West Norfolk sports stars test mettle in Spain

West Norfolk sports stars test mettle in Spain
The students enjoyed the "brilliant" trip to Barcelona

Hockey and basketball players from a West Norfolk school honed their skills en Espagna when they took part in a sports tour in Barcelona.

34 students from Marshland High School spent a week in the Catalan capital where they were put through their paces in basketball and hockey training sessions before competing against Spanish opponents.

Hockey was first on the sporting agenda, with the visitors meeting defeat at the hands of home side Club Illuro.

WEB Barcelona Sports Tour  34 students went on the trip to Barcelona

“Club Illuro’s boys’ and girls’ teams were so talented and fast, we did lose both games, but it was a great experience and all students never gave up,” said Dominic Stannard, Head of Character and Culture at Marshland, which is a member of the West Norfolk Academies Trust.

Top players included Eaden Nunnerly, Daisy Pepper and Molly Evans on the Marshland Girls’ Team, and George Spittle, Ollie Veal and Willis Ruff on the Boys’ Team, with Leo Amey and Amiras Lukosevivius scoring goals.

The Marshland contingent put up an equally valiant fight when they faced Escala Infant Jesus in two basketball fixtures later in the week.

“Again, the local opposition were far too strong and we lost both games – one very heavily, but that team had never played before,” continued Mr Stannard. “Their transition and pace in the game was incredible and put us under so much pressure. The team will have learnt loads from this experience.”

Stand-out performances from the Marshland players came from Charlie Emery, George Spittle and Henry Pothecary in the first match, and Jacob Stock, Eaden Nunnerly and Alfie Jones in the second; while points were scored by Amiras Lukosevicius, Thomas Gooch, Ollie Veal, George Spittle, Daniel Welsby and Eaden Nunnerly.

WEB Barcelona Sports Tour 2 The Marshland basketball team were undefeated this year until they faced their Spanish opponents

Alongside the sporting activities, the group enjoyed visits to Barcelona Zoo and the Marineland and Waterworld water parks, as well as a meal at a traditional tapas restaurant, a post-match barbecue at the Hockey Club, shopping in the city’s famous Las Ramblas, and time to relax at the beach and pool.

“It was such a great trip,” said George Spittle, who is in Year 8 at Marshland. “I loved the basketball activities and the waterparks. I developed new skills and how to be gracious in defeat.

“Our basketball team in the UK has won every game this year, so to lose a game was an experience I will have learnt so much more from. I definitely improved my confidence and how to work with others.”

Lauren Rolfe, also in Year 8, said: “I gained new skills in basketball, and going in goal for hockey was a great experience. The Spanish team kept me extremely busy, and I even saved one with my face!”

“I really enjoyed the sporting activities,” agreed Willis Ruff from Year 10. “The opportunity to play in another country is something I will not forget. I developed self-awareness, how to look after myself and to be independent.

“I would like to say thank you to the teachers – they were so kind, and I saw a different side to them, in a good way.”

“It was a brilliant week and the students conducted themselves excellently,” added Mr Stannard, who has been organising the trip since 2015.

“Since we have been back, we have received loads of lovely feedback from parents saying just how much their children loved it and how appreciative they were.”

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