As Six Nations rugby fever grips the UK, several lucky students from Camborne Science and International Academy attended a training session and game with the Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.
"Rugby is everywhere right now and what better way to motivate our students than with a trip to watch a match and meet professional sports players," said Martin Woolcock, PE teacher at CSIA. "It was a fantastic day and there's no doubt the students were left feeling totally inspired."
A total of 42 students from years seven, eight and nine, plus five teachers, attended the full-day trip which included watching the match between Exeter Chiefs and Ospreys, training with players and coaches and taking part in various money-can't-buy activities.
"Before the game, our students helped to make a guard of honour for the team to run through as they entered the pitch." said Martin. "During half-time, they were then invited back to perform a lap of honour waving to all the supporters - they were absolutely buzzing. Exeter Chiefs won their match against the Ospreys and qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup so the atmosphere was electric."
Former CSIA student, Josh Matavesi, played in the game which helped to inspire the students yet further. "I actually taught Josh at CSIA, he left the school in 1997 to pursue his career in rugby." said Martin. "Before the match, Josh came over to our students for photos, he's such a fantastic example of what can be achieved through hard work and passion."
Led by Exeter Chiefs players, the students were taught about ball handling, techniques and tackling as well as learning about the importance of commitment, motivation and resilience.
Kiera G in Year 7 was chosen as the player who showed the most determination in all the training activities, and spoke of her delight at the opportunity, saying "It was an amazing experience made even better as I received a rugby ball signed by the Exeter Chiefs squad."
The students were invited to tour the stadium and visited the changing and physiotherapy rooms for a first hand insight into what life is like for players at this level. Students were also able to have photos and autographs with the team at the end of the day.
"It was the perfect opportunity for our students to see what it takes to become an elite rugby professional and they took away valuable knowledge based on the training of these top players." said Martin. "Everyone who went on the trip had a fantastic time and have been talking about the experience ever since."
Ian Kenworthy, CSIA Principal, added: "It's clear to see that the influence of professionals encourages our young people to push themselves in order to achieve their goals. Sport transforms lives, teaches valuable life skills, improves confidence, self belief and social skills and we're delighted that our students had such an enjoyable day."