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Barcelona Summer Cup Report

22 August 2016

On Monday 27th June, IIL set off on their trip to Tarragona, Spain to participate in The Barcelona Summer Cup football tournament. IIL had four teams representing the school with over 35 students making the trip.

The tournament consisted of several age categories competing in separate tournaments over the course of 3 days. Teams travelled from afar as the United States of America and Mauritius to take part in this fantastic combination of football and holidays.

Day 1 Monday

A flight at 9.25am meant an early meeting at Geneva airport for all the students and parents waving the teams off. Upon arriving in Barcelona, we were transferred directly to the tournament facilites in Salou, Tarragona for registration and age check. The facilities were outstanding with 8 full size fields and a modern gallery/ changing facilities that overlooked all of the action.

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After completing registration, we were transferred to our accommodation, the four star hotel Best Cambrils. The students were extremely excited to check into their rooms with their friends. After checking in and getting refreshed, we all took a walk through the resort before stopping to have some lunch at a local restaurant.

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After lunch we unpacked our suitcases and explored the facilities of the hotel before getting ready for our evening meal. The hotel’s restaurant was very popular with the students as there was always a wide variety of dishes to choose from.

The students were then treated to watching some of the Euro 2016 competition before settling down to bed before an early start on the Tuesday and the beginning of their first matches.

Day 2 Tuesday

After breakfast, we were transported to the facilities to begin preparation for our first matches. Each of the IIL teams was assigned a coach who would be with them for all of the tournament. The conditions were extremely hot and so we made sure everyone had the appropriate sun protection and water to hydrate. All of the teams played two 40 minute matches throughout the morning before finishing at around 12.30pm.

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After lunch the students enjoyed an afternoon cooling off in the hotel pool, relaxing and making friends with the other teams staying at the hotel. In the evening we all decided to visit the beach to watch the sun go down and have some fun in the waves before bedtime once more.

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Day 3 Wednesday

Once again , after an early wake up call and some breakfast for energy, we were taken to the tournament grounds to compete in the final group stage matches. The heat was intense and the students made an excellent effort to compete despite the difficult conditions.

The teachers found the heat exhausting and they weren’t even playing!

In the evening after diner, the students were given free time around the hotel to play various games such as pool and air hockey before settling down to bed for preparation of the final day of games.

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Day 4 Thursday

The students woke up feeling refreshed and ready for their final day of football. The teams all had some thing to play for with a chance of winning a cup depending on how their results went.

IIL 2006 boys finished their group games strongly eventually managing to end up in third place behind two extremely strong Spanish sides.

Both IIL 2004 boys teams ended up playing against each other in a B final match to decide 5th and 6th place. In a close game with chances a either end, IIL boys A prevailed and won the match, meaning IIL b finished in a respectful 6th place.

IIL girls team had a playoff for 3rd and 4th position against a Finnish team whom they drew against in the group stages. Once more the match was very close and was decided by a superb free kick from the Finnish side with the score finishing 1-0. The girls can hold their heads high as they performed to the best of their capabilities and finished 4th in the tournament.

All the teams were presented with a tournament medal and IIL came away with 3 cups to their name. All the teams gave their all, especially against some very strong opposition. Overall despite some results, all the students came away from the tournament with a smile on their faces and gained some valuable experience.

After the presentations for all the teams the bus headed back to the hotel for lunch. The teachers thought it was best that the students get some much needed rest and downtime to spend in their rooms and out of the sun for a while.

The students took the opportunity to get some sleep, refresh and recharge their batteries, as they knew they had something to look forward to in the evening….Crazy golf and Trampolining.

After evening dinner, we all took a visit to a local crazy golf and activity centre where the students had a few hours to have some fun.

By the time we had finished taking part in the activities, it was getting dark and so we walked back to hotel to get ready for bed.

Day 5 Friday

The students were very excited to wake up due to the fact we were visiting Barcelona’s Stadium, Camp Nou! After an hour long journey to the city, we finally arrived at our destination. We split off into groups to take a tour of one of the most famous stadiums in the world. The students enjoyed walking around the exhibitions and looking at memorabilia from players both past and present. It was amazing to see just how many trophies Barcelona have won since they were originally formed. After a tour of the museum the students had the opportunity to take an extended tour of the stadium, taking in its beautiful views, famous corridors,changing facilities, and media posts.

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After the tour had ended, the students had the opportunity to buy Barcelona merchandise and souvenirs in the official club shop. We took a bus transfer into the heart of Barcelona city centre where we stopped and had our picnic lunch in Place de Catalunya.

Although the city was bustling and very busy we decided to take a stroll through the streets and explore a bit of the city during the afternoon.

The walk was difficult for some students as they had suffered injuries earlier in the week. However, the majority managed to manoeuvre the cobbled backstreet until we finally found ourselves along Barcelona’s famous beach. The students took the opportunity once more to cool off by dipping their feet in the sea.

After walking back to our pick up point, the bus transferred us once more back to our hotel where we settled down for evening dinner. Most of the students were exhausted after a long day travelling and walking and decided to go to bed early and pack their suitcases to get some rest before our final day at the waterpark and our evening flight home.

Day 6 Saturday

After breakfast, we all checked out of our rooms and prepared to take our final trip to Portaventura waterpark.

After applying plenty of suncream, the students set off in groups to the various rides and attractions, including the slides, lazy river and wave machine. I think the teachers enjoyed themselves just as much as the students did!

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After 3 hours of pure adrenaline and fun in the waterpark, it was time to leave in order to eat our picnics. Upon returning to the hotel, the students were given free time for an hour before we set off for our transfer to the airport.

Our flight was delayed by a few hours but none of the students complained and were still in high spirits on what was truly a memorable week.

Upon arriving back at Geneva airport, we were met with a huge round of applause form all the IIL parents as we entered through the doors of arrivals.

It was an absolute fantastic week with the right balance of football and fun. It was a pleasure taking this group of students away as they behaved, respected other guests, staff and players, were polite and kept us laughing the whole time. Thank you for all your efforts and you represented IIL on and off the pitch fantastically. Well done everyone and I look forward to repeating the trip again next year.