your role - SPORTS COACHING
Share your passion for sport by coaching with 8-16 year old Ghanaian school children. Our rural village sports programme seeks to add fun and excitement to the lives of those living in poverty as well as the possibility of finding the continent's next great sports star!.
You'll coach football, volleyball, rounders and other sports. Plan and run your own sessions, pass on your knowledge and gain invaluable coaching experience. Your presence will give children the opportunity to get involved with sports activities they would not normally be allowed to play, by organising tournaments giving coaching advice you will attract a great deal of enthusiasm from aspiring sportsmen and women. After a few days most volunteers have a small gathering of kids following them around holding their hand and singing.
If you love playing sport and are interested in sport development, a coaching opportunty is the perfect project for you! The kids you will coach have an amazing passion for the games and working with them is very rewarding.
This is your chance to become a coach and a friend to 8-16 year olds who are always enthusiastic, often very talented and for whom football is a big part of life. Football in Ghana has never been so popular. In Feb 2008 Ghana hosted the African Nations Cup and 2006 saw Ghana debut in the World Cup. Ghanaian footballers such as Essien at Chelsea are making an impact all over the World and are real role models for young Ghanaians. You have never truely watched a football match untill you have watched one in Ghana. Football is the number one sport in Ghana and borders on religion for the majority of its population.
Where you will be based
Our coaching projects are based in Gboloo Kofi
[Bull-loo Coffee] a remote rural farming village nestled in jungle and forests in the heart of Ghana's Eastern region. The community school you will be coaching in is for children from 6 to 15-years-old.
The school has approximately 200 to 300 children and 10 teachers. You will receive a warm welcome from the football mad Head Master "Big Frank" (photo opposite) and the local teachers. School pupils in Ghana officially begin their primary education at the age of 6 but as this depends on whether their family can afford to send them, many of the classes have a large mixture of ages. You will be living in a purpose built bunk house with up to eight other volunteers. You will work as a team cooking and organizing yourselves.
80% of our volunteers travel alone so you will make friends very quickly and easily. Once or twice a week we will be invited to a local families' home and eat local food with a Ghanaian family. Because you are so new, different and exciting the children of the village will be fascinated by you.
Meeting the Chief/Elders & The Drinking Ceremony
Everyone is blown away on arrival in the village and by their first introduction to the Chief and Elders. The introduction ensures you fall under the Chief's protection during your stay in Gboloo Kofi. Our Chief enjoys receiving foreigners and interacting with them but you need to observe some traditions.
Do not worry we talk you thought it all before you meet him.
If the Chief (photo opposite) likes you he will invite you on one of his famous "Jungle Survival" walks. This involves you following him as he walks around the surrounding bush showing you what is good to eat and teaching you how to attract attention if you get lost. The Chief is also the local Doctor and is very knowledgeable about which plants are good for healing. Normally, visitors make customary offerings of friendship to their hosts. This consists entirely of drinks: Aromatic Schnapps, Gin (costs about £1 and tastes similar to petrol).
Then you are asked to sit and are offered a small shot of spirit. Before drinking, a small amount needs to be poured on the ground as an offering to the dead. Then the remainder needs to be down in one swallow. At the same time the whole village will come and watch their new arrival. The chief will brief the onlookers on who you are and then they will then share in the drinking until the bottle is finished.
Best time to go
There really is no 'best' time to visit Ghana. There is plenty of sun with highs of 30C (high 90F). The coolest months are around Christmas when you will need a blanket at nigh as a cooling wind blows off the Sahara. Village-specific festivals and events occur throughout the year. The tourist high season is from June to August, but that coincides with the summer vacation in the US.
The refreshing Gulf of Guinea breezes keep the coast a bit cooler. May and June are slightly wetter months but any time of the year is a good time to visit.
If an award were given for the country with the friendliest people in West Africa, Ghana would be a strong contender
"Kakum National Park" - near Cape Coast is a national park. Tucked away in this small pocket of rainforest are endangered forest elephants, colobus monkeys, 300 species of bird and a staggering 600 species of butterfly. However, the main attraction is the canopy walkway suspended 30m (98ft) above the forest floor. It makes for great viewing (or a trouser-wetting experience, depending on your point of view).
The walkway aside, a guided hike is a good way to learn about the rainforest flora and its traditional uses. Your best shot to see any wildlife is to get here when the park opens or take a night hike.
Aburi Botanic Gardens" - are an hours drive from the village and just beyond the town of Aburi, the Aburi Botanic Gardens provide a welcome getaway from Accra's bustle. The gardens are well maintained and teem with exotic plant life from around the world. Two tall Brazilian 'monkey pot' trees are supposedly able to trap our tree-swinging ancestors - not that Aburi has too many wild monkeys to worry about.
The oldest tree is an approximately 150-year-old kapok facing the park's beautiful headquarters building. It's the only one the British didn't cut down when they were planting the gardens, which opened in 1890. The gardens are perched on a ridge two hours drive north of Accra.