Moravian and Stonehill Begin the Offseason With Exciting European Adventures
While junior year abroad programs provide college students with the chance to explore another country in structured environments, student-athletes do not have the luxury of taking a semester or entire year off to go overseas. However, that does not mean that athletes cannot have a similar experience.
Sport Tours International offers athletic programs unique overseas adventures that enable players to not only travel abroad but to play fun and competitive games against foreign teams. For many athletes, the international travel with Sport Tours marks their first foray out of the United States. Furthermore, the matchups against overseas teams give players and coaching staffs priceless game-time experience outside the constraints of the regular season.
This past May the women's basketball programs at Moravian College and Stonehill College completed exciting European tours before the official onset of summer. For these two programs, the last two weeks of May started with intense practices and packing before transatlantic flights to the Old World.
Following the Footsteps of the Beatles
Moravian's tour of England included exploring the rich history of Manchester and Liverpool as well as well as the sights of London.
Shortly after landing in Manchester, the travel party of 22 enjoyed lunch and a walk around the city center before heading to the seaside metropolis of Liverpool. After a pit stop at Crosby Beach on the coastline, the team arrived in the Liverpool, the city that launched the Beatles-led "British Invasion" in the sixties.
The daytime sightseeing included spectacular views of the city from the immense bell tower of Liverpool Cathedral and a bike tour before the team headed back to Manchester for the first game of the tour.
The team's second day was all Beatlemania, from a visit to the Beatles Story museum to a Magical Mystery Bus Tour that included stops at Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and the childhood homes of the Fab Four.
The final leg of the trip featured a stop in Oxford, a trip to Windsor Castle, sightseeing in London and two games. Even though Queen Elizabeth II was not at home when the team went to the royal residence, the players were awestruck by the majestic décor and architecture of the landmark. The Hounds returned to Pennsylvania with two wins and a loss.
To read more about Moravian's trip to England, check out the team's trip blog written by the student-athletes: Moravian Trip Blog.
Coast-to-Coast on the Iberian Peninsula
Stonehill women's basketball began its overseas sojourn in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. The first two days of the trip included a victory against local team Benfica, a sailing cruise of the Lisbon waterfront, as well as tours of historic monuments, museums and the city's famous cobblestoned streets that date back hundreds of years.
Stonehill also faced Alges Basket in Lisbon and won the contest by just one point. Next up was a journey to the opposite side of the Iberian Peninsula. The team left the Atlantic Coast to head to Spain's Catalonia region on the shores of the Mediterranean.
The team landed in stunning Barcelona and had a chance to view famed monuments up close via a bike tour. Student-athletes even had time to play with some local kids in a park. Although the team did not come out on top in their last game of the trip, a contest against AE Boet Mataro in Barcelona, they still enjoyed the competition, the city and delicious Catalonian cuisine.
To see a gallery of Stonehill's trip, check out the team's trip page: Stonehill Trip Recap