UTS Argentina Team up with Freemen’s School for Sports Day Event at Pareyra Park

Most Sundays are rather laid back at UTS Argentina, but not this one. Sunday 14th August 2016 marked a very special day for us and our visitors. United Though Sport joined forces with City of London Freemen’s School from Ashtead in Surrey (UK), to host a sports day event for local children from our grassroots projects. With the help of over 50 young, enthusiastic, vibrant coaches, we were able to show our local kids new and exciting ways to train, learn and play. Sessions consisted of a mixture of skill drills and strategic training but most of all; an emphasis on fun! The event was an excellent chance for cultural exchange, most of our children having never met ‘Brits’ before and our visitors working with Argentinean children for the first time, it was a great opportunity to meet, play and speak with so many people of different backgrounds and experiences. 

The day started at 9:30am. After arrivals and introductions, we split into smaller groups for brief ice-breaker activities. Our visiting coaches were students of 16-18 years old  The majority of them had started playing rugby and hockey around the ages of 8-10 years, similar ages to our kids at the park.

The Freemen’s coaches set up a range of innovative drills focusing on: technique, speed, power, strategic plays and intuition. New training methods and techniques for our local players and coaches to learn from and reuse. 

To end the day, our visitors were introduced to a taste of Buenos Aires culture! As UTS Argentina’s 8-man squad of young stars took on waves of 8-man Freemen’s teams in a Football tournament before a traditional Argentinian barbecue!   

United Through Sport would like to once again thank London Freemen’s School and its students for taking the time to join us to make the experience so enjoyable and successful; Botines Solidarios for provision of equipment and organisation of the event; Pareyra Park for use of the grounds and all the children and their families for coming out on Sunday morning to participate and support the event.

Park Pereyra Hockey Project a Success

March marked the beginning of the United Through Sport Girls Community Hockey Project in Park Pereyra, Buenos Aires. Since the project began, the number of participants has increased almost by the session.

After the first couple of weeks, we were a little nervous about the low numbers of girls participating, but we needn’t have worried. Those girls who began attending at the outset told the others in the neighbourhood how much fun they were having and how worthwhile the sessions were. Before long, numbers started to increase.

Having been running this project for over two months, we are happy to report that this project now reaches over thirty girls aged between seven and fourteen . A huge thank you must go out to all the volunteers who made this possible and we hope to have many more who want to participle in this project that continues to grow every week.

 

New Hockey Project in Pereyra Park, Argentina

 

Following an incredibly generous donation of hockey equipment to United Through Sport Argentina, our Director, Alejandro, had a wonderful idea. He thought about hockey in Buenos Aires and realized that there simply were not enough opportunities in the area surrounding Pereyra Park. So, Alejandro said “ Why don’t we run our own Hockey School at the park for free and open it up to all the kids living in the neighborhood and the shantytown next to it?

I’m very excited to tell you that from March, every Monday and Wednesday afternoon, United Through Sport hockey volunteers will be coaching hockey. Everyone is invited to join in with this exciting new opportunity that pretty much sums up what United Through Sport is all about. So remember, if you’re planning to volunteer coaching hockey abroad, it is definitely worth checking out what United Through Sport in Argentina has to offer. We could use your help and we know you’ll have a blast!

Dutch Volunteers Donate Kit

After ending 2014 completely satisfied with the amazing job our volunteers did in the projects in which they were coaching and training during the year, we didn’t expect anything less from 2015.

At the beginning of January we received the first group of volunteers from United Through Sport, Netherlands. Anniek, Carmen, Esmée, Lot and Marjolein on a 4 week hockey program and Remco on a 5 week football program. Their programmes were a little bit different from the ones we are used to during the year. They were about to start coaching at summer camps in different places across Buenos Aires City.

The summer camps are free for all the kids that belong to a lower class family. They spent the day at the summer camp, or as we call them “colonias” with their parents having to work hard for a better future for their kids.

So, we start 2015 with a challenging new program: a new group of volunteers working in a different area that we aren’t used to.

Week after week the volunteers from Netherlands showed how committed they were to their job as coaches. From the little kids to the youngsters, they develop a nice relation and make them enjoy every moment learning more about hockey and football.

End of January came and their projects were about to finish, but they couldn’t leave without giving United Through Sport, Argentina a big surprise. They donated more than 15 hockey sticks, balls (hockey balls and footballs), bags and sport shirts to be used by future volunteers.

United Through Sport Staff want to congratulate and thank Anniek, Carmen, Esmée, Lot, Marjolein and Remco for a great job, all the nice memories they left in the kids at the summer camps and the useful equipment they donated for the future volunteers arriving.

Volunteer to stay on as Intern in Buenos Aires

United Through Sport, Argentina grew a lot in 2014. We received three times the volunteers we did during 2013. All as a result of the hard work of the organization, ensuring that every volunteer that chose Argentina for their volunteer programme was not disappointed. Our volunteers posted all over social media and told their friends and family about the great time they had on our projects.

Dhani-Perre Heath is a football volunteer from London who arrived in December on a 12 week programme and is now staying until November 2015. Yes, an amazing 30 weeks more than he had originally planned!

Dhani tells us that he is having a great time in Buenos Aires. He has met some amazing people and is learning from every coaching session he takes part in at Pereyra Park. He is also organising football games in a local league by hiring a pitch.

United Through Sport Staff in Argentina have named him as the new intern because he moves like a local in the city, his Spanish is improving, he knows how every project is working and he will now be staying until November.

So, we want to welcome Dhani to the United Through Sport working team in Argentina and hope he continues to work hard and have the time of his life in South America.

 

Christmas Surprise at United Through Sport Argentina

In November, Kevin Hagiel from Germany travelled to Buenos Aires to support United Through Sport Argentina. He is a player and coach at FC St. Pauli Rabauken in Hamburg. He came to Buenos Aires for a 6 week Football Volunteer programme and did a great job. His Spanish was good enough to gain the kids attention and affections.

By Christmas Eve, Kevin had finished his programme, but he couldn’t leave before giving some special presents to the kids he had been coaching for the past 6 weeks. At the end of his final session, when all of the kids thought it was time to finish, Kevin revealed the special gifts that he and FC St. Pauli Rabauken had arranged for them. Sport shirts, shorts and socks were given to the kids. Christmas came early for the kids from Pereyra park and for Kevin too, who couldn’t believe how happy and grateful the kids were.

We want to thank Kevin Hagiel and FC St. Pauli Rabauken for this amazing gesture. Beside Messi, Aguero and Tevez is a new name – and that name is Kevin.

 

Venus and Serena Williams visit Argentina

The Williams sisters, United Through Sport Argentina and the Blind Tennis Social Project put on a clinic during an exhibition match held at Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club on 30th November. Serena Williams, world number 1, and her sister Venus worked with children suffering from blindness with the aim to promote more participation in the sport regardless of disability.

With the public asked to remain silent, the sisters used a specially designed ball that would give off a sound that could be heard by the blind children. To everyone’s astonishment the balls were being regularly returned proving what a success this new technology has been.

Over 250 children from disadvantaged communities turned up, along with kids from the Blind Tennis Social Project, to take part in this exciting opportunity. Working alongside two of the worlds most well know tennis players was a great priviledge for all involved.

Serena even posted out the following Twitter message:
“I did something I have never done before today. I played tennis in Argentina with blind kids. The ball made noise. They listened and hit it back. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. Tennis opens doors to so many different people and things. These kids taught me a powerful lesson today. Anything is possible”