Rugby in Argentina
Rugby is considered to be the second most popular sport in Argentina, only behind association football. Recent performances at the Rugby World Cup competitions has cemented the reputation of rugby as being in the top three most popular sports in Argentina. Rugby in Argentina is largely played by the middle class who have access to facilities, whereas children in the underprivileged areas can do no more than watch since they have little or no access to the simplest of rugby equipment. Therefore, by joining this rugby coaching project, you will give more children the chance to play and be coached rugby, providing values and friendship which are the main objectives of the projects. You will also have the chance to play rugby at a local rugby team so you will have the chance to play the sport you love, learn more Spanish and making lifelong friends.
Your Rugby Coaching Volunteer Placement
Your rugby placement will be split into two different projects aimed at promoting rugby in different Sports Centres within the city of Buenos Aires, and secondly coaching rugby during the evenings at a local Rugby Club.
To build upon this, the first part of your rugby placement will consist in coaching sport at different Sports Centres. These Sports Centres or Parques, enable kids from low income families to join governmental sports programmes which use rugby as a tool to encourage kids to get involved in sports by introducing basic skills. You will be working alongside existing Physical Education teachers who appreciate your help and any new thoughts you bring for drills and exercise ideas. Although you will start coaching at the grass roots level, you will soon find that kids in Argentina are extremely friendly and naturally sports-mad people. They will carefully listen to you, although they may need help with some of your rugby references in English. Therefore, it is a good chance to exchange languages by teaching some English vocabulary and learning some Spanish in return, while playing and coaching the sport you love. The government is very keen to welcome our volunteer rugby coaches into their projects to engage young people in rugby.
The second part of your rugby coaching project will be based in one of the local Rugby Clubs. Here you will organise rugby coaching sessions and structured matches for the children. At this stage you will be working in a more structured environment with kids and coaches playing with passion and consistency. The standard at this club is much better than the Sport Centres as these clubs play on a regular basis, with matches taking place over the weekends. You will also be asked to coach your team during weekend mornings as junior matches take place on Saturdays.
The aim of the project is to provide you with the bigger picture when it comes to playing and coaching rugby in Argentina. On the first part you will experience the importance of sporting values in the kids. The second part is focused on the standard at which the kids are playing in a well structured semi-professional team when representing Floresta RC.
You do not need coaching qualifications to join our rugby coaching project, just some experience of playing or coaching at a fairly good standard, be it school, club, university or county.
Your Rugby Coaching Role
At the Sport Centres you will be asked to assist coaches in setting up drills and exercises, including utilising your own ideas and experiences with children aged from 6 to 17 years old. It is a rewarding experience as, besides coaching them, your passion towards rugby will be infectious and you will rapidly build strong and lasting relationships! At the grass root level you will be expected to coach individual skills such as passing, kicking and running with the ball. At Floresta Rugby Club, coaching is more about tactical awareness, passing and team play. You will add a new dimension to their rugby training which you will soon see your players truly appreciate. You will see the sense of friendship within the club and will realize how quick you will be part of the local community.
Summer camps in Argentina run throughout January. These camps attract thousands of kids each year, and are run in conjunction with a government sports initiative aimed at getting kids out and doing something constructive with their summer holidays. Volunteer sports coaches are required to coach: football, hockey, rugby and tennis.
Your Rugby Training Placement
You have the option of joining training sessions alongside the seniors who play in the Metropolitan Rugby league. Training is competitive and takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays, with matches taking place on Saturdays. The after match tea or “tercer tiempo” you can enjoy with the team, and you may end up going out for a few social drinks after this. Nights out represent an important part of socialising within the local rugby environment.
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 Rugby in Argentina
Rugby in Argentina is by far, one of the best options when it comes to choosing a sports gap year abroad. This is because you can get many things in just one trip; from learning Spanish to playing and coaching rugby to visiting some truly magical places as well as sharing the experience with like minded sporty people. The longer you can participate in this project, the more you will take away from the experience. The best thing is that you will get to know a different culture and a new language skill while having fun and playing the sport you are passionate about.