- QPR in the Community Trust welcome youngsters from South Africa
- Students win competition as part of Trust's collobaration with Orlando Pirates
- Winners enjoy week-long stay in London including trip to Loftus Road
QPR in the Community Trust recently welcomed pupils and staff from Orlando Pirates to London.
Three young students were selected as part of a unique collaborative education programme, made possible through the support of Acer and Microsoft.
Prior to the arrival of our friends from South Africa, both parties were able to socialise with each other thanks to the power of technology – with Skype on our new Acer 2 in 1 laptop and tablets. Students contacted each other using the tablets and asked each other different questions, getting to know each other as well as many facts about one another’s football club and above all; bringing them together and creating friendships.
A competition for both groups of students was also established, with winners from each club getting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to one another’s country for a week. In order to be in with a chance to win, they had to explain why football clubs matter to the community.
The three winners from South Africa came over to London, all of whom had never travelled by plane or left the country before. Here’s an insight of what they got up to …
After an exciting plane journey without much rest, the group were ready to begin their adventure in the capital. First was a trip to popular destinations such as Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square with the group then travelling to South Bank to see the wondrous sights of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Along the way the students saw street performers, whom they didn’t shy away from and even danced with, much to the delight of everyone.
The following day the group visited Burlington Danes Academy, where they were finally able to meet their UK peers after several weeks of contact online. The BDA students gave them a tour of the school; displaying their impressive facilities and acknowledging many similarities of both schools as well as the similarities between one another. Jesse Foyle (Education Manager, QPR in the Community Trust) then delivered a tour of Loftus Road Stadium, including the Learning Centre. The students then completed some educational activities about QPR and the community encompassing the stadium, before departing to the Natural History Museum to end off another spectacular day.
A trip to the world-famous Madame Tussauds thrilled the students, taking pictures with their favourite movie stars and singers. Following this, Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Covent Gardens were all visited as well as a stop at Poundworld, in which the students spend their own pocket money to buy gifts and souvenirs not for themselves but rather for family and friends in Soweto, which was truly heart-warming to witness. They even went to the ice rink for a first attempt at ice skating – which is always fun to see!
The Learning Centre Manager (Jude Capel) of the Orlando Pirates has a history with Fulham Football Club (former employee), so the students visited his old establishment at Craven Cottage to see where it all began for him. They also enjoyed their visit to Stamford Bridge including a highlight of declaring their allegiance to QPR when asked by the tour guide what team did they support!
The following day the group were given a remarkable experience ahead of kick-off at Loftus Road Stadium, where they were escorted onto the pitch and introduced to the 18,000 supporters, as well as meeting the QPR manager, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. The group received goodie bags from Acer, Microsoft and QPR and then settled down to enjoy the match vs Wolverhampton Wanderers.
After the match the kids visited KidZania where they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and had the unique experience of a range of jobs including journalist, pilot and surgeon.
Their final day commenced with a ride on The London Eye, where the kids saw the magnificent views of the city from 100ft. above the Thames. The students then enjoyed some last minute shopping for souvenirs and other goodies before travelling in a classic London cab to the airport – concluding a remarkable once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Watch this space of the announcement of the UK competition winners who will be travelling to South Africa with QPR for the return leg!
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