Sports coaching volunteering in South Africa

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Departure information

This trip can be arranged subject to South African school term times
Holiday type

Volunteer travel - what's it all about

Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Sports coaching volunteering in South Africa


Information on how to leave minimal negative impact on the environment is given to each volunteer prior to their departure as part of their documentation. This is also highlighted in the volunteer’s induction on arrival. Group travel is promoted wherever possible and carbon neutralising of flights is suggested and encouraged when volunteers are booking flights.

Public transport is always recommended by us and all nearby public transport routes are shown to all new arrivals. If taxis are required, you will be encouraged to share with other volunteers in order to lessen the impact of pollution wherever possible.

Having regard for the local community by being consciously aware of your impact is encouraged in all our documentation for all our projects in all our destination countries. This is because we feel very strongly that many countries are subject to, for example, water shortages, high cost of energy and high impact of energy usage, the negative impact of litter and general pollution. Thus we encourage our volunteers to be aware of these possible impacts so that they contribute positively and not negatively to the community in this respect.

Our company:
You taking part in this project enables us to continue to donate financial assistance as well as necessary goods, where it is needed around the world. Examples of donations include building new classrooms, providing school uniforms for poorer students, buying computers, sports equipment, playgrounds, toys, mattresses, classroom equipment and funding school trips and the building of libraries, and more. We also donate significantly to conservation research efforts and the purchasing of necessary conservation equipment. In the past, these donations have been made in all continents and in projects where we work, and some where we do not work.

Recent donations made include:

- Monthly donations to a variety of schools, orphanage and animal sanctuaries around the world to help with costs.

- Donations to a school in Zambia to sponsor the education of five children per year.

- Donation made to a school in Ghana to build new signs to advertise the school, buy a photocopier, buy reading books and pain some classrooms in need of repair.

- Donation of funds to build a toilet at one of the schools we work with in Cambodia – until now the children have had to go into neighbouring houses or in the bushes!

- Computer and Camera for a Street Kids project in South Africa.

- Ongoing monthly donations made to orphanage in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and every year additional money given at Christmas to buy presents for children.

- Approximately £1,500 towards the building of a desperately needed classroom in a Zulu school in eMakhosini, South Africa.

- Water tanks for various projects in Ghana and Kenya to allow the children safe drinking water.

- Toys and play equipment for children at a project that was severely lacking funds for this in South Africa.

- A donation of books for the Red Cross Hospital in Cape Town.

- A donation of $400 to the elephant project in Thailand.

We employ an all local staff force in most of our destination countries, which benefits the local economy. These range from skilled country managers, who are often pillars of their community, to local labourers and craftspeople. We believe in paying our overseas staff fairly, and many are rewarded with higher than average wages for local standards. When required, we send local staff on training courses to widen their skills. For example, a member of staff in South Africa recently attended an ‘eco-school’. Here, she was trained in eco teaching methods, which she will take to the schools around her region of South Africa to encourage eco-friendly farming methods.

We are committed to upholding strict ethical standards that ensure a positive and lasting impact upon the environments, communities, institutions, volunteers, animals, children and people that we work with.

For example:

- We encourage our volunteers to make the most of local opportunities available to them, such as shopping at local markets, eating in local restaurants and using local services and transport.

- We encourage volunteers to pay fairly for goods and services. We believe that over payment for goods and services or payment to beggars can have negative consequences and result in the over-reliance on tourism within the local community.

- We strongly advise against purchasing wildlife souvenirs or anything which may perpetuate the death or cruel treatment of animals for the purpose of profit.

- We advise on dress codes and codes of behaviour in all of our destination countries to ensure volunteers don’t cause offence to local communities.

Our aim is to create always a win-win-win situation in terms of the benefits for the local communities and institutions that we work in, for us and for the volunteer. We do not embark on any project that is not beneficial to the communities, institutes or volunteers. We conduct regular volunteer satisfaction surveys to monitor our performance.

Our projects enable vital conservation, research, care and education work to take place directly where it is most needed. For example, the schools where we teach English very often have no other English teachers, and so they rely on us for continued lessons. We kept a Species Survival Conservation project in South Africa afloat until completion after it was threatened by lack of funds. Our volunteers contribute, all over the world, to projects that would not exist without them.


Sustainable and ongoing development of local communities is always the primary aim of our volunteer projects and this project is no different. You’ll take up where others left off and you’ll be involved in the continued personal development of the children through a variety of different sports, a volunteer medium that helps teach a multitude of skills such as team skills, social interaction, fair play, competitiveness, keeping healthy and just good old fashion fun!

Sports in South Africa are becoming compulsory. Unfortunately many children don't receive a proper sports education at their school, which is why your help is needed. You'll also provide essential education for the school teachers, who'll learn from you and be able to carry on with your coaching assignments once you've left, ensuring some continuity for the children. By choosing this volunteer project you’re not only improving the lives of the children as a volunteer coach but also encouraging them to attend school and setting an example for the teachers! As a volunteer coach on this project you’ll make a real difference.

Getting the children involved and motivated in sport helps improve the daily life of the children, brings new perspectives and ways of thinking, new opportunities for future development and, what is always exciting, exposure to different cultures and people from other areas of the world.

Sport classes in Knysna are run in conjunction with the Life Orientation classes. The purpose of these classes is to develop Team work, Confidence, Self Esteem, Communication Skills and Leadership. These classes also help to develop skills, knowledge, values and attitudes that empower learners to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions regarding health promotion, social development, personal development, physical development, movement and orientation to the world of work. A very worthwhile and effective community project. In this fun environment volunteers will really get to know the children and make lasting connections across cultural, language and age barriers.

We employ local staff as long term members of the company benefiting the local community financially and by empowering these local people to facilitate positive change through the international volunteer programs.

As an added bonus and extra activity during your project, you may also have the opportunity to provide help and support to the local community through the various afternoon activities we have to offer. This is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the African culture, but most importantly to give a caring hand to the local community.

The activities could range from helping out at:

- The Children's Home - Make the afternoons fun and exciting for these lovely children by playing games, helping them with home work and just being there to give them the attention that they so crave.

- The Art Centre for children - The centre was set-up to unite children in understanding and fighting HIV and AIDS through art and education, so that they can increase children's knowledge of HIV & AIDS and create more open communication, as well as reduce risk-taking behaviour by increasing self-esteem. You can be a part of this extremely worthwhile programme and make a huge impact to their lives as well as helping them to express their creative side and enjoy an afternoon full of art and crafts. This is such an exciting opportunity for children that also helps to raise HIV awareness which is very important, so why not be a part of it too!

- The Soup Kitchen - Soup kitchens have been set up to provide a meal for the poorer children in the community and often this will be the only decent meal a child has during the day - any support given is greatly appreciated by all.

- After-school drama or sports - Take some time out after school to set up after school sports or drama clubs, the children love it and it's a great way to get to know them better in a relaxed and fun environment (If you'd like to set up a drama or sports club, please let us know when you apply so that we can arrange it with the school before you arrive.)

- Other community projects - In the past volunteers have helped to paint the outside of a crèche that was in desperate need of a lift. The crèche is now looking very cheerful with brightly coloured walls. A jungle gym was donated to this orphanage and volunteers also helped to put it together for the crèche too! There may be other similar projects available at the time you're there that you might want to participate in. Volunteers can choose to be a part of these excellent and worthwhile projects alongside coaching sports in Knysna.

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