Bower Park pupils find fame on exchange trip

A GROUP of pupils found themselves top of the news agenda during a school trip to America.

Children on the basketball team from Bower Park School in Havering Road North, Romford, visited a school in Florida as part of a trip organised by their American coach, Corey Gaines.

And in addition to making new friends at Ridge Community High, in Polk County, and attending a professional basketball game, the pupils were also interviewed for a segment on top television channel ABC Action News, watched by thousands of people.

Bower Park was described by the presenters as a “public secondary where kids wear a coat and tie and straight As are expected”.

Among the pupils interviewed from Bower Park were Charlotte Green and Femi Balogun, who were asked by the interviewer about the importance of getting good grades.


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Charlotte said: “Pushing yourselves to get those grades is important.”

In response to a question about what happened if you did not get the expected grades Femi said: “You have to redo a year. Or whatever you want to do, you won’t be able to do it.”

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The youngsters at Bower Park were also amazed by the size of Ridge Community High.

Charlotte said: “I’d heard that the schools were big but this is huge. I didn’t think it would be this big.”

Pupils at the Florida school were shown during basketball training, which takes place every day unlike at Bower Park.

Mr Gaines, who grew up in the American state of Georgia, told the news programme: “My kids can only train once or twice a week. That’s because there are so many other sports that have to use the same facilities.

The trip was hailed a success by both schools, with Mr Gaines telling the television channel: “To see these kids embrace the London kids I feel is the best part of the trip,”

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