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Volunteering as a Sports Teacher in Sri Lanka

Sports playing fields

Volunteering as a school sports teacher in a country so passionate about sports is a truly rewarding experience. You may volunteer as part of your gap year, as work experience, during a career break, or even volunteer while on your travels around the world. As long as you have a general love of sport and you are keen to make a positive impact on the lives of Sri Lankan children, you do not need experience to take part.

As a sports volunteer, you will be involved in an important part of Sri Lankan culture. Some people are surprised to learn that volleyball is the country’s national sport, as Sri Lanka is probably best known for cricket. Cricket is the most widely played sport in Sri Lanka, the national cricket team rose from being the underdogs in the 1980s to winning the Cricket World Cup in 1996; they were also runners-up in 2007 and 2011.

As well as cricket and volleyball, other popular sports include athletics, football and basketball. Women’s netball is also significant with four wins out of the last seven in the Asian Netball Championships.

Teaching Sports with Projects Abroad

Despite the popularity of sport in Sri Lanka many schools still have very limited sporting facilities and equipment. As a volunteer sports teacher, you will be teaching sports to enthusiastic students who currently do not have access to a developed sports education. You can teach a variety of sports, including volleyball, netball, football and athletics.

Projects Abroad has partnered with a school in Panadura and a college in Kalutara. Both education facilities currently give little importance to physical education lessons, but with the help of volunteers running sports classes it’s possible to change this.

Teaching Sports in Sri Lanka

Sports in Sri Lanka

The school in Panadura has 800 children. It does have a sports teacher, but the children currently only receive classroom based theory lessons. Volunteers at this school will have the opportunity to use the existing school field to take lessons outside and develop skills in a variety of different sports. This could be team sports including football, cricket, volleyball and badminton, and also individual athletics training.

The college in Kalutara has 3000 pupils from primary to secondary ages. There are currently several sports teachers, however, without our volunteers providing additional support sports lessons don’t happen on a regular basis. At lunchtime the children sometimes organise their own sports sessions which you can also help with.

Here you have the opportunity to support the existing teachers, or you can set up your own lessons. Lessons focus on the under 11s, under 13s, under 16s and under 19s. The school would like help with football, cricket, volleyball, netball, and athletics. The sports equipment available is basic.

Sports volunteers start early in the morning, teaching from 6.30-9am and again in the afternoons from 2-5pm. If you choose, you can also teach some English or Physical Education theory between 9am and 2pm.

Cricket in Sri Lanka

By teaching school sports in Sri Lanka, you will watch the children's confidence grow. As you work with them to develop their talents, you will witness how their increased self-esteem impacts on their personal relationships and on their education as a whole.

You can join a Sports project in Sri Lanka for four weeks if you don't have time to join us for more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period. Volunteers who can only join us for two weeks may be paired up with another longer term sports volunteer.

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