Last year, Concrete ran a front page story looking at tour (‘What happens on tour stays on tour…’, Concrete 351.) Alas, it did until Concrete published a list of ‘rules’ supposedly given to Netball tour freshers. The article could easily have given the impression to the – pardon the pun – uninitiated that tour was something to be avoided.
I want to write about tour 2019 and explain how it really is…
This year UEA went to Fazana in Croatia with SportsVest. The nearly 30-hour coach journey is certainly character building, and you learn more about your team-mates than you could do in a season of matches! Once you arrive, the accommodation is good, as are the reps. The local supermarket is the place to stock up on food and beverages, a short walk from the resort. Croatian currency has great exchange rates with the pound right now so everything is really cheap there.
The tour operators put on a variety of different activities during the day. There’s a boat party, a pool party and 3G pitches where you can play your sport or try other people’s.
Tour is by far the best way to make friends in your club, you find yourself talking to people you barely knew before and come back best mates – you might even end up making friends with people from other far-flung universities.
From the perspective of my UEA sport club, there is absolutely no obligation for freshers to go on tour. You don’t have to do anything you really don’t want to do, and the old boys and girls all want you to have a good time – why wouldn’t they?
Of course, I don’t know if this is the same with other clubs, however the impression that tour is a repressive hell given by some articles is simply not true. We met Netball on tour and they were all having a great time.
So, how to sum up tour… sure, it makes you grow up. But if you’ve chosen the right club it also gives you the most fun few days of the year. My advice for tour? Bring suncream, an umbrella and make sure you have Swiss Francs in case you make a rogue stop there on the way.
UEA’s week on tour was great and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. Just a pity the grey skies followed us all the way across Europe…