Wondering what to do in your Uni holidays next summer? Well Annie Lock from Holmbury St. Mary has just finished a volunteer sports coaching placement in South Africa and loved every minute of it!
Studying for a degree in sports coaching and psychology at Oxford Brookes, Annie did the popular 5 week placement, which started on July 14th and finished on August 18th, perfect for university students with huge summer holidays to fill as well as exhausted A level students desperate to get away and do something worthwhile and fun!
” I had the most amazing adventure during my five week trip to South Africa, working with this lovely charity. After some really good training on how to coach the children sport, we visited 3 schools a day during the week and coached with each school for an hour and a half.
I enjoyed coaching the kids rugby in particular. All the children had exceptional enthusiasm and were so excited to see us arrive. One particular incident, which will stay with me forever, is when at one school there was only one girl doing rugby when some of the girls doing netball walked past teasing her for playing a male sport. I told her it was fine for a girl to play rugby and that I played rugby. At the end of sessions we would ask what the children had learnt and after this session the girl told me she had learnt its alright to be a girl and play rugby. The following week, 5 of the netball girls came over from netball to join the rugby! It’s moments like these where you feel you have made a difference and there are many of these moments throughout the trip.
The weekends were spent going on trips. The first weekend, we went to Jefferys Bay and stayed in an amazing hostel right on the beach where we all went surfing, played sports on the beach; the evening was great as they put on a bri (a kind of bbq) for all of us and had some african dancers in. The second weekend, we spent on Safari and to Addo elephant park – the animals were stunning and the luxurious accommodation even better after being in bunk beds for two weeks! On the last weekend, we drove to Cape Town which was a place I always wanted to visit; I would definitely recommend climbing Table Mountain as the achievement once you reach the top just makes the view so much better. We also had the chance on one of the weekends to do the highest bungee jump in the world which was breath taking!
I loved the whole adventure and it was a great way to spend some of my summer holidays in between semesters. “
(There are other placements available throughout the year with fixed start and finish dates and placements are for minimum of 5 weeks, maximum of 12 weeks. Prices are from £1,150 to £1,850 and this figure includes local airport transfers, accommodation, food, orientation, transport to placements and 2/4 excursions depending upon the length of placement. The volunteers arrange for their own flights, insurance and vaccinations.)