As part of Edge Hill University’s ongoing collaboration with the UK Sport IDEALS
(International Development through Excellence and Leadership in Sport)
programme, a group of second year students have recently spent six weeks living
and working in Ghana.
After an initial settling-in period, the students, who are all studying undergraduate Sport and Physical Activity programmes, got involved in delivering a variety of educational activities alongside Ghanaian staff and volunteers from a number of organisations, as well as having the opportunity to attend several cultural events.

Jennifer Ward, a BA (Hons) Sports Development student, explains “We began to get to know the Ghanaians by undertaking numerous team building activities. We then headed to the Eastern region and helped to deliver the BILD programme, where children learn to think for themselves through problem solving activities. Following that we spent time in schools around Accra playing games like handball, football, rounders, basketball and cricket and teaching the children to sing and dance.”

BA  (Hons) Physical Education and School Sport student Paul Carey adds, “For me, the time I spent in a school called Presec, in Legon, was incredible. For the whole week all the boys there wanted to know how to play Gaelic Football an dseeing the enjoyment they got from learning this new sport was very rewarding.By the end of my time there they were practically Irish, as on the way to a tournament I taught them how to sing an old Irish song and to Irish dance. I will always remember a school bus of Ghanaian children Irish dancing on the side of the road with passing cars blowing their horns with approval!”

All the students involved found their experiences in Africa extremely enriching and enjoyable, with the trip leaving a lasting impression. Paul concludes, “I feel I have developed a wide range of skills from taking part in this project and now feel more confident and comfortable delivering a lesson. I believe a lot of the qualities I have learnt on this trip will aide me in my desire to become a physical education teacher once I graduate.”

This is a sentiment that Jennifer wholeheartedly agrees with, “I got something from every activity I undertook during this trip, and am already using what I have learnt now I am back home. For me, another key thing was the life skills I developed and understanding how different people work. I now hope that future employers will look at my experiences and believe I am someone who wants to make a real difference.”

As part of the ongoing student-led IDEALS programme all six students will now become ambassadors for the project and dedicate time promoting the scheme to other Edge Hill University students.

For further information about studying Sport and Physical Activity, visit ehu.ac.uk/studysport