Thursday 6 April 2017

Tour Report: BATs S1 to Windermere

26 players and nine coaches headed off to Windermere on Friday 31 March. It would be lovely to say the parents waved their offspring away with heavy hearts and damp eyes but I suspect it was more with an eye on the gin or prosecco and an opportunist approach to a weekend free of X-box, sweaty socks and (almost) teenage grunts.

The tour party joined around 200 other players from various teams across the north of England and Scotland, and we had a ball.

Saturday morning dawned to a deluge that would not have looked out of place in the Amazon Rain Forest, although the heat was somewhat lacking. We played one game, losing heavily against our old friends from Ponteland, thanks mainly to having to play against the tide. We then threw in a very damp towel and adjourned to the youth hostel to wring out the players and throw large bundles of dirty washing into the laundry room - and that is the only dirty washing that will be mentioned as 'what goes on tour, stays on tour’.

We enjoyed an afternoon in the trees of Brockhole and zooming down a 250m zip wire, before the boys donned their trunks (and one Dad sported his Speedos) to take Windermere’s answer to an ice bath. The boys seemed oblivious to the temperature of the water and were in and out like a fiddler’s elbow for a couple of hours. Nathan emerged with the Seal Award for being in the water virtually all afternoon and only deciding to come out when an iceberg floated past Ambleside Pier.

Sunday dawned sunny and bright and, after travelling by boat to Windermere Rugby Club, we played Hartlepool and Percy Park. We lost to Hartlepool, despite scoring first. With just a little bit of luck we could have pulled off a victory. We certainly did not stumble against Percy Park, winning by nine tries to three. It was a fantastic squad effort to round off the weekend and see us finish on a par with Percy Park and Ponteland, showing just how far the squad has travelled both as a team and individuallly in the past 12 months.

Thanks to everyone who helped plan and deliver the tour and to those who came along to support. We have arranged medical appointments for some players so they can be surgically separated from their phones, iPads etc and we will also ensure that we can manage the period of cold turkey.

The P7s were also at the Windermere tournament and won their category. Well done boys, it was great to tour with you.

BATs S1 touring squad displaying the new BATs' shirt

BATs S1 in action against Percy Park at the Windermere tournament


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