Hockey in South Africa
The passion for hockey is strong in many parts of South Africa and the national team has displayed impressive performances at the international and Olympic level. Unfortunately, hockey has not received the same investment and attention as other South African sports such as rugby, cricket and football. Therefore, the opportunities to develop the younger hockey generations are often lacking, and none more so than in the townships of Port Elizabeth. Perhaps one of the main reasons for this is the difficulty and costs required to provide equipment for hockey teams of eleven players. However, through our volunteer hockey projects, more young players can now play and develop in the sport they love. In time, the hope is that a new generation of South African hockey talent will emerge from the townships, ready to assert themselves on the world stage.
Your Hockey Volunteer Placement
We welcome hockey volunteers who enjoy playing or coaching hockey, be it socially with friends, representing your school, club or university hockey team, or even as far as holding hockey coaching qualifications. The emphasis is not on developing Africa’s next international hockey players, but about getting alongside children from poorer backgrounds and building friendships over a common ground and your passion to play hockey. It is from here that you will start to give enthusiastic hockey players the chance to play the sport they love in an organised and fun hockey environment. Whatever your background, be assured that you will be able to offer something positive to the children and hockey projects you work on.
During the hockey coaching project, you will be largely centred in the townships and schools that skirt the city. The first stage as a hockey coach is to help organise and run hockey training clinics for the children, as well as providing them with decent hockey equipment. This is a great way to build relationships with your hockey players and also for developing your own confidence as a volunteer hockey coach. The second stage will be planning hockey tournaments that incorporate both hockey matches and team-building activities. Although the focus is on personal skills and sports development, you will instinctively keep a look out for talented hockey players who, with the right support and hockey training, could go onto play professional hockey. The sports academies we work with are keen to identify the young athletes who will form South Africa ‘s next generation of pro hockey players.
Your Hockey Coaching Role
Being a volunteer hockey coach in South Africa means you are responsible for running and supervising all hockey training and hockey matches for your hockey players. This may sound daunting but you will soon realise that you possess an understanding of hockey that your players are desperate to have. The rewards are great because the natural hockey ability is often there, but the understanding of the basics and the experience of playing in a team structure are often not. By introducing passing and tackling techniques as well as position holding, movement and team play, your young hockey players will develop rapidly. You will also have lots of support from the other volunteer sports coaches and our in-country staff who will give you all the hockey training methods and ideas you need. From technical short corner plays to early morning beach runs, you will soon develop your own hockey coaching programme, unique to you and your enthusiastic young players.
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 Hockey in South Africa
Combining a gap year in South Africa with a hockey coaching project is the ideal gap year experience for anyone who wants to play or coach hockey abroad while giving something back. A sports gap year in South Africa means you will be surrounded by likeminded volunteer hockey coaches who are keen to play gap year hockey overseas and enjoy exciting gap year travel together.