The 6th of April is International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The adoption of this day signifies the increasing recognition by the UN of the positive influence that sport can have on the advancement of human rights, and social and economic development.
African Impact Sports Coaching and Development volunteer, Jack Nicholsons time with us has come to an end, but not without putting his heart and soul into the amazing amount of work he completed in Cape Town!
In Jacks own words, he tells us a little bit about his volunteering experience.
When I was asked to write about my experience with African Impact I was hesitant at first. I’m not the best with words and knew I would not be able to sum up and put into words how amazing the children I worked with are, and the importance of the men and woman I have met along my journey.
Volunteering in the communities can truly change your life; I have experience firsthand how. I grew up in Scotland with all I could have ever asked for. A first class education, a loving family, a home, the list is endless. So going to Cape Town, South Africa was a first for me and I had no idea what to expect. My ten weeks here have been magical. I have had the pleasure of working in two of the most diverse, loving and amazing communities.
I worked at two primary schools coaching sports: one in Khayelitsha and the other in Langa. People may say to come and help change the lives of children less fortunate is cheesy, but as cheesy as it sounds they changed me. I could not believe how loving and excited the children were at all times, regardless of their circumstances. I have such a passion for sports and love passing on my knowledge, so to see the excitement on the children’s faces when they played was truly amazing. It’s really hard for me to put my experience working with the children into words, but in comparing them to children from home it makes me really appreciate everything I have. I also had the honour of working with two of the most kind and down to earth coaches. I have learned so much from them and will never forget my experiences with them.
Now, GAPA – but where to start? GAPA stands for Grandmothers against Poverty and Aids, so as you can imagine they tackle some pretty serious issues. I have never met women more caring, loving and full of life. GAPA has truly made my volunteering experience. I came expecting to only coach sports but I was very wrong. I have fallen in love with the 150+ children that attend GAPA. No matter what was happening, or how I may have been feeling, I would leave GAPA feeling happy and reignited with life.
I know I have helped and touched the lives of children, even if only a little; however, they have helped me and changed my life more. I just want to thank all of the African Impact team and all of the volunteers I have met on my journey. I could not have asked for anything more.
I guess all I can say is to expect the unexpected, to love the life you live and to live the life you love."â€ª
Stay tuned for our sports blog next week talking about the need for sports volunteers in South Africa, written by Andy Ross.