Multiple Weston families participated in an exchange program and hosted talented soccer players from Portsmouth, England from March 6-11. The group of British teens played in a soccer tournament in Weymouth, while competing for recognition from college scouts.
One host of these players, junior Christina Binney, described the twofold purpose of the Weston soccer exchange.
“The British teens came to the states for a tournament that college scouts were at. They also came to see what America is like, and to see if they would be interested in coming to the states for college,” Binney said.
The family of sophomore Emma Fox also hosted two British soccer players and reported spending a lot of time with the athletes. She mentioned that a major part of giving the players a positive experience was supporting the athletes and organizing fun activities.
“My family made posters and appearances on the sidelines at their game. We also played soccer with them in our home, as well as at the middle school, with the other host families and players,” Fox said.
Binney and her family also made a significant time commitment hosting their exchange student, Jack Herrera-Hazael, and supporting him throughout the competition.
“[Jack] spent a lot of time with my family for family dinners and downtime, but he also met some of my friends. We also went to one of his games and made sure he had snacks and meals throughout the day, in addition we planned activities for his day…” Binney said.
In the end, not only did the exchange players have a good time, but Fox also found the opportunity meaningful.
“From this experience, I was able to learn a lot about how different the culture and lifestyle is in England, more specifically Portsmouth. I also gained a relationship with not only the two players I hosted, but with most of the players that I will never forget,” Fox stated.
Binney stated that she believes the exchange program was beneficial for both the host families and the players.
“The players also gained great connections for soccer with different colleges,” Binney stated. “In general, I think the experience gave both the host families and the athletes a greater appreciation for different people’s lifestyles and cultures, which is something I did not expect since the players were only coming from England.”