12 December

My week (on NCS!): Rovers youth team

Doncaster Rovers youth team embarked on their NCS adventure last week, exploring the depths of the Peak District.

Challenging themselves on exhilarating outdoor activities, the group have been tackling adrenaline-fuelled adventures like canoeing, rock climbing and abseiling.

They kept a diary of their week on NCS so that we could have an insight of what it's like on the National Citizen Service.

Monday: We got to the Keepmoat Stadium at lunchtime; ready to depart on our journey to Ravenstor in the Peaks. We got there in good time and straight away had loads of team building activities out on the site to do before dinner. The rest of the night was spent socialising by playing Fifa and pool!

 

Tuesday: We woke up at around 8 and had breakfast in the hostel before meeting our instructor for the day. By 9:30am, we were on route for a 9-mile mountain hike. At first we were a little apprehensive with the thought of it but the views were amazing and it was really good to challenge ourselves. At stop offs during the hike we had the chance to abseil off a bridge and rock climb, which were amazing experiences and a few of us even conquered our fear of heights, so it felt great to complete the activities.  After the hike, we headed back to the hostel to get a shower and chill out before dinner. We watched the Man Utd game and had team bonding games into the evening.

 

Wednesday: Our activity on the Wednesday was based in Matlock, which was a fair drive from the hostel, so we had an earlier start but once we got there it was so worth it. We went caving in the morning and spent two hours exploring the most extraordinary caves. A lot of us had never caved before, so it was a great experience and a real thrill as we negotiated through tight spaces and pools of water. After lunch, we then went canoeing in the afternoon. About half way round the lake, we decided to play a game, which resulted in us all falling in the water! We were in stitches laughing but it was freezing so we were grateful when we got back to the hostel to a warm fire and dinner ready. There were plenty of team building activities to do in the evening, which perfectly ended a great day in the Peaks!

 

Thursday: Thursday was our last day on the away residential, so after breakfast and a few team-building activities we set off back to Doncaster so that we wouldn’t hit traffic. The few days in the Peaks went so quick and on the way back, we were all discussing how great the next two phases of the programme were going to be.

 

Friday: The next activity on our NCS journey wasn’t until 2:00pm, so on Friday morning we followed our normal routine and got to the training ground early ready to put some graft in. After a quick shower and feed, we were back at the Keepmoat Stadium ready to be greeted by athletes from the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. We spent the afternoon with them as part of our NCS programme and the workshops were so good. They gave us problem-solving tasks and we had to work together to figure them out. In between workshops, they also told their story of how they became a professional athlete in their respective sport and how they overcame problems throughout their career, such as injury. Their stories were so inspirational and really gave us great advice that we can apply to our own careers in football. It’s also so great to know how many opportunities are out there if you work hard.

 

Saturday: We had officially completed week 1 of our NCS journey by the end of play on Friday, so on Saturday we were back to the normal routine and had a job to do at St Georges Park against Burton. Despite conceding, we comfortably won the game 3-1 and Kane Bingley even bagged a bicycle kick! The week away really helped our team strengthen relationships and I think that showed on the pitch; we’re now 5 games undefeated so hopefully we can continue to build this strong form! Next week we’ll be doing the next phase of NCS, we can’t wait.

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