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Hoops/ Soccer 4 Hope Service Trip to Cape Town, South Africa

Written by Madi Bartlett 

This trip was truly one of the most memorable experiences of my life and I’m sure many, if not all, of the other students who participated would agree.

The days in which we did volunteer work at the townships were unforgettable besides playing both basketball and soccer we were able to get to know the coaches in charge of the program and the children involved, making new friendships and learning so much more about the situation many of the children were in and why we should so desperately help.  On these days we were split into two groups; basketball and soccer. Each group would work on drills throughout the morning developing new skills and improving the old. These skills would then be put into game situations with friendly matches and mini-tournaments at the end of the day.

Through sports, the program is able to provide children with a fun environment where they can develop social skills and other such life skills that are essential to modern day living. Besides promoting healthy competition, the program helps to keep children off the streets and educate them on the dangers of violence and HIV/AIDS; a disease which effected many of the children’s parents and families. It was great to see such a positive program in action.

Besides helping the children in the town ships we were able to tour the magnificent wonder s that Cape Town had to offer whilst immersing ourselves into the interesting and vibrant culture of the people to which Cape Town was home.

During our stay we visited the Aquila game reserve were many of us were able to touch a Leopard that was rescued from wildlife dealers, which gave us another perspective on other issues facing South Africa today. We were also able to visit Table Mountain, Lions Head, Boulders – penguin colony, Robben Island, the waterfront and the Craft Market, all of which were amazing in themselves.

On one of the days we were fortunate enough to watch a live football match, Vuvuzela’s and all, between two professional South African teams, the Moroka Swallows and Ajax Cape Town, in the Cape Town world cup stadium which for me was one highlight of the trip.

On Behalf of all the students on the trip, I would like to thank Mr. Baseden for organizing such an amazing trip, it was truly unforgettable. I would also like to thank Coach Kaisin and coach Gomez, for accompanying us on the trip and making it so much more entertaining.

Finally, I would like to thank the coaches and organizers of the program for all their amazing work, for welcoming us into the centers and for allowing us to participate in the program.