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My name is Jack Prescott, I volunteered with United Through Sport for 5 weeks in the summer of 2014, in South Africa.

In late 2012 at University, the idea was first presented to me of International volunteering. It first grabbed my attention because I have always loved to travel and this seemed like the best way to do it whilst perhaps doing some good in the meantime. This led me to United Through Sport. This charity uses sports in impoverished communities to bring children together and uses that inclusion to improve upon their education and general prospects. They can also offer scholarships to those children who show the promise and level of drive necessary to succeed. To get all of this done, they make use of international volunteer, most of whom come from the United Kingdom.

I spent my time in South Africa building experience, when I could’ve been unemployed, sat on my backside at home watching Netflix! The diversity of the experience had been massively helpful. In the 5 and a half weeks in South Africa, I spent more time dealing with kids than at any other period in my life. I was also eager to prove that I could act calmly and professionally in a position of responsibility and relative pressure. With two separate buses heading out on projects everyday, I was recruited to make sure that everybody was looked after on one bus, that each group within that bus had the right amount of kids per session and that we were organised and on time. This was not something that was forced upon me at all, I was simply given the option to take further responsibility and I took it. I had great fun in my role as our bus’ coordinator and learnt a great deal about managing day to day activities, the people around me and bizarre situations like what to do if a herd of cows invade your session. The social aspect of the trip was a hugely positive factor too. I was placed in Port Elizabeth with 41 other volunteers in one complex and it just worked perfectly!

United Through Sport has excelled in making use of and developing volunteers. The charity now operates in Ghana, Argentina, St Lucia and now Thailand. There is an academy in Accra, Ghana, in which much of the day-to-day operations are run by former volunteers who fell in love with the place and had shown the necessary skills to be able to do the job. All coordinating staff in South Africa are all former volunteers also.

I completely and utterly loved my time in Port Elizabeth, as did the whole team of volunteers I shared the experience with. I can not recommend this experience highly enough.

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  • "I feel so lucky to have been able to have this experience. So humbling and yet so fun. I've also made some friends who made my trip so unbelievable. United Through Sport you are incredible."
    Lucy Caulfield , Netball, South Africa
  • "Coming to Argentina to coach rugby was one of the best decisions of my life. I loved the country and my host family were lovely and gave me a great welcome. Definitely coming back one day."
    Dan Lythgoe , Rugby, Argentina
  • “This experience has opened my eyes to the kindness and selflessness of underprivileged children in South Africa. They have all been a pleasure to coach and have never failed to make me laugh. It is a beautiful thing to see them all going home with smiles on their faces.
    Jack Hulme , Cricket, South Africa
  • “I will never forget the time that one of the games came down to the last ball with 2 runs to win. The youngest kid on the team was facing the final delivery and chipped it over the infield to scramble the winning runs. His teammates then ran onto the pitch and lifted him into the air, cheering his name – magical.”
    Charles El-Nemer , Cricket, South Africa
  • Words cannot describe the feeling that volunteering in this way gave me. Watching the kids improve and begin to work together was incredibly rewarding. Thanks United Through Sport."
    Jamie Beagley , Basketball, South Africa
  • "The standard of Basketball amongst these kids was a lot higher than expected and their behaviour was almost perfect. Gonna miss them and the volunteers, made some great mates here."
    Danny Nicholas , Basketball, South Africa
  • "We always think of Baseball as being exclusive to America and as a lover of the sport, I cannot express the joy it brought me to see another nation's youngsters embrace it as I have witnessed in Argentina. More work like this needs to be done. Good job United Through Sport."
    Alex Charlesworth , Baseball, Argentina
  • "I love hockey and I had no idea that the kids in the Townships of Port Elizabeth would share my passion. Their behaviour was a impeccable and it was so easy to unwind after a days coaching because the accommodation and the staff were all so wonderful."
    Jj Burrows , Hockey, South Africa
  • Loved the setup at United Through Sport. Comfy accommodation. Plenty of support from the staff who are all excellent. Our base was close to all the shops and restaurants and an ATM. Loved getting up in the morning to coach too, so much fun working in a team and having fun coaching the kids!"
    James Rogers , Hockey, South Africa
  • "I had the most amazing 5 months ever. Working with the charity and seeing the impact they have on some many lives was just incredible. Thanks to all involved."
    Ruben Baarda (NL) , Hockey, South Africa
  • Tennis is so important to me that I'm glad I was able to use it to help the young children in Port Elizabeth. I had a blast!"
    Dimitri Le Vourch , Tennis, South Africa
  • I am really thankful to the guys of United Through Sport which gave me this opportunity to teach tennis to hundreds of great South African children. These 5 weeks made me a very happy girl and changed my life back in Holland in a positive way as well.
    Maud Calame (NL) , Tennis, South Africa
  • Watching the kids improving in the water was so moving I can't think of a more rewarding way to spend a summer. Phenomenal."
    Amy Nicholls , Swimming, South Africa
  • "Taking my love of tennis to Argentina was a dream come true. I will never forget this once in a life time opportunity to play and coach tennis to a range of abilities in such a great country. Thanks to all who were part of this!"
    Emily Prescott , Tennis, Argentina
  • Teaching in Argentina was better than I ever expected it to be. It was very emotional saying goodbye and I will miss the buzz of excitement we used to get before arriving at the schools and the incredible welcome the kids would always give us."
    Sam Edwards , Teaching, South Africa
  • "I loved it, just loved it! Hope to get involved with United Through Sport again in the future!!"
    Max Vigor , Teaching, South Africa
  • Great tour! Met some lovely people in South Africa, me and the guys loved the warmth that we were met with and the teams we played against were fantastic, it was good to Braai with those guys after the games. Superb"
    Matthew Brannigan , Sports Tours, South Africa
  • We were all impressed with the standard of football that we were up against in South Africa and it definitely brought out the best in us. As for the opposition, a great bunch of lads."
    Jonny Cox , Sports Tours, South Africa
  • "What an amazing time I had in Argentina, I miss it already. Alejandro, our coordinator, showed us all a fantastic time. Thanks United Through Sport!!!"
    Tom Leahy , Football, Argentina
  • "Thank you to everyone at United Through Sport. I have had my eyes open to the poverty in Argentina. It is so important that volunteers continue to sign up, they will not regret it"
    Declan Cockpu , Football, Argentina
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