Eye-opening South Africa trip for Sport & Exercise Science students

Bridgwater & Taunton College’s Sport and Exercise Science students recently returned from their annual trip to South Africa. Every year the course visits Port Elizabeth, working with United Through Sport to deliver coaching sessions to underprivileged children in the townships. 

The students delivered coaching in a range of sports including football, netball, hockey and rugby, to six local primary schools. The trip finished with a multisport tournament for approximately 250 children. 

Prior to the trip, the students worked hard to raise funds via a variety of methods which included bag packs and a 24 hour football match. This money went towards trophies and medals for the winners and, more importantly, lunch for every child that took part in the tournament.

Beth Newton said,

“I loved the coaching. It has made me realise that I now want a career in this area where I can help others to develop. It was great to put a smile on the kids’ faces and to see them enjoying the sessions that we put on for them. Two weeks didn’t feel like long enough, therefore I plan to go back at some point in the future.”

Throughout the trip the students demonstrated outstanding resilience, teamwork, motivation and commitment whilst ensuring that they delivered fun and engaging sessions, despite some challenging conditions at times. Students also got the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of South Africa by embracing opportunities such as visiting game drives, teaching in local schools, experiencing a township tour and sampling local cuisine.

Following a day of teaching Maths in a local primary school, Kofi Martin reflected on how he helped a student with a problem that she was stuck on, saying,

“It was so rewarding seeing her face light up when she finally understood what I had shown her, she then went and showed other students how to do it. It was great to see her grow in confidence.”

Reflecting on the whole trip Rhys Hepburn, who had never previously been abroad, said,

“It was an eye opening experience that I’ll never forget.”

Course Leader for Sport and Exercise Science, Alex Leach, said,

“I would like to thank all of those who have supported the venture through donations at local bag packs at Morrisons in Bridgwater, or by supporting any of the other fundraising activities that the students completed. I would also like to thank the Holiday Inn Express Taunton for sponsoring the trip. Without this support we would not have been able to run the multisport tournament and provide food for all of the participating children.”  

All students thoroughly enjoyed this residential trip and gained a lot of value from the experience. If you would like to know more about studying sport at Bridgwater & Taunton College, visit the Sport course pages here or call Information & Guidance on 01278 441234.