Students from Sport and Public Services had an amazing experience in April as they ventured across Europe for three ‘Erasmus’ funded trips.

The Football team made up the majority of the group that jetted off to Portugal for the annual SL Benfica football visit.

Students experienced working with elite coaches at the famous club as well as learning from top sports psychologists, nutritionists and physios.

They even had a private stadium tour of the Estádio da Luz (home ground of SL Benfica) and tested out the club’s new 360 degree training simulator.

Throughout the two weeks, the group played a series of friendly matches, testing themselves against other colleges as well as elite development teams from Portugal.

Public Services students and the Rugby Development team jetted off to Barcelona for two days for some sightseeing and training in preparation for their onward journey to Font Romeu high altitude training camp in France.

They had a great opportunity to showcase their leadership and coaching skills when working with some local under 10 and 14s mixed rugby teams in between some gruelling training sessions.

The students even learnt a bit of French to help them communicate in a session for children aged 5-13 of mixed ability levels.

Sports Lecturer and former Super league official, Warren Turley said: “The idea was to take our students out of their normal environment. For instance, we travelled up the ski resorts in the Pyrenees to study altitude training which was something the students had never seen before.

“It was minus 10 up there which came as a bit of a shock to some of them. It’s been a successful trip and students have gained invaluable experience.”

“This year we managed to arrange a Rugby League game against a team from Prades University."

The trip ended with a welcome reward with tickets for the Catalan Dragons v Hull FC game which provided a meet with players and stadium tour before witnessing only the third ever golden point game in Super league history!

The final group flew out to Folgarida in Northern Italy for the ski and work experience trip where they honed their skills on the slopes in the Italian Dolomites.

It was a chance to implement peer coaching and leadership as well as working in a hotel serving food as part of their work placement.

By the end of the trip, and after several ski lessons led by professional instructors, all students had improved their skills and development. The trip ended with a quick stop off in Venice before heading home.

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