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The Other Half – Reflections on an Extraordinary Volunteer Experience in South Africa
April 25, 2016
This is Africa – Part I
April 28, 2016
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Volunteers Work on Pioneering Sports Development Program in Chintsa, South Africa

Sports-Dev-Program

This winter season VA32 is pioneering a Sports Development Program for local schools in the wider Chintsa area. Four groups of ISV volunteer groups will be hosted during the next three months and will facilitate this program along with VA32 project manager Denver.

There is a huge need for programs like this in South Africa where there is no physical education (PE) included in the core curriculum. Extra curricular activities are provided by many private schools (or by sports clubs and training outside of school) and in many cases make up for this lack of sports development, but in the rural schools of the Eastern Cape there is a distinct lack of opportunities for rural learners to take part in these kinds of activities. This could be for many reasons; the families cannot afford to pay for the classes or buy the equipment, the kids cannot get to the clubs and classes as they have no transport and there are little to no clubs hosted locally for kids.

The VA32 sports development project aims to provide the opportunity for children from rural primary schools in South Africa to be exposed to, and experience basic sports coaching and exercises, benefiting from all of the things that sport is good for such as:

  • Supporting physical fitness and health
  • Building confidence and self esteem
  • Giving experience in socialisation with peers, team playing and leadership skills
  • Experiencing structure and discipline within sport
  • Physchological benefits such as exercising the reflexes, focus, attention and ability to think whilst active
  • Exercising co-ordination and fine motor skills
  • Igniting inspiration and the love of a particular sport which could progress later into life

The project also works with teachers in the schools who are a part of the program and can take the games and drills on and repeat them with the children in their regular school day, when possible.

The first group of volunteers arrived in Chintsa on 25th May and worked with us for 2 weeks in four rural schools: Chintsa East Primary, Bulugha Farm School, Cefani and Silatsha Primary Schools.

Volunteers ran sports sessions throughout the school day and spent 30 minutes with each grade (Grade R – 7). Each session focused on individual sports skills and team work including drills in ball skills, netball, rugby and soccer passing, bat and ball skills, skipping with ropes, relays which included running, jumping, hopping, skipping, using hoola-hoops and tag games, balancing and stretches.

It was really awesome that the teachers wanted to get involved in the games and find out how to run them themselves with the kids. We used lots of exercises with minimal equipment so that this was possible.

It was also great to be working in Silatsha and Cefani which are schools that we only manage to get to occasionally. Both the kids and the teachers were very excited to be involved in the program and can’t wait for us to come back with the next group of sports volunteers.

Look out for more pictures when our next group arrives later in June and keep up with what’s going on for our Community Development volunteer groups via our facebook page!

Denver & April