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Sport in Action Zambia

Sport in Action is a non-government funded project based around the development of sport. The Sport in Action Zambia Team has ten full-time staff fronted by an Executive Director, Clement Chileshe, with additional volunteer support recruited from the communities. Their strategy covers sport development and social development through sport.

The project was formed in 2005 in a unique union between a UK Sport initiative and a selection of UK Universities who collectively make up the Wallace Group (the Universities of Stirling, UWIC, Bath, Durham, Loughborough and Northumbria). The partnership selects and trains specialist sports and media students from the six universities who travel out to Lusaka, (the capital of Zambia) where they spend the Summer weeks working with local volunteers, organising and delivering School PE lessons, community sports programmes and health awareness workshops within the deprived areas of the City’s compounds.

Through the provision of sport, The International Development Through Excellence Leaders and Sports (IDEALS) Project aims to focus on the positive impact that sport can have upon impoverished communities, which are often affected by high levels of unemployment, crime, exclusion and many health risks, including HIV and AIDS. By encouraging children and young people to attend sessions, it is hoped that sport can be used as a medium to develop motivation, self development and self reliance and help improve the quality of their lives.

Zambia in 2013

Team Durham, once again, were involved in the Sport in Action scheme held in Lusaka (the capital of Zambia). Five lucky students from Durham had the chance to spend 6 weeks in Africa, where they were working with the local community and in schools delivering sport sessions to encourage self-development, confidence and other skills helping to improve lifestyles.

Three groups of around 15 volunteers from a variety of universities in the Wallace Group (the Universities of Stirling, UWIC, Bath, Durham, Loughborough and Northumbria) head out to Africa (depending on when volunteers are free). They are allocated to different regions within the capital:

 Ng’ombe, Kalingalinga, Munali, Chilenje, Mutandere, FOH, Tionge, Media and Chipata promoting a variety of sports and games including netball, volleyball, basketball and football. At the end of the 6 weeks all regions come together to participate in the Wallace Tournament Series, focusing on fair play and sportsmanship with Munali winning the overall title.

As well as influencing children through sports it presents a chance for cultural exchange between the UK students and the Zambian peer leaders. Masauso Zulu is experiencing this for the first time after becoming an EDU Sport peer leader four months ago. He is based in Chilenje and already loves his job, acting as a role model whilst coaching the children. Whilst being on the project he has noticed the positive influence of the UK students not only on the schools and children but also the local adults like himself saying, “I've learnt how to better interact with people and they are my first 'white friends'

Zambia in 2012

Every year this project gets bigger and better and the 2012 Ideals group were certainly no exception to that.

The students that travelled to Zambia last summer were; James Wilson, Rob Hodkinson, Maria Eracleous, Kate Houghton and Ben Gibbons. The students all had an incredible time, and have inspired this years students to travel to Lusaka to carry on the good work.

James Milligan, Jonny Bind, Emily Greene, Alex Hodge and Josie Grant were all successful in their application, and are currently preparing to make this trip of a life time.

Although the trip primarily involves coaching placements, these lucky students also have the opportunity to volunteer within special need schools, baby clinics and classroom sessions. Their presence within the Zambian communities is extremely positive; the children engage and offer their enthusiasm and attention meaning it is not only fun but massively rewarding to work with them. The Zambian volunteer sports coaches also gain new coaching skills and motivation to support them in continuing the fantastic work they do without the year.

It is an extremely special project, and one which requires the funding of others to continue to grow and develop.

For more information contact:

Katie Binks at katie.binks@durham.ac.uk