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Holland Hockey Tour

Holland Hockey Tour

The end of the Easter break provided the opportunity for the U14A and U15A Hockey teams to train and improve their fitness and skills on a tour to Holland.

Canford’s Hockey Coach, Patrick Rossiter, shares his account of the experience:

It has seemed a long four years since Canford was last able to visit Holland with the junior girls’ sides. Having been grounded by Covid since 2019, this attempt very nearly hit the buffers before it got going, as we ran into the pre-Easter coach mayhem at Dover. Thankfully we braved it out, finally reaching the wonderful Boulevard Hotel, our base for the last twenty five years, eighteen hours, and one pretty sleepless night, late! 

It quickly became obvious that this was going to be a tour in the best of the Canford traditions. For the first time the tour party comprised two “A” sides, with the Under 15s and Under 14s making the most of four days of glorious sunshine.  Crammed into those days were the chance to watch a “Hoofdklasse” (National League) game at Klein Zwitserland, a training session at HGC with current GB international Zach Wallace, a visit to the bulbfields, memorable trips to Delft and Leiden, and of course three matches for each side against generous hosts at Ring Pass HC, Noordwijk HC, and Roomburg.

Considering many of the girls hadn’t lifted a stick in anger since December, the hockey was really rather good. The highlight for both sides was probably the middle games at Noordwijk - the 15s winning a competitive game 2-1, and the 14’s holding their nerve to win a shuffle shoot out 2-0 in front of a sizeable crowd, after their game ended goal-less. Both sides had one big win elsewhere, and a close loss. 

The legacy of the trip of course extends so far beyond hockey, with friendships made and strengthened on and off the pitch. The atmosphere among this touring group was second to none, the girls drawing praise from our Dutch hosts wherever they went. Having made my first trip to Holland in 1991, this was, sadly, my last with the school, but it was very good to see the depth of the friendships and links we have made over those decades still flourishing. 

Holland Hockey Tour