Bradley Stoke Youth FC – Under 13s on tour!

U13s-tour-2016-featOn a typical bank holiday weekend, wet and windy, BSYFC u13s set off to Woolacombe, in Devon, to compete in the Woolacombe Bay Championships 2016.

On arrival at Golden Coast Holiday Park everyone was delighted to be allocated lodges within easy reach off each other (no hunting around looking for a missing member of the party!). After a bite to eat and, having watched the somewhat dubious entertainment on the evening, it was time to retire to bed ready for the first day of the competition on Saturday.

Saturday arrived and brought with it sunny, cold and windy weather but no rain, thank goodness! After a 20 minute journey to the venue we arrived ready to play the first of 3 games scheduled for that day. Success followed as the boys won their first 2 games but lost the third. Teams from all over England competed and it was amusing how seriously some teams took the competition and how relaxed others were. Saturday night saw everyone taking part in Bowling (I am not sure who was more competitive the children or the parents) but enormous fun was had by all. Onto the evening’s entertainment and the parents certainly enjoyed themselves whilst the children were a little more restrained!

On Sunday morning, in the pouring rain, we headed back to the football pitches to play our last 2 games. Whilst we were unlucky not to make the final we did finish an impressive 4th in our league. The U13s conducted themselves in a very positive manner and their coaches were immensely proud of them, as were the parents.

Sunday evening was presentation night and every child was given a medal for participating, with trophies for the winning team from each age group. Every child met and had their photograph taken with John Hartson, ex Arsenal and West Ham player, who also gave a motivational speech. Another night’s entertainment followed and a great time was had.

Monday morning dawned and it was still raining. Spirits failed to be dampened as, with the cars loaded, we headed to our last activity of the tour, Wave Surfer. This is an indoor Surfing Simulator and all the children participated along with several adults. They had a fantastic time learning the art of surfing with several participants being able to kneel up on their boards by the end of the session (not easy when 60 000 gallons of water shoot by every minute). It really was a fabulous activity and the beaming smiles from everyone at the end were great to see.

This was the end of our 2016 tour and we returned to our cars, to start the journey home, tired but very happy.

Special thanks must go to Dawn at Tesco Extra, Bradley Stoke for letting the boys bag pack on a Saturday to raise much needed funds. Thanks also to Bristol Rovers FC and Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre, who very kindly donated raffle prizes for a fundraising event held earlier in the year. Your support is very much appreciated.

Bring on our 2017 Tour!

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