Sports Tours for the whole school!

Last updated: Nov 2nd, 2022

We love what we do! We love that we create truly unforgettable sporting experiences for students and teachers, that give them the opportunity to not only play their sport against teams from other countries, but experience live professional sport, explore new cultures and learn more about the world around them. But what we love most about what we do, is that it plays a huge part in engaging the younger generation in physical activity and sport, and helps them to understand the positive impact this will have on their physical health and emotional well-being for the rest of their lives.

School Sports Tours give students memories for life. They allow them to associate positive emotions to sport and physical activity. They engage students making them more likely to be life-long participants. So, the more students who can take part on every school sports tour, the better, surely? Let’s think about Sports Tours for the whole school!

We correct the 3 most common misconceptions about a School Sports Tour, proving that Sports Tours for the whole school can be a success!

It’s only for the first-team!

True and False! There is great merit in running a sports tour that gives your team players the opportunity to travel, bond, train and play in another country. Prepping at training sessions on the run up to the tour, fielding a competitive team in your friendly fixtures when you’re on tour, and participating in coaching sessions at professional clubs –  now that’s the making of a Sports Tours those students will never forget! But there’s also room for a Sports Tour that includes those students who either didn’t make the team or haven’t yet engaged with the sport.

Natalie, formerly from Royal Alexandra & Albert School, tells us how she looks beyond the team to give more girls the chance to go on the school’s Netball Tour.

“There are always girls who are disappointed because they didn’t make the netball team – that decision is based on ability. But I don’t want that to be the same for not giving girls the chance to visit another country. I didn’t want the trip to be based on ability. When planning this trip, I took the stance that it doesn’t matter about your netball skill, if you want to come on this trip and you’re willing to dedicate the time, come to training, show a little bit of progression, then you can come on this trip! I feel like it’s a good life lesson – ability doesn’t always trump people in life!”

Our students’ families can’t afford it.

Tom, a PE teacher at Mosslands School, had witnessed first-hand the precious experiences and plethora of benefits associated with travelling away from home and school on an international sports tour. And he knew how important it was to make the opportunity inclusive to all, regardless of economic demographic.

How does he do it?

“Our main aim when planning a tour is ensuring we have what we think is a manageable payment plan for most families. We choose a monthly figure that we believe most families at our school can afford, and that dictates our final budget for the trip. We also have a plan in place to support those who need extra help, which involves things like accessing pupil premium.”

Tom manages to run an annual Sports Tour to New York.

“For us to get 89 pupils signed up to travel in a school with pupils from a low socio-economic background is just remarkable. It was all in the planning. Figuring out monthly finances and lots of time spent with Gemma from Rayburn to provide this experience for our kids. Getting those kids out to New York, giving those kids the experience we’d promised, was the main aim.”

It’s all about the sport

Friendly fixtures come as a standard with our sports tours, and we also offer professional coaching options and plenty of sporting excursions and visits too, but all these elements of a Sports Tour give students transferrable skills and emotional development too.

Natalie elaborates, “we make sure our itinerary has some educational value too – what are they going to learn? Core values, enjoyment, fun, progression and skills that are transferrable, not just practical. We used the bus to travel round Malta [to encourage independence, and self- responsibility], we might stop at excursions and ask questions like “what type of rock is that?” to use their Geography skills for example.”

And giving those students transferrable skills and teaching them sound life-lessons can start right from the moment they sign up for the Sports Tour.

“We adopt pupil led fundraising. We outline the money we need and why we need it then we nominate two girls every week to lead. From cycling the length of Malta to selling fizzy drinks, it increased engagement in physical activity, supported them to progress and gave them some accountability as they had to earn some part of this trip. Girls from different years, friendship groups, cultures and races were brought together through fundraising.”

Our aim at Rayburn Tours is to support teachers to give as many students as we can these incredible experiences that benefit them physically and emotionally, give them memories that last a lifetime and ultimately engage the future generation in sports and physical activity for life!

The great thing about sport is that there’s something for everyone, and that should make our jobs easier, right? Whether you’re a team player or lone ranger, a thrill seeker or a “feet firmly on the ground” kind of person, whether you’re good with a ball, a bat or no equipment at all, there’s a sport out there for everyone to get involved in. We’re not all born to be the next Beth Mead, Harry Kane, Emma Raducanu or Ben Stoakes, and that’s fine, because the great thing about sport is that there’s something for everyone. It’s about ensuring children understand this by engaging them as early as possible. And Sports Tours can be for everyone too…we just have to be willing to think a little outside the box! Let’s get planning Sports tours for the whole school.


Feeling inspired?

Motivated to start planning? Just call us and one of experienced Sports Tours team will be on hand to guide you every step of the way. We’re passionate about sport, and we’re passionate about touring!

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