10 for 10 with WorldStrides Sports – Ashley Herbst

Ashley Italy Excel Soccer Program

What do you do at WorldStrides?
As the Manager of Account Management, I manage a portfolio of our top clientele while leading our awesome team of account managers!

How long have you worked at WorldStrides?
Just over five years – I started on May 4, 2015 to be exact!

WorldStrides goes to so many destinations, but what has been your favorite destination that you have visited while working for WorldStrides?
Northern Italy

What are the top three things you did while in Northern Italy?
1.Test drove a Ferrari with one of our coaching staff in the town of Modena.
2.Rode in a gondola through canals in Venice.
3.Cheered on one of our US Youth Soccer teams playing Juventus F.C. neck and neck in the Claudio Sassi tournament.

What is the number one thing that you would tell somebody to not miss if they visit Northern Italy?
Don’t miss a visit to Lake Como. It is beautiful!

Do you know any weird or strange facts about Northern Italy?
Italians consume 14 billion espressos each year. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, they are always up for an espresso. Morning, noon and night!

What was your favorite food or drink that you tried while there?
It wouldn’t be fair of me to choose a winner between the pizza, pasta, and gelato. They are all amazing!

Did you buy a souvenir and if so, what was it?
I caved and splurged on a Louis Vuitton wallet three years ago and Eric hasn’t let me live it down yet. Still saving for the purse to go with it though! Could be a small factor contributing to our AM Team being nicknamed Team Diva…

If you could pick your next trip, where would you go?
This year I was slated to visit Reykjavik, Iceland and Munich, Germany prior to the global pandemic hitting. I am looking forward to rescheduling those trips and traveling with our teams!

What is the best travel tip that you can pass along to customers?
Invest in a good neck pillow. You won’t regret it!

One simple solution to cleaning your dirty gear

Not to be gross, but…

When was the last time you cleaned your athletic gear? Did you know that not cleaning your athletic equipment and/or clothing after practices, training sessions, or games can lead to a buildup of bacteria causing one problem no one wants to bear… odor.

Any down time from playing is a great time to clean your gear and there’s no time like the present. Next time you step on the field, court, or track, you’re going to feel like a brand new athlete!

The best part about fighting this problem is that you don’t need to buy a fancy cleaner. It doesn’t need to be bought at a store or even shipped to you by Amazon. You can easily make a simple solution with just four products that you probably have in your house: a thoroughly cleaned spray bottle, white vinegar, baking soda, and water.

To make this solution follow these five easy steps:

  1. Get your spray bottle
  2. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar
  3. 2 cups of hot water
  4. 1/2 cup of baking soda
  5. Shake well and spray away!

Pro-tips for cleaning: After spraying, wipe down the sprayed surface completely with a dry wash cloth. For extra deep cleaning on hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, grab a sponge or toothbrush and spray directly onto designated areas.

While we couldn’t find any immediate scientific evidence to back this statement, we truly believe that clean gear makes for better athletic performance. Be a good team mate and stay fresh, not stinky!

Set aside some time for a good, old-fashioned Spring Cleaning session. If you are bored and looking for some updates on youth sports currently, check out this informative resource by the Aspen Play Project intended for parents, players and coaches.

QuarenTunes – an at-home workout playlist

We’re well over a week into isolation due to coronavirus, and if you’re finding it increasingly difficult to stay dedicated to your at-home workout, we get it. Working out in your living room isn’t the same as on the pitch or in the gym – that’s why WorldStrides Sports is happy to step in and provide you with much needed motivation.

The following Spotify playlist has been carefully curated by the WorldStrides Sports Team for you to workout to while on lockdown… but if you want to listen to it while studying for that upcoming online math or history test, that’s okay too!

Give our staff-picked playlist a listen, and remember to share with your teammates, friends, and whoever else you think could use a switch up of music in their workout routine.

As always, stay active and stay healthy.

Sincerely,
Your WorldStrides Sports Team

WorldStrides Sports and Girls Soccer Network Team Up to Provide Bespoke Trip

Calling all socceristas and soccerista parents and coaches. Looking for an opportunity to get away with some of your favorite people, make new memories in new places, and improve your soccer skills in the process? WorldStrides Sports & Girl Soccer Network’s specially curated BeSpoke trip to Manchester/London bundles all this and more into a one-of-a-kind overseas adventure.

The cultural highlights of the tour are infused with women’s history and women’s empowerment themes. Trip-goers will enjoy visits to landmarks such as the Holloway Prison for women and Luminary Bakery, where you’ll get a chance to taste one of their famed sweet treats. And in terms of the soccer (or football, really we should say)?  Socceristas & Co. will find themselves in the Willy Wonka land of WoSo. From a professional coaching clinic, to the friendly matches against local clubs. What about thrift shopping with Arsenal player/fashionista Leah Williamson? And let’s not forget an immersive tour of the legendary Manchester City and Manchester United stadiums. Grab your cleats and your passport and sign up for the webinar below to learn more about how you and your team can take your game “further” with this unique trip.

Webinar Dates & Times:
Tuesday, February 4th: London/Manchester – 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3070756061031162123

Inaugural Table Tennis Tour

Glenwood, Maryland, January 25th 2020 in partnership with professional Table Tennis player, Khaleel Asgarli, WorldStrides Sports will send a group of enthusiastic table tennis players on an international tour to London. The international sports experience will take place from June 27th to July 24th, 2020. Players will be able to play matches against international competition, play in an international tournament, work with professional coaches, and have the opportunity to experience the wonderful, vibrant culture of London, England.

WorldStrides Sports takes athletes around the world to challenge new opponents, boost skills, and gain lifetime experiences.

“This is a great opportunity for our players to play competitively as well as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a great city like London,” said Coach Khaleel Asgarli. “This will allow our players to gain valuable life experiences while playing the game they love. We are also excited at the opportunity to grow the game of Table Tennis within the US. Table Tennis has the capability to inspire people to play the game, regardless of their age or ability and growing the game is something I am extremely passionate about.”

The trip is open to all players over the age of 12, is fully inclusive with flights, accommodation, transportation, meals, and all sporting and sightseeing content. WorldStrides Sports believes in the power of international travel and the amazing experiences they create. In addition, they provide various payment plans, fundraising programs, and scholarship money to qualifying families. To learn more about this exciting opportunity you can view a short informational webinar by clicking here. If interested in learning more, please contact Coach Khaleel directly at khaleelupr@gmail.com or the WorldStrides Sports rep, Steven Macdonald at stevenm@worldstrides.com or 434-284-9797.

For more information on coach Khaleel, visit www.coachkhaleel.com

For more information about WorldStrides Sport, visit www.worldstrides.com/sports

Under 20 days until the Women’s World Cup

Women's World Cup, France 2019

The Non-Soccer Fan’s Guide to the Women’s World Cup

The Women’s World Cup, the world’s biggest sports event for women, begins on June 7 in France. Here at WorldStrides, the excitement is building!

That’s because our favorite teams from around the world will compete on the biggest stage in sports, and because our sports division, WorldStrides Excel, will be there cheering it all on! We have dozens of North American teams heading to France this summer to attend multiple games (including the group stage highlight, USA vs Sweden), tour the incredible host country, play some soccer against European teams, and even attend a VIP event in our CEO’s home in Paris. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and share your own World Cup experiences with us.

If you’re still learning the rules of the game and want to sound like you know what you’re talking about, this is the blog for you! Here’s a basic guide to the 2019 Women’s World Cup. We’ll give you everything you need to understand the “how” and “why.” (Your beverage and snack of choice are up to you!).

So how do teams qualify for the World Cup?

The six confederations of FIFA all have qualification tournaments during the 18-month period between April 2017 and December 2018. If you are the host nation, you qualify automatically. (2019’s host is France.)

Want to sound like a pro? Here are five interesting facts about women’s soccer:

  • The FIFA World Cup has been played every four years since 1930, but the women did not compete until 1991.
  • The fastest goal in Women’s World Cup history was scored by Lena Videkull, from Sweden. She scored in just 30 seconds against Japan in 1991.
  • Attendance has always been a battle for the women’s game, however, the USA hold the record for the most-attended game in women’s sporting event history when 90,185 watched the USA defeat China in the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final.
  • Abby Wambach has more goals in international play than any other woman.
  • The first professional soccer league in the United States was created in 2000 and was called Women’s United Soccer Association.

Finally, you need a team to support or follow. Here is our take on the favorites and underdogs for this year’s trophy.

1) USA (The Favorites)

The USWNT has a stacked roster that is full of talent. They have recently gone through a transitional period by bringing in fresh, young blood through the system. In recent months, they have been toying with formation and positioning to find the strongest starting 11.

2) France (Underdogs)

They have a strong record in France with a streak of 21-0-3. In 2018, the French went on a seven-game win streak and outscored their opponents 27-1. During 2018, we also saw 15 different players get on the scoresheet, meaning they have good depth and are versatile.

3) Japan

We are all still wondering what the final roster is going to look like for Japan; during warm-up matches the squad was very different from the one seen in 2015. They put in an impressive display against the USWNT during the She Believes Cup with the result finishing 2-2. They are also the reigning AFC Women’s Asian Cup Champions.  Japan is also a previous WWC Champion, winning the tournament in 2011.

4) England

The lionesses have grit, determination, and a never-give-up attitude. You can certainly see why they might be an outsider to win the Women’s World Cup. They have a youthful team that is stabilized with senior talent.

5) Australia

Where do we start with the Matildas? They are so promising and youthful, plus they have the one and only Sam Kerr, who is the current NWSL all-time leading goal scorer. The Aussies are not shy of scoring goals and could be a big threat in attacking transition.

Other teams to look out for include: Germany, Canada, Brazil, Sweden, Netherlands. Of these teams, the Netherlands could be the biggest Darkhorse of the race to be crowned Women’s World Cup Champions! If you are heading to France to experience the action first hand, WorldStrides Excel will be right there with you cheering on both team USA and your favorite team. And for the rest of us, we’ll be cheering the teams on TV on Fox Sports.

 

 

Steven Macdonald Q&A

  • Why did you want to join WorldStrides Excel Programs?

    • The team was vibrant, fast-paced and energetic but, importantly I believe in what we are doing. We are creating once in a lifetime soccer experiences. It was a pretty easy decision in the end!

  • How long have you been with WorldStrides Excel Programs?

    • 2 1/2 years

  • What do you like the most about your job?

      • Creating amazing soccer opportunities to players that don’t get to experience the “soccer culture” in another country.

  • As a child, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up and why?

    • I wanted to be a professional golfer. I wasn’t very good at soccer and now looking back I wasn’t that good at golf either!

  • If you had to describe yourself with just one emoji – which one would it be and why?

    • Smiley/happy face. I like to think of myself as a positive, happy go lucky kinda guy!

  • What do you like doing in your spare time?

    • I like to watch my favorite soccer team, Celtic, play golf, read, watching movies/shows on Netflix although don’t have much time for any of these as wedding planning seems to always get in the way.

  • Have/do you play any sports? If so, what were/are they?

    • I play golf, occasional game of soccer but recently was crowned champion ping pong players at our recent family getaway!

  • If you were a Pixar/Disney character who would you be, and why?

    • Probably Goofy because I am a little goofy!

  • Who is your childhood sporting hero?

    • I have many, Paul McStay, Henrik Larsson, David Beckham Tiger Woods but, I would have to say that my all-time favorite Sporting hero would be Roger Federer – the man just oozes class on and off the court.

Lauren Perpetua Q&A

  • Why did you want to join WorldStrides Excel Programs?

    • The mission is one I thoroughly believe in- experiential learning through travel abroad! I think sports can connect us in so many ways!

  • How long have you been with WorldStrides Excel Programs?

    • 6 months

  • What do you like the most about your job?

      • THE PEOPLE!!!!

  • As a child, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up and why?

    • A professional ballet dancer, because I practiced non stop!

  • If you had to describe yourself with just one emoji – which one would it be and why?

    • Smiley face because I try to always stay focused on the positive side of things!

  • What do you like doing in your spare time?

    • What’s spare time?? When I do get a moment to do something, I enjoy biking, skiing, and running with my dog!

  • Have/do you play any sports? If so, what were/are they?

    • I run and cycle. I also paddle-board and enjoy yoga!

  • If you were a Pixar/Disney character who would you be, and why?

    • The chubby mouse from Cinderella, Gus Gus! Why, because I just love him!

  • Who is your childhood sporting hero?

    • Darren Daulton (1993 Phillies were my jam)

Morgan O’Donnell Q&A

  • Why did you want to join WorldStrides Excel Programs?

    • I was fortunate enough to travel to the UK with my soccer team in middle school, this is something that my teammates and I always talk about whenever we get together, I wanted to help other players have a similar experience, and I am able to do that with Excel.

  • How long have you been with WorldStrides Excel Programs?

    • 3 years

  • What do you like the most about your job?

      • Being able to open peoples eyes to the rest of the world and knowing that we are providing them with a once in a lifetime opportunity!

  • As a child, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up and why?

    • Pro soccer player, lived & breathed it back in the day

  • If you had to describe yourself with just one emoji – which one would it be and why?

    • Hang Loose

  • What do you like doing in your spare time?

    • Traveling

  • Have/do you play any sports? If so, what were/are they?

    • Soccer. I also compete in a very competitive kickball league in Baltimore. We were the reigning champs this summer!!

  • If you were a Pixar/Disney character who would you be, and why?

    • Ariel, mermaids totally exist, and I love the being on the water

  • Who is your childhood sporting hero?

    • Very cliche, obviously the original GOAT, Mia Hamm

Paddy Meleady Q&A

  • Why did you want to join WorldStrides Excel Programs?

    • I wanted to join WorldStrides so I could share my passion for sports and travel with as many people as possible.

  • How long have you been with WorldStrides Excel Programs?

    • I joined WorldStrides Excel in October 2018.

  • What do you like the most about your job?

      • The people I work with every day from both an internal and external perspective.

  • As a child, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up and why?

    • A professional footballer, but that dream quickly evaporated!

  • If you had to describe yourself with just one emoji – which one would it be and why?

    • Laughing emoji, I try not to take things too seriously, taking in the good and the bad.

  • What do you like doing in your spare time?

    • Watch soccer, coach soccer and spend time with my family and friends.

  • Have/do you play any sports? If so, what were/are they?

    • Growing up I played Soccer and Cricket.

  • If you were a Pixar/Disney character who would you be, and why?

    • I have never watched a Disney movie in my life (no this is not a joke)!

  • Who is your childhood sporting hero?

    • Paul Gascoigne