I was very lucky indeed to accompany the Soccer Tour to China incorporating a visit to our Sister School, Weihai No 1 Middle School at the end of Term 2 for 12 days. Whilst there has been much media attention given to our time in quarantine it has perhaps overshadowed the greater benefits and experiences of the visit which was nothing other than successful. All 15 students involved in the tour represented our College, Community and Country in an impressive manner and I believe all the students‟ families should be very proud of their children.
The soccer matches arranged for us in Beijing and Shanghai were beyond expectation in terms of the calibre of the opposition and their standing in Chinese football. Both teams were from training institutions for their respective Chinese Super League teams and our students played their hearts out against them in very hot conditions. The Beijing team won 14-1 with our goal scored by Wes Clarke. Shanghai Shenhua youth team won 5-0 which was a tremendous defensive game on our part. In Weihai we played our sister school of 5,000 students and won 3-1. Apart from the soccer matches the tour included visits to the Great Wall of China, the Birdsnest Stadium, the Beijing Silk Market, the Shanghai Acrobat Circus and hosting with families in Weihai. At our sister school students participated in English classes and were taught martial arts as well as participating in a wonderful concert. Tour participants will be presenting reports to their year level assemblies over the next week including photographs of their trip. Principal Lee from Weihai has also sent us a CD of photographs and a video taken during our tour which includes footage of the teams patriotic renditions of Advance Australia Fair and Waltzing Matilda at the school concert.
On behalf of the students I would like to extend our thanks to Karen Zhou who accompanied us as interpreter and did a wonderful job liaising with official departments when we were in quarantine and to Nathan Thomas tour organiser and coach whose initiative kept the tour together in quarantine and guidance and advice assisted the students in gaining so much from the tour.
Next week we have the opportunity to reciprocate the wonderful hospitality shown to our group in Weihai and hope as many of our students as possible take up the opportunity to gain greater international and intercultural under-standings.