Santander Universities Women in Football
Tuesday, 26 March 2019
Earlier this month, Santander invited one member of the Women’s Football team from each of their 72 partner universities for the three day Santander Universities Women in Football Trip to Barcelona.
Varsity Captain and Oxford Brookes University Women’s 1st captain, Alice Bates, represented #TEAMBrookes on the trip.
Words from Santander (in italics) and Alice below:
DAY 1 – Tuesday 12th March
Yesterday Alice touched down in Spain for the first day of the @santanderuni Women in Football trip to Barcelona. First up on the agenda was a panel discussion on women’s leadership held in the iconic Camp Nou Stadium. Attendees heard from an inspirational panel on their experiences in leadership, from both inside and out of the sporting world.
After arriving at the hotel there was a group lunch which gave me the opportunity to meet the other girls. In the evening the group went to a conference at the Auditorium 1899, FC Barcelona. The conference was called a ‘Thought Leadership Session’. We discussed leadership and the importance of this in both a football and business context, and football’s role - and its impact - in local communities and how Santander is supporting those communities.
The conference panelists included Matias Rodriguez Inciarte (Chairman of Santander Universities), Susan Allen (Head of Retail & Business Banking Santander, UK), Maria Teixidor (Secretary and Responsible for Women’s Football at FC Barcelona) and Laura Rafols (former player and captain at FC Barcelona). To end the day we enjoyed a group dinner at Tamara Restaurant.
DAY 2 – Wednesday 13th March
Here is what Alice has been up to in Barcelona during the @santanderuni Women in Football trip – a training session run by Albert “Chapi” Ferrer, professional football coach and ex player from both FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC, followed by an evening at Camp Nou watching the Barcelona v Lyon match last night.
There was a football session led by Chapi Ferrer who is an ex Chelsea and Barcelona player and the current FC Barcelona legends coach! In the afternoon we had some free time to explore the city and I visited the Cathedral and walked around the shops in Las Ramblas.
The main event of the trip was the Champions League last 16 second leg game for FC Barcelona against Lyon which saw Barcelona win 5-1! My favourite part of the trip was definitely the game, and being offered the opportunity to watch one of the best teams in the world was an incredible experience.
DAY 3 – Thursday 14th March
Alice rounded off her @santanderuni Women in Football trip to Barcelona with a guided tour of the Camp Nou stadium followed by a traditional Spanish lunch on the beach, before heading back to the airport.
In the morning, we were invited to a guided tour of the Camp Nou Stadium. We visited the changing rooms, the benches and the pitch. In the stadium there is museum which displays all the trophies FC Barcelona has won since it was founded, such as the 5 Champions League trophies the club has won. Another part of the museum is the section dedicated to Lionel Messi, which has his 5 Ballon D’Or’s and 5 Golden Boots. We then headed to a beach club and had our final group dinner before everyone headed back to the UK, and back to reality.