A cultural study tour to Britain showed students the secrets behind the country's football and food

A cultural study tour to Britain showed students the secrets behind the country's football and food

Watching the country's best young footballers and eating some delicious fish and chips were highlights of two very different British adventures

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The Hong Kong boys (from left) Mike Fu, Andy Chow and Victor Wong met Aston Villa academy coach Nick Shaw to learn the secrets of the Premier League's success
The Hong Kong boys (from left) Mike Fu, Andy Chow and Victor Wong met Aston Villa academy coach Nick Shaw to learn the secrets of the Premier League's success

If you are crazy about football, there are few better places to visit than Britain. The country that invented the beautiful game is also home to some of the world's most famous teams and players.

This past summer, Victor Wong Ka-chin, Mike Fu Chun-hin, and Andy Chow On-wa, Form Four and Form Five students from Kwai Chung Methodist College, were given the chance to experience Britain's love for football first hand.

They visited two English football teams after being selected to take part in the Wai Yin Association's TES (Travel, Experience, Share) programme. It takes less fortunate students on overseas study tours.

The students choose a cultural aspect they want to explore in the country; they decided to search for the secret behind the English Premier League's ability to produce some of the world's finest footballers.

"We emailed more than 10 clubs to request a visit to their training facilities," says Mike. "The response was not overwhelming, but we managed to convince two clubs - Aston Villa and Birmingham City - to let us watch their youth training programme."

Before the visit, the trio was hoping to play with some young British players dreaming of becoming professionals. But Victor says they soon realised they couldn't compete with the talented youngsters.

"We gave that idea up right after we saw the players in action," he says. "They were our age but their skill and fitness levels were way out of our league."

Andy wasn't too disappointed to miss the chance to play at a top club. Instead, he enjoyed a more casual kick-about with some locals. He says he was impressed by the passion people had for the game.

"We brought a ball with us and whenever we kicked it around in a park after lunch, people joined us. People love to play, even little girls are playing the game," he says.

Another group of students on the TES programme are Form Five students from SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School. Winki Ting Wing-kei, Jamie Lai Chi-ying and Shirley Wong Ying-lam enjoyed a food adventure in London.

"People said that England isn't great [for food], but we disagree," says Jamie. "Fish and chips, and mashed potato are delicious British treats."

Jamie was also impressed by the range of foreign food available in London, particularly the number of Turkish and Italian restaurants. The hospitality was also a highlight.

The group was even introduced to celebrity chef Huseyin Ozer, who insisted on making them a special Turkish lunch while sharing some of his knowledge with the students.

Although they were all amazed by the delicious food available in London, they felt the service was something which might not catch on back home.

"The service was attentive but so slow," says Shirley. "A meal took two to three hours to finish. I don't think Hongkongers could get used to it!"

The Wai Yin Association will hold an exhibition about the students' experiences during their British adventure at Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong. It opens tomorrow and runs until September 21

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Great football, great food

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