Visiting Italy with slightly over a week’s time to spend there is a challenging, exhilarating adventure – however, one Italy will never let you forget. Add in an American football experience and we are really ‘pushing the envelope’. This will be an ambitious tour, but you will receive a magnificent overview and many of the highlights of Italy including Rome, Siena, Florence, Cinque Terra, Parma, Milan and Lake Como. At times we will be hustling, but there will also be times to relax at streetside café or restaurant to take in the incredible ambiance one finds in this historic and special country.
Please see tour inclusions on the CWRU Traveler Information sheet. As well as transAtlantic airfare and all overnight accommodations basically all of your necessary expenses are covered from the time you board the plane until you return home except for most lunches and a couple of ‘your-choice’ dinners. All other meals are included (note that except for water and provided juices it is customary in Europe that drinks at meals are not included). All team/tour ground transportation and admission to sites on scheduled tours are included. The tour provides a full-time, bi-lingual tour manager as well as a US football operations tour leader. During the journey you will receive several guided tours by bi-lingual guides. You will also receive an AFW souvenir. You will need to budget for some ‘spending money’ for souvenirs from Italy, some refreshments and tips (it is customary to tip tour manager, guides and motor coach driver).
Those who commit to a foreign competition tour get the benefit of up to 10 days of padded spring practices prior to the trip as well as a couple practices, competitive football scrimmaging and the ultimate ‘road game’ against an international opponent while on tour. In addition, what has been equally if not most impressive is the teambuilding aspect that is derived from a trip of this nature. A tremendous camaraderie and cohesiveness is gained as young men travel together through a foreign land and in a different culture.
NCAA rules allow all athletic teams the opportunity to participate in a foreign competition tour once every fourth year. Should the Spartans tour in 2015 they will not be eligible for a foreign competition tour again until May of 2018.
Yes, we encourage family members to visit this fascinating, beautiful part of the world as well as seeing you compete in a very special and unique setting. Parent fees are likely to be slightly higher that those of student-athletes as lower ‘student’ touring fees are passed along. Siblings of team members will only be permitted to join the tour if a parent or parents are attending as well.
We plan to depart on Saturday May 9, 2015 with an afternoon departure from Detroit International Airport. We are scheduled to arrive in Rome on Sunday at 11:55 am. After touring north through Italy the tour group is scheduled to depart from Milan at 10:55 am on Sunday, May 17, 2015.
What is the financial cost of the trip? Please see current pricing information on the Traveler Information document. For those who register by July 15th your price is guaranteed. For those who register after July 15th we will do all that we can to hold that price as long as we can. Any change in pricing for later registrants will be communicated before your deposit is accepted. (As of July 28, 2014 the pricing above was still in effect.)
Thousands of young men have realized the dream of representing their university and the USA in international competition by both working hard to save for the tour and asking others who care about them to contribute to this special opportunity. One of the best time-tested and proven ways to make a significant dent in the expenses of the trip is to fund-raise by simply asking others who care about you for their help. In exchange for their financial assistance, you may want to be willing to then share your experience with them. Just take the time to kindly and properly ask those who love and support you. There are various fund-raising appeals you can make, including:

  • Ask family members and relatives to make donations.
  • Ask people who care about you to make a gift to you in lieu of a traditional Christmas gift or for your upcoming graduation that you can apply to the trip.
  • Send out a separate request or sponsorship letter to others who have helped you in your development as a football player.
  • Ask your parents to help you identify service organizations in your community (Kiwanis, Rotary, etc.) to whom you can write for a gift. Offer to come in to speak to them about the experience from an educational, cultural and athletic standpoint.
  • Ask for a ‘loan’ from your parents for a certain percentage of the trip and then secure a job after the football season to pay them back.

In addition, we are in the process of and optimistic that the AFW Education Foundation will be granted status as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization focused on fostering international amateur athletic competitions. This will then allow donations from others on your behalf to the AFW Education Foundation to be tax deductible thereby enhancing your opportunities to fund-raise
Under the provisions of 501(c)(3) you are only allowed to fundraise through the AFW Education Foundation and have qualify as a tax-deductible amount the direct extent of the tour cost of the trip. Spending money is not considered a direct cost. If you raise funds beyond your direct cost amount they will go toward other direct expenses and tour costs for other travelers. You will have to come up with spending money on your own.
Team members, unless excused by their head football coach and they will be traveling with parents, must travel with the team tour which includes the entire package of airfare and ground costs listed above and on the tour information sheet. Non-team members (parents, family and friends of the program) are welcome and encouraged to travel with the team from departure on campus or at our US gateway for maximum benefit and convenience. However, others are welcome to meet us at our destination by booking their own airfare and there will be a ‘land-cost only’ package. Note, that it is the ‘land only’ travelers’ responsibility (financial) to meet up with the main tour group at the foreign destination to gain full benefits of tour offerings.
“American football” is how our game is known around the world as a way to distinguish it from their football – what we know as soccer. There are now 60+ countries in the world with Federations for American Football. The game has had its longest and steadiest presence in Europe for many decades now with as many as 800 club teams playing American football. Some clubs in the world, and many in Europe, are quite fascinated with and even fanatical about American football. In the last 10 years there has been a very steady upward trend to the quality of play in American football internationally. There have now been 3 World Championships of American Football at the senior division (+20 years of age) beginning in 2003, 2007 and in the summer of 2011 in Austria. The US has now twice hosted the U20 World Championships of American Football (Canton 2008, Austin 2012) and this past season participated and won the world title in Kuwait.
Currently, we are seeking a reputable Italian senior (20+ years of age) club team somewhere on the route from Florence to Milan who would want to take on and learn from the CWRU Spartans. We will ask, but it is unlikely that at that time of year the Italian Federation will be able to assemble their national team. The Italians who play American football have a passion for the game that is very similar to yours. Note that in Europe the sport is not ‘idolized’ nor does it receive anywhere near the publicity and media attention that it does here in the US so those who play it must truly love it to be playing it. However, they have not grown up with the ‘repetitions’ you have had and they usually only practice twice a week. They will have some solid players, but overall they will not be able to match your individual skill level or unit coordination. Still, play to your standards. Execute CWRU Spartans football, help them up after the play and say “nice job”. Then do it again.
Generally, visit your local post office to secure the necessary form. You will also need a government issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license), your birth certificate, two current pictures of yourself (can be secured at Walgreens, etc.; should be 2x2 with a white background) and the required fee.
If you do not have a registration form, seek one from your head football coach or go to our website at www.americanfootballworldwide.com and download a form to print. Fill out the required material and mail it in along with a credit card number or check to Coach Debeljak.



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