Sports Coaching & Volunteering Opportunities Abroad
Do like sports? Do you like travelling?
If so, perhaps a sports coaching project abroad could be the perfect adventure you’ve always been looking for. Fun, exciting, energetic, rewarding – it’s a must for any sports enthusiast.
Sports coaching is incredibly rewarding and doing it abroad also allows you to experience a new culture at the same time. It creates sporting memories that last a lifetime.
With so many sports coaching opportunities out there, finding the perfect one can be a daunting task. Not to worry though – we’ve put this guide together to help you understand all the possibilities of sports coaching abroad and how you can get started on your very own sports adventure.
Where to start?
The first thing to decide is what country you’d like to coach sport in. You could do it anywhere in the world so dust off that old atlas and start investigating all the different countries. The country you pick may influence the type of sports you’ll be coaching. Some countries have a real passion for certain sports so doing your homework before you leave is definitely worthwhile.
Coaching and Teaching Sports Abroad
We’re a little bias here at Think Pacific, but Fiji has proven itself as one of the best countries to coach sports abroad. The kids are passionate, talented and ready to be coached. They love their rugby and netball but are also excited to experience new sports you want to introduce.
From helping the next Fijian rugby superstar on their ball handling skills, to introducing new sports and activities, Fiji provides the perfect canvas for coaching sports. A few years ago, Think Pacific started introducing football at the schools and we can already see the legacy this has left with many kids in the villages. The kids’ passion for sports and physical activity means that our volunteers can make the impact they want to make. By creating a supportive and structured environment, we can leverage the natural talent of these communities and help them progress and enjoy their sports.
Our approach to sports coaching abroad is focused on implementing the processes and providing the equipment in the local communities to ensure the coaching continues long after volunteers have left. This ensures we truly help nurture the youth talent in these communities.
Over the years, our volunteers have introduced a variety of sports in Fiji and helped get the kids playing these different sports. Below are some details on just some of the sports we’ve coached.
Rugby is pretty much a religion in Fiji.
Rugby Sevens is the national sport and their recent success at the Rio Olympics showcased their talent. Fijians also love their Rugby Union and Rugby League.
Any Think Pacific volunteer will also tell you how much the Fijian’s love “one-touch” rugby – an insight into how they’ve become so good at Sevens.
If rugby is your thing, then Fiji is the place for you. No other country comes close to sharing their passion for the sport and the communities are happy to spend the days playing rugby from sunrise to sunset.
Our rugby coaching has opportunities to teach all ages, from kindergarten and the youngsters all the way up to young athletes on the brink of super-stardom. Our volunteers have managed to teach some advanced training sessions and help teams develop new plays and tactics.
We’re also very proud to help encourage and set up healthy living and off-the-field education for young rugby players. This has helped them do better at school and show them a life beyond rugby.
Check out the video below that shows just a glimpse of our rugby coaching and what you can get up to on a Think Pacific project.
Football is one of the most popular sports around the world. It’s easy to get a game up and running and it’s a great way to get kids active. Our previous volunteers have helped teach Fijians some tactics and turn a kick-about into a structured game. With rugby dominating the Fijian sports scene, it’s great to introduce and encourage new sports like football. It’s also great to see different kids taking centre stage and shining. We’ve often found that by introducing new sports, we help all the Fijian kids find a sport they like.
Football is very much unisex in Fiji and you’ll find the girls enjoy football as much as the boys.
Our grassroots approach to football in Fiji has given schools and communities the chance to enjoy a sport that requires very little equipment. The Fijian kids are so naturally sporty that although many of them have never played football, the progression in just a few weeks can be astonishing.
The women of Fiji love their netball. Netball dominates the sporting calendar for most Fijian women and they play hard.
Expect a physical encounter but also lots of laughs as you help add structure and tactics to naturally gifted islanders. Our sports volunteering has helped organise inter-island tournaments as well as provide a more formal setting for playing.
Just like the rugby, the whole village will come out and support the games. This helps make Fiji the perfect setting for coaching netball.
A country like Fiji is naturally suited to water sports. Made up of over 300 islands, there are plenty of spots to enjoy surfing. Ironically, many Fijians have never tried surfing and you’ll find many can’t actually swim. This provides a setting for our volunteers to really make a difference and help create valuable skills for these communities.
Going out and teaching kids to swim in the ocean, before going through basic surfing can be an incredible experience. Some spots in Fiji get amazing waves so if you enjoy your surfing, Fiji has to be on your bucket-list.
Fiji has a real passion for track and field athletics. The Coca Cola Youth Games is an annual event where the top student athletes compete. The whole country watches this with eager eyes and this reflects their love for the sport.
You’ll soon find out that the Fijians are naturally very quick and strong making them perfect for many of the athletic disciplines.
Athletics coaching is a great way to get the whole school involved. Each year group can focus on a specific type of athletics for a set time and then rotate to a different one. This keeps the sports coaching energetic and lively, with the kids constantly getting the chance to try different activities throughout the session.
Lacrosse is one of our wildcard sports that our volunteers have introduced to Fiji. Many Fijians have never even heard of lacrosse but love giving things a go. This is great to practice core sports skills and focus on seeing how kids can listen to instructions and approach something new.
Lacrosse is a great game to get the kids running about and burning off all their energy.
If you are passionate about Lacrosse or a sport the Fijians may not be too familiar with, then joining our sports and youth volunteering programs to Fiji is a great way to pass this passion onto the Fijians.
Fiji has lots of lush green fields perfect for hockey and sports. Our past volunteer projects have been great at getting the Fijians excited about hockey. The first few training sessions can be quite chaotic but the Fijians soon pick it up and get used to the rules and tactics.
Hockey relies on some quite skillful movements so it’s great to see the kids pick up hockey sticks and get used to learning how to play. Again, you’ll be amazed at how fast some of them pick it up.
Volleyball is another very popular sport in Fiji. Playing volleyball on a Fijian beach is a special moment and something all our volunteers are excited about getting involved in.
Volleyball is always played in Fijian villages and you’ll soon find out that most Fijians are extremely good at it. Despite their natural talent, a game of Fijian volleyball will involve lots of laughter and smiles and it’s never taken too seriously.
Dodgeball has become a Think Pacific legendary sports coaching activity. Our volunteers are always keen to get it set up and the Fijian kids are always excited to get playing.
We’ve found dodgeball is a great sport to get the younger children and kindergarten active and running about. Coaching sports with these younger students is all about making it fun and enjoyable and dodgeball is the perfect solution.
Dodgeball is also a great sport to teach kids about hand-eye coordination as well as speed and agility.
Coaching dodgeball will result in epic games on sun kissed beaches and playing fields. If you like the sound of that, a sports coaching volunteer program is perfect for you.
Coaching rounders in Fiji is a great way to get a large group of students and villagers involved in sport. Although it’s not a sport that Fiji traditionally plays, it always goes down well in sports coaching.
Fijian schools have large playing fields that are perfect for a game of rounders.
Rounders often features in Think Pacific’s House Cup tournament where a school is divided into Houses and compete against each other. This friendly competition creates a great atmosphere in sports lessons and helps provide structure and prizes to their physical education.
With a large Indian population in the cities of Fiji, cricket is very popular on the mainland. It hasn’t really reached the outer islands so depending on where you are in Fiji, cricket will be either seen as a passion or a new sport to try.
Regardless of whether you’re on the outer islands or in the capital, teaching cricket is a great way to bond with the kids.
Aussie Rules Football
Located near Australia, Fiji has certainly been influenced by its neighbours when it comes to sports. The main example being Aussie Rules Football. Although this isn’t as popular as sports like rugby, it does have a bit of a following and the kids are more than happy to get stuck into a game.
It can be quite a chaotic sport at the best of times, so it’s always worth planning and structuring the coaching into clear aims. On the other hand, sometimes it’s just worth accepting the madness and letting the kids run around like crazy!
Best Sports Volunteering
The best sports coaching volunteer program for you will depend on what sports and countries you want to visit. It’s always worth doing your research prior to joining a volunteering sports program to making sure you can coach the sport you want to.
You’ll also want to decide what type of coaching you want to focus on – kindergarten, youth, amateur, or even top level sports.
Here at Think Pacific, we always want to make sure our youth and sports programs are fulfilling and provide the best opportunity for our volunteers as well as the local communities.
If you think sports coaching abroad is the right thing for you, then visit our testimonials page to see just want our previous volunteers thought of their time in Fiji.
Experience for a Career in Sports
Many of our volunteers have utilised their experience in Fiji to further their career opportunities in sports. From sports physios to strength and conditioning coaches, our volunteers have taken what they learnt in Fiji and helped it progress their careers.
Our team are all passionate about sports and ensure that our projects help you get the most out of coaching abroad. To get started on your sports adventure, make sure you download our brochure to see what a Think Pacific project truly means.