If you’re reading this from outside Africa, have you ever wondered what it’s like to coach on one of our programmes here?
For many, taking the plunge to move far from their roots for a new job can be daunting, while for others it’s simply not possible. Which is why we offer coaches from outside the continent the chance to visit one of our programmes and get a taste of what it’s like, shadowing our staff for two weeks or more. Coaches get to see first-hand how our programmes work, can try their hand at coaching a TackleAfrica drill and providing support to local coaches, and can spend a short time in-country immersed in the context and the cultures in which we work.
Coaches on these programmes tell us of a deeply rewarding experience that lives long in the memory. Many coaches are also inspired to play in our football marathons and become lifelong TackleAfrica supporters, and that’s great news for everyone involved in our programmes. One such coach is Steven Dawson, a teacher at Ardingly College in the UK, who with two other volunteers spent time with our staff in Tanzania.
TackleAfrica: Steven, you’re just back home in the UK after your visit. What was your best moment?
SD: My first session with the kids and seeing how excited and enthusiastic they were.
TA: What made you smile the most?
SD: Watching the younger students head the ball and being worried they were going to hurt themselves!
TA: What would you do differently?
SD: Take no warm weather clothing! But also bring football tops from the UK to give out.
TA: What will you miss about Tanzania?
SD: The relaxed culture where anything goes, and people are happy and welcoming.
TA: And your top tip for other visiting coaches?
SD: Take a cap and enjoy the sun!
Steven also told us “HIV is one of the greatest challenges restricting the prosperity of Africa. For many years it has blighted generations and left a scar across the continent. It does not need to be like this. HIV can be managed and people can live happy and fulfilling lives whilst carrying the virus. I feel privileged to have got the opportunity to make a small positive change and help other people.”
Thank you Steven for coming to see our work. It was a pleasure to have you on board and we hope we can count on your support for many years to come.
If you’re a coach and interesting in coaching on one of our programmes, visit www.tackleafrica.org/get-involved for full details.