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Gold Olympic hockey in Holland

Thirty-five girls from Second and Third Year travelled to Holland for exciting matches and coaching from Olympic Gold Medal winner Crista Cullen MBE.

The first matches for the girls saw them face Hasselt Hockey Club from Belgium. The Under 13s performed exceptionally well with goals from Jessica Jones, Amaya North, Amelie Batey, Milly Hall and Scarlett Sim securing a 5-1 win. The Under 14s cruised into a 3-0 lead in their game with goals from Holly Williams, Holly Smith and Talia Zelhof before showing grit and determination to hold off the opposition’s dogged fightback to win 3-2.

The next games took place close to the German border at Tegelse Hockey Club. The Under 13s struggled to find their game against a strong Dutch side but the Under 14s enjoyed a 6-0 win with goals from Talia Zelhof (2), Holly Smith, Libby Porter, Amy Jack and Amelie Batey. Lucy Stead pulled off a double save in the second half to keep the clean sheet and this raised a huge cheer from the watching crowd and coaches.

The final sporting action of the trip was a tournament against other touring English schools. The Under 14s faced challenging opposition during the tournament but managed to come third overall whilst the Under 13s also played successfully in a number of games – including a particularly testing match against James Allen’s Girls School, which they won 1-0. During the presentation ceremony following the tournament, Alexandra Hartemink and Colleen Devlin received awards from the coaches.

Throughout the trip, players were able to take part in a number of special coaching sessions, including ones with former Great Britain international Crista Cullen MBE.

Off the pitch, the pupils got the chance to do a number of exciting activities including bobsleighing, visiting the delicious Pennenkorken Pancake House, exploring the attractions and buildings of Valkenburg and attending a disco.

Head of Hockey Miss Sharon Withington said: “This was a thoroughly enjoyable tour and the girls were a credit to the school in terms of their behaviour and conduct throughout the five days.

“It was good to experience the club set up in other countries and for the girls to get the opportunity to work with Crista Cullen MBE.”