Volunteer in Ecuador coaching children in your preferred sport

  • Develop your coaching experience while helping others
  • A role for an independent and capable volunteer
  • Learn Spanish and enjoy the best of Ecuadorean adventures
  • Ideal for gap year students and under 18 volunteers

Project summary

This is a project located in a purpose built stadium in central Quito. Children aged 5 – 14 from disadvantaged backgrounds are invited to participate in a variety of sports after school, including gymnastics, football, athletics, basketball, archery, trampolining, climbing, martial arts, tennis, table tennis and even chess.

These sports have tended to be activities for the wealthy Ecuadorians and this is the first project of its kind that focuses on providing standards of sporting excellence for children from poorer families. While the government is able to fund the building of the stadium and the investment in sports equipment, it cannot so readily find the coaches who can provide the support needed, so coaching ratios are typically very high, or some sports may not even be running yet.

The children are enthusiastic and the classes are busy and oversubscribed. Standards are typically high, the children are disciplined and they take the opportunity seriously.

Volunteers are used to help improve the availability and standard of coaching, enabling local coaches to make smaller groups based on age and ability.

An excellent opportunity to volunteer abroad and share your passion and ability in a sport while working with children. Suitable for gap year students, those who may have done a PE GCSE, or pursuing coaching qualifications in their chosen sport.

Volunteer roles and responsibilities

If you have a coaching qualification or participate in a sport to a high standard you will be asked to take control of groups and organize coaching sessions. If you do not have coaching experience or play to a high standard it is still possible to participate, acting as an assistant coach to a properly qualified Ecuadorian sports coach. As you develop your confidence you may than be asked to work with groups of the younger or less experienced children, helping develop streamed sessions.

You will naturally form a good bond with the children you are coaching. Some teams/groups may participate in events and competitions that you would also be able to support.

As this is an after school event, the formal sessions do not start until mid-afternoon and go on until early evening. This provides volunteers with time to develop good session plans and creative ideas for the afternoon, or even try one of the other projects in Quito, many of which run in the mornings.

How you can make a difference

The government has invested money in the facilities but cannot so easily find coaches to help make the best use of them.

There are existing coaches for most (but not all sports) but the coaching ratios are extremely high. Volunteers help make the coaching groups smaller and more appropriate to different levels of age and ability, which has the effect of improving the sports performance.

The children also love international volunteers, as it gives them a sense of pride in the opportunity given to them, plus the chance to practice the little English they have.

What is distinctive about this project:

This is the only initiative we are aware of in Quito that promotes and coaches sports to a high standard to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Normally the opportunities are only available to the wealthy few. If you have talent, then the resources are there for you to share this with a willing group of children and youths.

Blue Tiger Features:

This is a project for a good self-starter, or possibly a pair of friends practising the same sport. You may be the only volunteer in your sport, and so need to be comfortable acting independently, albeit with the indirect support of a local coach.

You will have an enthusiastic set of children to work with and good resources – they just need a coach and a personality to develop the best from them.


The programme of activities vary over the school period and holidays and need to be confirmed upon application.


A basic grasp of Spanish is needed to work with the children and get the most from your experience. The Spanish lessons included can be targeted towards your coaching task.

Experience required:

Volunteers would need to be playing a sport to a reasonable standard to participate. An awareness of coaching skills is necessary. Coaching experience and qualifications would be ideal. Those with less experience would support the younger age groups; those with more experience and ability would work with the older more advanced children.

A broader knowledge of sports nutrition and sports science would help transfer knowledge to local staff.

Good to know:

The centre is based in Quito, a short walk from your family hosted accommodation that you are likely to share with other volunteers. Quito is a modern, cosmopolitan city and is a great launch pad for an Ecuadorian adventure.

Price table

4 weeks8 weeks12 weeks16 weeks

Includes: Comprehensive travel insurance (supplements may apply to older travellers). Accommodation, food, airport transfer, travel to projects, in-country support, welcome meal, excursion. Two weeks of good quality 121 Spanish tuition.
Excludes: Flights, visas, vaccinations

Things to see and do

  • Visit the Amazon rainforest
  • Downhill mountain-biking in Cotopaxi
  • Go Wild in Banos
  • Visit the Galapagos
  • Straddle the equator

Country co-ordinator

Monika Montes

Monika is superbly connected throughout Ecuador and has been working with Outreach International since 2003. She lives with her two teenage children in central Quito and plays host to many of our volunteers who work in the city. Monika’s passion for volunteering is reflected in her commitment and level of support that she provides. She speaks fluent English and is a qualified Spanish tutor.

About Ecuador