Sports Volunteer Programme
The Sports Volunteer Programme in Mombasa is a project that supports the educational, physical and personal development of underprivileged children through introducing them to new sports and physical activities. The volunteers have integrated themselves seamlessly within the schools, amongst their fellow volunteers and Kenyan teachers. They have proved to play a vital teaching role by engaging children in their learning through sporting and outdoor pursuits. The Sports volunteers work alongside the other volunteers teaching two Sports lessons a week to Standards 1 to 8 (encompassing an age range of 5-15). This enables the volunteer to teach a wide range of games and sports to different age groups and abilities. Standard 1 and 2 enjoy games of Tag whilst the older standards love to learn the rules to new team sports, such as Netball and Volleyball.
One of the main benefits of being a Sports volunteer is that, not only do you get to a teach a wide variety of ages, you are also able to teach at both Olives Rehabilitation Centre and Nyota Ing’arayo School. If only one Sports volunteer is on the program at one time, then their week is split between the two schools; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at one school and Tuesday, Thursday at the other.
Sports is an aspect of the Kenyan Curriculum, however it is usually undertaken as a whole school event during a Friday afternoon. As you can imagine, this number of children in one place at the same time proves to be totally unmanageable and any attempt to instigate rules and discipline is futile. GVI initiated separate class sports lessons when they began their partnership with both schools and as a result team sports have flourished! The children now do not simply chase after the ball aimlessly, they work as a team and are beginning to understand the concept of positions in games such as football. The Sports volunteers have proved integral in this turnaround as they have the time to plan warm-up exercises that concentrate on dribbling, passing and control of the ball (rather than just shooting). Another major change is the children’s attitude to different sports, they used to moan and complain if any sport was mentioned that was not football, but due to the Sports volunteers’ continued perseverance Netball and Volleyball have now become their favourite team sports.
The Sports volunteers have managed to instil their passion for certain sports into these children, who otherwise would have had no idea they even existed!
By Michele Comber – Project Manager
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