The OSCAR Boys Football Team arrived in the UK on Saturday 3oth September for fourteen days.
The school worked really hard to support this amazing charity and ensure this trip provided the OSCAR children with a life changing experience.
Fundraising for this programme began in April 2017 with the ‘Big Beaudesert Dribble for OSCAR’; children and staff dribbled the ball an incredible 4,543 miles (the distance from Mumbai to Minchinhampton), supported by England football legends, Tony Adams and David Seaman.
The money raised from this and the continued goodwill of donors enabled the fourteen children to fly from Mumbai to the UK for a mix of sport and education. The tour educated and enriched the children, who have returned to Mumbai with experience and knowledge to pass on to their friends and siblings and proved that an education really does pay off.
The tour took the boys, who are between 11 and 14 years old, to London, Surrey, Suffolk and Surrey to visit five schools and take on their football teams.
The OSCAR tour has also inspired and energised organisations and individuals to both raise money and offer exciting opportunities. Multi award winning lyricist, Sir Tim Rice generously gave the children tickets for The Lion King in London and they were accompanied by national treasure, Elaine Paige. Tree top adventure company, Go Ape, opened their doors exclusively for them and the grand finale was a visit to Manchester United Football Club where star midfielder, Juan Mata, gave them a tour around Old Trafford.
On Monday 9th October we were delighted to welcome the OSCAR Boys football team to the school, a day ahead of their official football match against us.
They arrived in time for lunch and were then taken to ‘Inside Football’, a 3G indoor football pitch where they were given a training session by Forest Green Rovers star striker, Omar Bugiel. This was followed by a training session on our outdoor pitch with the legendary ex England and Arsenal Captain, Tony Adams.
On Tuesday 10th October, the Oscar Boys arrived at school and delivered morning assembly. The children and staff were moved and inspired by stories of their lives in Mumbai and everyone was given an OSCAR wrist band to wear in support of the work of this amazing foundation.
The Oscar Boys then joined some of the lessons, including Art, where they enjoyed creating a picture inspired by Kandinsky.
The build up to the big match started after lunch and kick off began after a moving rendition of the Indian National Anthem and the School Song, sung by the respective teams. The match was extremely exciting, the children from Years 4 to 8 came and watched, as well as parents, staff, photographers and film crews!
The final score was 2-1 to the Oscar Boys Football Team. They have been undefeated in all matches throughout their tour, so huge congratulations to them!
Headmaster, James Womersley summed up the experience perfectly, “Being involved in helping the OSCAR tour evolve, and hosting the children and adults with them, has been very fulfilling and a lot of fun for us here at Beaudesert. Our own pupils, their parents and our staff have really got behind the fundraising and the planning that was needed to make the boys’ time with us here in Minchinhampton as rewarding and nurturing as possible. They have been a real pleasure to host. We hope that when they go back to India they will be doing so with a new-found enthusiasm for the value of education and happy memories to last a lifetime.”
You can help to support the football tour and the wider work of the OSCAR Foundation by visiting the My Donate fundraising page on the link below:
Headline photo by kind permission of Gloucestershire Media and photographer Simon Pizzey.