International Sports Internship – Noor de Geus

In the final year of my CIOS (Central Institute for Sports Education in The Netherlands) program, I travelled to Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in March 2024 with three fellow students. This trip was something I deeply desired, knowing it might be my only chance before future study commitments. We chose to align with United Through Sport (UTS) because of their reputable presence and the inspiring experiences shared on their website.



Our adventure began with the Experience week, where we travelled the Garden Route to Cape Town. This week was packed with activities like quad biking, zip-lining, blackwater tubing, and climbing Table Mountain. Each day was filled with new adventures, and we quickly formed a close-knit group. WOW what a start!

Once back in Port Elizabeth, we started our coaching sessions. Every Monday, I volunteered at a preschool for childcare, engaging with children aged 3 to 5 through reading, puzzles, and cuddles. Their warmth and affection were heartwarming. The remaining weekdays were dedicated to coaching various sports such as rugby, football, tennis, hockey, netball, and dance. I primarily taught tennis and hockey, often with one or two other volunteers. The children’s enthusiasm and joy were contagious, making each session rewarding. Watching them improve and build bonds with us was incredibly fulfilling.

The volunteer accommodation was spacious and comfortable, with a swimming pool and a large garden for relaxation. Living with other volunteers created a family-like atmosphere. The local ‘mamas’ took care of us, providing delicious meals and a homely environment. Evenings were lively with scheduled activities like Games Night, karaoke, and Social Football. Weekends offered organised excursions such as safaris, trips to Jeffreys Bay, skydiving, and sandboarding.

The 6.5 weeks flew by, filled with incredible moments and personal growth. This experience taught me to appreciate the simple joys of life and the happiness that comes from giving. I urge anyone considering this opportunity to embrace it fully. United Through Sport provided me with memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. I left South Africa with a deep appreciation for its culture and people, and a heart full of unforgettable experiences.