Inspiration for learning outside the classroom

  • Published in Sport

Follow in the footsteps of a Championship Football Club

A sports tour is the perfect way for teams to bond, develop new skills and play competitive matches against international teams - even professional football clubs do it! The Derby County FC U16’s and U21’s did all this and more when they embarked on a group sports trip to Oliva Nova on the East Coast of Spain in October this year.

U21’s player, Jonathan Mitchell, wrote a tour diary on the teams website and said, “…it’s fair to say the place and its facilities immediately impressed us. For me personally, this is the first time that I have been on a tour such as this. We are with each other 24/7, we are all sharing rooms and that can only be good for the team spirit amongst the group.”

After arriving at the destination, both sides completed daily training sessions as well as team building activities. The U21’s were also preparing for a fixture against Valencia’s B side, providing a great opportunity to put into practice the new skills learnt on the trip.

Unfortunately the U21’s were defeated by Valencia’s B side, however player Mason Bennett believes their side have learnt a lot from the match. “I love being around the lads, especially back at the Training Centre, so to come and experience a place like Valencia with the rest of the lads has been beneficial to all of us.”

Pat Lyons, who manages the team, said on their website “That aside, though, these camps help us get to know the lads better, it’s great for the team spirit and it’s important that we also do stuff to help that away from the football field. That’s why we have got the beach…It’s something that we look to do with all of our age groups, to see how they cope in different environments.”

Both sports tours to Oliva Nova, Derby County FC U16’s and U21’s, were coordinated by Equity.

  • Published in Sport

A Sports Adventure

A Sports Adventure


Our team of sports specialists recently returned from an epic journey across Europe to see first-hand the range of sports programs offered by Equity Sport.

10 days, 3 countries and 20 amazing sports venues later and we were one exhausted sports team with a whole wealth of knowledge on our great sport offering.

The French leg…

As we set off for France I don’t think any of us realised what we were about to take on – this truly was a trip filled with once in a life-time experiences.

Our first stop on the French leg was the small town of Lievin, where we would stay at the Stade Lievin, which boasts an impressive indoor athletics dome. We explored three venues in Paris, Racing Metro, CREPS and CDFAS Sports Centre. As we moved further south we visited Stade Toulouse Rugby Club and UCPA Saint Cyprien Sports Resort which is a great venue for both Rugby League and Tennis groups.

Our best bit:

“Visiting Racing Metro ’92 training ground before then being able to watch them play that evening against Stade Francais in Paris.” Callum, Sport Support Executive

On to Spain…

From Perpignan it was a relatively short drive down to Platda D’Aro in Spain to explore the destination that our groups have been travelling to for years and expeience the delicious Spanish cuisine.

The next morning we set off for Barcelona to visit Athletic Terrassa Hockey and Tennis Club, which sits in the hills just outside the city, and RCD Espanyol. We then headed further south to Salou to explore Cambrils Park and tour Futbol Salou, home of the Catalan FA.

It wasn’t too long before we were back in the cars again heading south, ready for a good night’s sleep!

In the morning we toured the facilities at Benicassim, which provided great facilities for football groups, so much so that we bumped into Liverpool player Joao Teixeira, who was training ahead of pre-season back in the UK.

In the afternoon we headed just a little further along the coast to Oliva Nova Resort which provides world class premium training facilities.

From Oliva Nova one car headed towards Madrid whilst the other headed south. In Madrid we visited the Valdebebas Training Ground, home of Real Madrid and the Spanish FA training ground.

In the south the team discovered Albir Gardens, Malaga CF, Torremolios Sports Centre, Atalya Park and Sotogrande.

Our best bit:

“Seeing the Puente Romano Tennis Club in Marbella - unbelievable courts and so well kept, whilst in amazing weather and next to the beach!" Tom, Sport Development Executive

“Real Madrid, went to the training ground of the most famous club in the world.” Ben, Sport International Development Manager

Time to recharge with some pasta!

After our epic road trip a couple of members of the team had the opportunity to explore some of our amazing Italian facilities.

Flying in to Verona, we made our way towards Lake Garda which is a popular destination with our groups. Multiple sporting venues later, we were impressed by the variety of football, rugby, hockey and tennis venues available – no wonder our groups love it so much!

Our best bit:

“The best view from a tennis court that I have ever seen!” Daniel, Sport Development Manager

  • Published in Travel


As a Geography teacher and an ad-hoc expedition leader, I’m a fervent believer in opening young people’s eyes to Geographical wonders closer to home, whether within the UK or across the Channel.

Fieldtrips to Spain are an opportunity to spin familiar holiday destinations on their heads, by exploring visitor pressure and coastal processes in the Costa Brava, or travelling further afield to the volcanic islands of Lanzarote and Tenerife.

The tectonic power of the Canaries never ceases to amaze young Geographers – especially those who thought these islands were just about package holidays and suntans. Lanzarote’s lunar landscapes were created by the longest and most powerful period of volcanic activity known to man, and neighbouring Tenerife is home to Spain’s highest peak – an active volcano that last erupted in 1909.

Back on mainland Spain, I find that Barcelona is an easy city to get my students excited about, with its Mediterranean shoreline and colourful culture. Host to the 2001 Games, Barcelona was the first Olympic city to use the Games as a catalyst to kick-start a legacy of social change – a plan so inspirational, it was used as a guide for London 2012.

From experience, I can safely say that Spain is packed with opportunities for hands-on Geography and, for an accessible and affordable option that’s easily reached from the UK, I think it’s up there with the best.

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