Stellenbosch 2019

Posted on August 07, 2019

During the summer of 2019 Georgia Patterson and Catherine Boyd headed to Stellenbosch in South Africa to coach hockey to kids as part of the Saints Volunteering project. This is what they had to say about it:

"We arrived in South Africa at the end of May and after a few days of induction learning more about South Africa, we headed off to Rietenbosch Primary School, in a township close by to Stellenbosch, where we would be coaching up until the school holidays began. We coached alongside four other students from St Andrews, who were there to coach netball and football.  

Over the three weeks we spent at Rietenbosch we would coach general P.E. classes during the day, followed by specific sessions to a team who would be taking part in a tournament run by ourselves. Many of the girls hadn’t played hockey before so we started with the basics and before long they were really getting the hang of it. 

Tournament day came around very quickly! Rietenbosch had two hockey teams, as well as teams for the other sports, to play against other local primary schools. Both teams played so well with one team reaching the final, only losing by a last-minute goal. The tournament was a great day for everyone involved, and we got to see how much fun all the children had throughout the day - not just from playing their sport too. 

Once the school holidays started our host, Jose took us along to an NGO running in a township called Kayamandi. The NGO ran holiday camps with activities for children of all ages and provided them with a hot meal at the end of the day. After joining in for two days with their general activities, we decided to run sports sessions for the children attending, and hope to secure funding from the University of Stellenbosch to buy sports equipment so the children can continue to enjoy themselves. Kayamandi and Rietenbosch are two different communities who like to see themselves as very different, however one common thread in both is the happiness displayed in their children. 

Overall, we had a great 5 weeks in South Africa, seeing so much joy and happiness sport brings to the children we coached."