March 17, 2023
During the Half-Term, forty-one students from Years 9 to 12 had a great time playing football and basketball at our first ever BSB Florida Sports Tour. Over the course of nine days, their extensive itinerary included playing three matches against local teams, training sessions, and numerous excursions! As well as being a fantastic sporting opportunity, the students also got the chance to experience a different culture, make new friends, and see what American sport had to offer first-hand. They developed their reflection, determination, organisation and communication skills, all part of the BSB Learning Habits. It was indeed a mixture of sporting challenge, new experiences, friendship, team building, independence and personal growth.
They were accompanied by a group of BSB teaching staff: Miss Clayden, Mr Woodward, Ms Lashbrook, Mr Jansa, and Mr Burns.
BSB had one basketball team and two football teams (U15 and U16) and we played against Basket Brawlers, Seminole Hoops, Tamiami Basketball (basketball) and FC Tampa Rangers, Central Florida SC, Strikers Miami FC (football). All fixtures were highly competitive. The standard of basketball was unsurprisingly high but the team came together and were unlucky to lose their last game at the end of triple overtime. The footballers had success early on before coming up against two outstanding Strikers Miami sides. They showed great team spirit and all come away having learnt about themselves as players and also what it is to play as a touring side so far from home.
The basketball games were tough competition for the team. Each team was of varying levels, but provided tough competition for our mixture of students all of whom have varying levels of experience playing within the game of basketball in a team. Our team as a whole improved each time they stepped onto the floor and managed an unbelievable comeback in the final game to finish the tour on an emotional high.
‘The trip was a fantastic opportunity for students to explore a different culture within the sport they love’ explains Ms Lashbrook. ‘The excursions were fantastic and really catered to our students’ needs with the adrenaline of rollercoasters, facts about the Kennedy Space Center and watching a professional game of basketball at the NBA. The students overcame a lot of barriers with sickness and exhaustion but still managed to play football and basketball with enthusiasm, a demonstration of amazing skill and always having fun. This really was a once in a lifetime trip and I can’t wait to see where we go next.’
‘The Florida trip for our students was a priceless experience for them to be able to go away with close friends, play their favourite sport and be able to experience a different way of life for nine days’ says Miss Clayden. ‘The experiences like the theme parks, NBA game and competitive games are something that they will remember forever and have allowed them to develop their global citizenship and knowledge of other cultures.’
What Our Students Say
‘I found the Florida tour very fun because of all the different activities we got to do and how we got to really see Orlando and a bit of Miami. The football and basketball was incredible and very entertaining to watch and play. The teachers were very supportive and had the trip perfectly planned.’ Year 9 student
‘The Florida trip was incredible I made new friends and had a blast and loved playing the football matches with my mates showing America how we play football not soccer.’ Year 10 student
‘The trip was amazing and the overall experience was memorable. We did a lot of fun activities like going to theme parks and visiting animals. My favorite part of the trip was watching the NBA game with my friends since we had a lot of fun together.’ Year 11 student
‘Trips like these are once in a lifetime, not only did this trip exceed my expectations, it gave me moments that i will remember for the rest of my life. I spent 8 days with some of my closest friends and even made new ones along the way. I couldn’t have asked for a better 8 days to explore Florida and have fun playing top level basketball.’ Year 12 student
We are looking to run a European sports tour next year and then return to North America in 2025. Alongside this we are always looking for fixtures and tournaments close to home and will be entering two girls teams in an international tournament in Salou in June. We are hoping to run similar trips every two years, with a variety of options being considered, including games for both football and basketball, and perhaps rugby!