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Friday, December 09, 2005


GAP SPORTS 'Community' in Port Elizabeth

I was intrigued to come across this website

Basically they offer Gap Year placements for 3 months to anyone interested in coaching rugby in the townships around Port Elizabeth.

"Join the GAP SPORTS 'Community' in Port Elizabeth, South Africa 's "Friendly City", and give young township players the chance to learn and develop new rugby skills. No experience is needed and you will enjoy the close GAP SPORTS 'family' by living, exploring and socialising with other volunteers and locals. Spot Africa 's big game on safari, sample the surf at Jeffrey's Bay and experience countless extreme sports, friendly local bars and lively African rugby matches, all under the warm and welcoming skies of South Africa. (No prior coaching experience or qualifications are required, just an ability to get alongside children and organise activities)."

They go on to explain a bit about South African rugby,

"Rugby in South Africa: As you are probably aware, the South Africans are extremely passionate about their Rugby. They are a tough and very technical force to be reckoned with - despite England 's punishment in the 2003 World Cup! Although rugby is a passion for many, very few get to play and develop in a well-structured environment. And the irony is that many of the most promising players, often living in and around Port Elizabeth 's townships, are left undiscovered and their talents undeveloped. Although it is hard for these children to get a game going with some friends, many are seen kicking and throwing a ball around with each other, dreaming of being the next Francois Pienaar and leading the Springboks to World Cup victory once again. But without the proper chance to play and further their game, this will only ever remain a township fantasy."

and then a bit about who they will be working with,

"You will be under the guidance of the GAP SPORTS team who has implemented the rugby and sports activities programme, largely centred in the townships and schools that skirt the city. The first stage as a coach is to help organise and run training clinics and matches for the children, as well as providing them with decent rugby equipment to use. This will be a great experience for forming relationships with the players and also for developing your own confidence. The second stage will be working together, as a volunteer 'unit', to plan and run rugby tournaments that incorporate both matches and team-building activities. Although the focus is on personal skills and sports development, there will be ample opportunity to scout for talented individuals who, with the right support and training, could go onto play professional level rugby. The sports academies with which we work are keen to identify the individuals who will form South Africa 's next generation of Springboks. And, although this is not the focus of our rugby coaching projects, it is likely you will groom players who are destined for a future in the top end of the game"

It's quite fascinating, had anyone heard of them? I think this should be strongly encouraged. Okay, it's obviously not a 'not-for-profit' charity venture but anything that encourages young black kids into rugby must be a good thing.

I think the three regional bodies, especially the EP and SEC, should make contact with this organization, if they haven't already, and see if there are any synergies.

It's well worth a read and you can just follow the link at the top.

We will definitely look into it. Promise.
And post us the results- as you know- we are always a bit on the wrong side of progress  
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