I’m a full-time teacher and sports coach, so what’s in it for me? Now that is the burning question that will linger in your mind for all a millisecond when thinking about planning school sports tours. It’s a question that is quickly quashed when you’ve ‘been there and done it’ so to speak. We speak to Gemma Howell, Rayburn Tours, Sports Tours Sales Manager, and general sports fanatic about her thoughts on this.
School Sports Tours see students and teams shine, young people and players with little confidence thrive and grow, and an overwhelming response from teachers that the teacher / pupil bond steps up a notch! Are they just some of the reasons why going above and beyond is worth every minute?
Gemma would certainly say so…
“I know from being immersed in sport throughout my younger years, up until now and being lucky enough to work with schools and teams to get their touring dreams off the ground that the benefits of touring as a team in school years reaps a whole heap of rewards for all involved; with both teachers and pupils reaping the benefits…“
The chance for students to take their sport to another country, to experience new environments, to visit places that take them beyond their comfort zone, to enhance and improve their teams cohesivity, challenge their existing thinking and to give them a new outlook and a different perspective on the world are so valuable. High level that’s a pretty good resume of the benefits associated with school sports tours!
Away from the sport and physical learning journey, providing opportunities for students to travel away from home and the school environment with their mates have also long been proven to improve both physical and mental health and enhance wellbeing. The outcome being that students and teachers are guaranteed to return to the school feeling reinvigorated. We need this feeling more now than ever before!
There are also those students that we must not forget; those that don’t necessarily thrive well in the school setting, will never play on the first team and in the context of having the opportunity to join the school sports tour, will often present a unique opportunity and setting for them to shine! It’s another illustration of how making sports tours as inclusive as possible, inviting all to get involved, putting these opportunities ‘out there’ will see us work together with a shared and combined vision to engage more young people in everything we know and love about playing sport.
From both the teacher and pupil perspective, motivation levels to achieve and work as a team certainly reach new heights!
“There are also those students that we must not forget; those that don’t necessarily thrive well in the school setting, will never play on the first team and in the context of having the opportunity to join the school sports tour, will often present a unique opportunity and setting for them to shine!”
There’s also the added benefit of being in an informal setting with your team, giving you time to talk to them, getting to know them and finding out what makes them tick. On the flip reverse, it’s also a chance for students to appreciate that teachers and coaches are real people with real lives outside of the classroom, establishing a bond and developing a trusting relationship.
Organising school sports tours on top of an already busy workload is of course very time demanding. You have to manage a budget, assess risk and lead not only students but staff too. But there is no doubt, the rewards far outweigh the challenges. I and all the teachers and coaches I have worked with to date often share their emotions about what a privilege it is to be able to share these experiences with young people and witness their achievements and emotions as they experience the world around them. In nutshell, that is why going above and beyond as a teacher to arrange a sports tour is worth every minute!
“You know why you do it, when you hear all the students talking about their favourite moments to their parents when they are collected from school at the end of the tour!”
Dorrie Morley, All Saints Academy
Are you ready to go ‘above and beyond’?
Seeing students grow in confidence, experience new places, have “a lightbulb moment” and fall in love with sport right before your eyes, makes every minute of planning worthwhile.
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