Projects Abroad volunteer teaches children rugby exercises on the Samoa Sports Coaching Project

Volunteer Rugby Coaching in Samoa

Coach rugby to children in Samoa and help develop sporting talent and promote healthy lifestyles

At a glance

  • Give children from disadvantaged communities the opportunity to learn and develop their rugby skills.
  • At the same time, you’ll gain practical rugby coaching experience and learn from local coaches.
  • You’ll work with our partner organisations and use rugby to promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

Start Dates: 

Completely flexible dates

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Two Weeks


Anyone aged 16 or over can join

Is volunteering as a rugby coach in Samoa right for me?

Do you love rugby? Are you passionate about fitness? Would you like to use your love for the game to encourage children to have fun with exercise? This project is the perfect opportunity to inspire youth through sport, and talk about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

At the same time, you’ll get rugby coaching work experience and learn about the local style of play from local coaches. This is a great opportunity to strengthen your CV and expand your knowledge of the sport. You can also talk about what you learned at the project on applications and in interviews.

You don’t need any experience or coaching qualification to take part. You’ll have the support of local coaches, and you can reach out to our staff at any time.

This project runs throughout the year, and you can join at any time from a minimum of two weeks. We encourage you to stay longer so you can have a bigger impact on the children you work with.

A group prepares for a practice during volunteer rugby coaching  experience in Samoa.

What will I do on the Rugby Project in Samoa?

During the Rugby Project in Samoa, you’ll work with local coaches and take part in various activities. These may include the following:

  • Visit local primary schools to coach rugby and promote physical exercise
  • Assist local coaches at a rugby clinic and raise awareness about nutrition
  • Teach English to local Samoan children to assist them in pursuing desired careers

Your work will focus on the following main areas:

Visit local primary schools to coach rugby and promote physical exercise

You will work with an organisation called Get into Rugby (GiR). In the mornings, you’ll join local staff on primary school visits. At the schools, you’ll focus on activities such as:

  • Basic rugby skills
  • Fitness training sessions
  • Talks emphasising the benefits of regular exercise and a healthy diet

Assist local coaches at a rugby clinic and raise awareness about nutrition

In the afternoons, you’ll assist local rugby coaches at the Rugby Academy of Samoa (RAS). You’ll work with local youth teams to develop their skills with the game. You’ll also be involved with providing education in healthy living and nutrition.

Teach English to local Samoan children to assist them in pursuing desired careers

You could also be asked to teach basic English classes to the players. Many of the children you’ll work with only have a basic understanding of the language. English is an important skill in today’s world, and can help open doors for them in the future. It’s also critical if they hope to play rugby professionally one day.

Our Partners at the Rugby Project in Samoa

We work t with three different partners at our Rugby Project in Samoa:

Get into Rugby (GiR)

GiR is a local organisation that uses rugby as a platform to contribute to social development. They hope to increase participation in rugby union and give underprivileged children the opportunity to pursue careers in rugby. This will in turn help develop the pool of talent for the national rugby unions in Samoa.

GiR also focuses on life skills. They help the children learn:

  • Discipline
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork
  • Respect for others

Rugby Academy of Samoa (RAS)

RAS was started in 2012 by former Manu Samoa national rugby team captain, Mohonri Schwalger. It works with young rugby players between the ages of 14-21, and strives to provide them with the necessary tools to maximise their opportunities.

RAS run weekly rugby clinics, and also help educate the players to improve their chances of accessing higher and tertiary education.

Quick Rip Samoa

Quick Rip is a rugby programme implemented by the Samoan Rugby Union across schools and clubs around the country. It is a non-contact adaptation of the sport. Players wear tags that can be ripped off by opposition players instead of tackling them. This is a safer option for for very young players.

Where will I work in Samoa?


If you volunteer as a rugby coach in Samoa, you’ll work in Apia, the capital and biggest city in the Samoan islands. Apia is located on the central north coast of Upolu, the second largest island of the country.

You will work at various primary schools in and around Apia. Many schools in Samoa have limited resources like sporting facilities, equipment, and are often understaffed. You’ll be transported by minibus between the schools. Projects Abroad organises and covers the cost of this transport.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Samoa Arrival Procedures page.

What will a typical day on the Rugby Project in Samoa look like?

You will work Monday to Friday, and your schedule varies depending on which organisation you’re working with. You’ll be transported by minibus between the schools. Projects Abroad organises and covers the cost of this transport. On your first day, we’ll accompany you to your placement to show you how it works.

Working with Quick Rip

You’ll get picked up from your host family by the local Quick Rip team at 8am. Coaching begins at a local school at 9am. You’ll have a lunch break at midday, and continue coaching at 1pm. Your day will end at 3pm, and you’ll return to your host family.

Working with Get into Rugby

After getting picked up, you’ll start coaching at around 8am. You’ll visit between two and three schools each day, and spend at least an hour at each one. Your work with Get into Rugby will finish around 2pm.

Working with the Rugby Academy of Samoa

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons, you work with the academy at a single location. You will work at a rugby clinic from about 4:30pm to about 6:30pm.

During your free time, we encourage you to explore! You could join some locals for a game of kirikiti, the local version of cricket. Or, you can visit one of the many festivals celebrating everything from fire dancing, to traditional Samoan tattoos.

There are idyllic beaches where you can swim, snorkel, and surf, within a five minute walk from Apia.

A student demonstrates exercises during his volunteer rugby coaching in Samoa.

Aims and Impact of the Rugby Project in Samoa

The main aim of this project is to develop rugby talent among disadvantaged children in Samoa. We also encourage children to exercise regularly and teach them about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Samoa is a proud rugby playing nation. However, many schools lack the resources to develop students’ skills. Health problems like diabetes, obesity, and other non-communicable diseases are also on the rise in Samoa. These diseases are caused by unhealthy diets and inadequate exercise.

This is why we have partnered with local organisations to bring rugby coaching to these schools. To give our partners the support they need, we need the help of volunteers like you. You’ll focus on assisting local coaches, and sharing knowledge about the importance of healthy lifestyles with children.

We hope that our ongoing efforts here will help more children pursue sport as a career, and foster more awareness about wellness in local communities.

This project also helps you learn about sport in another country. This experience will give you valuable skills in coaching, leadership, and organisation.

Join us in Samoa to raise future rugby stars and inspire others to live healthy, active lives.

A student facilitates physical exercises as part of his volunteer rugby coaching in Samoa.

Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.

Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.

Food and accommodation

You'll stay with a host family in Apia. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of Samoa and have a truly unique experience.


We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.


Your program fee includes three meals a day.


Find out more about our accommodation.

Leisure activities and free time

There’s plenty to do during your free time while volunteering on the tropical islands of Samoa. Whether you’re a beach lover, a nature enthusiast, or a culture buff, there’s sure to be something for you!

Our projects are based in Samoa’s capital, Apia. This city has plenty to do nearby so you don’t have to go far to get the most out of volunteering abroad. There are a number of museums and art galleries in Apia. You can wander through their halls on free afternoons and take in the splendour of local artworks and rich national history.

With white-sand beaches, the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve, and the Piula Cave Pool, there are many different ways to appreciate nature and marine life. You can go snorkelling through rainbow-coloured reefs or just relax on the beach in the warm sun.

You’ll likely have many other volunteers in-country with you during your project. This means you can explore independently or in a group. Travelling between the different islands together is a great way to bond and connect with other volunteers. 

Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.

Find out more about safety and backup.

When you apply you only pay a $295 deposit, which comes off the total program fees.

Things are changing rapidly these days. If you have ANY questions, please call us at (+1) 619 320 2424 and we’ll fill you in on the latest updates.

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