Twelve pupils from an East Lancashire school are jetting off for the “trip of a lifetime” as they head to South Africa for a cricket tour.

The lucky group in Years 8 to 11 from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Blackburn, who will be taken on the trip by deputy head Nick Vyse and head of PE Dr Mark Butler, will play six matches around Cape Town and Stellenbosch against a mix of school and club sides.

As well their matches, there will be plenty of enrichment activities such as a zip-lining experience, surf lessons, a hike up the iconic Table Mountain, a trip to Cape Point to see the penguins and seals, and a safari.

In keeping with the cricket theme of the trip, they also aim to take in a game at the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup which has matches taking place in Cape Town during their visit.

Lancashire Telegraph: The travelling partyThe travelling party (Image: QEGS)

The party will head to Gatwick Airport on Saturday (February 4) for the 12 hour flight to the other side of the world and will be there for two weeks.

Deputy head Nick Vyse said: “There’s a tour party of 12 kids and two staff, and they’re quite good.

"We’ve got a couple of fast bowlers, a couple of really good spinners. Whether or not we can cope with the batting is a slight reservation because it’s very different practising in a gym to playing outdoors in a very different climate.

“They’re certainly quite a talented bunch and there’s a couple of them who, you never know, could make it professionally further down the line.

“We want them to come back fitter, faster and keener, so there will be lots of sport but lots of other leisure activities too.

“I want them to have the trip of a lifetime. I want them to see and do things that most kids would never get a chance to do, and we’re going to do our very best to make sure they do.”

Getting the tour together has not been an easy task, with plans to go to Sri Lanka disrupted by economic instability in the country and a long time spent raising the cash to make going to South Africa a possibility.

Lancashire Telegraph: The Years 8-11 pupils attending the tripThe Years 8-11 pupils attending the trip (Image: QEGS)

Mr Vyse added: “We’ve kept it as cheap as possible to make sure everyone can take part if they’re keen enough.

“We have raised every bit of the £5,000 through dinners, staff bake-offs, selling chocolates and flowers for Valentines Day, auctioning cricket bats. We’ve done a whole raft of things to raise money and make a success of the trip.

“Wright’s Coaches have helped us out with getting down to Gatwick and Grays Schoolwear have been fabulous helping us with kit for the trip, and so have the Old Blackburnians which is our former pupils organisation. It’s been a really good effort.”

Due to the school’s strong reputation for sport, they want to make trips like this a regular occurrence so children in the future can benefit from the experiences it brings.

“QEGS has got a really good reputation for sport,” Mr Vyse said. “If you go and watch Saturday morning sport in the area you won’t see many other schools playing, but QEGS is week in, week out. We want our sport to be very strong.

“We would like to do another tour in a few years’ time. Sri Lanka would be a possibility, India would be a possibility. There are lots of options further down the line.

“We certainly don’t want it to be a one-off tour, we want it to be the kind of thing we do every two or three years.”