How do you fancy spending more than a month in South Africa as a volunteer sports coach on a funded placement? Read on to find out more.
The reigning Rugby World Cup champions and a team England’s cricketers are currently doing fierce battle with across a four test match series, South Africa is a country well known for its sporting pedigree.
However, these remarkable World level sporting achievements are placed in greater context when you appreciate the lack of equipment, facilities and funding for sport at a grass roots level, amidst the countries difficult economic situation where recent unemployment levels have been as high as 29%.
And an prime example of this stark reality is best seen through the story of the Springboks World Cup winning captain, Siyamthanda (Siya) Kolisi.
Born to a teenage mum, who died when he was just 15, Kolisi grew up under the care of his grandmother in the impoverished township of Zwide, just outside Port Elizabeth.
But fortunately for South Africa Rguby, Kolisi was to make a name for himself at the tender age of 12, where his obvious talent for the sport was spotted and he was afforded a scholarship to the prestigious Grey High School, highly regarded as one of the best Public School’s in South Africa.
But whilst he would then go on to make history as the first black player to lead his country in the sport, after lifting the Webb Ellis trophy following his team’s victory over England in the World Cup Final, Kolisi would quickly reflect on how different his current realities were from the challenging times he experience during his youth.
“Growing up, I never dreamed of a day like this at all. When I was a kid all I was thinking about was getting my next meal,”said the powerful flanker.
“A lot of us in South Africa just need an opportunity.”
Captain of the South African rugby team, Siya Kolisi, shortly after leading his team to glory in the Rugby World Cup final against England (Image credit: David Rodgers/Getty Images) Your chance to inspire the next generation of sporting champions
But whilst Kolisi’s achievements will understandably prove a huge inspiration for children growing up back in his home nation, you too can play a crucial role in inspiring and providing opportunity to South Africa’s next generation of sporting champions this summer.
This is because as part of the Changing Worlds programme, Teesside University students are being offered the chance to become a volunteer sports coach between July 4 and August 8.
The five week programme will see you “share your passion for your chosen sport” with children from some of the most disadvantaged communities within Port Elizabeth, across a variety of schools and community environments, helping to teach those fundamental skills and techniques that will help develop the next Siya Kolisi’s of South African sport.
And if that wasn’t enough motivation, there is an extra incentive for students to put themselves forward for this life changing experience.
Project lead and Teesside University’s Head of Student Futures, Norman Day, said: “The programme fees and flights are fully funded.”
“This covers your accommodation and meals, making the cost to Teesside University students just £200, plus your spending money for the time you will spend in South Africa.
“This is a great way to develop new skills, enhance your CV and stand out from the crowd in a competitive graduate job market.”
BUT – If you are tempted in applying for a place, you will need to be as quick as Wayde van Niekerk, for the deadline for receipt of an initial application is Friday January 17.
Should you wish to apply, your first step is to get in contact with Norman Day, via N.Day@Tees.ac.uk who will send you more details and an application form to complete.
Following the submission of applications, a formal selection process will then proceed, with interviews conducted with candidates to decide on the final placings.
More details on the Changing Worlds Sport’s Coaching Volunteer Programme can be found via their website; https://www.changingworlds.co.uk/gb/Trip/Details/sports-coaching-volunteer-project-south-africa-port-elizabeth