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Engaging students in physical activity and sports

FREE WEBINAR – Engaging students in physical activity & sports: The role touring can play…


Tuesday 21st June 2022, 4:30pm – 5:30pm

We’ve bought together a panel of teachers and sports leaders in schools, who are eager to share their experiences and the benefits of touring. They’ve come together to share their tips on planning, making tours more inclusive and how these experiences have a unique impact on engagement in sport and physical activity. Following the experiences of the last couple of years, never has this insight been more valued and needed.


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Adam Morrison


Adam works at Priestnall School in Cheshire, which is in a relatively affluent area where there has always been a high level of support from parents for international tours to go ahead. He currently manages two tours for the school– a European ski trip and an Orlando sports tour.

He wishes to press home to everyone that while it’s a given that arranging an international trip is time-consuming, opening good lines of communication with parents, working with the right tour operator and travelling with a good support network of teaching staff is vital. All are game changers to a successful tour, and Adam will share his top tips with you…

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    “The relationship with Rayburn is vital. It takes a whole load of stress away from you as tour leader. It reduces the amount of time you need to dedicate to making arrangements, in an arena that is out of your knowledge or comfort zone and if parents have questions, I have a team of specialists to turn to provide the answers. It’s also vital in ensuring your parents and children have the final protection they need. Having originally planned to travel during the pandemic, we learned that this level of support was vital.

    “I would also say, don’t underestimate the value of travelling with the right team of support staff. Get them on board early in the planning stages and delegate out roles. I choose my team based on a whole load of factors, such as they’re involved in Guiding or Scouting, or they have a key role in our D of E programme – you’ll be able to use their experience to help you no end, and they’ll bring a whole host of knowledge and associated benefits to the tour.”

    Adam credits the reason for having such strong support from parents to the fact that they are involved fully in the planning and decision-making process. “The new world of ‘Teams’ and ‘Zoom’ has certainly made increased levels of communication so much easier to maintain.“

    “For our next trip, we put out two options and asked parents to vote. Orlando vs Milan, and Orlando was, of course, the winner. They just want the best sporting experience for their kids and when they are only paying for one child, they will do everything possible to find the funds and make it happen.  In terms of football and sport, Orlando certainly has it all!”

    “As teachers we must remind ourselves that these trips are real game changers for young people. It’s probably the only place they will gain this type of experience. The tours nurture a lifelong love and interest in travel, culture, and sport. They also have a positive impact on attendance and behaviours. We use it as a carrot to motivate students. They’ll go a bit further for you. Work that bit harder and dedicate themselves fully.”

    As teachers we need to keep raising the bar for our children…


Tom Kershaw

Assistant Head of Physical Education

Stepping up to take on the responsibility of arranging inclusive sports tours for the students at Mosslands School, a school based in an area with significant deprivation and SEN students, was a bold move for Tom. Picking up from a predecessor who could no longer commit to the role of arranging the school sports tours, he knew one thing – there wasn’t a chance he was letting these experiences grind to a halt.  The students at Mosslands needed these tours.

With the support of his Head, he set the bar high.  He would run two trips every 2 years. One in Europe for the football team and a second one to New York with a focus on inclusivity, giving as many children as possible the opportunity to get involved. He had a plan on how he would achieve this and, my goodness, it’s a truly inspirational plan – and now he shares some of his top tips with you!

Welcome on board Tom…

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    Tom wears many hats in his school, with the role of tour organiser being one of his most rewarding.

    He is passionate about touring and the life changing effect they can have on children at his school. Due to the financial situation of many families in his area, his plan for the New York trip was very much focussed on budget and cramming in as many varied experiences into the itinerary as possible. He wanted as many children as possible to experience sporting experiences they would never get to engage with here in the UK and he wanted the tour base to be somewhere where most of the children would never have the opportunity to travel to with their family.

    He planned well in advance, set what he deemed to be an affordable monthly payment plan in place, and sourced funding options should they be required.

    In Tom’s words…

    “Some students will never get another opportunity like this, it’s a massive life skill to experience a different culture, to go abroad. Also for some children who are in care, they’ll never experience this is their lives. It’s huge for our students.”

    The school commits to an annual cycle of touring, nurturing the exceptional skills of the school football team on the European tour, and enrolling a huge number of pupils on the New York trip.

    “It’s a whole holistic experience that our students will gain from these tours.”

    Tom worked closely with his ‘go to’ at Rayburn, Gemma, spending months and months ensuring that together they were providing the right experience for the students.

    “With the pandemic, and its impact on the education and mental health of young people, it made it all the more important to get our students to New York. The main drive was the experience, if we were going to lose a few quid then so be it, but Rayburn helped us out a lot with that. Getting those kids out to New York, giving those students the experience we’d promised was always the main aim.”

    Tom talks proudly of his headteachers mantra when it comes to the educational provision that Mosslands School provides. “Our school is committed to supporting our children to become lifelong learners and good citizens ready to contribute positively to the wider, diverse community.  We strive to build ambition in each and every student by creating high quality learning opportunities – both inside and outside of the classroom – to develop knowledge, skills and good habits necessary to succeed; it’s a holistic education model and touring plays a big part in that.”

    The schools also allows Tom to arrange the trips in terms time so as to keep costs down. He challenges any thoughts that there is missed education, with the experience far outweighing this.

    “We want to encourage ALL students to continually participate in physical education and sport, for students to reach their potential, we don’t want their interest to drop off at aged 16. We want them to carry on in sport and lead healthy active lifestyles. Our strong focus on inclusive Physical Education and Sport and touring plays a big part in making this happen”

    “The personal rewards for me are enormous. I have developed very strong relationships with students we have taken on tour that lasts throughout their education journey and beyond. Staff on tour will be working 24/7, but that one “thank you” makes it all worth it.”

    The tours are quite simply one of the best things we do at Mosslands!


Gemma Howell

Sports Tours Sales Manager

As Rayburn’s Sports Tours Sales Manager, Gemma certainly knows her stuff when it comes to working with PE teachers to create their perfect sports tour, but her passion for sport and physical activity runs much deeper. Her love for her chosen sport, netball, began at school and has continued with her into adult life as, today, she continues to train and play netball at a competitive club level. Seeing the youth development programme in her club, combined with her daily experiences through her day-to-day role at Rayburn Tours, Gemma is an advocate for the need to engage as many children as possible in sports and physical activity, and the role that schools and touring can play in doing this.  

Gemma will not only impart her years of experience and advice from working with numerous schools and teachers, but she will go on to share the story of one school’s ground-breaking idea to make sports tours more inclusive. The school used their netball tour to engage new players, and encourage commitment and teamwork, with the aim to make the school’s netball tour inclusive for all who were willing to put in the effort, rather than it being based solely on ability. It’s an insight you won’t want to miss, with plenty of inspirational ideas that can be adapted to any school and any tour! 

Graham Meskell

Insurance Expert

Graham is not employed by AVIVA but acts as a daily intermediary between our clients, Rayburn, and AVIVA. We are thrilled to have him join us on the webinar to answer any burning insurance questions people attending may have.  He acts as an extension to the Rayburn Tours team, and his role is focused on ensuring all our bespoke insurance needs and questions are answered. Where clients have a claim or may need advice, he and his team are the go-to for answers; they are skilled in supporting us all every step of the way. His team’s knowledge and support to our clients is valued and vital.

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