Volunteer in Ecuador coaching children in your preferred sport
This is a project located in a purpose built stadium in central Quito. Children aged 5 – 14 from disadvantaged backgrounds are invited to participate in a variety of sports after school, including gymnastics, football, athletics, basketball, archery, trampolining, climbing, martial arts, tennis, table tennis and even chess.
These sports have tended to be activities for the wealthy Ecuadorians and this is the first project of its kind that focuses on providing standards of sporting excellence for children from poorer families. While the government is able to fund the building of the stadium and the investment in sports equipment, it cannot so readily find the coaches who can provide the support needed, so coaching ratios are typically very high, or some sports may not even be running yet.
The children are enthusiastic and the classes are busy and oversubscribed. Standards are typically high, the children are disciplined and they take the opportunity seriously.
Volunteers are used to help improve the availability and standard of coaching, enabling local coaches to make smaller groups based on age and ability.
An excellent opportunity to volunteer abroad and share your passion and ability in a sport while working with children. Suitable for gap year students, those who may have done a PE GCSE, or pursuing coaching qualifications in their chosen sport.
Read Amy’s review of her time at this project
If you have a coaching qualification or participate in a sport to a high standard you will be asked to take control of groups and organize coaching sessions. If you do not have coaching experience or play to a high standard it is still possible to participate, acting as an assistant coach to a properly qualified Ecuadorian sports coach. As you develop your confidence you may than be asked to work with groups of the younger or less experienced children, helping develop streamed sessions.
You will naturally form a good bond with the children you are coaching. Some teams/groups may participate in events and competitions that you would also be able to support.
As this is an after school event, the formal sessions do not start until mid-afternoon and go on until early evening. This provides volunteers with time to develop good session plans and creative ideas for the afternoon, or even try one of the other projects in Quito, many of which run in the mornings.
The government has invested money in the facilities but cannot so easily find coaches to help make the best use of them.
There are existing coaches for most (but not all sports) but the coaching ratios are extremely high. Volunteers help make the coaching groups smaller and more appropriate to different levels of age and ability, which has the effect of improving the sports performance.
The children also love international volunteers, as it gives them a sense of pride in the opportunity given to them, plus the chance to practice the little English they have.
Amy volunteered as a gymnastics coach, using her own training to improve the quantity and quality of training available to children in Quito, Ecuador.