Belmont U13 and U12 senior teams travelled to Biarritz during the half term holidays for an incredible rugby and cultural experience of the Basque region. The squad were in high spirits as the action packed itinerary and surprise evening entertainment package that Mr Phillips was putting together was announced. Upon arriving in Bordeaux the team travelled south to Biarritz for a training session to “run the flight out of our young sportsmen!” The morning brought anticipation and excitement as the first fixture approached against Section Paloise. A very physical and bruising encounter was followed by a truly memorable post game reception before the boys from both teams headed to the Stade du Hameau for the Challenge Cup match between Section Paloise and Stade Français. A well-deserved rest and recovery day was planned for the following day and the tour took to the beach for a surfing lesson in the beautiful San Sebastian in the north of Spain. This was followed by a Pelota introductory lesson (the fastest ball sport in the world) which was an incredible experience and fascinating to watch two professionals practice. The day concluded with Mr Phillips famous rugby quiz in which teams were asked to pick a Rugby XV from Super Heroes. I will leave you to select your own XV but with justification for all of their answers a very hotly contested debate followed. The following day the party had an incredible training experience with former professional Rugby player Ben Broster. This prepared the squad for another tough encounter with Biarritz RFC. A spirited performance from both U12 and U13 teams brought the first victory of the tour and once again a superb afternoon of rugby in which Belmont and Biarritz exchanged players and proved what a wonderful community and atmosphere rugby generates. The final day of the tour allowed the boys to once again soak up some of the fantastic culture in and around the Basque region. The tour party travelled to Saint-Jean-de-Luz before travelling to Bilbao to visit the Guggenheim Museum and finally the San Mamés Stadium (the home of Athletic Bilbao and hosts of the European Challenge and Champions Cup in 2018).
The tour provided our boys with an incredible experience and opportunity that they will hold with them for many years to come. They were a real credit to Belmont and it was so lovely watching them work together as a team both on and off the field!
“It was a great experience for all of the boys to travel abroad as a team…Not only was it a chance to play rugby but to bond together. The trip provided us all with a chance to practise our French with the opposition something i’m sure our teachers will be proud of! Thank you to all of the teachers and our parents that made this tour possible it was absolutely fantastic” Toby Skelly
‘The Biarritz Rugby Tour has been by far my most memorable trip at Belmont, we packed so much in during our tour, from playing matches to surfing and going on cultural trips, as well as bonding with my peers. Thank you to Mr Bird and all the Belmont staff that accompanied us for the best trip ever! Ruhan Verma