I recently got back from my 6 weeks in Zambia with Volunteer Zambia, which works in conjunction with Sport in Action. This experience was easily the best thing I’ve ever done and was even better than I anticipated.
What did we do?
Whilst in Zambia I was placed at two hub sites in Lusaka for Netball, which were Matero and Kamwala. On placement I worked alongside Sophie, another student at Durham, to help with coaching development, increasing coaching capacity and increasing the participation of girls in netball. Together with the Zambian volunteers, we made huge progress at both of these hub sites. Each hub site presented its unique challenges which were frustrating, but during our time we were able to see such progress in the confidence and competence of the coaches we worked with.
Progress was aided by the two coaching workshops we carried out alongside the other UK volunteers for Netball. These workshops are part of a coaching course that is being officially recognised by Netball Zambia. In these sessions, we were able to go into more detail on how to structure sessions, how to effectively coach new skills and what the key skills to coach are. It was amazing to see how engaged the Zambian Netball volunteers were at these workshops and to see them implement what they had learnt in subsequent sessions. It was also amazing to be able to witness some of the Girls in Action and Life Skills sessions that take place across the hub sites to help educate the girls on important issues spanning menstrual health, hygiene and how to be assertive and a good leader. All of this helped show me how impactful sport can truly be and how a project like Volunteer Zambia runs far deeper than simply sports coaching as it feeds into the wider development of a nation such as Zambia. The work that this project does is so important and impactful and to have witnessed this firsthand and to have been a part of it is something that I am extremely grateful for.
Sport in Action Zambia – Sport in Action and Durham University have developed a partnership over the years and each summer approximately 40 UK students travel to Zambia to work with Sport in Action from June to September.