What will I do on this project?
As a volunteer teaching children to surf in South Africa, you’ll work with our staff to give your students structured sports lessons at the beach. Here are some of the tasks you can expect to do during your placement:
- Learn to surf and coach disadvantaged children and adults
- Participate in surf therapy sessions with our partner organisation
- Run educational workshops on environmental education and nutrition.
Your work will focus on the following aspects:
Teach disadvantaged children and adults to surf
Your main role as a surfing coach in South Africa will be to plan and run surfing classes for disadvantaged children and adults from local communities. You’ll teach them to swim if needed, and develop their ability to surf. You’ll also share knowledge about the importance of protecting our oceans and marine ecosystems. On Friday mornings, you’ll spend your helping to update our records and logging the progress of our participants.
Work with a local non-profit on surf therapy sessions
One of our project partners is a local non-profit that works with disabled children. The children have conditions like autism, Asperger’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, and Down’s syndrome. Our partner will train you in different occupational therapy techniques. You’ll use these methods to work with disabled children for three sessions a week, helping them learn how to surf.
Plan and run educational workshops
Teaching surfing in South Africa can be affected by unpredictable weather and surf conditions, especially in the winter months between June and September. If the weather is bad or surfing isn’t possible, we make alternative arrangements for activities away from the beach.
These activities could include arts and crafts, games, and workshops. These workshops can include various topics like nutrition and further environmental education. You can also speak about litter, and how it affects marine life alongside beach clean-up and recycling activities.
Where will I work in South Africa?
You will be based in Muizenberg, Cape Town. The city’s coastline has an abundance of surf spots, from coves with small, gentle swells, to expansive beaches with bigger waves.
Muizenberg is tucked in the elbow of False Bay. The gentle sloping sandy beach and consistent waves make it one of the safest and most user-friendly beaches in the world for beginner surfers. The surf is good year-round and the north-westerly winter winds create an ideal swell with gentle lines and long rides.
What is a typical day on this project like?
You’ll start your day with breakfast at your host family, and take public transport to your placement. On your first day, Projects Abroad staff will accompany you to show you the way.
A typical work day starts at 10am with preparation for the morning session. The first groups start at 10:30am and will continue until 12:30pm.
There is a midday break where you can have lunch and fit in some surfing for yourself. You can also assist with surfboard maintenance or plan ahead for the afternoon activities.
Our afternoon groups arrive at 3:30pm. During these sessions, you’ll coach people in the water and on the beach, working under the supervision of a qualified ISA surfing coach.
Fridays are free days for your own surfing and data collection for the week. You are also encouraged to take initiative and suggest activities for the children.
What are the aims of this project?
The main aim for this project is for you to help support local communities through teaching surfing in South Africa.
The people we work with come from communities that face challenges like high crime and unemployment rates, drug abuse, and domestic violence everyday. They have limited access to education and resources, and don’t have the opportunity to get involved with expensive sports like surfing. We also work with disabled children, providing them with occupational therapy treatment through surfing.
We need the help of volunteers like you to reach as many people as possible. You’ll support the people who attend surfing classes, and help them develop their fitness and ability. You’ll also have a mentoring role with the children and young adults.
Join our Surfing Project in South Africa, and help us introduce more people to the sport of surfing.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Known as the Rainbow Nation, South Africa has a diverse mix of cultures. Our projects are based in Cape Town, a region filled with an exciting variety of activities to do during your free time.
You can catch a wave at Muizenberg beach or just relax in a seaside restaurant. There’s plenty of local cuisine to try, including delicately spiced Cape Malay curries and the creamy milk tart dessert.
South Africa has a difficult past, which you can learn more about at the District 6 Museum and Robben Island.
For an awe-inspiring experience, you can spend the day getting lost in the towering silos that make up the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Arts Africa. Finally, no trip to Cape Town would be complete without a cable car ride up iconic Table Mountain.
We run many different projects in South Africa, so there’s sure to be other volunteers in the country with you. So if you want to travel with a group, you’re sure to find like-minded people who’ll join you on your adventures.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in South Africa
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