Wellington High School, Real Madrid staff and students take off

Flying High: Wellington High School students and staff ready for departure at Dubbo airport. Photo: Belinda Soole.
Flying High: Wellington High School students and staff ready for departure at Dubbo airport. Photo: Belinda Soole.

Parents and caregivers were on hand at the Dubbo Regional Airport in order to farewell the twenty five Wellington High School students and staff who recently took the first step on a trip of a lifetime.

The twenty students, with five teachers and supervisors, will spend twelve days in Spain as guests of the Real Madrid Foundation, the charitable wing of the world's largest football club.

Wellington High School's Coach-coordinator Brooke George said that the children flying to Spain had been overwhelmed, but were in good spirits ahead of their daunting international flight.

"Yeah, I think everyone's really excited, this morning we were all talking and they were very, very nervous, but now I think the excitement's settled in and taken over a little bit more," George said.

"They're definitely a bit more comfortable with everyone here and ready to go."

"Some of the kids here, they never would have been on a plane before, so it's a pretty special thing to get to do that with the other kids and go on this big of a trip."

The trip will give students from Wellington High School, who play football socially, a chance to hone their skills in training sessions, but also allows the students a chance to experience a world class football game up close.

"Because we're a social sport school, we get to play football over there socially with other schools like that, which is great for the kids," George said.

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"The kids will get to train at the Real Madrid sport facility, but we also get to watch one of their games at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium."

"We'll be the VIP guests there on the day, which gives us access that members of the public don't normally get, that was definitely one of the highlights of the 2016 trip, so, they're all looking forward to that as a highlight."

The game, a top of the table clash between Real Madrid and second placed Granada, as a massive event, with the stadium capable of seating over 80,000 attendants and gave the visitors a chance to cheer on their hosts in a 4 - 2 victory over Granada.

While the kids will also be training at the facility, and building on skills they've already developed, George said that the real value of the trip is in helping the children broaden their horizons and experience new things.

"Just being able to provide them with an experience that some of them might not ever get to do again is pretty special on it's own."

Thanks to the generosity of the Real Madrid foundation, the students were able to travel with a majority of the costs already covered by their hosts, only having to pay there way on the initial trip and return.

"The Real Madrid foundation cover all the costs while we're over there, which is great, the kids only have to pay for their own air fares."

George also extended her thanks to local travel agent Nikita Burn, who'd helped make the process of getting the kids ready for their flights as easy as possible.

"She even came along to see us off on departure day and gone out of her way to make sure everything goes smoothly."