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Get into the spirit of the Olympic Games with Projects Abroad

International volunteer organization calls for volunteers with a passion for sports to coach youth and promising young athletes in the developing world

Male volunteer leads a warm up at soccer practice in Togo

A Projects Abroad volunteer leads warm-up exercises at the Soccer Project in Togo.

TORONTO – August 3 2016 – The eyes of the world are fixed on Rio de Janeiro this week for the start of the 2016 Olympic Games, where more than 10,000 athletes are set to compete this summer. With excitement for the games running high, international volunteer organization Projects Abroad is calling for volunteers with a passion for sports to help coach children, teenagers, and promising young athletes in the developing world.

In many of the communities where Projects Abroad works, sports are extremely popular and young adults aspire to emulate stars like Usain Bolt and Lionel Messi. Unfortunately, a lack of resources and poverty can be a major barrier for youth wanting to get more involved in sports. The programs facilitated by Projects Abroad and run by volunteers strive to make sports available to all, and have a hugely positive impact on disadvantaged communities, reports Ashima Dhingra, Director of Projects Abroad Canada.

“Our Sports Projects are an integral part of sustainable development: not only do participants learn about the benefits of exercise, teamwork, and discipline, sport brings people together to build stronger communities and can provide talented local athletes with more opportunities. We are proud that our programs are empowering youths and their communities, and our volunteers are equally pleased to be able to develop their own coaching abilities and experience while giving back.”

Projects Abroad has various Sports Projects across the world. These placements work in partnership with local teams, clubs, and schools, and volunteers have an important role to play regardless of their coaching experience. In the spirit of the Olympic Games, here are three programs ideal for volunteers looking to give back through sports:

Track & Field in Sri Lanka

The popularity of track & field is soaring around the world, especially in Sri Lanka where youth aspire to emulate stars like Usain Bolt, one of the most famous athletes competing in Rio. The project is based at a club in Panadura and volunteers work with students between the ages of 13 and 19 to develop their ability in various track & field events, from sprints to high jump.

After School Sports in Ghana

This program combines aspects of sports, education, and social care, and provides children and teenagers with a safe space to grow and learn after school. While volunteers are coaching sports like soccer, basketball, and volleyball, they are also discussing social issues relative to the needs of the students. Previously, volunteers and Projects Abroad staff have run weekly presentations on child labour, malaria, personal hygiene, STDs, teen pregnancy, and HIV.

Soccer in Bolivia

Bolivians are passionate about soccer and volunteering as a soccer coach is a great way to get involved with the community. Based in Cochabamba, volunteers work alongside a former professional player at a local academy that provides scholarships to children from impoverished backgrounds. Community work is also a big part of the program, and volunteers devote some of their time to helping the underprivileged families living near the academy.

Sports Projects are available throughout the year and volunteers can join at any time. No previous coaching experience is required. All volunteers need is a passion for the sport they are coaching! For more information, please visit

About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.

Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 30 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.

For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at

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