Surf, sun and sport – Bancroft’s Girls Down Under
Over the summer thirty of our talented senior girls and six members of staff were lucky enough to spend three weeks “Down Under” on a netball and hockey tour playing against talented school teams in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Cairns.
Their first week was spent in Perth and included a training session with an international player at Perth Hockey Stadium, a rounders game in the beautiful King’s Park and a surfing lesson. The first two matches introduced us to the competitive yet fun-loving Aussie attitude to sport. The netballers took on Penrhos College and All Saints College; the 1st VII won both convincingly and the 2nd VII had a narrow defeat (warm-up game) and then won the second. The hockey XI played brilliantly against both Penrhos College and Como Hockey Academy at the stadium.
It was then time to leave sunny Western Australia and fly eastward to rainy Sydney. Here the hockey XI braved the rain and played their first and only game on a grass pitch, resulting in a draw. While the netballers were invited by Mount St. Benedict’s College to play in their netball tournament The 1st VII got to the semi-finals and finished in third place, while the hockey XI went on to beat Roseville College. The netballers continued the success, both teams beating our billets at Monte St. Angelo.
The next destination was Brisbane where the hockey XI was narrowly defeated; the 2nd VII netball team suffered the same fate, but the 1stVII remained unbeaten. The last few days were spent in Cairns. The final hockey and netball matches were triumphant as all the teams beat their opposition easily.
Apart from sporting opportunities presented by the tour, the girls also had a full itinerary making the most of the diverse attractions of Australia. They journeyed in to the rainforest for the Kuranda Experience to throw boomerangs (not as easy as a netball according to captain Georgian Andes) and dance with the Aborigines. On the last day they took a boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef. It was a rocky voyage but the beautiful coral and the chance to snorkel and scuba-dive amongst the fish was an incredible way to end the tour.
During the trip the girls enjoyed once in a lifetime experiences. It was a fantastic trip and the friendships and memories made will certainly be the talk of the common room for the next few years to come.
(Thanks to Sophie Pluck for allowing us to edit her report)