Hockey tour - Hurstpierpoint College

Hockey tour

On the day before the end of term, 68 eager Year 7 and 8 pupils along with seven staff, made their way to Heathrow airport to embark on an action-packed hockey tour. The destination was Edinburgh and spirits were extremely high when the pupils finally checked into their hotel – in the grounds of Edinburgh Zoo – at close to midnight.

After an early buffet breakfast, the pupils headed out for their first set of games at Strathallan School in Perthshire. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams had some very competitive matches – and for many it was their first taste of 11-a-side hockey. Results wise, both boys’ teams narrowly lost and there was a draw and two losses for our three girls’ sides.

Following a lovely lunch in the Strathallan dining hall, the pupils set off on the one-hour return trip to Edinburgh for more hockey. The girls played at Mary Erskine School and the boys at Stewart’s Melville College. Despite the strange weather conditions – a mixture of sun, snow, sleet, hail and rain – some fantastic hockey was played. In the evening, the pupils dined like royalty, courtesy of a buffet dinner at the hotel. This was followed by an early night to recharge the batteries after a busy day of hockey.

Culture vultures

Culture was on the agenda the next morning with a tour of Edinburgh Castle. Our pupils learnt about the history of the beautiful castle and enjoyed looking out over Scotland’s capital city from their high vantage point. Lunch on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh followed before the final set of games against George Heriot’s School. Some of the girls rolled back the years as they played on grass pitches, a surface not played on by a Hurst team for over 15 years. They equipped themselves well and had some great matches with plenty of successful results. The boys’ matches took place at the University of Edinburgh and the results followed a similar pattern, as they comfortably won both games. This provided a great end to the playing side of the tour. Dinner at the hotel, followed by Mr Kift’s quiz, kept the pupils entertained until bedtime.

Training session

The penultimate day of the hockey tour started bright and early with a training session led by professional coaches and some Scottish players. Our pupils learnt a range of new skills and finished with some fun game-based scenarios. They then headed over to Glasgow for the rest of the day. They toured Hampden Park football stadium in the afternoon and in the evening watched a professional rugby match when Glasgow Warriors defeated Italian opponents Zebre, 40-5.

On the final day of the hockey tour, the group visited Edinburgh Zoo to see pandas, gorillas and giraffes – amongst hundreds of other species. This was followed by a special end of tour banquet and awards ceremony at a Chinese buffet restaurant. After traversing public transport like champions, the pupils tucked into copious amounts of crispy duck, spring rolls, sushi and pizza, washed down with jelly, ice cream and chocolate fondue fountain. The group made it to the airport in good time and arrived back at Hurst around midnight.

The pupils must be commended for their behaviour and performances; they were outstanding ambassadors throughout the trip. I hope they had the best time and made memories that will last a lifetime Ben Dewey, Head of Boys’ Sport (Prep)

Find out more about Sport at Hurst Prep School