Hello! For those of you who do not know me my name is James Vickers and I LOVE to travel. Here’s a look over my trip to South Africa in 2014 and the journey there.
First of all if it’s not on your bucket list already, put it on there. My reasons for going were purely for mission and help, although I visited Robben Island and Table Mountain. I went for 10 days with a charity called Balls To Poverty. A team of us went early April 2014 and the weather was amazing.
- Delivering coaching sessions in townships
- Delivering coaching sessions to schools
- Delivering sessions in Athlone stadium for children
- Delivering sessions for adults In the evenings at Athlone stadium
- Delivering sessions in a juvenile prison.
- Went up Table Mountain.
- Visited the touristy part of Cape Town.
- Helped out at the marathon.
- Learning that there is a need in South Africa.
- In the evenings we spent a lot of time in Athlone stadium where we would run sessions for adults who lived in townships, so hopefully they could start coaching within their township helping the gang culture, and drug addiction. It was a 3 day project and if they completed it they were gifted with a football and an England top so they were ready to start coaching.
South Africa is an amazing country with two different ways of living. It’s a country I would suggest everyone go to because it’s diverse, beautiful and has amazing views. Table Mountain and Robben Island are two must see destinations. Table Mountain has the most beautiful view of the country and Robben Island holds so much history. I woudl also suggest visiting the townships. It will show you a way that may shock you at first, but make you appreciate what you have back home. Try not to go alone because it could be dangerous.
Things to watch
Ross kemp on South Africa
Reggie Yates knife crime in South Africa
Two Best moments
We had a session in one of the townships called Lavender Hills where gang crime is rife. We were welcomed by local gangsters. The leader of the trip asked them to show us around there townships, so we had a look around where they lived. Afterwards we unloaded the coach and started delivering sessions to the children allowing the community to feel much safer.
“Thank you so much for all coming we haven’t felt this safe in ages. There are always shootings so I never let me children come and play.” – A local Mother
The project I went with donated a few footballs to the area and community protection officers to hopefully aid development and to decrease gang culture.
The other one was the session at the juvenile prison. Unfortunately there are no pictures because we weren’t allowed to take any for the safety and security of the people within. When we went into the court yard we were told the guards were unsure how the prisoners would act so ‘don’t go and ask them to join in, just let them come to you’.
At the start I was just passing a football with a friend and then a few of the teenagers joined in, we did some mini games and played a football match relating everything to life skills. I was then left alone with the group and they said they wanted me to come with them. At first I was a little bit like “mmm ok” and then they took me over to the goal/ rugby post and told me to join them on the top. At first I thought “how am I meant to even get up there”. Anyway I did and then I saw loads of wasps within the pipe, so I told the two who took me there and they started killing them for me! After that they wanted to teach me how to do flips and jumping of the post and I will never forget trying a hand stand and jumping of the goal posts with them laughing at me saying “I’m to stiff”. For the rest of the session I was just being taught how to do a hand stand and a back flip (which I never even tried). Once the session was over the two who I got on best with said they wanted to remember me so I gave them my A21 bracelet and then they engraved it with my name, two young boys I will never forget and hope and pray are still alive today