Friday, 14 June 2013

Volunteers Work on Pioneering Sports Development Program in Chintsa, South Africa

This winter season VA32 is pioneering a Sports Development Program for local schools in the wider Chintsa area. Four groups of ISV volunteer groups will be hosted during the next three months and will facilitate this program along with VA32 project manager Denver. 

There is a huge need for programs like this in South Africa where there is no physical education (PE) included in the core curriculum. Extra curricular activities are provided by many private schools (or by sports clubs and training outside of school) and in many cases make up for this lack of sports development, but in the rural schools of the Eastern Cape there is a distinct lack of opportunities for rural learners to take part in these kinds of activities. This could be for many reasons; the families cannot afford to pay for the classes or buy the equipment, the kids cannot get to the clubs and classes as they have no transport and there are little to no clubs hosted locally for kids.

The VA32 sports development project aims to provide the opportunity for children from rural primary schools in South Africa to be exposed to, and experience basic sports coaching and exercises, benefiting from all of the things that sport is good for such as:

  • Supporting physical fitness and health
  • Building confidence and self esteem
  • Giving experience in socialisation with peers, team playing and leadership skills
  • Experiencing structure and discipline within sport
  • Physchological benefits such as exercising the reflexes, focus, attention and ability to think whilst active
  • Exercising co-ordination and fine motor skills
  • Igniting inspiration and the love of a particular sport which could progress later into life



The project also works with teachers in the schools who are a part of the program and can take the games and drills on and repeat them with the children in their regular school day, when possible.

The first group of volunteers arrived in Chintsa on 25th May and worked with us for 2 weeks in four rural schools: Chintsa East Primary, Bulugha Farm School, Cefani and Silatsha Primary Schools.

Volunteers ran sports sessions throughout the school day and spent 30 minutes with each grade (Grade R - 7). Each session focused on individual sports skills and team work including drills in ball skills, netball, rugby and soccer passing, bat and ball skills, skipping with ropes, relays which included running, jumping, hopping, skipping, using hoola-hoops and tag games, balancing and stretches.

A Few Photo Highlights from Group One

"Give me the ball, give me the ball!" - the project kicks off at
Bulugha School!

Netball passing at Bulugha School
Soccer skills at Bulugha
A quick game of football!

A game of soccer with the little guys :)

Running and tag games with foundation phase kids

Ball skills with the big guys! 

A hop, skip and a jump!

Skipping and co-ordination exercises
at Bulugha

Hoola-hoop team building games

Hoola-hooping :-D

Making faces for the camera! 

Stretches and balancing at Silatsha School

Hoola-hoop team building game at Silatsha



Cricket at Silatsha

It was really awesome that the teachers wanted to get involved in the games and find out how to run them themselves with the kids. We used lots of exercises with minimal equipment so that this was possible.

It was also great to be working in Silatsha and Cefani which are schools that we only manage to get to occasionally. Both the kids and the teachers were very excited to be involved in the program and can't wait for us to come back with the next group of sports volunteers.

Look out for more pictures when our next group arrives later in June and keep up with what's going on for our Community Development volunteer groups via our facebook page!

Denver & April


  1. Howdy!

    My name is Alex Parsons, and I was blessed to get to be one of the 8 of the "lab rats" for this project. Myself and the seven others coming into this project alongside VA 32 had no idea what to expect for the weeks ahead of us. We had our set structure, and we had the kids. After those two were combined, it was nothing but fun and laughter. Sports has such great power to bring people together, and we got the chance to do just that here in Chintsa. Two weeks was such a spec of time for us to come in and work with these kids. However, the impact that took place during that time was life changing for the kids and especially for us. My heart will always be in Chintsa, and soon I will be back. This program is more than just kicking a ball around. Do this for yourself and you will know immediately what I am talking about.

    Hope everyone at VA is having a banging time!

    Alex (the bald one) Parsons

    1. Hi Alex!

      So awesome to read you comment - thank you for taking the time to read the blog and add your experiences to the page - its great to get input from our volunteers themselves :)

      We're all well here and really busy at the moment with more ISV groups and an impromptu school group from Portugal - brilliant!

      Let us know when you're planning on coming back and we'll book your spot asap.

      Have an awesome day!