In March, Year 2 Sport and Exercise Science students went on their annual residential trip to South Africa. Every year the course visits Port Elizabeth where they work with the charity United Through Sport delivering coaching sessions to underprivileged children in the townships. United Through Sport complete vital work in the township areas and look to use sport as a tool to educate and inspire the local children.
The students coached a range of sports including football, netball, hockey and rugby to six local primary schools. The trip finished with the delivery of a multi-sport tournament for approximately 250 children. The trip is an excellent way for students to develop their confidence and communication during the coaching sessions and delivery of the tournament. Prior to the trip, students completed bag packs at the Morrisons store in Bridgwater and also completed a gruelling 24 hour football match to raise funds for equipment such as trophies and medals, but more importantly lunch for every child that competed in the tournament.
Reflecting on the trip of lifetime, Birkan Gunduz said,
“The trip is a once in a lifetime experience. I enjoyed all aspects of the trip including experiencing a new culture, seeing African wildlife, coaching and trying new food. The trip has developed my communication skills and confidence, which has been beneficial in my everyday life. See the living conditions within the townships has made me realise how privileged I am and I appreciate my opportunities even more now.”
As well as coaching, students spent time within a classroom setting, where they delivered English sessions, as well as working with the Junior Centre of Excellence, which is run by United Through Sport. The Centre of Excellence is an after school programme where the charity give extra coaching and education sessions, helping the children involved to reach their full potential. The students excelled in all aspects of the trip, allowing the link with the charity to grow.
Following the visit of the Sport and Exercise Science students, Katie Franklin, who works for the charity, said,
“The yearly visit from Bridgwater & Taunton College has become a highlight of our annual calendar. Their young student coaches are skilled, passionate and energetic providing a real developmental opportunity for the children of our programmes. The BTC staff are professional and motivated which leads to a highly beneficial relationship for United Through Sport with the BTC residential programme. We are very proud of our partnership with BTC and are looking forward to it continuing to go from strength to strength.”
Alex Leach, Course Leader for Sport and Exercise Science said,
“I would like to thank the local businesses and community who have provided excellent support, and without this the trip would not be able to take place. A big thank you to Morrisons in Bridgwater for their continued support of the trip through enabling the students to complete bag pack sessions. Also we would like to thank all of the companies who supported the sponsorship raffle, with the winners being local business, See-View Window Cleaning Service.”