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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."

If you like the sound of Sally Bolton's tennis and sports coaching project in Ghana then click here.

Return to the Ghana Sports Testimonials page.


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Testimonials
  • "The most amazing experience i've ever had. From the coaching to the social side, the staff and people were amazing both within the organisation and also within the schools."
    Charlotte Williams , Sports, South Africa
     
  • "A demanding, thrilling, incredible insight into this beautiful and stunning country and to top it off: an entirely rewarding project that makes you appreciate everything."
    Ross Green , Sports, South Africa
     
  • "This was the best way to spend my gap year! Sun, sea, sand and sport all whilst coaching amazing kids. This was one of the best experiences I have ever had and I would jump at the chance to do it again."
    Rosie Wells , Sports, St Lucia
     
  • "My overall experience was fantastic, I enjoyed all aspects of this trip and there is never a dull moment in St Lucia! "
    Sam Evans , Sports, St Lucia
     
  • "This experience was unforgettable, I have met people that I will stay friends with for many years to come and completely fell in love with Argentina!"
    Jamie Henderson , Languages, Argentina
     
  • "I was so surprised how quickly I picked up the language! The school was great and really supportive throughout the learning process and it was amazing to practice what I had learnt in real life situations."
    Melissa Cutler , Languages, Argentina
     
  • Not only did I have tons of fun I've also gained a qualification that means I can continue my travels around the world whilst getting paid to teach English!
    Helen Turner , Teaching, Argentina
     
  • This was probably the most worthwhile experience I have ever had. The organisation and staff at the school were amazing and really supported me throughout the whole process. I wish I could go back!
    Tom Mitchell , Teaching, Argentina
     
  • ''It was an ideal opportunity for me to combine travelling with my passion for sport.''
    James Hairsine , Sports, Ghana
     
  • “This was a fantastic opportunity to gain some experience in sports psychology, which has really helped with the psychology element of my sports studies degree.”
    Anthony Gibson , Sports, Ghana
     
  • "What a great way to get hands on experience in the field of finance and economics! I feel like I have acquired many skills that will stay with me for years to come!"
    Jenny Allen , Business & Law, Kenya
     
  • "This was such a sustainable way to support the community in Kenya, and I would love to return to continue helping out."
    Paul Taylor , Business & Law, Kenya
     
  • "I had such an amazing gap year! this project was challenging but completely worth it."
    Francesca Le Poideven , Business & Law, Kenya
     
  • "Lake Nakuru National Park is just incredible. The game rangers were so friendly and helpful, going out of their way to make sure I had an amazing time during my placement. I would love to do it all over again!"
    Maria Rossi , Wildlife & Conservation, Kenya
     
  • "It was great fun because the kids want to learn and everything you do is such a novelty to them. I was moved by what I saw, not for sentimental reasons, but because the teachers and the children were so keen and worked so hard."
    Katie Godfrey , Teaching, Kenya
     
  • "This was such a heartwarming project, the children have so little but are so greatful. I met some amazing people and will remember this experience forever."
    Sylvia Amani , Teaching, Kenya
     
  • "What a fascinating country. I not only learned so much about the healthcare system and gained some great experience to help with my degree, but got to visit some amazing places in Kenya. The Masia Mara trip was just unreal."
    Aaron Leyman , Medical & Health, Kenya
     
  • "The kids were so amazing, it was such a heartwarming experience and i'm just really glad that I could help out."
    Gemma Bracknell , Care Work, Kenya
     
  • "What a great project! I am so greatful to have had this opportunity and it is certainly something I will never forget."
    Suzanne Hart , Care Work, Kenya
     
  • "I really enjoyed my time on the Galapagos Islands. This tour is such a great way to see the islands. Everyone I met were so welcoming, and they helped to make this an unforgettable experience. Seeing giant tortoises up close was awesome!"
    Jocelyn Whitehead , Wildlife & Conservation, Ecuador
     

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