Photo gallery: St Benet’s Wasps host players from Hoevelaken for weekend of football
St Benet’s Wasps Football Club kept up a long-running tradition this weekend as they hosted three teams and their families from Hoevelaken in Holland.
The group of 86 arrived in Beccles on Thursday evening to settle in with their host families from the club, before being treated to a weekend of sightseeing and football tournaments.
The exchange started in 1991, and now teams from both countries travel to visit and play against each other every three years.
However this weekend was the last time that SC Hoevelaken will play against the Wasps under their current name, following the merger between St Benet’s and Beccles Town FC to form Beccles Town Youth.
Carl Wright, part of the St Benet’s Wasps organising committee, said: “It is always a very popular event because it is not everyday that you get to play against kids from a different country and culture.
“The players really enjoy it and it is competitive but fun.
“This is the last time we will be playing as St Benet’s Wasps but we will still be continuing the tradition.”
Three teams made up of under 10s, under 12s and under 14s travelled over for the trip, with many visiting for the second or third time.
On Friday the group were taken for a tour of Carrow Road and Norwich city centre, before returning to the Wasps’ nest off Common Lane in Beccles for football matches and a barbecue.
Yesterday morning the families were given free time to explore Beccles visiting the clock tower and the quay, before gearing up for an afternoon of football, including an England vs Holland game between the parents.
Their visit was rounded off with a presentation and party at Beccles Sports Centre yesterday evening, where every player was presented with a medal, sponsored by Ellough-based ASAP Supplies.
Henrietta Van Dusschoten, who is part of the SC Hoevelaken committee, was visiting the Wasps for her third time.
She said: “Everyone is very excited to be here and they are such lovely people.
“Six months ago we told the children which teams would be coming over to England and since then they have been really looking forward to it.
“Some people have been before and are staying with their same host families again because they enjoyed it so much.
“We don’t see each other often but we have all built some great friendships.”
Next year will be the turn of St Benet’s Wasps to travel over to Holland, and the youngsters will get the chance to play with teams from Holland, Germany and France during their trip.