WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
We welcome volunteers who enjoy playing or coaching hockey, 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 hockey players, but about getting alongside children from less advantaged backgrounds and building friendships whilst sharing a common expereince. It is from here that you will start to give enthusiastic 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 the hockey projects you work on.
During the project, you will be largely centred in the townships and schools that skirt the city. The first stage as a coach is to help organise and run training sessions for the children, as well as providing them with decent hockey equipment. This will be a great experience for forming relationships with the players and also for developing your own confidence. The second stage will be planning hockey tournaments that incorporate both 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 level hockey. The sports academies with which we work are keen to identify the individuals who will form South Africa's next generation of pro hockey players.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
Under the leadership of local staff you will usually work five days a week coaching children of various ages, normally between nine and sixteen, on both in school and after school placements at various schools in the townships around Port Elizabeth.
Being a hockey coach in South Africa will mean you are responsible for running and supervising all training and matches for your players, who are typically from disadvantaged backgrounds. This may sound daunting but you will soon realise that you have an understanding of hockey that your players are desperate for. The rewards are great because the raw talent is often there whilst the understanding of the basics and the experience of a team structure are often not. By your introducing passing and tackling techniques as well as position holding, movement and team play, your players will develop rapidly. You will also have solid support from the other volunteers, our in-country staff and local coaches, who will give you all the training methods and ideas that you might need. From technical short corner plays to early morning beach runs, you will soon develop your own coaching programme, unique to you and your players.