Tennis in South Africa
Tennis has a tradition of being a sport associated with people from wealthy and affluent backgrounds. And while South Africa has had many top players over the years, such as Wayne Ferreira, David Adams and Wesley Moodie, none have come from the poorer areas and townships of South Africa. There is, however, a real passion for the tennis among the young people in the schools and townships yet, sadly, very little infrastructure is in place to allow these tennis enthusiasts to develop in the sport they love. Fortunately, through our tennis coaching project in South Africa, you can work alongside local organizations supported by the Roger Federer Foundation to give a number of young tennis athletes the chance to develop and enjoy South African tennis.
Your Tennis Volunteer Placement
We welcome sports volunteers who enjoy playing or coaching tennis, be it socially with friends, representing your school, club or university team, or even as far as holding tennis coaching qualifications. However, the emphasis is not on developing Africa’s next big tennis star, but rather on getting alongside youth tennis players from disadvantaged backgrounds and building friendships over a common ground and your love for tennis. It is from here that you will start to give passionate tennis players the chance to play tennis in an organised and fun sporting environment.
During your tennis placement, you will be under the guidance of our in-country team and largely based in the townships and schools that skirt the city of Port Elizabeth. The first stage as a tennis coach is to help organise and run training clinics and tennis matches for the children, as well as providing them with decent tennis equipment. This will be a great way of forming friendships with your tennis players and also for developing your own confidence as a tennis coach. The second stage will be planning and running tennis tournaments that incorporate both tennis matches and team-building activities.
The tennis coaching will mainly involve working with informal township and street leagues which means there might be a lack of organisation at times. However, so long as you have the ability to accept that things may not always go as planned, this really makes for an exciting and rewarding sports volunteer project.
Your Tennis Coaching Role
Being a volunteer tennis coach in South Africa will mean you are responsible for running and supervising all training and tennis matches for your players. This may sound daunting but you will soon realise that you have an understanding of tennis that your players are so desperate to gain. The rewards are great because the raw tennis talent is often there, but the understanding of the basic techniques and rules are often lacking. You will therefore spend time introducing and developing the fundamentals of tennis, including the technical aspects of serving, volleying and backhand/forehand strokes, helping to build your players repertoire of shots. You will also work on your players general health and fitness, usually in fun, group sessions.
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 Tennis in South Africa
If you spend your gap year or gap break coaching tennis in South Africa, you will have amazing sports gap year experience. A sports gap year offers you exciting gap year travel, close friendships and some unforgettable gap year opportunities.