School
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