Together, we're SportWays
Hockey club: Real Club de Polo Barcelona
Participant since: 2017
I was eight years old when my two older sisters joined a SportWays overnight hockey camp for the first time. After they arrived back home again, they were super enthusiastic and told me every single story. While I listened, I thought: ‘I really, really want to join SportWays as well’. When I turned 10 years old, my time was finally there. My very first overnight hockey camp! I signed up for the Thomas Briels Hockey Camp at THC Hurley in Amsterdam.
Together with a friend from Barcelona, I flew to the Netherlands. We were both very impressed with the amount of opportunities we got to play with international top hockey players and with how much we learned. Obviously, Thomas Briels is at the camp for almost the entire week. He taught me the backhand and I apparently did well, because I was invited to join the demo with Thomas. Super cool, in my first year! In the years that followed, I joined several other camps and was able to play with other top hockey players, such as Daan Dekker and Steijn van Heijningen. I loved every minute!
It’s the people that make a SportWays camp special. When you’re playing hockey all day, for a full week and with the same people, you build up a special connection. That is something that will never change. And whatever happens, SportWays will always attract the same people: hockey lovers in heart and soul. When you share a passion, you have a connection and will build up a special bond.
The group participants is as different as you could possibly imagine. Different nationalities, and even different continents. And every nationality brings different hockey styles, techniques and tactics. That’s why you do not only learn a lot from the coaches and staff, but also from each other.
At a SportWays hockey camp, for a week, you do everything together. You’re one team. You run the survival, where you need and support each other more than ever. You coach each other through the water element, help each other climb the ladders and push each other to set the fastest time.
You’re not only a team with all the participants. The staff is also a big part of the team. My so-called tent parents have the perfect motivation for me and my tent mates to get us in bed as fast as possible. They cut us a deal: when we were ready to sleep on time, they let us watch part of the movie Shrek. And no movie night is complete without snacks, so we stacked up during our hour off. Those nights were amazing!
Within a week, your campmates become your best friends. As I already mentioned, you do everything together. That is why you have that special connection, and can become great friends so easy and in such a short amount of time. In 2020, I joined a camp alone. On the first day, I met two of my tent mates: Sanvali and Noortje. When I entered our tent, San’s suitcase was scattered all over the place. ‘I really don’t want to know what our tent will look like at the end of the week’ I thought to myself. ‘This is going to be one big mess!’
As the week progressed, we got to know each other better and we had the time of our lives. We did everything together, and our connection got very strong. That strong that we agreed to come back again next year, together. A full year went by, and we kept in touch through WhatsApp. When we saw each other again, at the Elite Prep Hockey Camp, it was as if we never left. We took up where we left off. It was another amazing week, with lots of new memories and even more new friends.
When you join a SportWays camp, you know that you will not be needing your phone at all. You’re playing hockey, playing games and having breakfast, lunch and dinner together. There is not a single moment that you’re alone. This makes it possible for you to build up a special bond with your campmates.
It doesn’t matter with whom you are joining a camp, or which camp you are joining. You will meet great new friends and have the time of your life anyways. That is one of the reasons I come back to SportWays every year. Together, we’re SportWays.
Want to have the time of your life this summer, and experience the same things I did? Check out the SportWays camp calendar and sign up!