Sport In Action hosts students from the UK through the Wallace Group Volunteer Zambia project, formally UK Sport’s International Development through Excellence and Leadership in Sport (IDEALS) programme. Students from seven leading UK Universities (Durham, Northumbria, Loughborough, St Andrews, Stirling, Cardiff Metropolitan and Bath) spend three months in Zambia working with peer leaders on the ground to encourage sports leadership and development, whilst simultaneously enhancing their own coaching and teaching skills.
University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN)
UCLAN also send over twenty students to implement a similar programme like the IDEALS programme in Kabwe town. This project has really benefited the children, peer leaders and teachers involved and the general public in different ways by the cultural exchanges involved in this work.
International Student Development Projects (ISOP)
We have another exchange programme with the Dutch (NGO) organisation International Student Development Projects (ISOP). Students, whose educations usually focus on physical education and sports promotion, spend between one and six months with us. They provide coaching to children and peer leaders as well as becoming involved in other projects such as the production of sports manuals and the development of a sports management university course in Zambia.
Youth Sports Exchange Programme
Youth Sports Exchange Programme is another youth empowerment programme produced by the partnership between Sport In Action and the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee. The Confederation of Sport (NIF) is involved. This is the exchange of sports volunteers from Norway to Southern Africa countries, in which both parties gain the opportunity to expand their knowledge on sports, society and culture from a different environment.
The project has three lines of exchange; volunteers moving from Africa to Norway (South-North), Volunteers moving from Norway to Africa (North-South) and Volunteers exchanging with Africa (South-South).
We support adults and children who are living with HIV and AIDS in all programmes by working directly with three support groups comprising of approximately 250 adults and 80 children. Sport in Action organises a weekly sports session for members where they receive the opportunity to participate in recreational activities which social stigma often marginalises them from. We work to break down these social stigmas by organising sports festivals and tournaments that promote social inclusivity of vulnerable people. Teams of people living with HIV and Aids are mobilised from support groups to play and compete alongside teams from the private sector, ministries, embassies, schools, civil society and other individuals, ensuring that all members of society enjoy participation in sport.
Children from varying backgrounds participate in weekly physical education (PE) and sports sessions which are integrated with education on HIV, AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, gender equity, children rights and other health and life skills. Sport in Action also facilitates peer education workshops, leadership clinics, sex and sexuality health discussion forums. By participating in sport, young people learn the valuable skills of teamwork, commitment and determination, which can then be transferred into any walk of life.
Children identified with potential leadership qualities attend leadership clinics, with a view to building their confidence and skills, equipping them well for their futures. This contributes to greater participation of children in our activities and to creating child-friendly activities. It also helps breakdown misplaced social stigma on the roles and abilities of girls and children with disabilities, thereby enabling these vulnerable children to live fulfilled and joyful lives in their communities. This programme targets children in the age group of 10 to 16 years and has proven to be successful with high participation rates and significantly improved knowledge levels on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE).
Through the CSE activities, young people are equipped with life skills on how to protect themselves from the challenges they may face in childhood and adolescence, whilst parents who take part are taught ways to enable non-judgemental adult to child dialogue. Consequently, these activities are contributing to the reduction of the high rates of premature sexual relations, teen pregnancies, abortions, early/child marriages and gender based violence.
Inadequate provision of sports facilities often encourages children and youth to turn to alternative and negative means of recreation including drug and alcohol abuse. To help combat this problem Sport in Action renovates and creates sports facilities in communities and school sports. On average Sport In Action creates or renovates two sports facilities per year. We believe sport facilities act as the main centre for youth and children in our programming.
Liteta Netball Court
The University of St Andrews has been sending student volunteers and coaches out to rural communities around the Zambian capital, Lusaka, every summer since 2009. The placements take place immediately following the end of the Wallace Group’s Volunteer Zambia 6-week project, enabling students to extend their trip by 10-14 days. One of the regular placement sites is the village of Liteta. In 2017 the University of St Andrews funded the construction of a new netball court situated alongside the Liteta Sport In Action office. The new court will allow local school and community children to play netball and ball sports all year round and enable the Wallace Group to expand and host larger projects and tournaments in Liteta.
Ace2Zambia Construction Projects
Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath
During the summer of 2016, six students from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath were chosen to take part in the design and construction of much needed sporting facilities around the Zambian capital of Lusaka. The Ace2Zambia project came about as an offshoot of the Cultural Exchange Through Sport programme run in partnership with the Wallace Group, and saw a new volleyball court constructed at Munali High School, a multi-purpose court installed at Mtendere Community School and a beach volleyball court added to the facilities at the Olympic Youth Development Centre.
The following summer, a new cohort of students travelled out to Lusaka from Bath to oversee the construction of additional new facilities at Munali High School; a new netball court was installed adjacent to the existing basketball court, the changing rooms that serve the football pitch and athletics track were renovating; and survey and design work were undertaken for the potential re-construction of the football pitch in 2018.
Girls In Action is a girls programme produced by Sport In Action, which uses sport and recreational activities to educate and share information with young females on HIV, AIDS, health and social issues and gender by imparting life skills which empower girls to live an active, healthy lifestyle. Girls In Action (GIA) is implemented in all Sport In Action sites and placements and the target group are girls in the age range of 12 to 20 years. The programme features fun filled activities to make uncomfortable and difficult topics easier to talk about. Activities include: girls forums in and out of school workshops, quizzes, tournaments and leagues, educational tours and exchange visits.
Often children with disabilities are ostracised from society. Sport in Action believes that these children deserve the same fulfilment and opportunities as all other children. Consequently, Sport in Action works to breakdown misplaced social beliefs and highlight the abilities of disabled children. By placing them in a safe and encouraging space in order for them to displaying their potential and abilities, Sport in Action hopes that society will begin to realise that they deserve the love and respect given to all other children. We coordinate sports programmes in a number of special needs schools in Zambia. We also provide sports equipment for children with disabilities.
Zambian traditional games have always been educational, recreational and cost-effective but have, over time, been diluted or lost in preference to more standardized games from the West. This is partly due to the misplaced education that “traditional culture is for the uneducated and poor”. Conventional (modern) games are costly, requiring substantial amounts of funds to sustain required equipment and facilities. Most Zambian schools and communities cannot afford these expenses but still prefer to practice such games over the indigenous games which are low cost. Sport in Action works to reintroduce the use of traditional games as a tool through which life skills can be learned. Children are given the opportunity to express their emotions and thoughts through dance, song, drama, role-plays, drawing/painting and storytelling. Therefore Sport In Action plays a part in promoting traditional games through the integration of them in sporting programmes for children.