Aber Camp 2004
The annual Aberystwyth hockey camp took place between the 19th –23rd July 2004. The course is aimed at mixed pupils between the ages of 11-16 of varying ability levels. The pupils get the chance to meet people from different backgrounds with the same enthusiasm for hockey and have the opportunity to improve their hockey skills.
An average day would see everyone (including staff) getting up for breakfast at 8:00 and crashing from exhaustion at 10:30. Everyday was packed to the brim with hockey with the pupils gaining experience on grass and Astro turf pitches. During the week individuals were coached on various different skills essential for the modern game. The Youth Activators were assistant coaches for the five days, and were involved with all aspects of the camp. They had the opportunity to improve their delivery skills from more experienced coaches, which they put into practice in their coaching sessions. The Youth Activators were also involved in the mock Europeans where spookily the Welsh were victorious. They took on various roles including assistant coach, manager, head coach and umpire. Some of their other responsibilities included karaoke (with out the music) and escorting the herd of pupils to and from the hockey pitches. Which was a mammoth task as all 107 of them complained at least once about the size of the hill!
The evenings were just as busy with activities running just after dinner. The mascot making task proved to be interesting, with the activators being left to influence their designated teams. Mascots ranged from an Italian pizza to the victorious Swiss cow. This early victory lead to further success for Switzerland with them winning the scavenger hunt as well! Although, the Swiss couldn’t quite hang on to the end losing to Wales in the final of the mock Europeans. Other activities included ten pin bowling (were some of the staff showed off their SAQ moves), swimming, football, touch rugby and cricket.
The camp was very successful with everyone learning something new from the week. The pupils took away new hockey knowledge and new friends, and the Youth Activators experienced the running of a Hockey Camp for the first time as staff. All the pupils left on the Friday with the threat of returning the following year… hopefully the staff will have recovered by then!
Bethan Walsh -Wales