Culturally Enriching Barbados Sports Tour
This year’s sports tour to Barbados was a huge success and very rewarding both on and off the Cricket Pitches and Netball Courts, providing great sport, exciting excursions, warm weather and super food and hospitality, resulting in a fun, rich cultural and educational experience for all, interspersed by some all-important revision for the upcoming exams.
The tour began with some training sessions, and it was off to Dover, a familiar spot where the training sessions have traditionally been held for the boys, and up to the Briar Hall Cricket Ground where there is a netball court with a wonderful view of the sea and a nice cooling breeze for the girls. As always, it was very hot and provided a good opportunity for everyone to acclimatise.
The girls had a wonderful tour which began with a match against Cuthbert Moore School for Netball. What was lovely about this match was that the teachers bought their pupils out to watch and they all cheered like mad when their team got the ball. Our girls had a great time interacting with these, very sweet children and we were all sad to say goodbye.
Wednesday saw our final game against Queen’s College. The girls went down 1-4 in the first quarter and 2-5 in the second. This was due to an exceptionally strong goal keeper on the Queen’s College side. She was moved to goal defence in the third quarter which made all the difference and we were able to score an astonishing 11 goals, taking the score to 13-7. Now firmly in the lead, we hung on to win 14-10, which was a perfect way for the girls to end their Netball on the island.
The first Cricket match for the boys was against Wesley Hall which was played at the Passage Road ground. We won the toss and elected to bowl. As with previous tours, it took a while to adjust. 63 extras later and the home side had amassed a score of 150, a tough ask, however, we went out and fought hard closing our innings on 103. It was a good effort, with lots of lessons learnt.
For their final match, the boys played at the historic Wanderer's ground which was a great experience, even more so because The Wanderer's could only field 14-17 year olds! With this in mind we mixed up the teams and a truly magnificent game of cricket took place. We played a 35 over game and the first batting side made 282 for 6. The chasing side were tied on the same score on the last ball, and then got the single. It was a fantastic way to end a rewarding and enjoyable cricketing tour.
Away from the Cricket pitches and Netball courts, the children enjoyed some well-earned beach time on Accra Beach, chilling out under the palm trees, swimming in the warm Caribbean Sea and meandering along the beach in the rising sun. There was also time for some shopping in Bridgetown and the boys were lucky enough to watch the West Indies v Pakistan International at the Kensington Oval. The children all enjoyed a Jeep Safari tour of the island, which included stopping off at various points of interest, including Bathsheba Beach and at a sugar plantation for lunch, which was a wonderful way to see the whole island. To conclude the tour, we headed out on the wonderful catamaran, El Tigre, for a tour around the island, stopping off, seeing the turtles and having lunch at Sandy Lane. All the Bajans we played were a credit to their schools and parents, and we had the most wonderful time. While not all of the matches went our way, the children will definitely be richer for the experience, as well as wiser Cricket and Netball players. They were a real credit to the school and conducted themselves with exceptionally good manners, which was noticed by hotel staff, guests and opposition teams. The tour was an incredible experience for all involved.