What do you want to do?
There are plenty of things to consider when you are looking to embark on a sports adventure overseas, and there are some key questions to ask yourself before you head of on your merry way. The first of these questions is likely to be, What do you want to do?, which will probably prove to be one of the most important questions of your trip abroad.
When looking to take part in a sports travel project, placement or trip in a far flung destination, the vast majority of people will have a fairly good idea about which sport(s) interested in, and therefore which sports they want to take part in during their epic overseas adventure. The question therefore is not which sport, but what you would like to do with your chosen sport?
There are so many options out in the wild world for sports travel opportunities! If you are a budding sports coach looking to gain some valuable experience overseas, or share you knowledge to help with the development of sports in disadvantaged communities in some of the worlds poorest countries, we have a range of Sports Coaching projects and placements in some truly amazing destinations. More Sports Coaching Opportunities Abroad.
If coaching is not your thing, and you are more interested in developing your own skills and techniques, you might be keen to take your sporting passion abroad to join a local team on a Train and Play trip. Whether you are looking for a 2 – 4 week training camp on a Martial Arts project abroad, or you want to really improve your skills you could play a season with a Premier League Rugby team and academy side in Australia. More Train and Play Opportunities Abroad.
You may be looking to further your career in the world of sport by picking up some useful qualifications. By completing sports courses abroad, you will gain valuable qualifications, which will stand yourself in great stead when looking to find further work in your chosen sport and industry. We have some fantastic courses available, including Level 1 and 2 CSIA Ski and Snowboard Instructor Qualifications in Canada. More Sports Courses and Qualification Opportunities Abroad.
To really gain a foothold in the sports industry, we also offer a range of internship and work experience options overseas. Sports internships are designed to give sporty people, looking to gain some excellent work experience, the opportunity to use their knowledge of a certain sport related discipline to further their skills in a structured environment. From Sports Physiotherapy to Sports Psychology, you do not need to coach or play your sport abroad to experience sports travel. More Sports Internships and Work Experience Opportunities Abroad.
For those of your looking to combine a sports coaching and childcare / mentoring role, we also offer a selection of summer camp options abroad. As a summer camp mentor and sports coach you will work with likeminded colleagues to deliver local children with the structured sports environment they need to experience and develop the favourite sports. Choose from St Lucia, Argentina and South Africa and see how rewarding sports summer camp work can be. More Sports Summer Camp Opportunities Abroad.
Finally, for those looking for a little more from their sports travels, we also offer tailored sports tour options for school, college, university and club teams to travel and experience playing and coaching their favourite sport in some amazing destinations. Our sports tours are tours with a difference, offering the chance to support community sports projects by providing sports coaching sessions to local children, as well as experiencing all the best bits of playing competitive sport abroad. Find out more about Sports Tours.
What you want to do with you time abroad on your sporty travels is completely down to your personal preference. If you are finding the decision hard, don’t worry, you can always contact us, just give our office a call on +44 (0)208 123 8702, and one of our awesome sports travel advisors will talk you through all your options.
Where do you want to go?
Choosing which of our amazing sports destinations is right for you can come down to a few different factors. Each of our destinations has different options available, so you need to be aware that you are not always going to be able to do the same activities in each country. When you have a better idea about which sports, and what you want to do with your chosen sport abroad, then the next step in your sports adventure is to decide which country offers you the best opportunities to take part in your chose sports activity.
For example, if you are a keen golfer and would be interested in volunteering as a golf coach abroad, then Ghana provides you with some amazing opportunities to experience Golf in the heart of West Africa. If you are a cricket fanatic and would like to build on your skills and dramatically improve your technique overseas, then an academy training programme in South Africa may suit you. For rugby lovers, a trip down under to join a team in Australia could be right up your street. For football look not further than a coaching and training placement in Argentina, and for an opportunity to get involved with summer camp coaching and mentoring then the beautiful Caribbean island of St Lucia is simply the place to be!
Each of our amazing sports destinations will have different requirements with regards to the visa you will be applying for, dependant on your chosen sports activity and the length of your stay. If a trip to Australia to join our train and play programme is your idea of a great trip abroad, bear in mind that you may also be interested in working whilst abroad to help fund your social activities, in which case a Working Holiday Visa will be required. For some African nations, such as Ghana a visa is always required, and for places such as Argentina, a visa is only required for a stay that is longer than 90 days in length.
The weather and climate of available destinations can also play a key role in your decision. You always need to take into account that the seasons are opposite in the Southern Hemisphere compared to the Northern Hemisphere, so those looking at sports in South America, Australasia and southern Africa need to be aware. Some areas such as India and Thailand have monsoon seasons, when the climate is considerably wetter, however in West Africa and the Caribbean the climate is hot all year round.
Safety and Security
Sporting Opportunities know that your safety and security whilst overseas is of paramount importance. This is why we stay up-to-date with any safety or security problems that may affect your sports trip. We have teamed up with the FCO Know Before You Go Campaign run by the Foreign Commonwealth Office, which makes sure that travellers remain safe during their time overseas. The Foreign Commonwealth Office website contains lots of useful up-to-date information with regards to issues and risks that may affect travellers in certain countries, areas and regions. Take a look here for more information: www.fco.gov.uk
Your sports trip budget is also a major influencing factor on where you should go during your sports travel, and also what you are able to do during your time abroad. Flights always play a key role in influencing a budget and unless researched beforehand, can make a large dent in your sports travel budget. It is also advisable to do a bit of research into the cost of living in your chosen destination. In many cases your Sporting Opportunities trip will provide accommodation, and in some cases food and transport as well, however it is always good to establish a weekly budget to guide you during your time overseas, so that you do not end up a bit short towards the end of your trip.
Visa and Vaccinations
It is very important when planning your sports trip abroad that you take into consideration the different countries have different requirements and recommendations for visas and vaccinations, which can be influenced by factors including the length of your stay in your sports destination, the purpose of your visit, the area that you your are going to be staying in or visiting during your trip, and also whether you are looking to obtain some paid work during your time abroad to help fund your trip and activities.
When travelling to one of our sports destinations it is extremely important to check your chosen country’s visa requirements well in advance of your sports trip. Some countries may require yo to provided proof of financing to enter th country, such as Australia, other may need you to complete a detailed visa application form months in advance of your trip date, such as India. In some cases you will be granted entry to your chosen destination country at immigration on arrival, without having to complete visa applications prior to travel.
Entry regulations and different country visa requirements are subject to change so do check with one of our sports travel advisors, and on the embassy, high commission or consulate website for your destination country for further details.
For those of you sporty travellers who are looking to spend an extended time overseas, you may be looking to find some paid work to help subsidies your trip costs and give you some form of income during your time overseas to help cover any social costs and independent travel. Our Sporting Opportunities travel advisors will supply you with any relevant information and guidance on how to obtain the correct Working Holiday and Work Visas, however it is always important to check with the embassy, high commission or consulate of your chosen destination country for the most up-to-date information to work permit and working visa requirements.
Some of our sports travel destinations have specific requirements and recommendations for medical vaccinations to keep your safe and health during your time overseas. Our Sporting Opportunities travel advisors will provide basic information with regards to required and recommended vaccinations, however it is important to check with a medical professional for specific details. Some destinations, such as Ghana, will require you to provide a certificate of vaccination to allow your entry into the country.
Sporting Opportunities has teamed up with the Nomad Travel Clinic to provide our sports travellers with a 10% discount off all the vaccinations that they need for their trip abroad. At least 6 – 8 weeks before departure we recommend visiting your GP or one of Nomad Travel’s travel heath clinics to check with a medical professional about the vaccination requirements and recommendations for your chosen destination(s).
For some more information and further advice, as well as where to find your nearest Nomad Travel Clinic, visit the Nomad Travel website at: www.nomadtravel.co.uk
“Without a doubt this has been the best five weeks of my life! The kids I have been coaching are inspirational – they are so positive despite having such tough lives.”Sophia Harrington , Netball, South Africa
“If I had to describe my time in South Africa in four words, they would be ‘Time of my Life’! The experiences and friendships I now have are so special. South Africa was truly life changing and I’ll never forget it. I’d recommend it to anyone.”Hayley Edwards , Netball, South Africa
"What an amazing experience. Both working with the junior players as well as playing against local teams gave me a real insight into what a wonderful and amazing place Ghana was from a sporty angle. I've made friends for life and thanks so much to all the staff that made this period of my life completely unforgettable."Suzanne Hilton , Netball, Ghana
"I will always remember what a mad, brilliant and fun loving country Ghana is. 3 months on the netball coaching placement has opened my eyes to so many things. I loved seeing the young netballers develop their skills and winning regular matches was a thrill. I hope to visit Ghana again one day and see how everyone is getting on. Thank you so much".Jo Warnock , Netball, Ghana
"An amazing 4 weeks in the sun doing something completely worthwhile. I was so impressed with the enthusiasm of the girls and ability to pick up the game and follow my instructions. I can't wait to revisit St Lucia again some day and seeing whether the young netball players I helped coach made it into the National team".Deborah Hopkins , Netball, St Lucia
"I have always wanted to go to the Caribbean but never thought I would be able to get so involved with the local culture. St Lucia has wonderful people and great places to dance and chill out... I have never seen beaches like that in my life. The project work was fantastic as well and thanks to all the staff and kids involved that have made this a trip of a lifetime".Daniella Cox , Netball, St Lucia
''To be able to assess and treat some of the most promising young footballers in the country, both on and off the pitch, provided me with an opportunity that I would never have been able to get in the UK.''Heathor Taylor , Sports Physiotherapy, Ghana
''Just keep doing what you’re doing, it was wonderful to see the differences you have made! I’ve made so many great friends and have the most amazing memories!.''Joanna Hayes , Sports Physiotherapy, Ghana
''I would just like to thank you for such a brilliant to trip to Ghana. I had a fantastic time and thought I was really able to use my skills as a qualified physiotherapist.''Marc Holl , Sports Physiotherapy, Ghana
''The outpatients and staff gave me a send off party and I was touched and embarrassed by the extent of their gratitude. To be truthful, my contribution was limited, but it was appreciated, and I got an enormous amount out of being there.''Sarah Remnant , Sports Physiotherapy, Ghana
''I would never have thought about going to St Lucia on a sports gap year but I am glad I did. The kids were just amazing and had real passion for the game. I really felt I contributed massively to the development of these young players and I look forward to booking my next trip back to see how they have progressed."Joe Page , Rugby Union, St Lucia
''I have been playing rugby for a number of years through school and university and this experience was a perfect way of sharing my knowledge with a great bunch of young people. The kids really took to the game and working alongside the National Rugby Team is another experience I will never forget. Thanks to everyone involved in organising this fantastic sporting opportunity''.Paul Adams , Rugby Union, St Lucia
"What an amazing 8 weeks had on the rugby coaching placement in Ghana. The kids were just so receptive to what I taught them and there is some serious skill in Ghana! I've made friends for life and this rwho experience really has set me up for wanting to become a sports coach in the future".Rob Davies , Rugby Union, Ghana
"Training in the Ghana heat is a challenge but so worth it. My fitness has improved 10 fold. Working with the young rugby lads was excellent and seeing my team score a winning try has to have been a highlight. Ghana has some amazing places to see and if you like Baboons then a visit to Mole National Park is a must".Phil Hall , Rugby Union, Ghana
''I made a difference by encouraging children and adults to believe that everyone has some degree of talent... and to believe in that talent.''Stuart Garrett , Rugby Union, Ghana
''What they don’t have in skill, they certainly make up for in speed and determination. Ghana also has some very promising youngsters and it has been really exciting, and a real privilege, to share my knowledge of the game with them.''Doug Graham , Rugby Union, Ghana
“Coaching rugby to underprivileged children is a very rewarding experience. I am seriously considering coming back here and staying longer. It’s such a great place and there is so much to do!”Luke Norfolk , Rugby Union, South Africa
“I’ve had the best three months of my life! I would definitely recommend it! Thank you.”Philippa Tollit , Swimming, South Africa
"Being able to teach kids how to swim has to have been one of my most significant moments in life. From seeing 12 year old kids fearful of water on day one to being able to swim full lengths of the pool with confidence after 5 weeks was just incredible. You also know that you are giving these kids a gift for life".Neil Dennison , Swimming, Ghana
"I have had the best three months in Ghana ever! Working a living alongside local Ghanaians and seeing a completely different way of life will live with me forever. My project in helping kids learn how to swim was so rewarding too and it has really made me think about what I want to do when I get home with my future career and working with young people. Thanks to everyone involved and I look forward to coming back to my African home again one day."Sarah Dunbury , Swimming, Ghana