Over Half Term a group of 34 Cheltenham Prep boys enjoyed a rugby tour to Barcelona, open to all boys in Year 7 and 8.
The mixed group, which included a mixed group from U13A to U12B boys, began their tour in Spanish style - hitting the beaches of Sitges for a dip in the sea. After a spot of lunch in town, preparations began for the first tour matches. The B side took on a strong Sant Cugat U12A team and, despite a heroic performance, were unable to penetrate their well organised defence. Just before the A team took the field, coaches found out that the Sant Cugat U14 team the boys faced were not just the National Champions, but hadn’t lost in six years! The The Prep's players found themselves losing 12-10 and up against a well drilled and physical outfit. But the second half saw them raise their intensity and Sant Cugat couldn’t live with this pace: The Prep came away with a 12 point win.
The sore bodies that arose the next morning were treated to breakfast on the harbour and a little more beach time before heading off to the local rugby club where the teams began to prepare for their next matches. Instead of A and B sides, coaches split the boys into two mixed ability teams – Blue and White - which they trained in all morning. After lunch the group headed into Barcelona for a guided tour of the beautiful city and then an inspiring tour of the Nou Camp - the Barcelona Football Club stadium.
Day 3 saw the boys heading to Sitges Rugby Club for a festival of rugby. Along with The Prep's two teams and Sitges', another opponent was expected: the full Andorran U14 national side! Both sides played superbly, with intensity, super handling and great composure in the heat. The Blue and White teams both beat Andorra and The Prep enjoyed one win against Sitges. It was a superb day with some lovely people from all over Europe, who love their rugby. That evening, the players were treated to a game at the Nou Camp: Barcelona vs Granada in a La Liga match.
Sunday even saw the boys bring a bit of Gloucestershire to Catalonia! After the boys hit the beach to ease off their tired bodies, staff lined up a Sunday roast for everyone. Locals were shocked to see 34 lads sitting eating roast chicken on the beach on such a sunny day!
Throughout the trip, the boys were an absolute credit to the school, both on and off the pitch. The Year 7s and 8s integrated well and the attitude from all 34 boys was superb. The staff really enjoyed taking the players away and were very proud of them throughout. We will absolutely be back in 2018.