Ultimate College Softball
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Bigplay33

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Reply with quote  #1 
Daughter [college senior] was  invited to play softball in Australia for Beyond Sports by Ryan Bourke [www.beyondsportstours.com]. Anybody hear of this opportunity or participate with this company? Travel to play 4-5 games, hit all the tourist traps for a few thousand $$$s. Question is scam or once in a lifetime trip?  
Stretch

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Reply with quote  #2 
Sounds about like Kirt Whiteside's Queen of Diamonds money grab for the pre-college players. We had 3 players recieve the invite from our mid-major team.
sbparent

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Reply with quote  #3 
Money grab!!!  There is one college that I know of that will brag about their kids representing USA on these types of deals.  I guess for the right price you can buy you way on to a "team USA."  It may be a good trip but IMO you are just paying for their travel services.  It isn't about softball.
3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #4 

<<There is one college that I know of that will brag about their kids representing USA on these types of deals.>>

 

Translate for this dullard, will ya?

strikeoutplayer

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Reply with quote  #5 
money grab.  Not going to make a difference in recruitment imho.  Spend the money on visiting college campus that interest her.  These trips have been around for over 20 years, my daughter was invited and we declined after researching and talking with folks who did do it.
Bigplay33

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you for the comments . Need to look out for each other softball is a great vehicle to many other opportunities, friends,extended family, education, job qualities, so on.....
BeyondSports

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi All,
This is Ryan Bourke from Beyond Sports. A friend pointed me to this thread and I wanted to address some of the concerns/comments that have been posed. I completely understand the skepticism that comes when your student-athlete is invited to join the kind of tours we offer, and I want to share some details and background about who we are.
 
Beyond Sports originally started as a study abroad program for student-athletes. Student-athletes study abroad at a significantly lower rate than the average student body; the main barriers being that athletes have off-season commitments to train with their team or take additional courses, and many athletes forgo studying abroad in order to maintain continuity with their training and team.
 
Our original program was a summer session in Costa Rica where student-athletes earned academic credits taking courses at Universidad Veritas, trained for their sport, provided sports clinics for local youth, and is some cases were able to practice with local teams. These programs offer far deeper cultural immersion than what the average student experiences abroad and we have continued providing these programs under the name of Student-Athletes Abroad (http://www.saabroad.com).
 
Our tour programs evolved out of the realization that a long-term study abroad program was too big of a leap for many student-athletes, and offering a 9-12 day tour was much more appealing (especially for students with limited or no travel experience). From our tour programs, we've seen many, many students get "the travel bug" and go on to study abroad with long-term programs. 
 
Our goal is to get student-athletes to experience a different part of the world, and engage with a different culture. Competition is important, and we do our best to provide the most competitive games, but ultimately our tours are about giving students a broader perspective on the world. Of the 13 employees at Beyond Sports, 12 played collegiate athletics. Some of us had the opportunity to study abroad, and some did not, but we all believe that getting student-athletes to experience the world is a benefit not just to themselves, but also to whatever communities or organizations they go on to become leaders of.

Admittedly, the Australia tour is one of our more expensive trips, but Australia is a very expensive country. The flight, which is included, is a significant chunk of the cost. For anyone who is considering this decision with their daughter, I encourage you to reach out and we can connect you with a past participant to hear about their experience first-hand. We know not every student has the means to afford something like this. But for those that do, I really don't think there is a better way to start exploring the world than through the sport you love.
 
A much smaller point (but important to us), our athletes do not wear "USA" uniforms and we do not promote our tours as an opportunity to play for "Team USA". Inevitably, participating athletes are representing the US (and their schools) simply by association, and we make an effort to remind them of that so they represent themselves accordingly, but not as a marketing ploy.
 
Thanks for your time, and please feel free to reach out to me personally with any questions, or continue the conversation here.
 
Kind regards,
Ryan Bourke
sbparent

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Posts: 152
Reply with quote  #8 
Good reply and glad you shared the way your company is run.  I looked back and the its American International Sports Team that I had seen sponsoring events like yours.  I noted that in the picture I saw the uniforms do say USA on them.
BeyondSports

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks sbparent. AIST provides great experiences as well!
iasoftballer

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Reply with quote  #10 
I think it depends on what you are looking for out of the experience.  No you are not going to gain a scholarship out of it or help you get an edge in the recruiting process but what you do get is an experience into something outside of your norm.  See how softball is played outside of our US bubble.  I've traveled with a team twice to an international tournament with a different company and I can say it was one of the coolest and best experiences I have ever had (I'm trying to get back there again). 

Yes you get to see all of the tourist traps, but if you do it right you can immerse yourself into the cultures you are visiting.  I don't know for me there was something about interacting with the local teams and to see the true passion they had for the game.  The game wasn't as commercial as it is here, it wasn't about the scholarship or the money it was about the game, it was still pure.    

I think its important for my players to get out and experience things.  I would prefer all of them to go international at some point in their life and I don't think I am alone on that.  Every year we see out D1 teams taking their teams places - Oregon they just went to New Zealand.  Its helping them grow as individuals.  
PH2

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Posts: 570
Reply with quote  #11 
Think I saw Baylor was in Ghana the past week.
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