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Juniors Welcome Polisportiva Galatea for International Friendly

In March we were honoured to welcome the Italian team Polisportiva Galatea to train and play with our junior members over Easter. We were delighted that they reached out to us on their visit from Sicily and share our love of the sport with

Our first chance to meet them was on Good Friday where we did our best to extend a warm welcome in torrential conditions. Which raised the question: "they might be able to play hockey in sunny Sicily, but can they do it on a wet Friday night in Mangotsfield?"

Well the answer to that question was an emphatic "SÌ"! Our visitors were a great match for the Bristol & West junior players and the session generated much excitement for a match the following day at Lockleaze.

We were today finally blessed with a beautiful spring day. Perfect for an afternoon of amazing youth hockey with our Sicilian visitors (at Lockleaze). We began with two, 40 minute, 7-a-side boys v boys and girls v girls games. After a well deserved rest, the players enthralled the spectators with a fast-paced and intense, mixed game which despite plenty of chances at both ends, ended 0-0. After the game, we hosted our visitors with drinks, delicious teas and gifts. Everyone ended the day wearing huge smiles.

Massive thanks to Redland Ladies for loaning us Pippa, Danni and Meg to supplement our girls. Thanks also to our outstanding umpires Mark Berry and Thom Ruane. Further thanks to Team managers Hugo and Katrina Sheppard and support from Chris Egito and Ollie Harrison.

Finally, below is a letter, thanking us (we are special as the only club in Bristol prepared to host them) and an invitation to Sicily (all ages!). Fyi - the pitch is a 3 minute walk from the beach.... watch this space!

Good evening, I am Annamaria Castiglione Team Manager of Polisportiva Galatea Catania and parent of one of the athletes hosted by you. I would like to thank you on behalf of all the families of our players for the warm welcome given to them and for the activities you kindly organised. Our athletes felt at home and played hockey while experiencing new friendships. I believe that this is the most authentic meaning of sport: bringing together young people from different cultures, opening minds and training the body to raise the spirit. I sincerely hope to be able to reciprocate your welcome should you wish to come to Sicily and I ask you to kindly provide a postal address to which you can send a small gift as a sign of our gratitude. Looking forward to meeting you in person, I send you my warmest regards.

Annamaria Castiglione

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