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Sally Bolton: Tennis Coach in Ghana

"My most memorable moment by far was the 12 hour Tennis-a-thon that two brave (and slightly mad!) tennis volunteers organised and participated in. They endured the hot African sun to play 12 hours of tennis at the National Sports College in Winneba in order to raise money to send one of the best Ghanaian juniors for a scholarship in South Africa. Rob ‘Posh Tom’ Sadler and Joe ‘Joey’ Page played tennis non stop from 6am to 6pm for sponsors to contribute towards a plane ticket to Johannesburg to send Jeff Bagerbaseh (14) to try out for a tennis scholarship. He could not afford the airfare so myself and other tennis volunteer Ed Banks donated some money towards it and Rob and Joe decided they wanted to undertake this challenge, Rob never having played tennis continuously for that amount of time before and Joe had never even played a competitive tennis match before! They had t-shirts specially made for the event and over the 12 hours of peanut butter sandwiches, drinking milo, chasing children who would steal the balls, Coach Noah shouting at them that they were crazy and the pain of aching muscles and impressive blisters – they eventually prevailed, playing a impressive total of 26 sets of tennis and making $300 towards the ticket. The tennis-a-thon was so interesting to the campus population and passers-by that the tennis players had to hold the crowd back to stop them running on the court. Well done boys!

Other favourable memories of Tennis would be the National Tournament we organised where we had players coming from all over Ghana to compete. We had prize money, prizes from my appeal to give and also being interviewed on the Winneba Radio about it as well as courtside seats during the finals. It was a huge success and I’ve never seen such good quality tennis from all the competitors and the hysteria that was created during the three days – very different from what I was used to in a silent tennis match to people running on the court and lifting the winner in the air! Brilliant.

Living in the village in the Eastern Region was an awesome experience, going to work on the cocoa farm and teaching in the school. There are so many memories I could write a book, but everything that involved tennis with the other volunteers I will remember forever and of course the adventures of travelling in Africa – being a Tro Tro mate, the 31 hour boat journey up to the north sticks out and those elephants – breathtaking.

Thanks to everyone that made this trip possible for me."

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Return to the Ghana Sports Testimonials page.


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Testimonials
  • ''The outpatients and staff gave me a send off party and I was touched and embarrassed by the extent of their gratitude. To be truthful, my contribution was limited, but it was appreciated, and I got an enormous amount out of being there.''
    Sarah Remnant , Physiotherapy, Ghana
     
  • ''The children were as all children are – loving, giving, and beautiful… and complete rascals! The whole experience will give me treasured memories for a long time to come.''
    Olivia Kegg , Care Work, South Africa
     
  • ''Working with the children was absolutely amazing and I still miss their smiles now! I had such an amazing time in Ghana - it truly was a life-changing experience that I will always remember.''
    Karen Miles , Care Work, Ghana
     
  • ''The teaching was great, I felt that I learnt a lot and the school seemed to enjoy having me around. The whole experience was all I'd hoped for. I can't wait to get back to Ghana one day!.''
    Charlotte Sadler , Teaching, Ghana
     
  • ''The children, the people, the volunteers, and the whole atmosphere in general, made this experience one I’ll never forget.''
    Magalee Nahas , Teaching, Ghana
     
  • ''The experience was greatly valuable to me professionally as I gained practical writing experience that I can take home and add to my portfolio and, considering how competitive media jobs are in my city, this is invaluable.''
    Sarah Kendell , Media & Journalism, Ghana
     
  • "Working on the front line on some really exciting news stories and has boosted my confidence that being a journalist is what I want to be. Amazing very relevant experience and just what I needed. Thanks to all the Changing Worlds team for making this possible for me."
    Thomas Coats , Media & Journalism, Ghana
     
  • Amazing people and amazing memories! I got a real taste for this beautiful country on the Ghana Experience.
    Gemma Hutchinson , Adventure, Ghana
     
  • There was never a dull moment on this action packed adventure. I had so much fun with the other people on the trip, I can't wait to go back to Ghana.
    James Reyland , Adventure, Ghana
     
  • I cannot believe how much we packed into only 3 weeks. Volunteering was amazing, and is was great to see the range of things that Ghana has to offer.
    Rosie Midhurst , Adventure, Ghana
     
  • ''I used this opportunity to gain work experience, and getting a new perspective of a health care service in a Third World country made me realise how much we take for granted in the UK.''
    Magalee Nahas , Medical & Health, Ghana
     
  • ''It was great fun working alongside the locals and we shared lots of laughs and stories. It also felt great to know we were leaving something behind that the community really needed.''
    Andy Hoyle , Building & Construction, Ghana
     
  • ''Ghana is a fantastic country and the people are so welcoming and warm, especially the Ghanaian staff. What makes the placement is being part of a team who all have the same viewpoint to help others.''
    Lisa Paige , Building & Construction, Ghana
     
  • “Great people, great experience and there is some great sport to be played in Ghana. Something I'll never forget.”
    Matt Pheasant , Sports, Ghana
     
  • “I have had a fantastic time out in Ghana and what they are trying to acheive out there is truly incredible. I hope to able to do something like this again.”
    Dale Bradley , Sports, Ghana
     
  • “It was fascinating to associate and live with a number of different cultures. The experience of helping other who lived an extensively sheltered and innocent life was invaluable.”
    David Holmes , Sports, India
     
  • "The most amazing experience i've ever had. From the coaching to the social side, the staff and people were amazing both within the organisation and also within the schools."
    Charlotte Williams , Sports, South Africa
     
  • "A demanding, thrilling, incredible insight into this beautiful and stunning country and to top it off: an entirely rewarding project that makes you appreciate everything."
    Ross Green , Sports, South Africa
     
  • "This was the best way to spend my gap year! Sun, sea, sand and sport all whilst coaching amazing kids. This was one of the best experiences I have ever had and I would jump at the chance to do it again."
    Rosie Wells , Sports, St Lucia
     
  • "My overall experience was fantastic, I enjoyed all aspects of this trip and there is never a dull moment in St Lucia! "
    Sam Evans , Sports, St Lucia
     

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