La Liga Life For Perth Students
Perth Academy pupils have returned from an “unforgettable” trip to Valencia.
Over 30 students aged between 13 and 16, both boys and girls, jetted out to the Spanish city to sample life as a footballer.
But organiser of the trip Michael Rodger, a physical education teacher at the school, believes this was an experience which went far beyond the field of play.
“The trip provided so much more than just to experience life as a professional footballer,” he said. “It is all the little things that you wouldn’t think about.
“It’s about being away from home, managing to look after yourself and your body.
“Also making sure you eat healthy, getting enough sleep at night and drinking plenty of water to help maintain their performance throughout the day.
“Making sure they set an alarm clock in the morning and making sure they are wearing the correct training kit.
“They are life skills they will need and by putting the pupils in that kind of environment involving football makes it easier for them to understand and get it right later on in life.
“I saw as the trip went on new friendships were made and current ones were strengthened.
“One thing that I valued seeing the pupils benefit from was becoming more confident individuals. They had freedom to express themselves and had confidence to try new things in a safe and positive environment, on and off the football pitch.”
Time was set aside for the Perth group to take in a La Liga football match at the famous Mestalla stadium, where Valencia defeated Athletico Bilbao 3-2.
Rodger added: “The experience was an unforgettable one for the pupils. The trip involved a training session every day at Valencia’s multimillion-pound training ground, where they received coaching from their professional coaches.
“They played against local opposition in 11-a-side matches, visited Valencia’s stadium for a tour and took in their home match against Athletico Bilbao.
“They even managed to meet all of Valencia’s first team players and got pictures and autographs with them.
“They lived the life of a full-time footballer, training at fantastic facilities, in the perfect environment with the great weather too.”
Those on the trip were the envy of the school and Rodger is hoping the venture to the continent can become a regular fixture on the calendar.
He said: “The excitement was massive in school, everyone was talking about it, including the pupils that weren’t going and don’t even play football.
“It was just an unbelievable experience for the pupils. Every night they were going to their beds exhausted from the excitement.
“There are definitely plans to return in the future. A lot of planning and organising went into this trip, so I am looking forward to the holidays!
“It was organised through the popular inspiresport tours company and they specify in sport tours.
“We went down to Sunderland back in March for something similar but in a shorter time scale with a separate 31 pupils.
“Inspiresport offer many clubs trips, so I will definitely be going back to the tour company and asking what is the next club they can offer.”
SOURCE, DAILY RECORD: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/local-sport/la-liga-life-perth-academy-11298410