On the 25th of March Ms.Beades, Ms Digby,Gudgie and thirty feisty hockey players departed the school at 1.30 am, heading for the sun, sea and Spanish lads! When we arrived we were photo3greeted by Carlos,our tour guide, and the 20 degrees heat at eleven in the morning.

coachWe got to our hotel and after unloading left for the hockey pitch to meet our new coach, Rickie who plays in the Spanish first division himself. To our excitement, the pitch at the Rentamar Hockey club was water based, on the top of a hill over looking the sea. We had a two hour training session. The weather was fabulous – as was Rickie. Later on we cooled off in the hotel pool, had dinner and then went exploring the town.


We had a relaxing morning the next day sunbathing by the pool and at the beach until 1.30 when we left for training. Rickie had found us Irish girls too much to handle on the first day so he brought in back up in the form of Danny, another not too shabby Spanish man. The training was more intense on the second day as the coaches got to know us better. Before playing our matches, Rickie took us to a pizzeria and Steph took a visit to the police station… to collect her purse which had been stolen earlier!pool


We returned to the pitch at six for the first of our matches against local Spanish teams. The A team were up first against Rickie’s local team CH Benalmadena, and held them to a tight draw. The B’s had a great game against CH Malaga. Back at the hotel we had a late dinner followed by several desserts! We then had a late night fuelled by sugar from the local supermarket. The next morning we checked out the local shops and then hit the pool before an amazing three hour training session where we learnt many new skills and tactics.anna


Our own Connacht star Anna McGann then taught Rickie some hockey of her own before the second night of matches, the teams playing the opposite teams of the night before. We put the skills we learnt into practice and found our team play had really improved. Congratulations to Anna who so impressed Rickie that he invited her back in the summer to play with his team!



There were several minor injuries over the course of the trip but only one resulted in a trip to hospital with Lucy returning with seven stitches but still smiling. There were tearful faces as we said our last goodbyes to Rickie and Danny. Some of us (ahem Ms Beades) stayed behind to get contact details from the boys.

At the airport we waved goodbye to Carlos and his sign and then nearly missed the flight thanks to Gudgie’s time keeping… once again! We all agreed that it was the best trip ever and we’ll never forget the memories we made… or Rickie! Thanks a million Gudgie! Many thanks also to Niamh Coughlan who organised the team shirts, and to Ms Beades who was in charge of the fleeces.





Report by Emma Kennedy & Anna McGann.

A fuller version of this report will appear in Spectrum 2014