Thursday, 9 September 2010

Playball - A Sports Programme


Playball is a sports programme which began some 24 years ago in South Africa and it is now a successful global business. It is not only a sports programme but importantly, also teaches life skills to children. In Switzerland, Playball has only been around for two years and Nadine McGaw – Troxler introduced it firstly to the Pfäffikon area and will soon be expanding closer to Zurich. She will also be training all new area managers and staff in the country. Here are some questions I asked Nadine about Playball.

1. How long have you been involved with Playball?

17 years

2. What made you get involved with Playball?

My daughter did Playball in South Africa when she was 4 years old. I saw that she gained lots of self-confidence and because of it, later became a great athlete, winning many medals. I was asked to get involved and took the chance.

3. How did you work your way up?

I started out as an instructor, then had my own centre in Pretoria called Playball Brooklyn with over 500 children. I decided to move to Switzerland when I was offered the opportunity to launch Playball here.

4. Why do parents like their children doing Playball?

Parents are happy that their children are active and do sports. Also the fact that it is in Swiss German and English is also very appealing.

5. What sports can my child do and what groups are there?

Football, Volleyball, Field Hockey, Basketball, Baseball and Mini Tennis.

Also available is Playgolf and Swimrite. Classes have between 4 and 8 children in each

All groups are taught age appropriate skills. There are 4 groups: 2-3yrs, 3-4yrs, 5-6 yrs and 7-9yrs.

All children receive 2 assessment reports per year as well as a certificate on completion of a programme.

6. What qualifications do you need to be an instructor?

To be an instructor you need to have a love for children and sports. You would also need to have patience, energy and experience or an interest in teaching. Coaches receive extensive training before coaching a class. There are in-house training updates and courses every 12 weeks.

7. What opportunities are there if I want to be involved in Playball?

You can train as an instructor/coach and when qualified work for a centre or buy a franchise.

8. What ist he response so far? The response is very positive from the parents, lots of good feeback. Word of mouth is a important marketing tool for Playball.

9. Will my child learn other skills other than physical ones? Yes, Playball is also a very social oriented programme and such important skills such as independence, co-operation, respecting other children, and helping with self-confidence are taught.

10. What is your ultimate goal while living in Switzerland? That Playball is available to all children and that it would be part of the Swiss Educational System.

If you are interested in your child participating in Playball or in a job opportunty please contact Nadine directly.

The website is, please check it out!

Thanks to Nadine.

Sunday, 18 April 2010


Travelling normally conjures up images of excitment, fun and enjoyment, not at the moment due to the lovely volcano on Iceland Eyjafjallajoekull. It has been spewing up ash since Wednesday when it erupted and continues to do so now five days later. The wind has blown the ash over Northern and Central Europe and UK which means big disruptions for airlines, airports and travellers. The ash can cause damage to the aircraft therefore no flying.

I am sure we all know of someone affected by the disruption. A work colleagues`daughter cannot return to the UK, our neighbour should have been in London this weekend and my parents should have been in Rome. I myself was going to go to Geneva for the weekend and had to change that (can`t blame the ash for that one though)

Even for the funeral of the late Polish President Lech Kaczynski quite a few of the invited guests will not be able to come, including Prince Charles and President Obama. Also the actor John Cleese paid £3000 to travel by taxi from Oslo to Brussels. A group of people in Belfast paid a taxi driver£700 to drive to London, desperate times call for desperature measures.

In fact it is a little worrying as to how long it will continue to erupt and how long the flight disruptions will last. We are supposed to go to Scotland early May, let`s pray that by then everything will be ok.

Now travellers need to find other options and this means the trains and ferries will get overbooked. Or else just have a holiday in your own country instead.
The advantage of living in Europe is that you can still visit another countries quite easily not only by train but car too.

So fellow travellers I wish you all good luck if you do venture somewhere and hope you get there too!