Elms Corporate is an enthusiatic supporter of one of our local schools, The Bishop’s Stortford High School, taking a particular interest in the school’s sporting endeavours. Last week the school undertook a tour of Holland, teaching rugby and cricket skills to Dutch school children and helping the Dutch students to improve their English.
Peter Harris, the school’s subject leader for Physical Education, has told us all about the trip.
“We arrived in Holland at 12.30pm on Monday after leaving Bishop’s Stortford at 4am, and walked straight into our first coaching session at Dorenweerd College which consisted of two groups of 40 Dutch students aged 13. We had been invited to coach two typically English sports to help the students gain an understanding of the English traditions and to be immersed in the language as throughout the three-hour sessions everyone was expected to speak in English. The students were very receptive to the coaching sessions and thoroughly enjoyed the rugby especially the tackling aspect.
“On Tuesday morning we delivered a three-hour rugby clinic to 35 students from Lorentz Lyceum and the students really took to the game as we developed their skills through a range of coaching drills building up to a game at the end. Fortunately we were based at a local rugby club for this so had access to a range of coaching tools which certainly helped the students’ tackling. One group played a full-contact game with some excellent tackling being demonstrated but they needed to work a little on their flat-line defence.
“In the afternoon we travelled to Kandinsky College and taught 75 students a combination of rugby and cricket with the students choosing which they would like to do. The popular choice was rugby and with plenty of space we were able to run through the basics of the game and then put them into a semi-contact game at the end.
“On Wednesday we were afforded a well deserved lie-in before travelling to Maasland College where we were asked to deliver cricket and discuss the history of the game with the students. This college recently finished 3rd in the country in an U14 cricket competition and were keen for us to introduce their 1st year students to the game to lay the foundations for next year’s assault on the competition. In total we coached 90 students today and they seem enthused to become involved with the cricket coaching next year ready to try and become national champions.
“Thursday was our final and longest day in Holland, spent at Isendoorn school teaching 125 students which was a challenge as we offered them a choice of cricket or rugby and worked with the numbers that chose it. The rugby went very well with the students being taught all the basic skills and building up to a full-contact match at the end which was fiercely contested. Much discussion was had about the game of cricket at the Dutch students couldn’t get their heads around how a match could last five days and at the end of it there could be no winner but they developed the basic skills and enjoyed playing a ‘typically’ English game. The journey back to Bishop’s Stortford was smooth and the four 17 year old boys enjoyed making loom bands in the back of the car much like a primary school arts and crafts lesson.”