Those of you who know me well will know about my passion to develop others, my passion for sport and my passion for travelling. Well this year I am the luckiest person alive as I get to merge all three of these passions and travel to Zambia with Sport in Action to make a difference to kids in Zambia through sport.
Volunteer Zambia Sport at Loughborough University is part of The Wallace Group of 8 UK Higher Education Institutions that have a shared commitment to support the development of sport in Zambia. Under the ‘Volunteer Zambia’ project the Wallace Group provides support to the Zambian Government and other key stakeholders in implementing an exciting new Zambian sports strategy.
Each year Loughborough University selects 6 students to undertake the role of 'Student Sport Development Officers' and go to Zambia for 6 weeks each, alongside a staff member or two.
This year’s student team is: Tom Wain, Seb Sale, Mitchell Hines, Parie Patel, Lily Gray, Lucy Whitfield & staff team: Me & Jess Northfield.
Throughout the past 12 years we have worked closely with Sport in Action (SIA) as our principal in-country partner. We will be continuing to support this excellent and successful organisation as they drive forward both sports development and sport for development initiatives across Zambia.
The eight Universities; Bath, Cardiff Metropolitan, Durham, Loughborough, Northumbria, Sheffield Hallam, St Andrews and Stirling have embraced new Directors in this ambition, including UK Sport, England Volleyball, England Netball, British Basketball and Sport in Action themselves. Together we will be working in collaboration and continuing our shared commitment to the establishment and sustainable practices of both international and sport development.
Our focus will be to invest in building capacity within sport development. This will include supporting the development of both community sport hubs that include community sport competitions & effective talent pathways in key sports, initially volleyball, netball & basketball. This also includes developing the skills of young Zambians especially in coaching and coach education, officiating, leadership and wider sports volunteering. We will do this by encouraging the sharing of expertise, knowledge and experience between UK staff and students and their Zambian counterparts. Our emphasis will be on building the capacity in country to create sustainable opportunities for people to play and progress in sport.