Sports in South Africa

On this program, you will be teaching various sports and extracurricular activities to children in Cape Town, South Africa.

Durations:  1 - 12 weeks

Program information

Participating in sports from a young age has lifelong health benefits, including reduced risk of obesity, increased cardiovascular fitness, healthy growth of bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons and improved coordination and balance. This program is geared towards teaching local township children various sports and encouraging them to become more physically active.

undefined 31 May 2022

Included in your program

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Connect with our alumni
Want to connect with some of our past participants about their adventures? Get in touch with hundreds of friendly ambassadors all over the world who would be more than happy to answer any questions.
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Jazmine Moreno

27 Oct, 2020
As I look back on my three weeks in South Africa, I can think of so many things to talk about that have left an impression on me. However, in particular, I think about the kids we were worked with at the camp and how accepting, loving, and caring they were. The kids looked out for one another. They saw everyone in their community as nothing short from family. GVI set up a lot of meetings for the ACE group to be able to talk to community members so that they could share their experience living in the community and answer any questions we had. One question I asked a community member was “Is it fair for us to come into the community and expose these kids to show so much care and affection even though we will leave in a week?” This was a never-ending concern for us as part of the ACE group. We all cared and had a special spot for these kids in our hearts. It was very difficult saying goodbye. However, the community member explained to us that it was very crucial for us to have spent two weeks with the kids in the community. He said that it is completely fair to expose the kids to people that care so deeply because that allowed the kids to know exactly what it feels like to be cared for and the proper way to show it. What’s not fair is to never give these kids a chance to know what it like is to have someone that cares for you so deeply other than your family. Us being there, he said, is a way to help break the cycle in the community. These kids are very impressionable and if they can take away from us about how to care deeply, then we did something powerful. I think about that experience a lot, just simply teaching them sports and a few lifestyle workshops maybe will have a ripple effect in their lives, a small impact. They possibly took something small from our time together but for me, that showed me to care about those I surrounded myself with and appreciate what I have in life do not focus on what I do not have. I will always thank GVI and ACE for this experience of a lifetime.

Sophie Craig

11 Oct, 2018
Hello, my name is Sophie Craig and I’m 16 and from Scotland. I was given the opportunity to volunteer with GVI with my local youth group in July 2018 in Cape Town and I had a truly amazing and humbling time. During the two weeks I volunteered, I worked with children in a summer sports program at ACJ primary school and did some construction work transforming some rooms into a sick bay and story room for the kids in a crèche. The idea to volunteer with GVI originally started in early 2017, after a youth group I attended was given a generous donation to go on a volunteering experience which we decided to use to come to Cape Town with GVI. We planned and carried out loads of fundraisers such as a quiz night, a race night and a 70’s night (which went down a treat with the Mamma Mia fans in our community, myself included!) in order to raise the money to come to South Africa and although it was exhausting it was totally worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing. There were so many reasons I wanted to come to South Africa and volunteer with GVI. Firstly, I just wanted to experience something new and to see a completely different way of life, something I definitely was able to do during my visit. I’m also quite passionate about global issues and felt as though GVI offered me the best opportunities to help make a difference – something which looking back I definitely think I have achieved. But I also wanted to come to South Africa because I thought it would be a fantastic experience and could help me suss out if I did in fact want to pursue a career in international development and by going on this trip it really set this career choice into stone for me and opened up countless opportunities and ideas for my future that I hadn’t even thought of! Throughout this trip I have had a truly fantastic time teaching and feel I have gained confidence not only in my ability to teach and to lead - but in myself and what my future holds. Before coming on this trip, I struggled with working in groups as sometimes I find it difficult to get myself involved, yet by working in teams so closely with my peers and GVI, I have learned skills which have helped me to improve my team working abilities. There were so many highlights during my Cape Town trip, but the best part of this trip was definitely teaching the children sports. Seeing their faces light up when we sang and taught them new things such as hand games was amazing. A highlight of this trip for me definitely was while teaching, a small girl ran up to me who had painted one of her nails silver to match mine, as it showed I had had an impact on her and she remembered me even after the day was over. It is something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. I also loved seeing the sights in South Africa and visiting the penguins in Betty’s Bay. I don’t think I would change anything about this trip, but I was definitely love to come again and do more volunteering. I am now looking at taking a gap year and volunteering with different projects with GVI in the near future and love the look of some of the international projects. This trip has definitely altered my perspective on things such as wealth and waste and made me way more grateful for what I do have, it really has been sensational. I truly am so grateful that I got the opportunity to go on it.

Chauntelle Facey

11 Oct, 2018
In my final semester in teacher’s college, one of our requirements was to complete a 4-5 week internship either internationally or domestically. The purpose of the internship was to integrate, extend and deepen the learning experiences of each Teacher Candidate as we make the transition from a Teacher Candidate to a qualified Ontario teacher. Since it was a self-directed project, they encouraged all candidates to take into account our passions and interests. One of my greatest passions has been playing and teaching soccer, so I wanted to ensure that my internship allowed me to utilize the teaching strategies that I learned in my physical education classes while at the same time infused the skills I have learned in my years of teaching and playing soccer. I came across the GVI page on Facebook one day and was intrigued by the Sports program in South Africa. My dream has always been to teach anywhere in Africa and this program would allow me to work with teachers, local communities and GVI staff to run sports programs at the schools within a South African township. This program would allow me to give children an opportunity to learn a variety of sports activities and skills. Most importantly, this type of opportunity would give me a completely new perspective on life and know what it is like to teach submerged in an entirely different culture from my own. What also drove my decision to apply to volunteer was how organized the GVI team was to provide step-by-step instructions and checklist to successfully and safely apply to the program despite being all the way from North America. Kudos to the GVI team! Despite all the assumptions about how teaching in South Africa would be, this experience has truly been a dream come true! No one can even begin to imagine how beautiful this country really is. Driving in to Nomzamo each day was always an eye opening experience. Passing hundreds of tin storage containers piled on top of one another, homes the size of a typical North American bedroom expected to house 4 families, broken glass for windows, sheets for doors, wild dogs and goats roaming the streets alongrtside the children either too young to be in school or too poor to attend… This was the reality of where I taught each day and despite its appearance and/or utter poverty, I will NEVER FORGET the students I have had the privilege to teach and meet whom which have dreams to be astronauts and social workers and talents one must see to believe. My four weeks in South Africa allowed me to do more things than many people have done in an entire lifetime. Climbing Table Mountain, experiencing history at Robben Island, seeing the breath taking landscape at Cape Point, wildlife safari and wine tasting and the many other life changing things I have experienced while being there. My hopes for the future are to one day return to Cape Town and teach (even if it’s for a week) ACJ because of how much I miss the students and the impression they have left on my life. I believe that everyone should make the effort to experience a journey like South Africa!

Jane Collins

11 Oct, 2018
This was my fifth overseas service vacation since 1999, the third organization I’ve used and my first experience with GVI. I was hesitant at first because GVI was the first for-profit organization I used to arrange a service vacation. Surprisingly (or not), a GVI vacation was about half the cost of a nonprofit service vacation in South Africa so my husband and I selected them. The GVI service vacation was by far the most organized, well-executed and consistent of any service vacation I have ever experienced. They had staff in-place in Gordon’s Bay to ensure both the welfare and safety of the volunteers as well as the continuity and integrity of the educational program we supported at a local township school. The accommodations were fine for two 50-somethings. We stayed in a middle-class, 2-bedroom apartment with two 20-ish female volunteers in a gated community in Gordon’s Bay. Both bedrooms held four bunk beds, so my husband and I shared a room, and the two other volunteers stayed in the other bedroom. Quite honestly, it reminded us of the houses we rented back in college – mismatched furniture, but the appliances worked. While it was not luxurious, it was certainly adequate and appropriate for us and we would count our living arrangements as a “plus” when considering another service vacation. My husband and I are in our mid- to late-50’s and were completely at ease in this environment. I actually tore my left ACL in half during our first day of sports coaching and the staff responded immediately and professionally. I was taken to a nearby hospital in an upscale neighborhood and back to work (in the classroom) within 48 hours. I highly recommend a GVI service vacation for any boomer who is looking for adventure, contribution, connection and meaning.

Billie-Jo Dearden

15 Aug, 2018
When I arrived in Cape Town I was so excited to join the GVI team at Gordon’s Bay. Being met at the airport by a warm welcome was a great way to start my time in South Africa. I joined the Sports and Surfing project and was welcomed by the coordinators of the programme, we discussed lesson plans and the routines of the day. Going through the townships to the school was a life-changing experience that will stay with me forever. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the children and teaching them a range of sports using the community field. We played a range of sports but the children really enjoyed soccer and always won the soccer games. The addition of the surfing programme was a really positive reward for the children at the school. They enjoyed going to the beach and being in the water, some of the children said that their favourite thing was surfing. My whole experience has been fantastic I have met some amazing people who I will be friends with for life and had an experience that will stay with me forever.

Jack Hawkins

25 Nov, 2013
I chose this program as I have a background in sports and water sports and this was a really good combination as I would get to make a difference in both fields. It has definitely met my expectations, the surfing especially, the set up is really good, the instructors are awesome and the kids really love it! I really feel I have made a difference as you see the kids’ progress and how much they enjoy it and would definitely recommend the project to others.