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Ben Illingworth

British teacher Ben Illingworth reflects of his time with the charity in 2013 and his subsequent journey to becoming a teacher

Ben Illingworth, 32, joined the charity in only its second expedition, back in 2013. A 26-year-old at the time, Ben volunteered with fellow Pride members for 5 months, in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. By this stage, Ben had acquired a sports and fitness management degree and had worked for three years as a personal trainer. He’s also worked in schools as a teaching assistant, cover supervisor and rugby coach.

Ben’s motivation to join the Pride included a desire to share rugby values with children and young people in Africa.

Now a qualified teacher in his 5th year. Ben has several coaching qualifications: Rugby Ready, Level 1 Coaching, Scrum Factory, Entry level RFU Referee, plus his PGCE and QTS.

“My experience was a huge eye opener. We travelled extensively and I developed a number of coaching and teaching skills. Today, these all help me in my capacity as a teacher. I believe patience, resilience, and communication were also skills that I developed massively, both through the travelling and coaching. My confidence level increased and my ability to deal with anything that was thrown at me definitely improved!”

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