19 April 2016

Image of Volunteering in South Africa Makes For An Unforgettable Experience

Six students from The Sixth Form College arrived back to class this week having spent their Spring Break 6000 miles from home on the trip of a lifetime.

In the shadow of Table Mountain, our team of six intrepid travellers joined 11 other volunteers with HQ Coaching Centre in Cape Town, where they taught football to thousands of local children over the course of their ten day trip.

As part of our Enrichment Programme, students are encouraged to take up voluntary work, which can not only improve the CV before leaving college but also make a real difference in the community – any community – and, crucially, help personal and character development for their futures.

Having been introduced to HQ Coaching through our annual Enrichment Fair, the students put their names down for a whole new experience and started the process of raising the requisite £1500 by all means at their disposal. After countless jumble sales, raffles and donations, their places were secured and they boarded the plane to South Africa.

Using a local HQ Coaching partner sports college as their base, Ruby Keeler-Williams, Shannon Morgan, Sam Lloyd, Laura Bascombe, Ciaron Sudlow and Megan Condliffe coached in a new school in a new township every day, across a diverse range of socio-economic situations. They also had the chance to soak in what Cape Town, and South Africa, had to offer and took home some unforgettable moments.

First year, Ruby Keeler-Williams, who joined the college from Woodchurch High School, said: “We did some sightseeing and went up Table Mountain, and did shark cage diving which was amazing, but the highlight was the coaching; getting to go to all these different places and meet so many different people.”

Liverpool fans are never far away!


Ruby coaches special needs children at Liverpool FC every weekend and explained the differences between what she’s used to and teaching in South Africa: “Most of the kids spoke English so there wasn’t a massive language barrier, but then some didn’t speak particularly great English or any at all, so it was a matter of getting your point across non-verbally. There were all really passionate and extremely well behaved.”

Law, Science and Psychology student, Ruby, also spoke of future plans, saying: “I want to go into Law but the trip’s given me so much more confidence in my communication skills: learning to be concise and clear. I think the whole trip’s changed me as a person as well.”

Fellow first year, Sam Lloyd, previously of The Kingsway Academy, agreed with Ruby and said: “As far as ability, a lot of the kids loved doing the fancy skills that they’ve seen the famous players do but couldn’t really pass or do some of the basics. You could see the differences that our coaching was making with them. It just felt like you’ve done something good in life.”

Sam, who takes Business, Film Studies, ICT and Drama & Theatre Studies, said that their roles also came with unexpected notoriety!

“A lot of the kids brought their notebook along for our autographs, and one fell in love with Ciaron!”

Picking up from Sam, Megan Condliffe said: “And they all knew and performed Cristiano Ronaldo’s celebration, which was really funny!

“As a hobby, I’d definitely like to get into coaching U10s and U12s. It’s something I’ve always had in the back of my head but now that I’ve done it for real, I know that I can do it again.”

HQ Coaching tweeted to say that all six students were ‘positive models to all children and the rest of the volunteers involved’.



To find out more about our Enrichment Programme, click here.

Tags: Enrichment South Africa

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