Looking for a way to inspire your students in Physical Education? School Travel Organiser takes a look at the work sports travel company, inspiresport, does, in connecting pupils with elite sport teams.
Inspiresport aims to introduce elite sports to a new generation by offering football, rugby, hockey, cricket and ski tours that connect pupils with professionals in the sports.
Founded in 2004, the company is endorsed by leading governing bodies for school sports travel including Welsh Schools Football Association, Welsh Colleges Football Association, English Schools Football Association, Scottish Youth Football Association and Scottish Schools Football Association.
The company has built up relationships with some of the world’s largest football clubs including Manchester City FC, Real Madrid, S.L. Benfica and Valencia.
For its cricket tours, inspiresport has partnerships with Glamorgan County Cricket Club, Lancashire County Cricket Club and Middlesex County Cricket Club.
And for hockey, inspiresport works in partnership with Rotterdam HC and Atlètic Terrassa HC.
“Inspiresport tours offer training by the clubs’ own professional coaches, giving an exclusive glimpse into the training regimes experienced daily by the world’s greatest players,” Jed McCabe, head of youth development at inspiresport, said.
“It offers all [students] no matter what their ability the opportunity to live the life of a professional,” McCabe added.
A typical Train and Play programme includes a minimum of one pre-arranged match, a behind the scenes stadium tour, local sightseeing tours, the opportunity to watch the first team play (depending on schedules), as well as professional coaching throughout.
All tours can, however, be tailored to suit the standard, budget and requirements of the group, so schools can include as many or as few coaching sessions, competitive matches, excursions or leisure activities as they require.
Inspiresport also offers the option of organising a multi-venue or multi-sport programme.
One of the most popular tours is said to be the Valencia football tour, which is run in partnership with Valencia Club de Fútbol.
Students have the opportunity to play at the club’s first team training academy using all the first team facilities. There is also the chance to watch academy training sessions and for pupils to go behind the scenes of Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium.
Health benefits and character education
Inspiresport’s tours have been designed to promote healthy lifestyles amongst children and support the National Curriculum for Physical Education across the Key Stages.
The government curriculum aims to ensure that pupils in Key Stages 1 through to 4 develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities, are physically active for sustained periods of time, engage in competitive sports and activities and lead healthy, active lives.
Inspiresport’s programmes have been developed to achieve these aims and also increase child enjoyment in sport and help develop the social skills team sports can provide.
“It’s always a pleasure to see children develop both their sports but also their social skills during our tours,” McCabe said. “Many schools use an inspiresport multi-sport programme to establish team building at the beginning of a new school year or Key Stage.
“Inspiresport can also create a multi-sport programme with revision sessions during the spring and summer terms. Post-exam periods often see teachers and group leaders using inspiresport programmes as reward for students’ hard work,” he added.
“Pupils have the opportunities to try out life changing experiences and obtain life skills that will remain with them from the classroom to the boardroom. Our tours promote the importance of teamwork, leadership and giving 100 per cent.
“Above all, we want our groups to have fun and enjoy playing sports. It’s great seeing kids making friendships during our tours and finding out their true potential.”
Teachers and coaches involved in organising the tours also receive the benefit of getting to work alongside club coaches.
Moreover there is the opportunity for teachers to receive coaching development assessments by club coaches at the start and end of inspiresport’s courses.
For more information visit inspiresport.com.