Sports Volunteering Abroad - Coaching Jobs with Smaller Earth | Smaller Earth UK


FROM £874 / 2 WEEKS
£100 deposit

Change the lives of disadvantaged children through sports coaching and helping out in their local communities. This project will change your life as you inspire young children through sport. 

The project provides you with the ability to tailor your experience in South Africa based on your interests and skills. You are able to choose from full time sports coaching or part time sports coaching plus working with orphans, teaching in schools, teaching dance or helping out in public healthcare.

In 1994 post-Apartheid, the South African government removed Physical Education from the school curriculum. As a result, student involvement in physical activity has greatly decreased. The need for intervention remains great as sport is an integral part of youth development and helps to increase concentration and develop crucial skills such as leadership, team work, and communication. As a volunteer you will assist in one of the township schools, in places such as Khayelitsha, Mitchell's Plain, Grassy Park, Langa, and other communities.

You will be able to use your personal expertise, passions, and interests to create the best experience for both yourself and the community. You will be given the ability to create your own project and volunteer experience in South Africa. Your options range from helping with sports development to working with orphans, vulnerable children, teaching, dance, and working in healthcare.


What it's all About

This is a dynamic, exciting project with loads of opportunities to really make an impact in the lives of communities and individuals you come into contact with. Volunteers on this project make an invaluable contribution to both community and sports development in Cape Town, through township sports coaching and education. You will make a meaningful difference while improving a child’s physical and mental wellbeing!

After-School Coaching

With this programme you are given the opportunity to share your knowledge of fitness and sports with other sport coaches in the community. You will be involved with running sport drills, warm-ups, and refereeing sports such as football, basketball, cricket, and field hockey. 

Orphaned and Vulnerable Children

As a volunteer your main role is to help the children who are finding it difficult to integrate among their peers, and must be taught at home. Your role is to help create a safe, nurturing environment which will help them acclimatise to routines and other educational structures. This is your chance to use your imagination to create lessons that will not only stimulate the children's mind, but also inform them of basic concepts such as mathematics and cooking.  


The focus of the project is to educate, support, and empower disadvantaged, orphaned, and vulnerable youth through a sustainable approach to community development. As a volunteer you hold an essential role in the team to make this a reality. You will be helping out in a number of schools around the city, based on what their and the students needs are. Typically you will be involved with assisting in taking care of the children and teaching basic lessons.  


If you choose to help out with this program, you will be assisting in one of the dance outreach programs in the Cape Town area. Children from ages 3 and up attend these lessons in order to be able to express themselves through the medium of dance. Many of these children are living in disadvantaged and unstable backgrounds, so this opportunity to forget their home life for a time, is an invaluable opportunity. You will work along side the outreach facilitators by helping to coordinate the dance workshops to ensure that they are fun, engaging, and interactive. 


The healthcare facility was established to care for abandoned and orphaned children ranging in ages 0-8 years old. This home's main aim is to place the children into caring foster homes as soon as they are ready. On average 60% of the children taken into the home are HIV+, so one of your first roles will be to care the children back to health. Once the children are physically and emotionally stable they will then be able to find a suitable foster home for their needs. As a volunteer your responsibilities can also include assisting the nurse with health checks, playing, and teaching the children.

A day in the Life of a Volunteer...

7:00am - Rise and sine! It's time for breakfast and to get ready for the project.

8:30am - Leave the house and head to your morning project.

9:00am - Start work at your community project! You'll use lesson plans, resources and ideas created with all volunteers from the previous week.

12:30pm - It's lunch time - you'll head back to the house for a much needed break.

2:00pm - Leave the house for your afternoon project. You will either be continuing with your sports coaching or helping out in other areas of the community, depending on your project choice.

5:00pm - It's the end of your working day! You'll be picked up from your project and taken back to the house where you can chat and reflect on what you've achieved.

6:00pm - It's dinner time at the volunteer house and it's always usually really social! It's time for you to unwind, chat about your day with everyone and plan the next day. Some volunteers also venture out after dinner to one of the local night spots. 


What's Included?

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off from Cape Town Airport
  • Orientation upon arrival
  • All daily transfers to and from your projects 
  • Full board and lodging which includes 3 meals a day
  • Laundry service
  • Assistance at your projects by experienced staff and volunteer coordinators 

Around 70% of your total fee goes directly back in to the project. It facilitates funding for items such as resources, building materials, equpiment and project supplies. It also covers operational costs such as housing, communication and project vehicles.

What's Not Included?

  • Flights
  • Visa fees
  • Insurance
  • All items of a personal nature
  • E-mail / Internet and telephone calls
  • Any activities and excursions outside of your planned project itinerary


Location & Accommodation

Cape Town, South Africa. Red Hill and Masiphumelele are townships, but both are safe and peaceful with wonderful people. Our partners and associates have been working in these communities for many years and have built solid relationships and trust. It has been voted the world'd top tourist destination and arguably one of the most beautiful cities. 

Volunteers stay in a fully furnished house in the Observatory area with anywhere from 2-6 people. The house is a short 10 minute drive to the city centre of Cape Town. Observatory is a delightful little town and the house is comfortable, staffed with a cook and cleaner. The house has large living / dining areas, bathroom facilities, garden areas, satellite television and a lock-up safe for your valuables. All bedding is provided, but you will however need to bring your own towels.


You will be provided with three meals a day. Breakfast is on a help-yourself basis consisting of cereals, porridge, toast, tea and coffee. Lunch and dinner will be cooked or prepared for you by one of our chefs at your volunteer house. On weekends you will need to cook your own meals (we will provide ingredients) as our staff need to have time off. Weekends are a great time for tourist activities and getting out and about to explore the surrounding area.

Age & Required Experience

The minimum age for this programme is 18 years old. Volunteers do not require any previous coaching experience in order to join this program. We welcome both experienced and qualified volunteers, as well as those who just have a keen interest in sports.


Upon arrival at our project base on the outskirts of Cape Town, all volunteers are involved in a comprehensive orientation programme, which is included in your fee. This is facilitated by your Project Manager and entails:

  • An introduction to the city of Cape Town and surrounding Cape Peninsula, as well as the communities you will be working in
  • An introduction to all of our Cape Town projects. Not only will you see where you will be working, you will also see where your fellow volunteers will be spending their days
  • Volunteers will also receive our detailed 'Welcome Pack', which will contain further information for your time with us
  • Full induction into your role as a volunteer

Project Support

Throughout your placement you will have the support and guidance of our experienced Volunteer Coordinators, who will provide you with competent 24-hour field support and assistance.

Getting There 

One of our representatives will meet you at the airport upon your arrival in Cape Town International Airport, they will take you to your volunteer base in Observatory.

When to go?

This project starts on the first and third Monday of every month. 

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