Returning for their third consecutive visit to Beijing, JESS Jumeirah brought an under 11′s Boys Rugby Team and Girls Netball team to compete in a tournament hosted by our friends at Dulwich College Beijing. They were to compete in the 2 day tournament followed by a 4 day Experience Beijing program with The Hutong.

Having travelled from deserts of the Middle East, the heatwave that hit Beijing that weekend (over 43C!) obviously did not faze them, with the Rugby team only narrowly losing in the finals and the Girls team bringing home the winner’s trophy once again. After the success on the field, the students and staff were able to relax and turn their focus to soaking up the culture of the capital. It was evident that these young students had a thirst for knowledge, impressing The Hutong facilitators with their eagerness to participate in the activities and always attempting to communicate with locals – whether scouring the hutongs during the Scavenger Hunt; investigating the fascinating history of 798 Art District or mingling with elderly residents in the exercise park at Temple of Heaven.

Coming from Dubai, certainly one of the biggest challenges for the students was the unfamiliar Chinese cuisine and using chopsticks. However, the students again impressed us with the way they strived to adopt our ‘Embrace Diversity’ core value and were always willing to try new things. Undoubtedly, the lunch at Mr Ge’s farmhouse, after a visit to the Great Wall, was perceived to be the biggest challenge but the result left empty plates and smiling faces after several new tasty discoveries.

As ever, the JESS Jumeirah students and staff were an absolute pleasure to work with and were fantastic ambassadors for their school, both on and off the field. We look forward to seeing them back again next year!

Quotes from Becky Manson, PE Teacher:

‘I have been on sports tours my entire life as the daughter of a PE teacher and I can only say positive things about The Hutong staff. They got to know the children quickly, understood what we needed as staff and made sure the children and staff had a trip of a lifetime. There is not much more you could ask of a company in my opinion.’