GVI: Sports Volunteering

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Sports, exercise, and health education play important roles in the fine and gross motor coordination development, and long-term wellbeing of youth. Volunteer in Kerala, India, or Cape Town, South Africa, to join locally run projects and assist community members to lead health workshops and sporting activities. Assist with a variety of sports and physical activities, as well as empowerment workshops for local youth.

You will develop leadership and facilitation skills, learn about different cultures, and volunteer in an ethically sustainable way that measures against the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. GVI has a Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy in place to maintain ethical best practices.

You could also form life-long friendships with your fellow participants from around the world. Together, explore the natural wonders of Cape Town and better understand the complex history and diverse cultures within the country, or enjoy scenic beach days in Kerala.

  • Contribute to the fine and gross motor skill development of community youth, as well as their long-term wellbeing.
  • Support the UN SDGs and learn how to volunteer and travel ethically.
  • Connect with local community members and develop friendships with like-minded participants from around the world.
  • In Cape Town, hike up Cape Point, where the Indian and Atlantic ocean meet. In Kerala, enjoy the relaxation of tropical beach greenery and backwater canals.
  • Become a global citizen with greater understandings of cultures and community development issues.

GVI global programs are open!

We're thrilled to announce that nine of our global locations are now open, including Greece, Thailand, Nepal, Seychelles, South Africa, Costa Rica and Mexico. We're also taking bookings for our Thailand, Chiang Mai, Lao and Peru locations for 2021. Stay tuned for more locations coming your way soon, including a new location addition in the Canary Islands.

Questions & Answers


9.57 Rating
based on 7 reviews
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  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.7
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 7 of 7
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Yes, I recommend this program

The perfect first experience of India

I've want to go travelling for a good few years now and decided to start my travelling with a month volunteering in Kerala with GVI. I couldn't have made a better decision. The first day I got into India before meeting GVI I was pretty worried I'd made a mistake. I was on my own, knew no one and was completely overwhelmed by the noise, hustle and bustle and general madness all around me that was day to day Indian life!
The next day GVI took me under their wing and over the next month I completely fell in love with India and Fort Kochi, where I was volunteering, in particular. The whole experience gave me a completely different view on Indian life and culture that I wouldn't have been able to experience any other way. You get to know the locals and interact with them as if you've lived there all your life, and they genuinely except you as if you have, once you get over the language barrier!
Getting to watch the different schools football skills progress and their fitness and stamina improve week by week was a real privilege also, as well as watching the vulnerable adults become more and more willing to get involved with activities and I was extremely sad to have to say goodbye to the program. I wish I had a booked on for far longer! All in all by the time I left the program I felt I had grown as a person, become more confident in myself, helped to give back to a community that had immediately accepted and been nothing but kind to me my entire stay and was ready and extraordinarily excited to explore, see, hear and experience as much of India as I could on the rest of my trip.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I was extremely sad when the time came to finish my program, despite how excited I was to begin the further travels. So the main thing I would change would be to extend my program length!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Time of my life!

This was my first ever volunteer trip and it was honestly amazing! The staff was so helpful in every way. If you needed anything at all you could ask them and they would help no judgements. They were able to give us information on local things as well. They recommended markets, restaurants and places that we should go see. We were able to see what it would be like to live in the townships. Our accommodations were in a secure compound so there was never any concern of safety.
Not only was everything organized well but the actual experience was outstanding. Working with the children in the school was life changing and leaving was really hard. The children were so friendly and would always come up and give us high-fives or hugs even if they didn’t know us. When we went into the classes you could see the happiness in their faces. If I could have stayed longer I would’ve. Highly recommend.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go into it with an open mind. Things change but if you’re willing to see what happens and and try things it will be amazing.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great trip

I had an amazing time on GVIs under 18s sports programme in Gordon's Bay (2018), the kids were great the work with and our group of volunteers was amazing. It was great to get to know people who live in different places. The project taught me lots of new sports skills which I can bring home and use as regular groups as well as teaching me a lot more self confidence and I learnt skills to travel solo. I had such an amazing time, thank you to everyone at GVI.

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Yes, I recommend this program

The best two weeks

I went to South Africa for two weeks with GVI, the programme was amazing! I loved working with the children to teach them different sports and being able to take them surfing was a bonus. Although it was winter so the water was FREEZING! I genuinely had the best time and found the coordinators at GVI so supportive! I met amazing people who I still keep in touch with months after being back, I love hearing about how the children in the school are doing by face timing the coordinators that are still out there! GVI has been such a great organisation to volunteer with i'm already planning my next adventure! If you're thinking about travelling or volunteering go for it, GVI will support you :)

What would you improve about this program?
The engagement level of the teachers wasn't always high in the school, some teachers fully engaged and others chose to opt out. It would be great to get the teachers valuing sports as well!
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Yes, I recommend this program

GVI Experience - Quepos

I was after a new adventure for 2013 and so I decided to give Volunteering a go - I researched several programs online and GVI continued to tick all the boxes, plus they were also very informative and responded quickly to my questions or concerns.

Arriving in Costa Rica we were met at the airport by Group Leaders and were taken care of right from the get go, a week of culture and logistic training prepared us for what was ahead. The realization was completely different, however I was here for a challenge.

A typical day . . .

Up early you are either assisting with breakfast, or still asleep whilst cleaning up after breakfast. The house, chores and meals are shared by everyone. And everyone has to give it a go, no matter how terrible a cook you are!

Then it's off to the bus, a short ride and then onto the Boat (dingy) to El Cocal. An illegal immigrant town literally resting on a sand bar. As you would imagine being near the water it's a fishing town. One of our tasks within Cocal is to try and get children, especially the boys to stay in school so that they may be educated enough to work in a profession, like the service industry.

After being greeted by several of the children at the dock, and wondering why most of them are not in school today . . . We arrive at the Child Care centre, a place for kids to come hang out, sports, do art work, get help with any homework. It's also a place where we are trying to teach adult english to those that are willing.

The days are a mix of playing, educating, conflict resolution and many funny moments, especially when you are standing in a class room try to teach maths in a room full of children whom only speak Spanish. . .

We finish school at about 1.30pm and then the rest of the day is yours!

Highlights - For me it was the end of year cultural celebrations, there are so many to be involved in, Guanacasta Day, Costa Rica's Independance Day, etc, etc and I loved helping the kids decorate, dress up and be involved these celebrations!

Definitely a wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone!

What would you improve about this program?
I would've like a bit more information on the Country and village that we were operating in, just about the geography, the people, etc.
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Yes, I recommend this program

South Africa Sports Program

Being in the South Africa Sports Program was an amazing experience. I fell in love with the people, the staff, the project, and the kids. Weekend outings were so much fun but I got the most enjoyment out of working with the kids. I had three little buddies that I made and got to work with the during the week. It was a blast to see the kids grow and get ready for the track & field tournament that we prepared them for. Staff was awesome. Our safety always came first but they wanted us to have fun and experience the lifestyle and cultural differences that South Africa had to offer as well. I was so lucky to with a wonderful group of volunteer and more coordinator was such a fun-loving, personal, and outgoing person. I made great friends, learned many lessons, enjoyed my travels, and made memories that I will never forget.

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Yes, I recommend this program

GVI provided me with the opportunity to experience something amazing!

Teaching sports & surfing to children in a Township Primary School in South Africa was incredible! I spent 10 weeks supporting this project, and from start to finish had nothing but amazing and rewarding experiences!

Each class greets you with cheers and smiles, as they become so enthusiastic and excited at the prospect of learning sports and having fun! The kids here are the most beautifully natured kids you could ever wish to meet, and supporting them is an easy task!

Loved it, cant wait to go back!

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