Football in South Africa
Having been awarded host of the 2010 World Cup (the first African nation to do so), the love for football in South Africa could not be greater, and nowhere more so than in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth (PE). The townships surrounding PE are full of keen and often talented young football players but the opportunities to play football and develop in a well structured environment are very limited. However, by working as a volunteer football coach in South Africa during your sports gap year or career break, you can give children the chance to enjoy the fun and serious sides of football through organised training and football matches.
Your Football Volunteer Placement
The football players you work with are largely centred in the townships and schools that skirt the city. The first stage as a volunteer football coach is to help organise training clinics and football matches for the children, as well as providing them with decent football equipment. This is great for forming relationships with the football players and developing your own confidence. The second stage will be planning football tournaments that incorporate football matches and team-building activities. Although the focus is on personal skills and sports development, there will be ample opportunity to scout for talented individuals who, with the right support and training, could go on to play professional football. The sports academies we work with are keen to identify the individuals who will form South Africa’s next generation of professional footballers.
We welcome volunteers who enjoy playing or coaching football, be it socially with friends, representing your school, club or university team or even as far as holding coaching qualifications. The emphasis is not on developing Africa’s next international football star but about getting alongside children from less advantaged backgrounds and building friendships over a common ground. It is from here that you will start to give enthusiastic football players the chance to play the sport they love in an organised and fun environment. Whatever your background, be assured that you will be able to offer something positive to the children and football projects you work on.
Your Football Coaching Role
Being a volunteer football coach in South Africa will mean you are responsible for running and supervising all training and football matches for the players. This may sound daunting but you will soon realise that you have an understanding of football that the players are so desperate to gain. The rewards are great because the raw talent is often there, but the experience of a team structure is not. By introducing the basics of team play, movement and position holding, your players will develop rapidly. You will also have plenty of support from the other volunteers on the project, our in-country staff and local sports coaches who will give you all the training ideas that you need. From complicated technical plays to friendly kick-abouts, you will soon develop your own football coaching programme, unique to you and your players.
Summer camps in South Africa run for 5 weeks from mid July to mid August. These camps are run by our charity partners in Port Elizabeth and focus on a range of objectives: to teach kids sports, to develop interpersonal skills, to educate the community about HIV and healthy living. Volunteer sports coaches are required for all sports.
CRB/DBS (Criminal Records Bureau) Check
It is advised that participants complete a CRB/DBS (Criminal Records Bureau) check in order to take part in this project. We can provide this service for you at an additional cost because some people may already have one that is valid (please get in touch for more details).
Gap Year Football in South Africa
A gap year in South Africa is a fantastic way to volunteer abroad while also coaching football and experiencing gap year travel. Our football project in South Africa really is a great gap year opportunity if you are looking for a sports gap year abroad.