UK Youngsters Head to Switzerland

Howard Wiseman & Dominique Redmond report:

Nineteen young Fives players from Emanuel School, Alleyn's School and St. Olave's Grammar School, all took part in this year's REFCA May Half Term visit to the Lyceum Alpinum in Zuoz, Switzerland. 

The combined group of pupils all became very good friends across the week, and were all mixed in to form three distinct teams for which they accumulated their points across a number of Fives shot-drills and challenges across a number of sports. These included football, basketball, tennis and even a daily quiz-time before bed each day. There was also plenty of time for a mountain-biking and picnic trip, a waterfall hike and various challenges that even included submersion in freezing cold melt-water - very refreshing!

More Fives was played than would usually be achieved in a term, and the improvement in the players' confidence and ability was clear by the end of the week-long trip.The food and accommodation was all superb and the trip was a huge success. We all send our thanks to everyone at the Lyceum who took such good care of the group.

One of the many highlights of the trip was the involvement of the host school girls and boys who joined in with club-night every evening and who entered 12 players into the "Lindt Challenge". This event mixes all players together across six one-set matches, with the four highest scorers pairing up to create a final. Every participant donates a Lindt bar of chocolate as their entry fee, and the winning pair takes the lot. Over 30 entries! Tom Marwood (Emanuel) and Jon Aderanti (St. Olave's) won 12-11 against Dylan Hutcheson (Emanuel) and Kieran Kang (St. Olave's). There was also a fantastic evening-long fixture between the tourists and the hosts in which some 20 one-game matches were played, with all seven courts in constant use.

The trip coincided with Matthew Wiseman residing at the Lyceum for one month as the Fives professional. This helped to produce a flow of a Lyceum pupils to join in with the tourists. It was great to see so many staff at the Lyceum enjoying playing the game, as well as the pupils.

A "Fives Cannon", developed by Matthew, had been ordered by the Lyceum and arrived during our visit. It was a great sight to see Lyceum girls and boys eagerly queuing with nervous excitement, to face the cuts that the machine was about to unleash on them!

A wonderful afternoon was spent in Zurich on the last day of the trip. Swimming in the lake and playing football in the park was such a pleasure in this truly beautiful city.

The trip was organised and run by Dominique Redmond with Andrew Rennie and Howard Wiseman in attendance at all times and assisting whenever needed.

Pupils from any school are welcome to take part in the REFCA Fives holidays/tours and any interested parties should approach Dominique Redmond for more information regarding future trips.

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