Thirteen students from the Longford Youthreach Programme savoured the delights of the Spanish capital, when they spent a very busy 4 days in Madrid, during a recent Centre tour.
The Prado and Reina Sofia Art Museums provided an opportunity to view some of the finest works of art in existence, including major paintings by Picasso, Goya, Dali, Bosch et al.
An excursion to the Las Ventas Bullring, gave our students a fascinating insight into one of the most ancient cultural traditions of the Spanishnation.
No trip to Madrid would be complete without a visit to the Bernabeu Stadium – home of Real Madrid – where we had the unforgettable experience of seeing the home team drawing 3-3 with Las Palmas in a game where Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in the final 5 minutes to salvage a raw.
However, it was the final night in Madrid when 11 of our students took on a local school in a challenge match under floodlights, that will live long in the memory of the group involved.
Santa Maria Del Pilar – a huge secondary school in Madrid city centre – provided the opposition and for the first 50 minutes we gave an excellent account of ourselves while trailing 1-0.
Superior fitness, technique and teamwork then kicked in and they ran out fairly easy winners in the end.
The result was immaterial to our lads as the experience of testing themselves on foreign soil against students of a similar age profile was the original objective in playing this match.
A hugely beneficial trip - from a personal development aspect in particular- was had by all and those involved will have lasting memories of their first trip to Madrid with the Longford Youthreach Programme.
All students paid for their own flights, accommodation, match tickets etc.