Written on: 28/04/2013 by mikemooney
Our son went to Brisbane on an eight week cricket coaching course (which he extended to 10 weeks while he was there).
There were two major features of his time in Australia on his Sports Lived holiday that we would particularly commend. Firstly, the quality of coaching he received. This was from professional (and, in some cases, international standard) coaches and covered all aspects of cricket – batting, bowling and fielding. The coaching sessions were intensive, often 3 times a day, and also included fitness sessions and instruction on nutrition (both of which he has continued since his return). He was made extremely welcome by members of the University of Queensland Cricket Club, attending their regular evening training sessions in addition to those specifically organised by Sports Lived. He also played for one of the UQ teams at weekends and was invited to events through the club (including a net session with the Australian and West Indies 20-20 teams before a T20 international) and social outings.
The second feature we would commend was the use of a local mentor by Sports Lived. His mentor made contact with our son by email before he travelled to Australia, so he knew he would be met at the airport and would have someone taking him to his accommodation. We also emailed his mentor while he was on his journey out and received an immediate response from her. We were extremely reassured that there was someone out there who would be looking out for him and helping him to settle in, someone who had done it all before and also realised our concerns as parents from her personal experiences of her own sons travelling abroad.
This all proved to be true. The mentor met our son and the other Sports Lived participants regularly while they were over there, sorted out any problems they had, organised social events for them (nights out and trips to the coast) and even had them around to her family home. She also went well beyond what we would have expected of her as a Sports Lived mentor by organising extended accommodation for our son after his Sports Lived programme had finished, helping investigate alternative trips to North Queensland for him and even taking him to the airport for his extended trip.
All in all, a wonderful experience for him!