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Organising Voluntary Projects, Internships and Gap Years since 1994.



Children in India are passionate about sport; everywhere you go you will see them on the streets playing games, sometimes with imaginative makeshift equipment! Although resources at the schools can sometimes be scarce, the children are enthusiastic and wonderful to teach.

You can coach cricket, football, tennis, volleyball, badminton, basketball and table tennis to many age groups, mainly in secondary schools in the bustling city of Madurai. You may coach between 10 and 30 children at a time (aged between 7 and 16), but sometimes the children are split into smaller groups with the PE teacher taking half of them.


Price: £995 for 2 weeks
£140 for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & Other Currencies
Duration: From 2 weeks to 12 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements
Start Dates: Available from June through to February - you choose your start and finish dates. Subject to other school holidays through the year – see dates below.
Requirements: Minimum age 17. You don't need any qualifications to do this project, just a good knowledge of the sports you'll be coaching and lots of enthusiasm!
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation and Food (excluding lunch)
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Daily transport to and from your Project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Free T-Shirt
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas, Return transfer to the airport.
Who can do this Project? All projects are open to all nationalities and all ages over 17.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in coaching football, sports or working with children overseas while doing voluntary work in coaching sports, projects abroad or study abroad. Also available as a summer placement in sports volunteering in India and anyone who can only take a short break.


  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into the fascinating Indian culture.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping disadvantaged children and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.
  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!


Please fill in the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.



Everything about my placement coaching football was fantastic - the friendliness of the people in Madurai, the excellent living conditions in the Travellers house and the wonderful support from the in country supervisors. But most of all what really made it for me were the school kids I was coaching - all of them such great characters, extremely dedicated and so grateful for the opportunity to be taught more about football. Tim Roberts

The schools we work with are all situated in the bustling city of Madurai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The school are mainly ‘Matriculation’ which means that English is taught as the first language. These schools tend to have play areas for sport which is enjoyed as PE classes throughout the day. However most of the schools have only basic equipment such as a few deflated footballs, no nets or bibs and potholed pitches! Some schools even use the car park as a playing ground. Although materials and resources may be scarce, the enthusiasm of the students and colleagues more than makes up for any hardships.

The children are a joy to teach as they are incredibly enthusiastic about games. They turn up for training each day eager to learn new skills, have fun and practice their English. Coaching sports has immeasurable indirect benefits for the children, such as health awareness, increased confidence and social skills. The Principal/sports director and/or relevant teachers at the school will liaise with you about your coaching assignments and our Organisers will also be happy to assist you where necessary.

You may teach between 10 and 30 children at a time. Sometimes the children can be split into smaller groups with the PE teacher taking half the children if you find that they are too many to coach. You’ll most likely be teaching children aged between 7 and 16. Although the children can speak English they tend to be incredibly shy at first, but they will soon open up!

You will usually be coaching for 3 to 5 hours at one school only, however there is a possibility that you may coach at two different venues. You will work in secondary schools and you will normally help out with all age groups. You will be in popular demand wherever you are placed and the children will crowd around you like a celebrity and want your autograph. Keep a pen on you at all times!

The lessons are approximately 40 minutes each and you will be coaching a variety of sports:

  • Cricket: Cricket is by far the most popular sport in India and has produced some of the finest cricketers in the world such as Tendulkar, Dravid and Sehwag. India won the Cricket World Cup in 1983 and under the wonderful guidance of captain Mahindra Singh Dhoni, they won again in 2011 after a 28 year gap! Celebrations went on well into the night all over India as fans took to the streets with flags and firecrackers! They also won the first ever T20 world cup in 2007. Everywhere you go you will see groups of children and adults alike playing on every piece of spare ground they can find. Children love to practise at every opportunity so this sport will be in great demand.
  • Football: Football is probably the second most popular sport in India after cricket. All the children in India love David Beckham and will be keen to play the game! Football is not widely played though so resources are lacking. You may find a few deflated footballs and cones and most of the time you will need to improvise as you may not find goal posts. Football coaching is also available as a full time project.
  • Badminton: Badminton is also one of the most popular sports in India with Sania Nehwal one of the emerging players in India today. Many children play badminton but few receive proper coaching.
  • Tennis: Although tennis is widely played, the recent rise of Sania Mirza has helped to boost its popularity. The facilities at the schools may be basic and the children may not receive proper coaching; this is where you come in.
  • Volleyball: Volleyball is another popular sport in India and is played in the larger schools.
  • Basketball: Basketball is becoming more and more popular in India so any help you can give the children will be appreciated.

Coaching is only available from June to February as from the beginning of March the children have to concentrate on studying for exams. However, you may be able to coach during the Summer Holidays (April to May) when Summer Camps are held in some of our schools for approximately 60 children. These Summer Camps actually take place in the school grounds and are an opportunity to give more informal lessons, perhaps combining them with playing a sport or putting together a music concert or play – much more relaxed and not quite so structured. Alternatively, you can use the holidays to tour around the country and sightsee.

As a volunteer sports coach with Travellers, you have access to a large number of coaching manuals for each sport - these manuals have been produced in-house by Travellers and are very useful and will help you to plan coaching sessions for your students.

Please keep in mind that school holidays can change unexpectedly with very little notice given. Although at times this can be quite inconvenient, most of our volunteers use the opportunity to travel around and explore the country.

  • First Term Vacation: 26 September to 6 October 2015
  • Gandhi’s birthday: 2 October 2015
  • Bakrid: 3 October 2015
  • Diwali Holiday: 21 to 23 October 2015
  • Second Term Vacation: 24 December 2015 to 3 January 2016
  • Pongal Holiday: 14 to 17 January 2016
  • Republic Day: 26 January 2016
  • Good Friday: 25 March 2016
  • Summer Vacation: 11 April to 4 June 2016
  • Idu’l Fitr : 5 July 2016
  • Independence Day: 15 August 2016

Exam Periods: (approx):

  • Quarterly Exams: 18 to 25 September 2015
  • Half Yearly Exams: 10 to 23 December 2015
  • Annual Exams: 2 to 11 April 2016 (although teaching is limited from Mid March)


For a complete Indian experience we arrange for you to stay with one of wonderful host families. All of our hosts are very welcoming and not only will be made to feel part of the family, you’ll also gain a great insight into Indian culture and customs. Many of our volunteers remain friends with their host families long after they leave India and in some cases they return to the country later especially to visit their family.

You may share a room with up to 2 other volunteers and in most of the houses you'll have an en-suite, Western-style bathroom. Most of the showers in our host accommodation are cold water only – however your hosts will boil water for you on request.

All of our host family houses are close together and just a few minutes’ walk away from internet cafes, banks and snack shops and just a short auto ride into the centre of town.

Breakfast and dinner will be provided and prepared for you by the family and is mainly local fare allowing you to taste a varied selection of delicious south Indian dishes and exotic fruits. You will need to make provision for your own lunch.


Got any questions? Please email us:

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country:
When you arrive you will be welcomed by a member of our team who will take you to your accommodation and introduce you to everyone. During your first few days you'll be given an induction so that you can learn about the country and its culture, as well as other useful information, like how to use the transport system, banks, safety issues, tipping, and lots more.

As well as protecting all our volunteers, Travellers Worldwide is committed to all our projects and dedicated to practices which protect children and vulnerable adults from harm. Read Travellers' Child Care and Vulnerable Adults Policy.

TRAVELLERS' SUPPORT AND BACKUP: Read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your programme.


Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

Bollywood Dancing Lessons in India

Price: £39 for 4-Week dance course (12 hrs), concurrent with your main project. 12 lessons in total (3 x 1-hour lessons a week), excludes transport.

Bollywood dance classes - a fun way of learning some fantastic moves, whilst at the same keep keeping fit! All levels are catered for and the lessons are taken at one of Madurai’s leading dance studios. Three private Bollywood classes per week, each lasting one hour. These will usually be taken in the afternoon but there will be some flexibility, depending on your teacher’s schedule. The course location is only 20 minutes by auto from your accommodation. By the end of the course you will have learnt a dance routine to a whole song from an Indian movie.

Bollywood is the largest film producer in India and one of the largest centres of film production in the world. Bride and Prejudice is typical of the modern day films, with love, romance, singing, flamboyant costumes and hypnotic dancing. The teacher has over 10 years' experience teaching Bollywood Dance and has put on a number of productions in Madurai and around Tamil Nadu.

Book Now

Indian Cookery Lessons

1 Cookery class running concurrently with your project (1 Lesson spread over two days): £38.
A One Month Cookery Course (4 Lessons, one a week): £115

Our cooking classes are held by a local trained cook who currently teaches cooking classes in a school in Madurai. Classes are held after 3.30pm and for one cooking session, 2 days are required. You'll make delicious Indian dishes normally consisting of a rice or bread dish; a meat and a vegetable dish and a dessert. Vegetarians are easily catered for!

On the first day you'll choose your menu and go shopping to a local market to buy your ingredients and you may also do some preparation this day depending on the dishes you want to cook (especially if you have chosen to make idli or dosa). The following day you will be shown how to cook your recipes and then enjoy tucking into your sumptuous meal.

If you're interested in discovering more about cooking, we have also arranged for a month of classes where you will attend one session each week for 4 weeks. If food is one of life’s pleasures for you, then this opportunity is not to be missed!

Book Now

Tamil Language Lessons


  • 2-Week Tamil course: Price: £40
  • 4-Week Tamil course: Price: £80
  • 8-Week Tamil course: Price: £160
  • 12-Week Tamil course: Price: £240

Vanakam - Welcome! Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to learn Tamil, the official language of Tamil Nadu with one to one lessons with a private tutor. These language lessons are available to do at the same time as your main project. Learning a little Tamil will enrich your time here immeasurably, enabling you to converse with the locals, order a drink in a restaurant and not forgetting watching all the Tamil dramas on TV!

Your lessons will be individually tailored to your requirements and are conducted at the home of local lady who has taught classes amongst the local community. Whatever your level/requirements, the teacher is dedicated in helping you achieve your goals.

For the 2-Week or longer course, lessons will normally be held Monday to Friday for one hour each day (5 hours per week). All you need to take is your own notebook and stationery. Classes are within walking distance of your accommodation.

Book Now

Yoga and Meditation Classes

2-Week Yoga and Meditation Combined Course: £45
4-Week Yoga and Meditation Combined Course: £90
8-Week Yoga and Meditation Combined Course: £180
Excludes transport.

Meditation is a mind-body practice and you'll learn to relax your body and mind and create a focused awareness to bring you stillness and inner peace. Your lessons will be conducted at the home of a lady teacher who has more than 7 years' experience as a Yoga Practitioner and Trainer. The courses comprise one x 1-hour lesson per day, Monday to Friday only. The 2 week course will consist of the following:

  • Asanas (posture)
  • Pranayama
  • Kriya
  • Meditation

The 4 and 8 week courses will consist of the same as above, but includes Surya Namaskar.

Book Now

Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.




INDIA REALLY HAS IT ALL, from the hot sultry deserts of Rajasthan, the Taj Mahal and the majestic Himalayas in the north, to the idyllic palm fringed beaches and ancient temples of the south, plus a multitude of wildlife parks! The way to best enjoy India is to absorb it - the warmth of the people, the beauty, the smells, the food, and the wonderful hospitality!

Many of our projects are based in the bustling city of Madurai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Madurai is known by many names; ‘Jasmine city’ for the famous jasmine flowers that are cultivated here, ‘the city of Nectar’, Legend tells of a river of nectar that flowed after blessing from Lord Shiva, and the ‘Temple City’.

Madurai really does have a temple or shrine on practically every street but it is most famed for the Sri Meenakshi Sundeswarar Temple. Pilgrims and tourists alike flock to visit the temple and approximately 10,000 visit every day! The temple is named after goddess Meenakshi. It was built in the 17th century and is an enormous structure with 5 outer towers crammed full of idols and animals. The inner courtyard contains another 7 towers, again all highly adorned. It will take your breath away.

Madurai is located on Vaigai River and was the capital of Pandyan rulers till the 14th century. It is full of cultural diversity and life revolves around the awe inspiring Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, awash with pilgrims, market stalls and tourist shops.

Children will stop you on the streets to chat to you and shake your hand and even ask for your autograph! You will be in demand everywhere you go and you’ll feel like a celebrity, such is the warmth of the Indian people. If you’re after an overwhelming experience, then Madurai is a certainty for this!

KERALA has been named ""Gods own Country" by the locals for its stunning scenery, wildlife, beautiful beaches, picture postcard towns and the breaktaking backwaters. It is also the home of Ayurveda medicine, an ancient system using essential oils and vigorous massage to aid medical complaints or just for pampering - a one hour massage is an unforgettably relaxing experience.

Kerala also has one of the best wildlife parks in the country; Periyar. A huge array of activities are on offer, jungle trekking and jeep safari’s which take you off the beaten track in the hope of spotting an elusive tiger although you are more likely to see elephants, boar, monkeys and many species of birds. You can also take an elephant ride, boat ride, visit spice and tea plantations, watch martial arts – it’s an action packed weekend and only 4 hours from Madurai!


Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.


Teaching Children in Schools in Madurai
Plus Coaching Sports

Madurai is a wonderful city. When I arrived, I immediately noticed all the colors present everywhere. Very different from Montreal where it is mostly grey. In Madurai, I fell like there is life everywhere. About the placement, everyone we meet is extremely nice and welcoming. A truly great experience.

I am becoming more capable to handle and teach relatively large groups of children. I felt more organised in the sense that I know more what I have to do and when I have to do it.

Everything has been great, but I really enjoy the fact that we are free to do what we want in our free time. If we are tired, we can rest and if we are feeling adventurous, we can go explore the city out of the tourist areas.

I would recommend this placement. This was an amazing experience for me and I would definitively, recommend this placement to anyone who wants to do a similar project. The type of person this placement would suit is someone who is open to new experiences and who is active and energetic. Since everyone is so accommodating, this placement can suit anyone as long as they enjoy sports or fitness activities ... The host family is welcoming and understanding. When you start knowing them better, the trip becomes much more fun since they recommended more things and activities to do. It essentially become living with friends.

Teaching Children in Schools in Madurai
Plus Coaching Sports

Madurai: It’s a nice city, full of temples and very culturally focused. Main attraction is the Sri Meenakshi temple and the rest of the city surrounds it. Many colors, odurs and the sounds are omnipresent in this city. The people are nice if you meet them with a host parent. Otherwise, they want to sell you something.

Placement: All 3 schools were quite welcoming. We were often offered snacks and the teachers are very glad of our work. Many times they went out if their way to give us more coaching opportunities. The children are very energetic! Some are annoying, some are little angels, nothing is surprising here!

I fell have gained leadership, organisation, cultural awareness, fun, patience.

Leadership: In my opinion, you shouldn’t be the boss of the class but rather the leader. The classmates are your team and together you must learn and improve, which is what I did during my placement.

Organisation: we have clearly developed our organisation as we have had to be on schedule, even during our evening activities.

Cultural awareness: We have learned much, especially the way people think here. I love the Indian mindset.

Patience: I have had to stay patient with the annoying kids and found new ways to make them behave.

Fun: Throughout my placement, I have had a lot of fun. I was smiling and joking with the children as I tried to learn a Tamil word I couldn’t pronounce.

I also now know how to teach a class and have a week schedule with every new game and an hourly schedule with every activity during a period.

Without a doubt, the best thing about my placement has been the people arranging thus placement. Anitha and Lakshmanan have been extremely helpful going out of their way to help me (repair my camera). Furthermore, the gym teachers were always happy and inviting. They often arranged for us to have more coaching opportunities which is something I truly appreciated.

I would recommend this placement. The current host family is perfect. If would be impossible to have better! The school teaching is quite entertaining and you can always have a good laugh with the children. This placement would suit sporty people who practice a sport they can teach at home. An aspiring gym-teacher ... The placement was great! We are rushing to get though everything we planned for the trip.

Coaching Football at a School in Madurai

Everything about my placement coaching football was fantastic - the friendliness of the people in Madurai, the excellent living conditions in the Travellers house and the wonderful support from the in country supervisors. But most of all, what really made it for me were the school kids I was coaching - all of them such great characters, extremely dedicated and so grateful for the opportunity to be taught more about football.

Can you describe a typical day?
It was 3pm on a stiflingly hot afternoon in Madurai, South India. I arrived at the city's main sports stadium, with a group of fellow Travellers volunteers and staff, ready to set up the inaugural Travellers football tournament. The teams had arrived and the boys were enthusiastically warming up, just like pros.

But where were the goals? Where were the pitches? I thought the groundsmen had been working hard all day to get things ready? The matches started in thirty minutes! "No worries" the groundsmen claimed as they got out their measuring tapes and white powder. It was pointless asking them why they were starting this so late. The tournament wouldhave to be delayed.

So it was a little late in starting, but at least the sun was a little less intense by the time the first whistle was blown. I had seen the boys make great progress in training but how would they look out on the pitch, playing in proper matches with proper pitches? I feared the occasion might get to them and they would return to the "hit and hope" or "swarms of bees" tactics of old.

I was wrong: they did ever so well.

Moving into space, calling for the ball, keeping it simple, one touch passing.....I was really proud to see them looking like football players and working together like football teams. I had feared 0-0's all round but once again I was wrong. The goals flowed freely and excitable cheers could be heard from across the pitches as the boys realised their dreams and found the net. OK, the celebrations were somewhat over the top, but at least they were enjoying themselves.

The group stage came and went and so to the final: "Fusco's B vs SEV A"! A longer matchand then a chance for the players to lift the mighty Travellers Trophy! The best team won and the inevitable celebrations ensued. Medals and trophies were presented and photographs were taken. After a while the boys got on their bikes and set off home: pleased, I hope, with the way they played and motivated, I hope, to keep on improving.

Coaching A Variety of Sports at a School in Madurai

I’ve had a great time in India, been to lots of places. My highlights:
► My 40+ hour train journey from Chennai to Delhi
► Walking into a classroom and people screaming at me like I’m a star
► See very enthusiastic kids at the schools and the friendliness they’ve shown to me
► Going to Rameswaram and seeing everyone slowly get more and more red, then Jack’s skin falling off
► Having a real bond with the PE teachers at the School
► I love Indian food

Conclusion – enjoy your time here and just go with the flow. I love India!

Coaching Football at a School in Madurai

I'm certainly enjoying my time here so far, and I feel I am gaining a lot of confidence from the coaching. I found it amazing how quickly you find yourself becoming like coaches and teachers that taught me when I was a kid.

It's gratifying seeing some of the kids making small improvements everyday, plus seeing others that have genuine ability. I'd say you have to have plenty of energy and enthusiasm because although typically we only coach for 3-4 hours a day, the heat can make it exhausting. Also, it can be easy to become frustrated so you need to have patience and try and stay calm, even when it can be difficult!

Can you describe a typical day?
Typically I am up at 5.30 for the first coaching session at the Racecourse. We usually start at 6.15 and finish at 8. I have some breakfast and then we have another session at 10.30 at TVS school. There we coach 2 different classes from 11-12.15 and 12.30-1.30. When I get back to the house I have lunch, and maybe get some sleep before the final session at Fuscos school from 4-5. However, because at present there are 3 of us on the coaching placement we tend to have a rota whereby we each do 2 of the sessions per day.

Coaching Football at a School in Madurai

We actually created a mini World Cup competition amongst the schools when we were there. We also awarded medals, such as Best Skilled Player, etc.

We also bought a whole kit for our groups because they were such good students. The kids were fantastic and were very sad to see us leave. We just hope that other Travellers volunteers can take up from where we left off.

Coaching A Variety of Sports at a School in Madurai

Having been to India many times before, my impressions of Madurai were met, I expected it to be quite noisy, but was impressed by the amount of local activities available – e.g. the malls were very close by. Madurai is also very congested and very hot, so it was difficult to walk long distances.

The placement was enjoyable. The kids we worked with were enthusiastic and willing to learn. I have developed my communication skills, finally run my own coaching session. This experience will help me in the future. The best thing about the placement so far is the fact that I am able to run my own session and that the children listen to me. This allows me to demonstrate my own skills and see if the work properly.

I would recommend this placement only to somebody that has interest in coaching and is prepared to rough it. The type of person this placement would suit is sporty, people who enjoy travelling etc.

A typical day at school would be taking the school bus into school, which picks us up at 7.30am. We often get to school about 40 minutes later and tend to relax in the PET Room for about 20-30 minutes. Our first session is at about 8.40 - this includes coaching youngsters (around ages 8-9) at football. We are given a skill to teach (e.g. dribbling) and our job is to create a session or a drill that teaches the kids the basics of dribbling. Normally we start at a basic pace with a basic drill, but then after 10 or so minutes, we progress the drill into something a little more complex - this can be the addition of a pass or lengthening the distance required to dribble. Each session lasts around 40 minutes. Up until lunch (1pm) we are working with kids aged no older than 11 or 12.

After lunch, the older kids come and these are around 14 and 15 year olds. This allows to put in place more complex drills and we can provide the kids with more suitable feedback. We end the day at 4.30 and arrive back at home around 5.15pm