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Maryland Teenager to Spend Gap Year Coaching Abroad

1 July, 2013: An 18-year-old high school senior from Wenham, Maryland (USA) is set to spend a year coaching abroad, as he chose to work with children at a school in Africa. Al Martin, who attends Clark High School in Danvers, chose to embark on a gap year programme rather than head to University next autumn, and after careful deliberation chose South Africa as his destination. 

The first step towards embarking on such an initiative was initially provided to Martin by his gym teacher, Mike Evans. Evans made his pupil an intern gym teacher, which later led to Martin's inclusion in an outdoor leadership programme in Vermont. Throughout both these stints, the youngster had the opportunity to mix together two of his main areas of interest, sport and working with children – a combination which will carry over to his volunteer stint coaching abroad in Cape Town. 

In fact, during his stay in South Africa, Al has chosen to volunteer as a sports development instructor, helping local children learn how to surf and improving their skill in sports such as handball, European football, handball and netball. Initially, he will undertake this position for a period of six months, for which he paid $3000; however, there is a possibility that his stint can be prolonged to a total of one year. 

Before settling for a gap year programme coaching abroad, Martin contemplated a series of other possibilities for his post-high school period. Chief amongst them was University; the young man initially planning to enrol for a four-year degree. However, a career in the Military also appealed to the more physically inclined side of the youth's personality. Eventually, the factor which led Martin and his teachers to settle on the volunteer stint was the possibility of catering to the high school senior's aptitude for physical exercise and sports, as well as to his passion for working with children. 

Martin will leave his native Maryland for Cape Town on August 28, and declares himself, “90% nervous and 10% excited.” 

For information about coaching abroad, contact Gap Africa Projects at www.gapafricaprojects.com or call them on +44(0)207 193 7819 .

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