Middlesbrough’s first and second-year apprentices had the opportunity to develop several personal skills during a team-building day near Keswick in the Lake District.
Organised with outdoor activity organisation Live4Adventure, the teenagers were pushed out of their comfort zone while working on teamwork, communication and personal development.
Twenty players and various staff members, including Under-18s Coaches and Head of Education & Welfare Barry Dawson, took part in canoeing activities and ghyll scrambling, which involved challenge and controlled risk along with lots of fun and laughter.
“I can’t think of a better activity to help generate a positive team environment,” said Under-18s Lead Coach Mark Tinkler. “This bonding experience will stand the boys in good stead for the rest of the season.
“It was also an opportunity for the staff to join in with the lads, helping to build relationships with all the boys, which can only be a good thing.
“It was so good to see the boys realise the importance of working together as a group, giving good communication, understanding individual strengths and weaknesses and helping each other to achieve a common goal, which is everything you need when you cross that white line.”
Under-18s captain Calum Kavanagh said: “Last season was such a difficult start for us. Due to Covid, we weren’t allowed to spend much time in the dressing room and it felt like it took a good six weeks for all of us to gel as a group. By doing this activity in the Lake District, I feel we have all got to know each other so much better and easier than last season.
“The instructors were first class, challenging the group with a range of activities. The lads had a great time and I believe this experience will help us with the challenges that we will face this season.”
First-year apprentice Yacou Traore added: “Coming from London, I had never seen the Lake District before. All those mountains and lakes; I was in awe of the scenery. The actual day, being with my new teammates and taking part in some fun but competitive activities, really helped me to bond with them instantly.
“The different challenges helped us all work together and talk to each other. I did things which I had never done before, like ghyll scrambling and canoeing. I will never forget these experiences.”
Sixteen-year-old Ashley McCarthy said: “We had a really fun and enjoyable day. I think the whole day helped us to bond together and be part of a team, especially the new lads who have just recently joined the club this season.”