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2012 Scotland Tour

SURFC in Scotland

A club tour either international or domestic is an excellent activity for team building and a concentrated rugby experience involving teams and styles not usually encountered. Syracuse Rugby began touring in the 1970’s and ‘80’s with memorable visits to the Bahamas and England. In recent years the club has visited the North West of England, Argentina and for Spring Break 2012 Scotland. The two U.K. tours were organized through Sports and Corporate Travel Ltd as they are a sponsor of professional rugby.

 
The original concept for the 2012 Tour was a Celtic Circle, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, which was a seductive but highly impractical vision for a 10 day tour. So Scotland it was and the group of 24 players, two coaches and team doctor arrived in Edinburgh Friday A.M. and checked into a hostel where unfortunately the Bar was already open. However, a visit to the world famous Edinburgh Castle (which is still a working military facility) and other amazing sights kept jet lag at bay. Unfortunately it resurfaced during the next day’s game at St. Andrews University where S.U. went down 32-19 in very winnable game. The social, held in sight of the golf course regarded as the home of the sport was outstanding, as food, beer, whisky and camaraderie were plentiful and at least half the touring party stayed overnight, meeting up on the 18th hole the next morning before taking a train back to Edinburgh.
 
The four match schedule was just right and Syracuse had two good wins against Edinburgh University and Strathclyde University Freshman 15’s before losing heavily in the last game against a men’s club side Allan Glenns First 15. This result soon became close to irrelevant as the hosting and social interaction was magnificent. The 10 day tour also included an interesting visit and shopping at the national stadium, Murrayfield, a training session with Youth Academy Coaches at the Glasgow Warriors professional club, a visit to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands and an emotional day at the town of Lockerbie, where 35 Syracuse students lost their lives when Pan AM 103 came down after an explosion on board.
 
To get some insight into how a community and region reacted over many months and years (as it is still in the news this year) was incredibly moving. A jumbo jet and 300+ bodies fell out of the sky and scattered debris and body parts over the town. The response of the residents, police and army demonstrated the best that humanity has to offer as they sensitively collected evidence and cleaned up a massive area. Our students wrote, ‘My connection to the grave reality of the event did not sink in until I saw the ages of the victims, so close to mine, written in the Memory Book. This made me even more appreciative of how fortunate we are to have this opportunity. ‘ and ‘ The extent to which this event has engrained itself into the identity of the Lockerbie Community is a stunning example of the best that humanity has to offer. They have voluntarily become the caretakers for the memories of more than 300 people with whom they had nothing in common before that fateful night.’
 
So the tour was a successful rugby experience but was also, as always a comprehensive educational experience intertwining history, geography and celebrating a common humanity with an international brotherhood. Next stop Southern France in 2014.

March 2012 SURFC vs St Andrews RFC

 
 

March 2012 SURFC vs Allen Glen RFC

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