News Blog

Italian Badminton Tour a huge success

Months of hard work fundraising proved to be well worth for eight Polam pupils, who used the funds to help pay for an action packed badminton tour in Italy.

Many thanks to Ally Sanderson (parent and resident first-aider on the trip) for sharing her real-time write-up of events and for the photographs:

The whole group of 27 set off bright and early from Durham and Tees Valley airport on Sunday 9th April to Rome with 8 Polam senior school students; Katie Bell, Megan Dean, Freya Homes, Thomas Jewkes, Caitlin Minns, James Pickford, Mack Sanderson and Nadeane Sewell and myself as team's nurse!

Travelling via Amsterdam, we arrived in Rome at midday, and were transferred to Hotel Lirico in the heart of the city. A quaint and authentic hotel, which was a great base for our 3 nights here. Quickly unpacked and then off to explore Rome, before a meal; bruschetta, pizza & lasagne followed by Tiramisu, all overlooking the Pantheon.

Day 2, Monday, off to Bracciano to play badminton, before the matches, we met the mayor’s representative and were treated to an amazing lunch and huge pizza’s. Amazing the players could move after all that food! The evening was in a beautiful lake side restaurant, again being hosted by the badminton group and representatives of Bracciano. A very friendly and hospitable group.

Day 3, Tuesday, No badminton today….so up and off on our walking tour of Rome. We saw the outside of colosseum (as the queues were 3 hours long!); Vatican; Sistine chapel; St. Peter’s; Trevi fountain; Spanish steps; Pantheon, plus so many more sights. We all had a packed lunch overlooking the city in the shade, as we were blessed with sunshine all day. The group took the metro back to hotel as our feet were sore and it was a busy as London peak hours! Lovely evening meal just across the road from hotel, relaxing after our busy day.

Day 4, Wednesday, a small group got up very early to avoid queues and return to colosseum. 8 girls (3 being leaders) set off and were exploring inside the colosseum by 9am, then time for shopping, gelato and cappuccino, before returning to meet the rest of the group to travel to venue near Vesivius to play badminton with the Cercola group. We then enjoyed another meal at a local restaurant before setting off to Naples, arriving late at the sweet sleep B&B. Up 6 flights of stairs and settled into rooms….relax after another packed day!

Day 5; Thursday and off to Herculaneum, with our guide Pina. A very enthusiastic and informative lady. Maybe too much information for some, plus it was very warm again. Meeting the local mayor and then a quick lunch then off to play badminton against Cercola again, they were all playing well and improving their communication skills with the Italian players.

Day 6, Good Friday; lets climb Vesuvius….a steady and steep incline, which many of them sprinted up! Amazing scenery, but thankfully no signs of activity apart from odour of sulphur. Then off for badminton near Sorrento playing against Picentia badminton club.

Day 7; Easter Saturday, Travelled to Ischia; a beautiful island off the Amalfi coast. A great ferry trip, which stunning scenery. Met the mayor, and badminton against Ischia club, in an amazing venue. We found a lovely local pizza place for evening meal, and dash to get Ferry back to main land, followed by a slightly earlier night.

Day 8; Easter Sunday; the amazing Pompeii with Pina, our guide from Herculaneum. So interesting and well preserved. Then off to play badminton, whilst the female leaders were tasked with finding a location for our last evening meal in Naples. We found ‘I Re di Napoli’, overlooking the bay of Naples. A great last evening, then back to pack and get organised for early start on Monday.

Day 9; Monday, travel to Paris, then Amsterdam; a 4 hour coach trip to see the sights and get our gelato points, with free ice creams. Then back to the airport to catch our flights back to Teesside.

An amazing trip, the children were excellent and really enjoyed the whole experience of Italy and playing badminton with many different groups.




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