Hockey Coaching and Training in Argentina, Buenos Aires
Ages17 - 70
Arrival LocationEzeiza Airport (airport code EZE)
People on trip20
By joining our Hockey Coaching and Training Project in Buenos Aires, you will make a huge difference to the lives of children who want to play hockey as well as work on your own game. The Argentine passion for sport and your enthusiasm for hockey combines to help children in some of the poorest slums in the world – education through sport has both developmental and social benefits.
Hockey in Argentina
Hockey is considered to be the most popular female sport in Argentina. However, the introduction of the new all-weather fields has led to an increase in the number of boys playing hockey, and the total number of hockey players continues to rise each year. A high point of the country’s success is the second position in the World Rankings gained by the Women’s Field Hockey Team providing further encouragement for sporty kids to experience field hockey as an alternative to the already popular sports of football and rugby.
Hockey has been introduced into the Argentinean national curriculum as a result of the sport’s popularity and success. Clubs are also taking the sport seriously with long term development projects being implemented for the future of hockey. Despite the popularity, and the government’s ambition for the sport, some schools and organisations find it very difficult to purchase all the required equipment – including the balls and sticks – to play the game. It is also a challenge to recruit coaches with quality experience and training, making it very difficult for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds to play, let alone grow through the sport.
Your Hockey Volunteer Placement
Your hockey placement will be based at two different projects. The first is aimed at promoting hockey in the shanty town areas, while the second is to experience Argentine hockey at its best in specialised hockey clubs.
The first part for your hockey placement will consist of coaching hockey at a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which uses hockey as a vehicle to tackle crime and poverty for kids aged 6-17 years. The area is extremely poor and you will be coaching mostly on grass fields. However, with passion and commitment, you will find that this challenging opportunity extremely rewarding. As coaches are difficult to come by, the children of Buenos Aires will quickly warm to you as a hockey coach, and welcome you into their communities as you are providing an opportunity that some may never have had before. Bear in mind that the aim is not to find the next professional hockey star, but to discover hockey as a tool to promote sporting values and discipline in areas where kids are exposed to crime and drugs on a daily basis.
The second part of your hockey coaching project will be based in hockey clubs which have much more access to equipment and facilities. Here you will organise hockey coaching sessions and structured matches for the children. From taking part in both projects, you will see a stark contrast between these ‘two worlds’ from the shanty areas to the established hockey clubs.
You do not need coaching qualifications to join our hockey coaching project, just some experience of playing or coaching at a fairly good standard, be it school, club, university or county. This is because our aim is to provide more opportunities for young Argentinean children to play and enjoy hockey, not on finding Argentina’s next national hockey star – although that is not to say you shouldn’t try!
Your Hockey Coaching Placement
Your role in the Hockey Coaching volunteer placement will be to organise hockey coaching sessions for the children, in which you will make an immediate impact. You will be supervised by the in-country staff until you are ready and confident to take the sessions yourself.
These hockey sessions take place after the school timetables in the afternoon and evenings. Introducing structured practice through the basic principles of passing, tackling, positioning and ball possession are key to helping the kids, whilst providing competition and fun games to keep the kids motivated and interested.
In the hockey clubs, you will work as an assistant coach and will be engaged in setting up drills – your own ideas and practices will always be welcomed. The children are talented and have been playing for several years, therefore the aim is to introduce exercises from your own experience as a player or coach at your home club.
There is also the option for you to play hockey with the local hockey clubs. Not only does this provide the chance to get to know new local friends, but you will also find yourself forming friendships, and it is also a great way to help your own Spanish language capabilities.
The idea of these two coaching roles is to experience Argentine hockey by coaching kids coming from two different backgrounds. You will realise how enriching the experience is and how the differing backgrounds of the kids makes them respond differently. Whether coaching at the NGO or the hockey club, this is a stunning opportunity to make a real impact on a community while learning Spanish, playing hockey and making lifelong friends both in Argentina and with other overseas volunteers.
Summer camps in Argentina run throughout January. These camps attract thousands of kids each year, and are run in conjunction with a government sports initiative aimed at getting kids out and doing something constructive with their summer holidays. Volunteer sports coaches are required to coach: football, hockey, rugby and tennis.
Hockey Training Placement
As part of your hockey project you will also be playing and training with local and international players at a local hockey club. The players are looking to impress selectors and get themselves into professional clubs so you should expect to train at a high standard. You will have the opportunity to train with the team taking part in all physical and fitness sessions; these include drills, strategy techniques and possibly the chance to play at a competitive level. The players age between 18-25 years making it an ideal team to make friends and also enjoy the social side of hockey in Argentina.
CRB/DBS (Criminal Records Bureau) Check
It is advised that participants complete a CRB/ DBS (Criminal Records Bureau) check in order to take part in this project. Sporting Opportunities can provide this service for you at an additional cost of £30. For more information on the application process please take a look at the relevant Add On Tab.
Gap Year or Student Summer Holidays for Hockey in Argentina
A hockey gap year in Argentina is the perfect way to combine gap year travel in Argentina with a gap year hockey coaching project in Argentina. Sport is used as a tool to start teaching kids about community values and development. With a gap year hockey project you will soon find that coaching disadvantaged kids, learning a language and making loads of friends is a very rewarding and fun way to spend part of a gap year or career break.
You can arrive any 1st and 3rd weekend of the year, with our preference being a Sunday arrival at the airport ready to start projects on the Monday. We will pick you up from the airport.
Please note the following times of year may disrupt trips but we will make every effort to provide adequate activities whilst you are with us:
– In Jan you can start on the 2nd weekend until the end of Jan (approx 3 weeks).
– There are no trips running in Feb.
– Mid Jul to 1st week in Aug – school winter holidays – no morning sessions
– Mid Dec to 1st week of Jan of preceding year – Not available due to Christmas holiday.
British Nationals will not require a visa to enter Argentina for up to 90 days. You can check your visa requirements by visiting the Argentine Embassy website.
We believe that in order to develop a long term social sports project it is crucial the resources are made available to make a positive impact in the local community. Therefore part of the fee you pay goes towards buying decent equipment for beneficiary organisations in Argentina. You will often get to use this sports equipment during your project and it is always left with the community when you leave. In some cases, an equipment donation may not be appropriate so a financial contribution is made instead.
Argentina is a Spanish speaking country so you will really benefit from having a basic understanding of the language. If, however, you are not a confident Spanish speaker, you can take lessons at our language school in Buenos Aires when you arrive, and also during your sports project. The school offers groups lessons and personal one-to-one tuition from native Argentinians who will help develop your understanding of both the local language and culture in which you are living. Beginners, intermediates and advanced levels are all very welcome at the school and all will benefit greatly from their time there.
The language school also incorporates a number of social and cultural activities into your learning. This will allow you to really discover the local cuisine, traditional dancing and cultural experiences in the city, as well as building good friendships with your teachers and other participants on the course.
The language school runs lessons for 4 hours in the morning. You can therefore attend lessons during the morning and work at the volunteer placement during the afternoon. It does cost a little extra to attend the language school, but the benefits really are priceless. Not only will you be able to build stronger relationships and immerse yourself in the local culture, you will leave Buenos Aires with a transferable skill you can use for the rest of your life.
Social Life in Argentina
Social Life in Argentina represents an important part of daily life. People from Buenos Aires are commonly know as the “porteños” who have the reputation of being quite talkative. Not surprisingly, you will come across loads of cafeterias where people meet up and have long conversations. This particular porteños characteristic will easily help you to meet like-minded people who love sport and love travelling. Therefore, by joining a local team club you will meet a great bunch of locals who will help you settle in rapidly and also teach you some Spanish slang!. In addition, our in-country team organises a variety of social activities to bring volunteers together, to share their experiences and, above all, have a good time.
Travel and Adventure in Argentina
Argentina is well-known for its amazing diversity of landscapes and also its vast extension from North to South. It is not by chance that it has become a very popular volunteer travel destination over the last couple of years. You will get ample opportunities to head out of Buenos Aires and explore the local area at weekends. A popular volunteer activity is to visit a farm on the outskirts of Buenos Aires and discover the beauty of the surrounding landscapes while getting to know local villagers!
There are plenty of things to do in Buenos Aires; from attending tango sessions to experiencing a traditional Argentine steak. Lets us know if you can finish it! It is a cosmopolitan and cultural city which has been developing over recent years. The so called Paris of South America gives its name to historical buildings and impressive palaces. Therefore, if you love sports and would also like to experience a taste of an interesting and colourful culture then Buenos Aires is a must-visit!
Playing Sport in Argentina
Besides the volunteer sports coaching projects, we appreciate that you might want to keep up with your own sport and fitness. Therefore, we have developed a number of opportunities for you to train and play in the sport you love. Apart from the fun of playing in a competitive environment you will also soon see what a great social opportunity this is to meet knew people a share sporting experiences. This will undoubtedly improve your Spanish and will give you greater insight into the lives of Argentinians and how they like to socialise. Therefore, you will have the opportunity to play your sport, learn Spanish in a fun environment while building cross-cultural friendships.
Accommodation represents an important part of the social atmosphere in Argentina. Subject to volunteer numbers you will either be placed in our shared volunteer house / student residence in Buenos Aires, living with the other sports coaches who are in-country at the time, or placed in one of our home-stay accommodations, living with a local family in the city. The accommodation is centrally located to your volunteer project with shops and other useful amenities close by.
CRB/DBS (Criminal Records Bureau) Check
Participant’s are advised to complete a CRB/DBS check in order to join this project. Sporting Opportunities has a partnership with a third party organisation that processes all CRB/DBS checks and disclosures on behalf of the Sporting Opportunities team. This is a quick and easy procedure making all aspects of the application as straight forward as possible. Sporting Opportunities can provide this service for you at an additional cost of £30. For more information on the application process please take a look at the relevant Add On tab.
Included on arrival date. Ask us for details if you are arriving early.
Shared house / student residence accommodation; Basic but comfortable; Shared rooms; Shared kitchen; Shared toilet / shower facilities; shared with other volunteers.
Breakfast is included at the accommodation, so please budget for lunch and dinner.
Full project induction and local orientation given on arrival.
Pre-departure help and advice; Local in-country team; 24 hour emergency support.
Flights; Travel Insurance; Visas; Vaccinations; Lunch and Dinner (Budget £8-£10 per day); Spending money; Transport to and from you placement; In country travel; Laundry service; Extra activities not on itinerary.
No prior coaching experience or qualifications are required, but a basic understanding of the game and/or playing experience is necessary. You also need to be healthy and of reasonable fitness. Basic conversational Spanish is required.
Hockey Coaching Holidays and Placements in South America; Sports Coaching and Activity Breaks in Argentina; Sports Coaching Gap Years and Career Breaks in South America; and Student Summer Holidays.