Spanish stars say 'si' to languages visit
Blackburn Rovers' Spanish stars David Raya and Stefan Mols enjoyed a chance to converse in their native tongue on a special visit to Ribblesdale High School to mark International Day of Languages.
The forward-thinking Clitheroe school hosted a day of events to promote the importance of speaking additional languages, which culminated in the guest appearance from the two players, so that they could explain their experience of coming to work in a different country and how linguistic skills can make all the difference towards a successful transition.
However, the pupils had to be sharp to make sure that they understood the bulk of the replies, with the first round of questions conducted exclusively 'en español'!
To make life easier for those in the room - who had the benefit of teaching staff to aid some of the more complicated transactions - the latter questions were conducted in English, before an obligatory chance to grab photos and autographs from the footballing inspirations.
Raya, who moved to England in 2012 to join Rovers' Academy, told the group that despite growing up in the Barcelona area, his football affections lie with arch rivals Real Madrid! Current Academy prospect Mols also explained that he had an added advantage when he came to the country from Malaga at the age of 10, growing up bilingually thanks to his British mother.
Adrian Ward, head of marketing and communications at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, helped to coordinate the trip up the A59 and was impressed with the event, explaining:
"The school has taken a very pro-active approach to modern languages and I probably would have stuck at a second language for longer if I'd enjoyed events like this to help me understand the opportunities of working abroad with additional linguistic skills.
"The Community Trust works very closely with Ribblesdale High School, as they're particularly keen backers of our BTEC in Sport and Premier League Girls' Football programme, so we were delighted to be able to accept their invitation to make this event happen.
"It was kind of David and Stefan to give up their free time to come and inspire the pupils in this way and I hope that it may help a few of the youngsters to consider the employment opportunities in front of them if they make the reverse trip to the one that both players have made in coming to this country."