December 2, 2023. Chelstone, a small neighborhood in the heart of the city, proved that…
The past weekend saw the commemoration of the international Day of the African Child. To celebrate and commemorate this day, Sport in Action set out to spread a message of internet safety and accessibility, with a target of sharing this message with over one thousand (1500) people, who were to be engaged through the power of sport.
The Hub-Sites across Lusaka were a spectacle and a number of Community Hub-Sites were involved in the festivities. The weekend of events was kicked off by Kalikiliki who held their maiden tournament with an amazing turnout from the community, who gathered to watch the Netball on display. Eight teams participated and Coordinator Michael Lungu summed up the tournament with thanks; “I’m really proud, of the community, and the leaders, we are a very new hub-site and this was a day we have all enjoyed and really made an impact with. We are thankful for the opportunity to support our community”
Friday continued in a hugely positive fashion with tournaments also taking place in Kanyama, Mtendere, Chipata Compound, Kaunda Square and Matero. Matero (coined as a city within the city) displayed a huge turnout for the day’s celebrations. The games took place at Chitanda School on the recently constructed Netball Court, supported by UK Partners connected to and a part of the Wallace Group. The tournament had over four hundred participants, and seventeen teams!
The Day itself finished in Chipata Compound, where we saw multiple teams battle it out for top spot within their community. The games were well contested and Netball Development Officer, Felistus Nseba wanted to really shine the spotlight on Chipata’s achievements; “I am so proud of the leadership here in Chipata. The hub-site committee here in Chipata is very young, the oldest leader here is only nineteen or twenty years of age. To see them lead in this way is very nice and they have a lot of potential”. Hub-Site Coordinator Doreen beamed with joy after the events had concluded, and wanted to share her joy with us; “I’m so happy, proud of what we have done today for the community and I’m happy, I feel better”.
Despite Friday in itself being a spectacle of sport with huge numbers across the capital, the events were still coming in thick and fast. Saturday saw football take the spotlight with young girls across the capital gathering to take the field! Kamwala saw a staggering one hundred and fifty participants gather to play, and National Women’s Football Coordinator Mary Tembo was excited; “We had expected maybe seventy participants for this tournament, but when one hundred and fifty showed up, it showed me that we can do so much with football and the girls here in Zambia”.
Saturday morning also saw Kanyama officially open up its Netball Hub-Site. Prior to this weekend the teams that make up Kanyama’s Hub were a part of Chibolya Hub. However with the hub growing so large they decided to split to make it both more manageable and also give the opportunity for more leaders to step into committee positions. National Netball Coordinator Gideon Mumba was optimistic; “They can do it, from what I’ve seen today, they can really do it, both Kanyama and Chibolya will flourish!”
Last but by no means least, Chibolya took its place, with Netball at Njovu Community Centre. This tournament concluded the weekend and the leadership at Njovu were on point throughout the event. Chibolya homes the youngest average age of participant and the guidance and support shown by Chibolya’s Hub Leadership was exemplary.
The target for the weekend was to engage one thousand participants through sport and deliver the message of internet safety and accessibility.
Was this goal achieved? You bet it was!
Through the power of sport, and a shared desire to improve the lives of Zambian Youth in their communities, the hub-site leaders from across Lusaka delivered the important message, and put smiles on the faces of 1464 participants, and highlighted the incredible leadership of 76 coaches across the capital, totalling 1540 people engaged in the festivities.
Of the 1464 participants, 1182 were young girls from challenging and marginalised communities. Sport in Action prides itself on the work it does for all youth and particularly the way it seeks to enhance the lives of young women and girls.
The Day of the African Child is every day, and the day itself, and the whole weekend was just an opportunity for us to bring young people, and communities together to celebrate everything an African Child is, and everything an African Child can be.