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Making the most of volunteer coaching camps in India


Making the most of volunteer coaching camps in India

Krishan Solanki from the UK reviews his time as a volunteer working on a sport development project in one of India’s poorest provinces.

I spent three weeks volunteering on the sport development programme called Khel Vikas at the Gram Vikas (GV), which is a NGO working with tribal/rural communities in Odisha, the poorest state in India. The sport development programme is led by a new organisation in India, Pro4Sport Solutions.

Coaching camps
I was assigned the role to help run week-long coaching camps in cricket, football and badminton in three of the GV schools. Upon arrival I met other foreign volunteers and my colleagues on the sport development programme.

The facilities at GV went way beyond my expectations. My room was very big and had hot running water 24x7. The campus gets its electricity mainly through solar power and they grow their own vegetables which provides everyone on campus with three meals a day (made by the on site cook).

The tap water is natural spring water, regularly checked and is apparently cleaner than mineral water so you can drink straight from the tap. It is one of the best sustainable communities that I have ever been to. Good wireless internet was available on campus which made communication back home really easy. 

Fulfilling experience
Delivering the coaching camps was the best part of my experience. Two schools are a few hours away from the main campus so for during those camps I stayed there. The facilities there were similar to the main campus making life comfortable.

The children have not had any sports coaching so they embraced every minute of it. Communication was not a big barrier either as I was supported by other coaches and teachers who were able to translate for me.

Some great progress was made by the students and we gave certificates at the end of the camps which the children loved. The settings at all the schools were spectacular, with mountains and forests being the backdrop. Every morning I used to wake up and look around the surroundings in awe.

My absolute highlight was when a student approached me as we were leaving from Koinpur School where I coached cricket. He said (in local language and someone translated, "thank you so much for coming, I will never forget this and I will never forget you." It was a moment I too will never forget.


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Krishan Solanki


Monday, February 25, 2013 - 23:00