Welcome back to the new school year – where did the summer go?!

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The University of St Andrews kicked things off taking 25 Rugby Boys to South Africa. Our most popular rugby touring destination, South Africa combines a real love for the sport with rich wildlife and epic scenery.
“A first-class tour”
The Kings School, Macclesfield
 
Pupil from The Kings School, Macclesfield on a township visit in South Africa
 
Edwin Doran Sports Tours was the first company to arrange sports tours to South Africa after the fall of apartheid. Since 1992 we’ve cultivated vast on-the-ground knowledge and extensive contacts that we use to help players to really get under the skin of this vibrant country. Our sports tours here go above and beyond and our links with local charities offer an enhanced cultural experience. You can get a lot out of touring and increasingly we are seeing teams eager to give something back. 
 
“Zoe Tucker did a first class job organising many aspects of our tour... a great success and a superb experience for our boys!”
Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh
 

Chester RUFC dominate the lineout in South Africa
“A trip of a lifetime! The welcome we received wherever we went was humbling, and the rugby fantastic. The exposure to the varying cultural experiences was hugely appreciated by all.”
Chester RUFC, Chester

With our biggest tour to date, Oakham School Sports Department headed out to South Africa with over 120 students to play Rugby, Girls and Boys Hockey and Netball. During their time they spent an amazing morning at Sentinel Primary School gifting 960 children with new shoes in the biggest ever Put Foot Foundation Shoe drop. 

 
The Boys XI finished their tour on a high beating the much fancied Bishops 1st XI. An outstanding result 4-2 against one of the best schools in Africa and rounding off their tour with excellent stats: Played 7 Won 5 Lost 2 (both losses were 3-2 score lines) an outstanding effort from the boys! 

Moulsford Prep visited Goedgedacht (good luck in pronouncing this one) – a great little project looking after children whose parents have fallen foul of the “dop system” on the wine farms of the Western Cape. The boys spent time helping to build and paint a 'Noah's ARK'  at one of their POP Centres, where a determined effort is being made to make a real contribution to the most critical problems facing all of us – poverty amongst rural children, youth and climate change.

Sedbergh School half time team talk

In the rugby fixtures Sedbergh School took on Paarl Boys, playing with high tempo and considerable width and pace against a physical and clinical side whilst both Solihull and AKS ventured into new territory and crossed the border into Swaziland! AKS Blackpool assisted at Esitjeni Primary SKRUM Coaching Session and Solihull were lucky enough to spot The Big 5 on one game drive in Krugar.

Corfe Hills School at Hoërskool Garsfontein celebrating an emotional end to a fantastic tour.

And the action away from the matches continued to be just as busy! Nottingham High School took some time out from their cricket tour to embark on the ultimate shark diving experience braving the Great Whites! Whilst Loughborough rafted the Breede river and Bloxham travelled to Tsitsikamma National Park for the Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour. The first of its kind in Africa, the canopy tour involves traversing from one platform to another along a steel cable suspended up to 30 meters above the forest floor!

Across the pond Bishop Stoptford Rugby, Netball and Hockey Tour visited Australia and Hong Kong.

The Bishop Stopford School Rugby, Netball & Hockey Teams visited Austalia and Hong Kong in July 2014

The girls after their match v St Margaret's School

The girls put on a fantastic performance in their final game on tour grasping a 3-0 victory v St Margaret's. The backdrop of Surfers paradise was home to the boys’ final match before enjoying a surfing lesson and the netballers match v Calrossy saw all 3 teams win! The B game was particularly close and required being ice cool in the dying moments to pull of the victory: 26-24.

“The tour was well organised and ran very smoothly”
Daunstey’s School, Wiltshire
 
Following a great couple of days of netball and coaching at Matthew Flinders Anglican College, their first win at the Sunshine Coast (22-20) and an equally great fixture v Glennie school (U15's won 26 - 20!) Newcastle-under-Lyme School took their Netball tour to Tangalooma Island! A couple of days rest and relaxation enjoying everything the resort has to offer including a desert safari and sand tobogganing!
 
Hurstpierpoint and Eltham College took part in the first Edwin Doran International Hockey tournament hosted by Melbourne Grammar School at Melbourne Grammar Sports Ground, Port Melbourne. The final match saw the home teams combine to create an ‘Australian’ XI side that took on the visiting teams playing together as an ‘England’ XI. England U18s went on to secure a 2-0 victory against the home nation in a faced-paced game.
 
Hurstpierpoint College take to the water at Surfers Paradise.
“Everything was very well planned before departure which meant everything ran smoothly. Hosting went very well and the hotels were centrally located. The places visited meant there was a great variety of experiences between cities and countryside.”
Wimbledon College, London

Across the Atlantic Bancroft’s School took part in the fantastic Calgary Stampede Rugby 7s tournament. Held during the Calgary Stampede, one of the biggest rodeos in the world, the tournament has grown to become one of the most prestigious 7's tournaments in Canada. Congratulations to Alex Davies, Femi Olatigbe & Rhys Phillips for picking up the MoM awards at the Sevens. The touring party also took part in the summer bobsleigh at the summer Olympic park.

“As always a great trip well run by a company who likes to listen to experience.”
Glyn School, Epsom
“All the arrangements and planning were appropriate for our trip. The service during the trip was excellent.”
European School Culham

Travelling south and after a magnificent flight across the Andes to Mendoza in Argentina, Berkhamstead 1st XVI defeated Los Tordos, while the Development XV ended with honours in a 17-17 thriller.  In the Chilean leg of the tour each of the two squads played three games v Mackay School (Vina del Mar), Craighouse (Santiago) and Orchard College (Curico); both squads winning two out of the three fixtures.

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Berkhamsted School V Los ordos, endoza: Seniors won 21-12, Development drew 17 all.

“This was our second tour using ED and once again I was impressed with the tour package, the level of competition and the clubs contacted.”
Halliford school, Middlesex
“Excellent preparation and attention to detail at every stage of the tour allowed every single member of the tour party to have a great time.”
Downsend School, Epsom
 
July 2014 proved a popular month for those groups wishing to travel to the Caribbean with Hereford Cathedral School, Nottingham Girls High School and Teesside High School travelling to Barbados whilst King Edward VI High School for Girls chose to incorporate Trinidad & Tobago into their tour too. The sport on show was exceptional and all of the groups were made to feel very welcome in their chosen disciplines of cricket, hockey and netball. Particular highlights from the groups trips were the Tiami Catamaran cruise and the boatyard beach party in Barbados, whilst a trip to Maracas beach got the thumbs up too!   
“Brilliant organisation, any problems that arose in the planning stage and on the tour were dealt with immediately and effectively.”
King Edward VI High School for Girls,  West Midlands
 
Closer to home Sexey's took us to Sweden for their school rugby tour. During the tour Sexey's played three matches, winning twice and culminating in a 5-34 victory over the Sweden U18 side in Enkoping. Congratulations to Tom Dark who narrowly beat Mr Boyd to the best shooter prize during their time Clay Pigeon Shooting.
 
“Everything ran smoothly from departing school to getting home.”
Kenton School, Newcastle upon Tyne
 
A big thank you to all the schools who have welcomed international teams touring the UK. The generosity and warm hospitality of both the schools and the host families has been fundamental to the life-changing experiences the children enjoyed. 
We've come a long way since 1974 and with the wonders of modern technology we’ve loved following you all over the world. The highs, the lows, the late nights, early mornings, the epic touring anthems and the fantastic touring photos – we’ve lived it with you!
 
Got a sports tour story you’d like us to share? We’d love to hear from you! 
Call us: 020 3617 7983

 

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