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How to become a Volunteer Sports Coach Overseas

What is an overseas volunteer sports coach?

Volunteer Sports Coaches are often students or recent graduates who choose to go abroad and develop their own skills while also contributing a valuable service to the local area. There are many programs open to people who want to travel to under-privileged societies to help out with charity work which involves coaching local children. Volunteering in this country is also an option for those looking to gain experience with a view to a career in the sports industry.

What qualifications do I need to become a volunteer sports coach?

Some organisations will require a relevant UKCC endorsed coaching qualification eg Level 2 Athletics. More information about Sports Coaching qualifications and how to find a training provider can be found on the Sports Coach UK website

What skills/experience will an employer look for?

An interest in helping people and experience of charity work can be helpful and any coaching qualifications will be a huge advantage. Often volunteer roles are as much about improving yourself as having loads of experience and knowledge of the industry, though, so a desire to learn is as valuable as any other skill. Some organisations may also offer training.

Who might employ a volunteer sports coach?


-Local sports clubs

-Volunteer abroad programs

What salary can I expect?

Some organisations may cover the expenses of their volunteers.

What is my career progression?

As volunteering is often done by students or graduates early in their careers, it provides an excellent opportunity to amass experience and bolster your CV regardless of your ultimate aims. Volunteer coaches can use it as a stepping stone to paid coaching or simply use the skills they gain to improve their chances of getting a full-time job in teaching or coaching or applying to University Courses etc.

What are the best things about being a volunteer coach?

Volunteering is a great way of showing your desire to work and gain experience which will help you in the long term. Volunteering abroad also gives you the chance to visit new places, experience new cultures, gain or improve your language skills, and where relevant help people and communities less fortunate than you.

Are there any drawbacks?

Unpaid work can be difficult to sustain over a period of time and working abroad can be tough to adapt to, particularly if you don’t (initially) speak the local language.

Useful links:

For more information on sports coaching, training and qualifications, visit the Sports Coach UK website.

Have you seen our information on how to get into paid sports coaching or specialised instructing? Volunteering can be an excellent gateway into the profession.

Why not view our latest sports coaching vacancies or sign up for job alerts.

For more information, advice and guidance about careers in PE, Sport, Training and Fitness and Activity Holiday Jobs, visit our careers advice centre; including job hunting tips,  CV guide and much more.