Alexander’s College – Dragons in Europe

27 Jul 2016

The girls U18 volleyball and boys U18 football team travelled to Antwerp, Belgium, for a sports fixture with Antwerp International School and the American International School of Rotterdam.

We started early, 5:15 when we took the Coach from Alexanders to Dover Ferry Port. Our journey was uneventful and the students took the opportunity to catch up on their sleep! On our crossing of the English Channel our students, looking like a professional team in their tracksuits, took the chance to say goodbye to the British Isles as it disappeared in the mist and to then turn and watch as the French coastline and the port of Calais grew ever closer. For many this was the first time they had set foot on mainland Europe, for others it was simply going back home!

Our journey passed through the beautiful countryside of northern France and then into Belgium taking in the sights of the city of Ghent. The students even took the chance to put down their electronic gadgets and take in the scenery of both countries! When we reached the outskirts of Antwerp we found ourselves in Friday evening rush hour traffic, using Mr Greaves’ Duke of Edinburgh map reading skills (and a few wrong turns) we eventually made it to Antwerp International School where we were met by the opposition Coaches and the Booster club who gave our students a snack before they played their first games.

The boys went to the football field where Mr Kislorincz gave them their first International team talk, he reminded them to play hard but fair and with the spirit of the Alexander Dragons. With Kim forgetting his football boots in the school we were up against it from the start and at half time we were 4-0 down. With some wise words from Mr Kislorincz the team started the second half with fresh impetus. We had the ball cleared off the line which looked like it would give us our first goal on foreign soil. Overall, after a tough game the Dragons played well and the final score was 5-0.

The girls volleyball team stayed at Antwerp and played in their indoor sports hall, the game was being streamed live on the internet and it was great to know we had support from back home! Miss Jesenaoiva was very pleased with the way the girls played and even though we lost 3-0 each set was close and the team spirit was excellent to see.

At the end of both games our students were taken to their host family for the night, this was a great opportunity for our students to immerse themselves in Belgian life, socialising with the students from Antwerp International School.

In the morning the teams had two more games, the American International School of Rotterdam joined us for a three-way competition in both volleyball and football. We had the Alexanders Dragons playing the Antwerp Griffins and Rotterdam Sharks! Our volleyball team played very closely fought games with the Griffins and Sharks and learnt a great deal in their close defeats. Our boys football team again lost 5-0 to the Griffins but came out 5-3 victors against the Sharks, with goals from Yalcin, Arman, Arian and Pablo.

The journey back flew by, with the chanting of ‘ALEXANDERS’ being heard throughout the journey our teams were in high spirits. We stocked up on the obligatory Belgian chocolate on the Ferry and once we reached the magnificent white cliffs of Dover we knew were only a few hours away from returning home.

Overall the two day trip was excellent, the students played with the determination, courage, skill and sportsmanship that epitomises our sports programme at Alexanders. Mr Kislorincz, Miss Jesenaoiva and I were extremely proud of every student who represented us in our first of many trips into Europe.