Briarwood teen wins top award

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Special to the Reporter

Chelsea’s Andee Matthews, a sophomore at Briarwood Christian School, was named 2003 Female Sports Ambassador of the Year. The award is People to People’s most prestigious award for Sports Ambassadors.

&uot;I love basketball,&uot; Matthews said. &uot;A friend nominated me and I received an invitation to attend an informational meeting regarding the trips People to People offers youth interested in playing sports internationally. After the meeting, I knew it was something I really wanted to do. It was a once in a lifetime experience that most kids my age just dream of, but it’s out there for anyone who really wants to go and play sports.&uot;

Last year, Andee traveled with People to People to the Switzerland Invitational. Her Sports Ambassador group arrived in Paris just in time to see Lance Armstrong cross the finish line in the Tour de France. From Paris they traveled to Dijon, France and Luzern, Switzerland.

They stopped in Frieburg, Germany where they completed a day-long service project.

The trip combined the opportunity to play in a three day basketball tournament against teams from Yugoslavia and Switzerland with sightseeing including a tour Paris, a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower, a visit to the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and the Swiss Alps. She traveled with youth from across the U.S. and made new friends nationally and internationally.

&uot;It wasn’t all fun and games,&uot; Matthews said. &uot;We had to practice just about every day. One of the hardest things was playing basketball under international rules. That was a challenge.&uot;

Andee was nominated by a People to People coach and submitted an essay about her travel experience which won her the Female Sports Ambassador of the Year award.

The award includes a full-tuition scholarship for travel to any of People to People’s Sports Ambassadors destinations during the summer of 2004.

Andee’s essay can be read at by clicking on Award Winners.

&uot;My options are the Dutch Classic which would be competition and sightseeing in England and the Netherlands, A.I.S.

&uot;Hoopfest in New Zealand and Australia, or the Switzerland Invitational again,&uot; Matthews said. &uot;I’ve always wanted to go to Australia.&uot;