It's now almost 2 years since I jumped on a plane and arrived in Port Elizabeth, and I can honestly say it was one of the best things I have ever done! Although I was coaching swimming, I had the opportunity to help out with other sports which was great. Teaching swimming was a bit of a challenge, with English not being every child's first language. Having said that, after the first few lessons with each group of children you settle into a routine and learn to adapt to each particular school group.
We were incredibly lucky as we were able to train with a local triathlon and swimming club at one of the pools we taught at. The staff at the pool became good friends and really took us under their wing, inviting us to brais (barbecues) and supporting us as we competed in a national open water competition!
The social aspect of the programme is amazing, whether spending the weekend at the surfing mecca, Jeffrey's Bay (make sure you go on the waterfall trip!) going on safari at Addo or hiring a car and exploring the coast you will have an amazing time. Nothing is too hard for Kurt and Hannah to organize - if they don't know where to do a certain activity, they'll be sure to find out. In my 3 months I was able to surf, horse ride, go sand boarding, go kloofing (jumping off rocks into a plunge pool to you and me), do a bungy jump and sky dive! We also managed to watch some inter nation cricket and saw a local rugby derby. Night life is what you make of it, (with Balizaa and Toby Joe's being personal favorites!) there are good clubs, but it was the people I lived with, coached with and went out with that really made my trip special.
The team at the house are amazing, really making you feel at home and giving you ideas of where to go, what to do and the best way to do it. If you're considering going to South Africa my advice would be - go for it! Spend 3 months coaching and use it as a base to explore this truly amazing country, it will really open your eyes.
Find out more about Sports Coaching South Africa or give us a call on 033 3999 7516 for a chat!