Please note that you will spend approx 50% of your time with this sport as we would also need you to be involved with our wider sports coaching programme in the community.
Basketball in South Africa
Basketball has not seen the same investment in time and money as the other national sports of South Africa such as rugby, cricket or football. However, Basketball South Africa (BSA), the governing body for the sport, is keen to support grassroots initiatives in order to promote basketball to a wider audience and give people, particularly children, the chance to play and develop their basketball skills. And with such a large pool of dedicated and often talented young players in many of the major cities, now is a perfect time for you to get involved with the grassroots development of the sport during your gap year or career break abroad.
Your Basketball Volunteer Placement
The main focus of the basketball project is to create structured basketball training and playing environments for keen players in and around the townships of Port Elizabeth. These basketball players are predominately aged between 8 and 16 years of age. Because basketball has not seen the same focus and attention as other sports in South Africa, most of your time as a volunteer coach will be spent supporting informal street leagues and township basketball teams. Although this may require an extra level of commitment and initiative on your part, plus a willingness to ‘laugh off’ unexpected problems, you will have a direct impact on basketball in South Africa. As a volunteer sports coach, you will also have a very positive effect on the lives of the basketball players you are coaching, providing guidance and support in their everyday lives. The personal reward you will gain from this aspect of your basketball project is indescribable.
Your Basketball Coaching Role
Your goal as a volunteer basketball coach is not to find Africa’s next international player – although you never know! You therefore do not need to be a qualified or vastly experienced basketball coach. So long as you have a basic understanding of the game and the ability to organise group basketball games and training, you will be able to offer a lot to this basketball project and the enthusiastic basketball players you work with.
Working with our in-country staff, you will start by organising basketball training clinics and basketball matches for players already taking part in informal street leagues. This will involve introducing and refining the fundamentals of basketball, from dribbling and passing, to position holding, set plays and shooting. These regular basketball training sessions provide a solid platform to build friendships and earn trust with your players. You will then be invited to organise some formal basketball tournaments for the players and help maintain a regular basketball league structure within the townships. There may also be some opportunity to take your basketball coaching skills to the schools in and around Port Elizabeth, providing basketball workshops and basketball coaching for the students.
We would also like you to be able to take part in other sports coaching sessions as well in order to make the most of your trip and to support the work of our in country team. This could also see you running fun sports sessions in football, cricket, hockey, rugby and other sports in order to fit into the school PE timetable.
Summer camps in South Africa run for 5 weeks from mid July to mid August. These camps are run by our charity partners in Port Elizabeth and focus on a range of objectives: to teach kids sports, to develop interpersonal skills, to educate the community about HIV and healthy living. Volunteer sports coaches are required for all sports.
CRB/DBS (Criminal Records Bureau) Check
It is advised that participants complete a CRB/DBS (Criminal Records Bureau) check in order to take part in this project. We can provide this service for you at an additional cost because some people may already have one that is valid (please get in touch for more details).
Gap Year Basketball in South Africa
Coaching basketball in your gap year is the best way to combine a sports gap year with a volunteer gap year. A basketball gap year in South Africa will offer you adventurous gap year travel, exciting basketball opportunities and a truly unforgettable gap year experience.