Shanie Stathers, a Sport & Exercise Science student entering her third year, spent two weeks this summer coaching sport in Tuscany at camps run by the English Theatre of Europe. She has kindly shared some thoughts about the very positive experiences she had in Italy:

“ I have had the opportunity to work in two different schools in Italy, one being in a large city and one being in a small village. I never intended to teach sport, especially not to children, as I am not the best with communication and presentation when it comes to coaching. However when this job came up I thought it wouldn’t hurt to have a go.

My first week was in a large school teaching a variety of sports to over 100 children aged between 6 and 11. My second week was in a small school teaching 48 children aged between 10 to 14. At first it was hard, especially the language barrier, but once I got into the swing of things I loved every minute of it. I worked with a few different teachers during the experience and along with teaching sport I got to learn about Italian culture by living with two different host families.

The experience has taught me that if you don’t give something a go you won’t know if you enjoy it or not. I have gained new skills and built up more knowledge on the ones I never realised I already had!”

Shanie followed in the footsteps of fellow Sport & Exercise Science student Jake Gear, who worked on the same camp programme the previous summer. Both responded to adverts posted on this blog, and we will continue to pass on news of any similar opportunities offered by the English Theatre of Europe or other organisations.

P.S. We’d love to hear about any sport, exercise or health-related paid or voluntary work you undertook this summer…and what you learned from the experience. Please let us know at