While the arguments for touring with a youth side outweigh the stress often associated with taking young players abroad, touring with your team is none the less both demanding and challenging as a party leader. To aid the process for you, we’ve come up with a few key points we’ve learned across the past 10 years…
Firstly, decide if the tour is a short term reward, or a long term incentive. We have some great UK and Irish partners which allow your tour to be booked and organised within 6 months of contacting us great as an end of year reward to encourage your players to continue with rugby into the new school year. If you are looking to motivate your players to develop their skills and dedication to the sport, a tour in Europe or even a long haul destination can do just that. With many schools booking long haul tours bi-annually, they can be a major factor in younger players choosing to stay with a particular sport, for the sheer prospect of being able to show off their skills and represent the school team at an over-seas fixture in the not so distant future.
Once you have decided how soon you wish to travel, be sure to check school holiday, bank holiday and other sporting events which may impact your decision to travel. For example, you may not want to miss England playing in the Rugby World cup, Japan 2019, by travelling on one of their game dates. You may however, feel it would add to your experience to watch the game at your hotel with your team. By planning ahead we can tailor your package to suit your requirements.
Don’t overlook the importance of travelling with a certified tour operator. Collect quotes to compare value for money, and make sure to check if the tour operators are bonded for financial security, and if they hold any educational awards.
Inspiresport are ABTA and ATOL bonded, part of the Mid-Counties Co-Operative, and have been awarded the School Travel Forum (STF) LOtC QA award – The STF is acknowledged as the authority on school and youth travel. Its members are recognised for providing the highest quality experiences for student and youth travellers, along with best in class health and safety management systems, which the STF helps members to develop, implement and sustain. Membership of the STF is essential for all school and student travel organisers, so don’t book with an operator who cannot provide you with proof of their certificates. Additionally, we are the only youth operator to be endorsed by UK and European school sport governing bodies.
Consider how important a professional coaching element is as a component of your tour. Do you want your players to be coached by professional academy coaches, with a possibility of meeting a past or present player from the club for a Q&A session? If you are running your tour in conjunction with another department, perhaps you prefer more cultural experiences to enhance the educational learning elements of the tour, which can be easily included in your itinerary.
And finally, the inclusion of local fixtures can be a great way to test the skills of your team against opposition outside of your usual catchment area, while providing a great opportunity to build new friendships. They also act to strengthen the cultural experience by immersing young players in the local culture as fixtures are often played at local school facilities.
So by this point, you have the basics down for your tour. You know what your requirements are, have collected a couple of quotations and have your destination in mind. The next step is to contact your local inspiresport representative who can provide a no-obligation parents evening. We even have a parents evening invitation template for you to download from our resources page. Delivering a presentation to your parents and answering parents’ questions regarding the tour on the night, can bring peace of mind for all involved, and get your tour off to a flying start!
We currently have a fantastic South Africa tour offer running, including the opportunity to meet a Springbok! Check out the offer here, or contact us for full details. Offer ends May 31st 2016, so request your quote now to secure your quote.