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(Posted: 10 p.m., March 28)
March Break trip to England a dream come true for Cairine Wilson soccer team
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

A delayed trip to England turned out to be a dream come true for members of the Cairine Wilson girls soccer team, who immersed themselves in British football culture during the March Break.

Members of the Cairine Wilson Wildcats pose for a team picture in front of Big Ben during their March Break trip to England. Photo supplied

The 15-member team spent the first few days of their trip taking in the historic sights in and around London. They then traveled to the seaside community of Worthing, in the south of England, where they stayed at the Worthing College Sports Academy, played a series of games against three local teams, and took in a British Premier League game between Crystal Palace and Southhampton.

The highlight of the trip for team member Megan Foy, besides the weather which was sunny and warm, a rarity this time of year in southern England, was the BPL game, while a 1-0 win over an elite team from the town of Lewes was a close second.

"The game was really a lot of fun. The atmosphere was amazing. The fans were cheering back and forth the whole game," says Foy.

The trip was organized by Wildcats' coach Stu Barbour. It was supposed to take place last year, but fell victim to the labour dispute between the province and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation.

Unfortunately, the postponement meant that last year's Grade 12 players had to miss out on the trip. But on a positive note, a handful of players who weren't on last year's team did get to go. The result was a once in a,lifetime experience that none of them will soon forget and a perfect team bonding exercise that will serve them well in the upcoming season.

Besides sightseeing and playing exhibition games, the Wildcats were also exposed to a level of development that doesn't exist in Canada. The Worthing College Academy of Sport offers an internationally recognized Level 2 and Level 3 sports diploma program which provides an excellent foundation for a career in coaching, sports development, or the recreation and leisure. It's an opportunity that some of the girls may decide to pursue.

In the meantime, they'll continue to prepare for the upcoming season and a run at a possible city championship..

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)


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Posted Jan. 12

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