Want to be part of a project which will make an impact on you and others? In August 2024, Leeds Sport will return to rural South Africa to deliver our international sport development project; Gryphons Abroad. The project engages young people in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal in a programme of cycling, sport, leadership & education. The project has aspiration, cultural & global awareness and employability for both UK students and South African pupils at its heart and you’ll develop a range of skills which will set you apart when you leave University.
Find out more about the project and how you could be part of the 2024 team below!
Find out more about the project and find out how you could be part of the team going next year below.
Applications for the summer 2024 programme have re-opened for short period of time from now until Thursday 30th November 2023. We have a maximum of ten student places available in 2024 to deliver the project alongside 2-3 University staff members. The programme will run for the duration of August (a period of 4 weeks in South Africa) and you must be able to commit to the full time period.
Any University of Leeds student can apply for the programme – you do not need any experience of teaching cycling or sport as full training will be provided including formal qualifications. You will have the opportunity to travel to another country and engage in a service-learning project – not only will you make a clear impact on the lives of pupils in rural South Africa, you will also expand your own global and cultural awareness and graduate level skills. We are looking for students who are committed, flexible, adaptable and creative.
To become a team member students will be required to fundraise – the fundraising target is £3300. This will cover all costs associated with the trip along with a contribution to the project costs e.g. the cost of setting up the cycling hub, tools, parts, helmets etc. This is a challenge in itself but support is available to help you achieve this. Through the University of Leeds Turing scheme all students can also apply for a cost-of-living grant and students from underrepresented groups can apply for additional cost of living funds as well as travel funding. The Turing funding aims to open up access to international opportunities to all and we encourage students from all backgrounds to apply. You can read more about the Turing scheme here.
To apply to become a team member you must submit a one-page application describing the following:
- Why you’d like to be part of the project
- Why you want to do international volunteering specifically
- What specific skills you would bring to the team
This should be submitted to Lauren Havercroft, Sports Volunteering Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday 30th November 2023 You may then be invited to an individual interview with our staff team to discuss the project and your application in more detail.
Any questions about the project can be directed to Lauren at the email address above. There is also a short presentation video you can watch that talks you through this years project. You can watch this video here.
Please note this opportunity is exclusively aimed at current University of Leeds students only. Applications will not be accepted from the wider public or from other local institutions (However, Leeds Trinity & Leeds Beckett run their own international programmes for their students).
The Gryphons Abroad project has three aspects
1. Cycle Hubs
2. Sport & Leadership
3. Cultural exchange
Through partnership work with KZN Cycling, we will teach cycling & bike maintenance in a range of primary and secondary schools. The cycling clinics, aimed at beginners & improvers will be delivered thanks to a cycling hub located in the heart of the community. Cycling hubs are basically shipping containers which house bikes and bike maintenance equipment, complemented by a truck and trailer to take the bikes on a tour of local schools. KZN Cycling sustain the hub year round, as well as employing development officers and coaches specifically to bring cycling to remote areas. Access to cycling can be life changing in rural areas as children & young people face long walks to access education and employment.
Sport & Leadership
Sport also plays a key role in the project in bringing people together and developing wider skills. One week of the project will be spent delivering a sport & leadership festival for primary pupils from four schools in the township of Eshowe. The festival involves a daily rota of sports sessions,classroom sessions and applied sports leadership sessions culminating in pupils delivering their own sports activities for their peers.
The final part of the project involves cultural exchange – you will have the opportunity to share your experiences as well as learn about the rich culture of the region. In every school you can expect to be warmly welcomed with Zulu singing and dancing, as well as being invited to join in! Every school is unique and different and you’ll develop an understanding of Zulu life, language and culture from the students & staff themselves.
The schools & partners we will work with are identified by the KZN department of education and we aim to position our work in the areas of greatest need across the Eshowe region of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Cycling & education enable pupils in rural areas to gain valuable life skills and confidence.
If you have any questions about the Gryphons Abroad Programme then contact us;