Planning a sports tour? If you’re looking ahead for your school, club or team, take a look at our planning checklist designed to help you identify all the factors you need to think about to get off to the best start:
- Planning Time – A minimum of 18 months is ideally needed to plan ahead for a long haul tour. However, if you’re considering a short haul option or joining an established tournament with a comprehensive package in place, this could be perfectly achievable in a shorter timeframe – so long as you still build in adequate time for internal planning and parents.
- Aims – As part of your planning you’ll be establishing specific objectives for your tour. What are your aims? Performance, team development and/or cultural enrichment, for example?
- Budget – Cost is a major factor too. What is your budget, what will you be able to deliver for this and how will you be able to demonstrate best value? Be realistic with what you aim for but don’t settle for less than you should – choosing your destination accordingly is important.
- Fundraising – Consider whether a fundraising campaign could help enhance the tour. If so, plan for this as early as possible and make it tangible so you have specific goals for your fundraising – such as a particular trip or excursion you’d like to secure with the funds raised.
- Getting Buy-in – Are there likely to be any major concerns or issues risking ‘buy-in’ to your idea? These might be internal, arising from timetable clashes for instance, or from parents and ranging from cost, to safety, trip duration, safeguarding, and so on – planning the tour and itinerary is exciting and can be a distraction from the all-important due diligence. We always recommend getting permission from your Senior Management Team and expressions of interest from parents/players before spending too long planning the specifics of a tour.
- Opposition – Gauge the level of competition you’d like to engage with on tour – how can this be best met? Destinations vary in terms of facilities and local opposition enormously. You’ll want to know you have pitched it right on both accounts.
- Checks – Make sure you get your health & safety and risk assessment work in place at the earliest opportunity and check out your tour operator for ATOL bonding, their track record and experience.
- Recommendations – And don’t forget to speak with other schools to get some recommendations on destinations and tour specialists.
With more than 10 years’ experience specialising in sports tours for schools, clubs and teams, Sporta Tours are well placed to help and can provide guidance on all of the above. If you’d like to pick our brains about your ideas and sports tour plans, get in touch with Roger and our team here.