Jackals love Spain, Portugal

The Vernon Jackals U18 rugby team enjoyed an eventful and enlightening tour of Spain and Portugal.

The Vernon Jackals Junior U18 rugby team enjoyed an eventful and enlightening tour of Spain and Portugal.

They started off in Barcelona by attending an FC Barcelona vs Valencia football match. The next day began with a training session at Foixarda Rugby Club and then on to an afternoon of kayaking on the Mediterranean at Costa Brava.

On Day 3, a tour of Camp Nou the FC Barcelona stadium and museum. After that, a bike tour of the resort beach city of Barcelona’s amazing history and architecture including Sagara Familia, Plaza Granda, St Mary’s by the Sea and El Born and Park De La Ciutadella. Finally, a rugby match against Sant Cugat to kick off the rugby.

Off to Madrid on board the bullet train for the 315-kph ride. Arrived in Madrid to snow and checked into the Uhostel. Next morning off to Adventura Amazonian zip lines and then on to a walking tapas tour.

Day 7 took the team to Plaza De Toros bull fighting arena and museum. That same evening, they played CRC Pozula Rugby Club and were hosted with a delicious traditional feast.

Saying adiós to Madrid, the team boarded the bus to Seville. After checking into Residencia Deportistos La Cartuja, it was off to walk the narrow streets of Seville for another traditional dinner at the Pizzaria and then onto an authentic Flamenco show.

The following day, the team went to Toros Ranchero Bull fighting school. Here they learned the history and art of bull fighting and its importance to Spanish culture. This experience had them all fired up for a training session ahead of their match with Ciencias Seville. After the match, the team was hosted to traditional tapas dinner and a gift exchange.

The next day took the Jackals on an epic five-hour walking tour of Seville into to visit Real Alcázar, the Palace gardens, Seville Santa Cruz, Alfalfa, Metropol Parasol, Cathedral de Seville, Santa Cruz and finally Plaza de Espana. The history, architecture and culture was quite overwhelming.

After one last exhausting day in Seville, it was on the bus and off to Lisbon, Portugal to the last but not least destination on the tour before heading home. Once checked into Hotel Adeia dos Capuchos, it was off to the old city of Lisbon for more traditional food and a Fado show that introduced the culture of Portugal.

Day 2 in Lisbon took the group to SLB Rugby Club, the home of Portugal’s national team for a training session. After that, the day was spent wandering the Lisbon Expo site and a visit to the Ocinarium; an aquarium set in the salt water harbour with exhibits from around the global oceans. The day was capped with the final match of the tour against St. Julian’s private English school.

For the last day on tour ,the team spent the morning surfing in the Atlantic and then onto a busy walking tour of Lisbon’s city center. Lisbon was different from Spain, but not disappointing.

The tour organized by Sky High Sports with local tours by Excursions Barcelona. A huge thanks to our sponsors Funtastics, Armstrong Kin Club, Vernon Toyota, Planet Bee, London Drugs, Kohler Hightech, KalTire, Bioharmony and Re/Max Vernon.

And to all the parents and family that help to make this excellent adventure for all the boys. A special thanks goes out to Mike Scheller, Brad Marsh and the coaches and organizers that took this on, knowing how valuable and important it is to create these opportunities for our youth. There were 23 players on the trip, including 15 from Vernon and eight from Nelson