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Organising Voluntary Projects Overseas since 1994.

INDIA: COACH FOOTBALL TO DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS IN MADURAI

SUMMARY OVERVIEW

Coach football to children of all age groups, mainly in secondary schools in the bustling city of Madurai. Although facilities are basic, you'll be greeted with warm smiles and big hearts. You'll usually coach for 3 to 5 hours at one school, but you may also coach at two different venues.

Indian children are lovely to teach and very enthusiastic about learning sport. The School Principals say that the children have also learned life skills from the team work and gained tremendous confidence in themselves.

Sport is taught during Physical Education (PE) classes throughout the day. The schools have only basic equipment and potholed pitches, and some even use the car park as a playing ground ... but the children love sports!

Price:
Please see the Prices Page. Prices for all projects are listed and you can choose which currency you'd like to see them in. Prices exclude flights.
Duration:
From 2 weeks to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates:
Available from June through to February - you choose your start and finish dates. Subject to other school holidays through the year – see dates below.
Requirements:
Minimum age 17, or younger if accompanied by a parent or guardian. You don't need any qualifications to do this project, just a good knowledge of the sports you'll be coaching and lots of enthusiasm!
What's included:
  • Arranging your Programme
  • Payment Protection insurance
  • Full pre-departure support and assistance
  • Personalised online project portal where you'll access all information your programme, health & safety and country advice.
  • Your own dedicated Project Co-ordinator to help you throughout the pre-departure process
  • Meeting you at the Airport
  • Accommodation
  • Food (excluding lunch)
  • Full safety, support and back up from our local in-country team.
  • Project orientation & induction on your arrival.
  • 24-hr emergency support.
What's not included: Flights, Travel Insurance, Cost of Visas, Daily transport to and from your project, Return to the airport (but we can arrange this for you).
Who can do this Programme?
All projects are open to all nationalities. Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in sports, in working with children or education, or care.

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PROJECT CONTENT

The schools we work with are all situated in the bustling city of Madurai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The schools are mainly ‘Matriculation’ which means that English is taught as the first language. These schools tend to have play areas for sport which is enjoyed as PE classes throughout the day. However most of the schools have only basic equipment such as a few deflated footballs, no nets or bibs and potholed pitches! Some schools even use the car park as a playing ground. Although materials and resources may be scarce, the enthusiasm of the students and colleagues more than makes up for any hardships.

Coaching sports has immeasurable indirect benefits for the children, such as health awareness, increased confidence and social skills. The Principal/sports director and/or relevant teachers at the school will liaise with you about your coaching assignments and our Organisers will also be happy to assist you where necessary.

You may teach between 10 and 30 children at a time. Sometimes the children can be split into smaller groups with the PE teacher taking half the children if you find that there are too many to coach. You’ll most likely be teaching children aged between 7 and 16. Although the children can speak English, they tend to be incredibly shy at first, but they soon open up!

You'll usually coach for 3 to 5 hours at one school only, however there is a possibility that you may coach at two different venues. You'll work in secondary schools and you'll normally help out with all age groups. You'll be in popular demand wherever you're placed and the children will crowd around you like a celebrity and want your autograph. Keep a pen on you at all times!

The lessons are approximately 40 minutes each. If you would like to coach other sports as well, you also have the opportunity to coach volleyball, cricket, tennis, table tennis and badminton.

Coaching is only available from June to February as from the beginning of March the children have to concentrate on studying for exams. However, you may be able to coach during the Summer Holidays (April to May) when Summer Camps are sometimes held in some of schools. These Summer Camps actually take place in the school grounds and are an opportunity to give more informal lessons, perhaps combining them with playing a sport or putting together a music concert or play – much more relaxed and not quite so structured. Alternatively, you can use the holidays to tour around the country and sightsee.

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS:

In India school holidays can change unexpectedly with very little notice given. Although at times this can be quite inconvenient, most of our volunteers use the opportunity to travel around and explore the country.

2018 SCHOOL HOLIDAY DATES

• Pongal Holiday: 13 to 17 January 2018
• Republic Day: 26 January 2018
• Mahavir Jeyanthi: 3 March 2018
• Good Friday: 30 March 2018
• Summer Vacation: 22 April to 5 June 2018
• Independence Day: 15 August 2018
• Bakrid: 22-23 August 2018
• Vinayakar Chathuri: 12 September 2018
• First Term Vacation: 24-30 September 2018
• Gandhi’s birthday: 2 October 2018
• Diwali Holiday: 17-19 October 2018
• Thevar Jayanthi: 30 October 2017
• Second Term Vacation: 24 December 2018 to 2 January 2019

Exam Periods: (approx):
• Annual Exams: 8 to 21 April 2018
• Quarterly Exams: 11 to 23 September 2018
• Half Yearly Exams: 11 to 23 December 2018

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ACCOMMODATION

For a complete Indian experience we arrange for you to stay with one of wonderful host families. All of our hosts are very welcoming and not only will be made to feel part of the family, you’ll also gain a great insight into Indian culture and customs. Many of our volunteers remain friends with their host families long after they leave India and in some cases they return to the country later especially to visit their family.

You may share a room with up to 2 other volunteers and in most of the houses you'll have an en-suite, Western-style bathroom. Most of the showers in our host accommodation are cold water only – however your hosts will boil water for you on request.

Wi-Fi / Internet: There are no internet facilities in the host family accommodation, but less than 1 minute walk away there is an internet café and costs less than £1 an hour.

All of our host family houses are close together and just a few minutes’ walk away from internet cafes, banks and snack shops and just a short auto ride into the centre of town.

FOOD:

Breakfast and dinner will be provided and prepared for you by the family and is mainly local fare allowing you to taste a varied selection of delicious south Indian dishes and exotic fruits. You will need to make provision for your own lunch.

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REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK:

Jonathan Lines (British):
"I'm certainly enjoying my time here so far, and I feel I am gaining a lot of confidence from the coaching. I found it amazing how quickly you find yourself becoming like coaches and teachers that taught me when I was a kid.

It's gratifying seeing some of the kids making small improvements everyday, plus seeing others that have genuine ability. I'd say you have to have plenty of energy and enthusiasm because although typically we only coach for 3-4 hours a day, the heat can make it exhausting. Also, it can be easy to become frustrated so you need to have patience and try and stay calm, even when it can be difficult!

Can you describe a typical day?
Typically I am up at 5.30 for the first coaching session at the Racecourse. We usually start at 6.15 and finish at 8. I have some breakfast and then we have another session at 10.30 at TVS school. There we coach 2 different classes from 11-12.15 and 12.30-1.30.

When I get back to the house I have lunch, and maybe get some sleep before the final session at Fuscos school from 4-5. However, because at present there are 3 of us on the coaching placement we tend to have a rota whereby we each do 2 of the sessions per day.

Thomas Gauvin (Canadian):
"Without a doubt, the best thing about my placement has been the people arranging thus placement. Anitha and Lakshmanan have been extremely helpful going out of their way to help me (repair my camera). Furthermore, the gym teachers were always happy and inviting. They often arranged for us to have more coaching opportunities which is something I truly appreciated.

I would recommend this placement. The current host family is perfect. If would be impossible to have better! The school teaching is quite entertaining and you can always have a good laugh with the children. This placement would suit sporty people who practice a sport they can teach at home. An aspiring gym-teacher ... The placement was great! We are rushing to get though everything we planned for the trip."

Vincent Bonetto (Canadian):
"Madurai is a wonderful city. When I arrived, I immediately noticed all the colors present everywhere. Very different from Montreal where it is mostly grey. In Madurai, I fell like there is life everywhere. About the placement, everyone we meet is extremely nice and welcoming. A truly great experience.

I am becoming more capable to handle and teach relatively large groups of children. I felt more organised in the sense that I know more what I have to do and when I have to do it.

Everything has been great, but I really enjoy the fact that we are free to do what we want in our free time. If we are tired, we can rest and if we are feeling adventurous, we can go explore the city out of the tourist areas.

I would recommend this placement. This was an amazing experience for me and I would definitively, recommend this placement to anyone who wants to do a similar project. The type of person this placement would suit is someone who is open to new experiences and who is active and energetic. Since everyone is so accommodating, this placement can suit anyone as long as they enjoy sports or fitness activities ...

The host family is welcoming and understanding. When you start knowing them better, the trip becomes much more fun since they recommended more things and activities to do. It essentially become living with friends."

Tim Roberts (British):
"Everything about my placement coaching football was fantastic - the friendliness of the people in Madurai, the excellent living conditions in the Travellers house and the wonderful support from the in country supervisors. But most of all what really made it for me were the school kids I was coaching - all of them such great characters, extremely dedicated and so grateful for the opportunity to be taught more about football."

Tom Harris (British):
"We actually created a mini World Cup competition amongst the schools when we were there. We also awarded medals, such as Best Skilled Player, etc.

We also bought a whole kit for our groups because they were such good students. The kids were fantastic and were very sad to see us leave. We just hope that other Travellers volunteers can take up from where we left off."

VOLUNTEERING WITH CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

As well as protecting all our volunteers, Budget Volunteering is committed to all our projects and dedicated to practices which protect children and vulnerable adults from harm.

LOCATION: MADURAI:

Many of our projects are based in the bustling city of Madurai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Madurai is known by many names; ‘Jasmine city’ for the famous jasmine flowers that are cultivated here, ‘the city of Nectar’, Legend tells of a river of nectar that flowed after blessing from Lord Shiva, and the ‘Temple City’.

Madurai really does have a temple or shrine on practically every street but it is most famed for the Sri Meenakshi Sundeswarar Temple. Pilgrims and tourists alike flock to visit the temple and approximately 10,000 visit every day! The temple is named after goddess Meenakshi. It was built in the 17th century and is an enormous structure with 5 outer towers crammed full of idols and animals. The inner courtyard contains another 7 towers, again all highly adorned. It will take your breath away.

Madurai is located on Vaigai River and was the capital of Pandyan rulers till the 14th century. It is full of cultural diversity and life revolves around the awe inspiring Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, awash with pilgrims, market stalls and tourist shops.

Children will stop you on the streets to chat to you and shake your hand and even ask for your autograph! You will be in demand everywhere you go and you’ll feel like a celebrity, such is the warmth of the Indian people. If you’re after an overwhelming experience, then Madurai is a certainty for this!

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