To celebrate our return to international sports travel, we sat down with some of our longstanding partners and listened to their stories on the impact of traveling with their teams. Each coach took a different journey with us—traveling to countries like England, Scotland, Spain, Italy, and even Germany—but they all share one thing: a burning passion for immersing their players, coaching staff, and families in an unfamiliar culture for the adventure of a lifetime.
Gary Stephenson, Director of Soccer Development and Performance at EPYSA
Gary Stephenson might be the biggest believer in the benefits that international travel can provide to any program, especially an ODP one. In this interview, Gary takes us through his journey of traveling with EPYSA players and families, including leading yoga on the beach in Barcelona, playing against future professionals in Girona, and watching Benfica win the Portuguese League in Lisbon. EPYSA and WorldStrides Sports have a true partnership that means more than just international travel for U13, U15, and U17 groups every year. Hear Gary describe what travel brings to EPYSA and why every ODP program in the country should travel with WorldStrides Sports.
Sean Hughes, Associate Head Coach for Men’s Soccer at Marquette University
Soon after returning from their first-ever foreign tour in 2019, the Golden Eagles soared to new heights! Hear Sean talk about the massive impact visiting the U.K. had on the program, including having three players drafted to the MLS in 2020. Sean breaks down how easy it is to plan and execute a trip with WorldStrides Sports, shares some insight from watching his team play against three English Premier League Academy teams, and tells us what it was like to see some of the best players in the world compete in the Champions League.
Graeme Miller, Director of Soccer at Stevenson University
A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Graeme Miller has just about seen and done it all. That includes playing in a friendly match on tour with his team and scoring the winning goal! Having taken his players on international tours to Spain, Germany, and the U.K. as both an Assistant Coach and as a Head Coach, Graeme gives his opinion on why you should use travel as an extension to your pre-season and how that can springboard your team into a successful regular season. Listen to him talk about his lifelong friendship with our Tour Directors and how WorldStrides Sports made each trip so memorable.
Each coach we spoke with told a similar story—from lifelong friendships with Tour Directors, to playing against the best competition in Europe, to seeing Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo play up close, to being able to give back while on tour as Global Ambassadors, our partners speak passionately about their experiences and why every coach in the country should give international sports travel a shot.
We look forward to continuing to grow and strengthen our partnerships with these clubs, schools, and teams as we get them back out into the world, where they can learn and experience new things—both on and off the field.
Click here to view our showcase of coach interviews on the impact of sports travel, or catch the videos below.