AKS hockey players have embarked on their dream tour of Australia, and have agreed to share their diary from Down Under with AllStars. Here’s the first instalment.
Day 1 (Wednesday July 6)
The day finally arrived when 32 excited pupils and five equally excited staff arrived at school for the start of their long-awaited Australia hockey tour.
The journey to Manchester Airport was followed by the first of many check ins.
The long flight , with a stopover in Dubai , was filled with lots of eating, watching videos, playing games and some even managed to get some sleep before landing in Singapore.
Arrival at the Raffles Hotel was followed by a traditional English afternoon tea.
After plenty to eat and drink, it was time for a look around the hotel before a ride on a Trishaw – a cross between a tricyle and a rickshaw.
The Trishaw Uncles greeted the girls with warm smiles and then 19 trishaws set off in an impressive line through the streets.
Lots of photos, laughs and waves followed as the party weaved through Chinatown and back to the hotel to change into tour kit again for the next leg of the journey.
After another long flight, cheers went up as they touched down in Australia.
The first stop in Melbourne was BAE Australia for a very interesting talk on exactly what the company does in the UK and Australia.
The school presented a commemorative plaque and tie as a thank you and then it was off to Greensborough to meet ther first hosts, Greensborough Hockey Club.
The girls spent the day with their hosts. They were treated to visits to an animal sanctuary, where they saw baby kangaroos and wombats, the theatre, the Eureka Tower and an ice cream parlour and were generally spoiled rotten.
It was now down to the business with the first match against Greensborough Hockey Club.
Greensborough had the lion’s share of early possession but good defending kept the scores level at half-time.
AKS started the second half more positively but Greensborough took the lead when AKS failed to clear a shot before the tourists played some of their best hockey.
They were rewarded with just two minutes left, when Yasmin Zakrzewski swept an unstoppable shot to equalise.
But with legs tiring at the end of the game, Greensborough’s star player scored at the second attempt.
In match two against Greensborough, AKS again started slowly.
Great tackling thwarted Greensborough’s attacks in the first 10 minutes but the hosts broke the deadlock before half-time, after which they sealed a 2-0 win.
The third game was against Greensborough’s top team.
Applying constant pressure, Greensborough deserved to go ahead when they converted one of their many corners to lead at half-time.
Greensborough caught AKS napping again but a good move down the right saw Ella Ross slot home and make it 2-1.
Both sides had chances but it was Greensborough found the net to win 3-1.
After the presentations, it was time to say goodbye and it was off to the hotel in Melbourne that would be their base for the next three days.