Witness the Fitness - Volunteering for Sports and Activities Coaching

football trainingAre you passionate about sport and the outdoors? Are you interested in traveling across the world to foster that same passion in overseas countries, especially amongst the youth?

Then volunteering to coach and mentor in sports outreach or development programs is for you!

Sports is said to be a universal language – a physical medium through which we can connect non-verbally with each other across cultural and social boundaries. You don’t need to understand a different language to feel the infectious excitement of a football match played overseas, for example, even though you might not understand the commentator. This is why volunteering for sports and physical education coaching can help you communicate with communities worldwide, and inspire people to live up to their potential – plus it’s one of the most exciting and rewarding forms of volunteering there is.

Interactive sports activities are a powerful mechanism to develop life skills and encourage sustainable social change. Sport can provide a much-needed distraction from more negative aspects of underprivileged people's lives. It offers excitement and potential, and it may even offer a route out of poverty. By volunteering in this field, you will be helping to develop personalities, teach life skills, instil values and reduce at-risk behaviour by offering children and adults alike the opportunity to get familiar with a range of sports opportunities.

Africa is a particularly sought-after destination for volunteers who are interested in sports coaching. There is a huge continent-wide love for football and athletics, and many successful African athletes have joined the ranks of the world’s top teams in a number of sports. Football and athletics are relatively easy for even the poorest to take part in at a basic level (all you need is an open field and a ball). There are bodies like Grass Roots Soccer who use the African passion for football to teach disadvantaged youth about HIV and preventive measures. Larger development institutions like the United Nations and private sector groups like FIFA and top international football clubs are also involved in various sports programmes. So there are many ways to get involved as an intern or a sports volunteer in Africa, and use your love of sports to make a difference.

In post-Apartheid South Africa, the newly-formed government removed Physical Education from the general school curriculum, in a controversial move to shift educational focus onto academia and help redress historical imbalances. As a result, student involvement in physical activity has greatly decreased in most schools over the last 20 years. Intervention is greatly needed, as sport is a vital part of youth development. Most schools quite simply lack the resources to provide pupils with any kind of physical education or development activities, either during or after school hours, so volunteers who can assist school coaches or create sports programmes are a most welcome addition to the curriculum. Khaya Volunteer Projects is proud to be associated with projects that encourage skills in sports such as football, cricket, rugby and hockey in the colourful and vibrant townships of Port Elizabeth.

Various volunteer projects have proven the potential of sport and adventure activities to impact both youth and adults positively and reduce delinquency, school drop-outs, gangsterism and other antisocial behaviour. You don’t need to be a pro athlete or a qualified coach to be able to teach them the benefits of exercise, discipline and teamwork. You just need energy, enthusiasm, a love for active living, sports and a desire to uplift communities – and you can help people see that they can win at life!

 

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