I was very hesitant booking a programme with sport lived as it seemed too good to be true. But it was everything it lived up to be, from great accommodation to a perfect cricket club to play at! I'd highly recommend anyone looking to take the stress out of gap year planning to go through sport lived.
Anything that Sport Lived can do to make your programme easier and more comfortable, they will find a way! The location of my cricket club was either a 20 minute walk or a 5 minute tram, so really accessible for me if I had no money on my travel card! The location of the apartment was also close to supermarkets and train stations which made exploring Melbourne alot easier.
I'd highly recommend sport lived to any young, sporty individual looking to go and play a sport abroad, you won't be disappointed!
This program is a scam. They failed to provide almost every promised service. I went to Melbourne, Australia, to join a rowing club and learn to row. Sport Lived said they would find me a rowing club and set up private lessons, and that everything would be walking distance from the hostel. I was told I'd be rowing twice per day; in reality I was rowing once per week. I was told that the rowing club was "a stone's throw from the hostel;" in reality it was 7.8km each way, and I was told to walk. Sport Lived did not help me find any extra programming to make up for the lack of rowing.
I was told that there was a roughly equal number of girls and boys; there were 3 girls and 36 boys. I was told I'd have 24/7 access to a local mentor; I saw him twice, and he went on vacation for a week during my time in Melbourne. I was told that I'd be in a hostel room with all Sport Lived people; I was in a room with strangers, and was forced to change rooms multiple times.
In my two months, there were three planned social events. Sport Lived was inherently social, given that there were nearly forty of us staying in the hostel, but the fun social scene happened independently of Sport Lived.
In the end, all the program did for me was pick me up from the airport, book me a hostel, and find me a mixed age rowing program once a week, rather than the team I was told I'd be on. I could have done all that myself, and saved the money I paid to Sport Lived. It was a good learning experience, because I was forced to come up with everything myself, and I made some great friends, but the experience was positive wholly in spite of Sport Lived, not because of it.
The coordinators back in England are difficult to work with, and do not clearly answer questions.
My program friends and I came up with a nickname for Sport Lived, "Sport Livid." I think that name accurately sums up our experience.
I've been a cricketer for about 7 years now and I've only ever played in England, so I wanted to broaden my horizons in terms of the game! That's when I discovered SportLived, a program which not only gave me the opportunity to play a sport across the world, but also make new friends and discover another country at the same time!
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
I found that SportLived wanted to make the program about you, not to make sure they were constantly holding your hand. Pre-program, they constantly made sure you were on top of everything and that it was sorted before you had flown out. They provided you with a more than helpful checklist to make sure it was sorted before you flew out, also putting you in contact with a travel agent to organize your flights.
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What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
I'd say, go with an open mind. I went out there to play sport, but I gained so, so much more. From experiencing different parts of Victoria, to meeting new people and even interacting with Kangaroos, you will gain so much more than just playing another sport in another country. I'd always tell me friends you have to have confidence in yourself to even consider going in the first place, once you're there, build on it.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
It really depends on what sport you were doing,
I was a cricketer so my typical week would be, I'd have a rest day on Monday, and then on Tuesday there would be a net session (all nets take place on grass wickets), then a rest day on Wednesday. Thursday would be a club training session, so this would not only be a net, but also fielding and fitness. Saturday and Sunday were both game days, I predominately played Saturdays, but also helped out on a Sunday.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
Being able to live and explore a city on your own. If you haven't lived on your own, trying to figure out what you were going to eat, how you would pass the time, whether that be by paid coaching or training, you would have to find it yourself. SportLived helped so much finding my flatmates a job or coaching, which meant for many hours of the day, they were so entertained.
So being able to find stuff to do off your own accord, and live sustainably was a challenge, but with 5 other flatmates, it was a breeze!
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Australia is one of the largest countries by land area and has a wide variety of climates and regions including desert, beaches, and the outback. Where else can you visit 10,685 beaches, more than 500 national parks, and 8,222 islands in one fell swoop? Unsurprisingly, Australia is regarded as one of the most livable countries, making it a wonderful destination to study, work, and travel abroad.
About Sport Lived
Founded in 2004, Sport Lived provides gap year programs for participants interested in a wide range of sporting opportunities across the globe.