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Sally Bolton: Tennis Coach in Ghana

"My most memorable moment by far was the 12 hour Tennis-a-thon that two brave (and slightly mad!) tennis volunteers organised and participated in. They endured the hot African sun to play 12 hours of tennis at the National Sports College in Winneba in order to raise money to send one of the best Ghanaian juniors for a scholarship in South Africa. Rob ‘Posh Tom’ Sadler and Joe ‘Joey’ Page played tennis non stop from 6am to 6pm for sponsors to contribute towards a plane ticket to Johannesburg to send Jeff Bagerbaseh (14) to try out for a tennis scholarship. He could not afford the airfare so myself and other tennis volunteer Ed Banks donated some money towards it and Rob and Joe decided they wanted to undertake this challenge, Rob never having played tennis continuously for that amount of time before and Joe had never even played a competitive tennis match before! They had t-shirts specially made for the event and over the 12 hours of peanut butter sandwiches, drinking milo, chasing children who would steal the balls, Coach Noah shouting at them that they were crazy and the pain of aching muscles and impressive blisters – they eventually prevailed, playing a impressive total of 26 sets of tennis and making $300 towards the ticket. The tennis-a-thon was so interesting to the campus population and passers-by that the tennis players had to hold the crowd back to stop them running on the court. Well done boys!

Other favourable memories of Tennis would be the National Tournament we organised where we had players coming from all over Ghana to compete. We had prize money, prizes from my appeal to give and also being interviewed on the Winneba Radio about it as well as courtside seats during the finals. It was a huge success and I’ve never seen such good quality tennis from all the competitors and the hysteria that was created during the three days – very different from what I was used to in a silent tennis match to people running on the court and lifting the winner in the air! Brilliant.

Living in the village in the Eastern Region was an awesome experience, going to work on the cocoa farm and teaching in the school. There are so many memories I could write a book, but everything that involved tennis with the other volunteers I will remember forever and of course the adventures of travelling in Africa – being a Tro Tro mate, the 31 hour boat journey up to the north sticks out and those elephants – breathtaking.

Thanks to everyone that made this trip possible for me."

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Testimonials
  • "Overall it is such an enjoyable placement and very good for helping my German and communication skills. It’s really fun and everyone is really friendly. The kids are lovely and there’s never a dull moment!"
    Stephanie Memory , Teaching, Germany
     
  • "The experience of becoming a ski instructor was out of this world. The group bonded and we all met friends for life! The local people were the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever come across."
    Phil Nolan , Sports, Canada
     
  • "The experience of becoming a ski instructor was out of this world. The group bonded and we all met friends for life! The local people were the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever come across."
    Samantha Platt , Sports, Canada
     
  • "I am extremely passionate about this project and being a professional photographer, meant I could teach a wide range of skills to the kids".
    Remy Whiting , Art & Craft, South Africa
     
  • "Having the in-country contacts to work on my own photography stories was perfect. Thanks to all involved".
    James Burton , Art & Craft, South Africa
     
  • "This law internship gave me a unique perspective on law in Africa and has certainly widened my options within the law field".
    Andy Smith , Business & Law, Ghana
     
  • "Thanks to all the Ghana team for making this law internship happen for me. Such an amazing experience and Ghanaians are sooo friendly."
    Jemma Mansfield , Business & Law, Ghana
     
  • "It was so interesting working into the law sector in Ghana and getting this experience. Such a great way to spend my summer doing something totally different."
    Mark Fulton , Business & Law, Ghana
     
  • "Costa Rica is such a wonderful country and being able to help out on the care work project with the children was such a privilege."
    Lara Gillard , Care Work, Costa Rica
     
  • "The whole team in Costa Rica were awesome and really helped me make the most our of my time there both on the care work project and showing me the adventures of the country."
    Tom Smith , Care Work, Costa Rica
     
  • "This placement gave me the mix of helping young children and also experiencing a totally different culture. My Spanish has really improved too."
    Kiki Jones , Care Work, Costa Rica
     
  • "I am studying in animal welfare and this placement was perfect in getting real life experience relevant to my career".
    Gordon Bennell , Wildlife & Conservation, Costa Rica
     
  • "The whole experience was fantastic from the staff at the rescue centre, to Andy and his family. Thank you for looking after me so well."
    Ruth Eales , Wildlife & Conservation, Costa Rica
     
  • Fab way to start my week, our guide was awesome and gave us so many tips. Met an amazing group of people and the team in the office really help you sort your time out after you've finished the first week. Would really recommend to solo travellers.
    Emma Lowton , Adventure, New Zealand
     
  • On arrival, I felt as unprepared as can be, knowing no one, having no plans nor ideas of how to get along in New Zealand really. The in-country team did it all for me. Organise my trip. Booking it. Coming from experienced backpackers you know what's going on and getting to know awesome people from all around the world and maybe even some mates to travel with.
    Sean Neitzel , Adventure, New Zealand
     
  • Had the best time travelling around New Zealand. The team made it possible and can sort everything out for you with no problem. I would highly recommend them and will definitely be using them for my next adventure.
    Annie Frances Pritchard , Adventure, New Zealand
     
  • The opportunity to coach and nurture the next generation of sportsmen and women in Costa Rica was an opportunity that I couldn't give up, and I am so glad that I didn't! I had a great time and made some lifelong friends!
    Jack Johnston , Teaching, Costa Rica
     
  • I had a such an inspiring and life changing experience coaching in Costa Rica. The kids had such an appetite for coaching and their enthusiasm was infectious. My fellow coaches and I worked well as a team and I developed some truly great friends as a result.
    Charlie Blaken , Teaching, Costa Rica
     
  • What a Blast! I can honestly say that I could not have had a better time in Costa Rica as I did. Everyone was so friendly, helpful and up for a laugh, all making it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Would definitely recommend this trip to anyone, and might even come back at some point in the near future!
    Danny McVey , Teaching, Costa Rica
     
  • I had a really great time in Costa Rica, honing my Spanish linguistic skills, and I really improved over the 2 weeks that I spent out there. I would like to thank all of the in-country staff for all the effort they put in, it was an intense and thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience.
    Lewis Worthington , Languages, Costa Rica
     

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