Raising our game at the GDST hockey weekend
On Friday 24 November, the Year 8 and 9 Hockey team set off for Bath to compete against other Girls' Day School Trust (GDST) schools in a weekend tournament. We had a five-hour drive, picking up Sydenham High School along the way. When we arrived, we moved into our dorm, unpacked, and explored the Bath Christmas markets.
We had an unnaturally early start for a Saturday but were still eager to go out and play our first round of matches. We were in Group C against Nottingham, Norwich, Sydenham and Shrewsbury schools. It was very tough but we battled against the cold and the other teams and ended up winning a match 1-0 against Sydenham. We definitely improved throughout the day and everyone felt really accomplished and excited for the next day of hockey (although we were going to layer up for Sunday!).
On Saturday evening, we met Kate Richardson-Walsh OBE and listened to her inspirational talk about her journey to the Olympics. She also spoke about the importance of teamwork and having a team goal rather than an individual goal. There was a Q&A session afterwards that was both interesting and amusing – she was so friendly and down to earth. We also got our sticks and water bottles signed by her!
That night, we all headed back into Bath for a well-deserved hot chocolate treat, then took a lovely, festive picture in front of the Christmas tree. After that, we all went back to the hostel to get some sleep in preparation for another busy day of hockey.
We got up early on Sunday and travelled to Royal High School Bath for a delicious hot breakfast. Based on our results, we were playing in the Cup round against Newcastle, South Hampstead, Shrewsbury and Portsmouth High Schools. Our first game was against Portsmouth and we drew 0-0. The following matches did not go as well as the first but we managed to stop far more goals than the previous day.
We ended the tournament feeling that we had improved and gained valuable experience. We agreed to take the positives from our weekend and looked back at how much we had improved at working as a team. After we attended the trophy presentations, we got back on the coach feeling happy with our performances, and that we had played the games to the best of our abilities. It was a great weekend of hockey for all of us!
Blackheath High School is an all girls private high school in London.