Sports Development


South Africa with its rich diversity and beauty also has its various challenges. One of which being the current education system. Education is the backbone of any society and the future of children and youth. The current educational crisis sees children not receiving equal opportunities to learn, grow and develop. Over 1 million households in South Africa have illiterate adults, this coupled with lack of regular and structured recreational sport at primary and high school level, overcrowding (55-70 children per class) lack of libraries, computers, satisfactory toilet facilities and special needs teachers all contributes to an already over-stretched system. As you can imagine in such a system often sports and PE (physical education) gets pushed to the bottom of the importance list and hence the very real need for volunteer sport coaches and assistants.
Volunteers play a key role in addressing these basic challenges at grassroots level. They act as assistant coaches on fields or in halls at local primary schools, help with one or more groups (often boys and girls will train together) and will have different skills and interests, and most of all provide valuable support by giving children attention when required. This programme is not only ideal for qualified coaches, but anyone with a passion and love of working with children in the physical education and sports arena. It is a great opportunity to make a difference in a local primary school or sport project by lending a hand where it is needed the most.

Characteristics of Sport projects where volunteers assist

  • The projects are mainly based at public primary schools and located in disadvantaged communities in and around Cape Town
  • Classes range from 40 to 50 learners per class. In some instances, you will even find larger classes
  • Facilities and resources are often very limited
  • Schools rely on public funds, fundraising initiatives, donations and support from local community members
  • Schools are run by governing board members which are representatives of parents
  • Some schools have very limited sporting equipment and so your wits and enthusiasm is often all you will have at your disposal.

Types of projects

  • PE – Physical education coaching and assisting at local primary schools
  • Sport related projects

What can volunteers expect to do?

This is a very hands-on programme and volunteers will be expected to assist as coaching assistants at local primary Schools on fields, outside of classrooms or in halls on a daily basis. The schools range from city-based schools in historically disadvantaged communities to rural based schools.

What specific tasks and activities are involved?

  • Assisting with coaching and teaching of sports
  • Assisting with physical education at local schools (usually primary school level)
  • Helping with warm up exercises
  • Assisting with playing games
  • Providing extra support to coaches
  • Teaching drills and basic PE skills
  • Setting up and organising tournaments
  • Assisting with after school programmes
  • Providing support with projects run at the school during the time of placement – this could also include some non sport related activities (homework, invigilating during exams, reading, IT, library, gardening etc)

What characteristic traits are we looking for in a volunteer?

A love of sports as well as working with children is a must. The project is ideal for individuals who have some background with children, coaching or teaching of sport but is not limited to coaches, anyone with a love of the outdoors and physical education would be accepted. It is important to understand that the school system is very different to that which one might be accustomed to. Persons who are flexible, willing to help out where needed and who love the hustle and bustle of children around them, will flourish in this type of project.

What can the volunteer expect in terms of accommodation and food?

Ama Africa Experiences will take care of all accommodation and meals. There are various options available and these include living with a local host family or staying in pre-arranged and inspected lodge accommodation or volunteer houses and meals are either served in communal dining areas, or volunteers prepare their own food during their stay.